Whom Shall I Fear?

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The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When I was one year old, I really was not aware of anything, except maybe for the green pea-mush my mother fed me every day. Other than that, I was unaware of many things: what my parents were doing when they were changing my diapers, how blazing hot the summer was, or how bone-chilling cold it got in the winter. I was unaware of the defining beauty in the seasonal birth of a new spring, as well as the aged and gentle shades of color of a fading fall.  And among other things, I was also unaware of who I was.

Now, as we grow, our awareness also grows. I've come to know that our lives are bounded by the awareness we have of ourselves and our surroundings. We are limited by the limitations of those we associate with our life. You see, as we are raised, we are influenced by the objects of our environment -- people we associate with, the overarching society, the culture that society created, public education and overall information we are exposed to, the music and the media, and even ourselves -- and so, as we grow, our awareness expands to the limitations of the influences in our lives. For example, if you were a child with your mind yet to be molded, and you lived in an environment that was overwhelmingly negative, you will most likely become a negative person.

One other limitation is fear.  But fear is senseless, unproductive, damaging, destructive, and paralyzing.  Fear works its way into our minds and hearts through the influences in our lives, through the experiences we face, what we see, hear, and believe. For many, fear has truly become fabricated into their way of life, so much so, that over time, people become unaware of the disposition they are in. The deep, dark fog of fear has settled upon the mind, and many do not know and cannot find their way out.  The minds of many have been trapped in the prison of fear. After so many years, after the mind has been molded, the masses just go along with the fear. They accustom themselves to it. They accept it.

Wrapped up in the bondage of fear, the gifts and blessings bestowed upon an individual either remain untouched or are forgotten, buried in its black pit. Hearts seized by fear results in frailty, a diminished frame of who he/she actually is. The fear of failure freezes us, so no good action is ever taken.  Fear does not deserve a place in our lives. Here are three pieces of advice to help you overcome fear:

1) Be aware of and expand your circle to include the True and Living God.  If your limits are defined by the limitations of those you associate with, then know that God has no limitations and that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

2) Use the gifts given to you for your advantage, your enjoyment and to glorify God.  For those who have God in their life, they have not been given the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).  For God is love and there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

3) Seek and trust God. Be bold and confident, take the initiative for the work you are to accomplish, and know you are not alone.  In other words, just do it. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."


Jeffrey Nguyen

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