Freedom Devotional (September 16)

Have you ever been paralyzed by fear? You dreaded facing something so much that you avoided it even at those times you knew that you shouldn’t? Even the regular routines of daily life were interrupted because your mind was so absorbed with fear.

Being afraid of things is normal. It’s a natural emotion that alerts us to potential danger. In that sense it can be a useful warning for us to take appropriate measures for safety. Taking shelter during a hurricane is an example of that.

But fear can be a hindrance if we allow it to hold us back from doing what we know we should do. Sometimes situations call for us to look at the thing that we are afraid of square on and move ahead anyway. Too many people allow fear to paralyze them from doing things beyond where they feel comfortable and as a result miss out on some pretty amazing growth experiences.

This applies to our life and service in God’s kingdom. As followers of Jesus we have been called to get over ourselves and do what the Lord is asking of us. The stakes are high. People’s lives are held in the balance. When we talk to God and receive direction from him, we must do what he asks of us for the sake of the kingdom. The difficulty is of course that often we are required to do things that scare us. What we do with that fear will not only affect us but other people as well. We will grow spiritually when we practice faith over fear and the plan of God will be advanced in others.

Nehemiah gives us a great example of facing his fears and getting past them. Because he did, he developed his ability to lead the Jews to experience a miraculous undertaking by God’s hand. This week we will examine what Nehemiah was afraid of, how he handled his fear, and what over and above stuff happened by the grace of God because of his practical faith response.

To prepare for Sunday and the discussion at CP1 the following Wednesday, read the story in Nehemiah 2:1-10. Consider what God was asking Nehemiah to do and what happened for the cause of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls because of it. Think as well about your own life. What is God asking you to do as you spend time with him in prayer and the Word? Do these things require you to stretch beyond your natural fears? What is the potential for your spiritual growth and for God’s work if you do move ahead?

These are exciting days. I remind you that God is already at work all around us every day in our community and he is inviting us to join him to see people transformed by Christ. Let’s keep praying and believing and making ourselves available to God for his kingdom building purposes.

See you Sunday….

Pastor Del