Friday, 10 December 2010

To frighten me

Also they reported his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to frighten me. – Nehemiah 6v19

While the walls were built the enemy was not. Wicked Tobiah continued to send letters to Nehemiah to try and frighten him from doing God’s work. It must have seemed like they couldn’t really catch a breath.

Fear can be absolutely debilitating. We can all understand that emotion that grips us by the throat so that we can hardly breathe. We all know that tightening in our chest and sick feeling in our gut that comes with absolute fear.

I have several fears. I fear heights. Actually I fear edges at heights. I fear rats. I fear snakes. I fear those arrows and hidden doors at Ikea. Some writers build stories around the idea that hell is the place where everyone must live forever with their worst fears. If that is the case I would have to live for eternity on a 100th floor of Ikea with an open wall surrounded by rats and snakes. Even typing that gives me the feelings I mentioned above.

I also fear failure. I fear making a fool of myself. I fear rejection. I fear mockery. I fear ridicule.

If I am not careful this second list of fears can affect me even more than my first list.

It is wonderful that the Bible addresses the whole concept of fear. Fear is not of God. He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.

Our service for God should never me limited or hindered by fear. Nehemiah knew the truth of Psalm 56v11. It is a truth that we would do well to remember. ‘In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’

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