One of the main things that is contagious from this pandemic is fear, it goes from person to person. Because we are people,we are relational, we enjoy being with other people, and we tend to act and feel the way those around us act and feel. We call the general values, actions, and behavior in an area it’s culture. Various parts of the United States have different accents or ways of speaking, and those born and raised in that area pick up that accent. There are those parts of culture that are good, and there are those parts that are bad. The Bible commands us to be different than those around us when their behavior is bad.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
During this time when many are catching the virus of fear we who are followers of Christ need to be radically different than those around us.
The first thing in conquering fear is to recognize that fear is not OK with God, He expects us to be strong, confident, and brave.
Exodus 14:13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
John 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
There are over a hundred commands in the Bible to not fear. That many commands suggests that this is important to God.
The next thing is to acknowledge when we are afraid and then not excuse, justify or blame someone or something for our fear.
The last thing is to ask God for strength to be courageous, ask more than once, ask every time there is even a little bit of nervousness.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
There are four things that I do to make my prayer to God for courage and strength more formal, more serious, and I believe more pleasing to Him. The first thing is I pray on my knees. In the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was afraid He prayed on His knees. I also pray out loud rather than in my head, Jesus prayed out loud in the Garden. There is something powerful about hearing our own voice as we talk to God about our problems, our needs, and our fears. I often write my prayers in my prayer journal and then reread them over and over in the days following, which brings me to the fourth thing that I believe is very important if we are serious about becoming ”more than conquers” rather than wimps. God is not into token prayers, easy prayers, convenient prayers, prayers that cost us little in the way of time. Jesus prayed for an hour in the Garden as He faced His greatest fear, then went back two more times, and then He went to the cross with courage.
I desire to be a strong and courageous overcomer who is not intimidated or afraid of anything, but I can’t be that kind of person on my own, but when I depend on God He will make me strong, and then I will be an influencer of others to do the same, seek God.