Isaiah 41:13: For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you..
Trick-or-treat time just ended last Monday. I want to discuss this idea this week. I wasn’t here last week, but we can discuss this theme at any time of the year. It’s good to know as spiritual people that God never tricks us, but instead always treats us to better than expected results, better than anticipated answer to prayer.
With an awareness of God with us, there is never anything to fear. Most fears in life are pretend fears. Halloween is pretend fear. Perhaps for parents the most fearful thing, is paying the inflated price for the costume for the child jumping up and down wanting – that one, and only, that one.
Fear in life is the darkroom where negatives are developed. Marie Curie said, rightly, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”
Mark 5:36 “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’”
Mark 6:50 “Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’”
A woman once said, “I dread going to the dentist. Once, to ease my tension, I listed my middle name as ‘Wimp.’” The receptionist read it, laughed and assured me that many patients felt the same way.
Half an hour later, the receptionist came into the waiting room. Looking directly at me, she said, smiling, “The doctor will now see the wimp.” Three other people got up with me.”
I would have also been one to stand up.
Do you remember yourself as a child around this time of year? Many people hearing or reading this are baby-boomers. Many will relate to this true Halloween story. There are many wonderful childhood memories we all have. One 65-year-old man said*, “I will never forget my childhood bedtime ritual in the 1950’s.”
“Every night I’d climb the stairs and go down the hallway to my bedroom. Now, usually, I had to do this with my parents, because I just knew something lived under the bed; something lived in the closet. And it was there, waiting to get me. I was an only child, so every night, we’d go through the same thing. We’d check all the rooms and make sure this monster didn’t come and attack me at night. We’d check under the bed and in the closet. And after we’d gone through this ritual that lasted as long as it possibly could, I asked my parents to leave the light on in the hallway. Eventually, after calling downstairs several more times for some excuse to get my parents up to my room again, I would finally fall asleep.
“Morning would come and it was like a victory, because I had made it through the night. The monster didn’t get me. I ran down those stairs, stepped on the old brown carpeting with my pajamas that had feet in them. My pajamas would always have some sort of animal on the feet, so when I walked, it looked like two animals were going along in my old cotton pajamas. This is the way it was in Ohio, at that time, with children.
“I would go downstairs and sit in front of this big, blonde-wood Motorola television set. It was about as big as this lectern, and it had a screen about as big as one of your hymnals. It would flicker while I would watch whatever there was to watch on television, during those early days of black and white TV.
“I was proud BECAUSE I MADE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT.”
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
This baby-boomer said, “I had two favorite things at that time in my life. One was the sandbox in the backyard. The only problem was that every neighborhood cat also liked that sandbox too. On the end of Broad Boulevard, lived my best friend. I would go up there and visit him often. His name was John Cofield. We were both four years old. “I could walk up this street because there was no traffic. It was a small town and I could easily walk over and see John. This one particular Halloween was the best, and the worst, I remember because it was my first real Halloween party. I had gone to parties before where they hung the black and orange crepe paper, and I got candy, and that was good. But, at this particular party, Mrs. Cofield dressed up as a very horrible witch and was unrecognizable, scariest thing I had ever seen. I remember that feeling of fear. I had nightmares for years about this witch.
“All the other kids were reluctantly edging up to the witch and getting their candy. Not me. I was against the wall, trying to become part of the wall in the corner. I didn’t move during the whole party, and it lasted about an hour and a half. All the other kids bobbed for apples, but not me. I was a part of that wall and the witch could not see me.”
How many of us have tried to disappear into a “wall,” hoping we could not be seen at scary times during our life. I know a younger me has.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Halloween has real significance. I would like you to think about this. There are many Halloween experiences in our lives. Many times, we have gotten into situations where we would like to hide, in order TO NOT FACE OUR FEARS. Many times, we have gotten ourselves into a corner and we don’t know how to get out. We, seriously, don’t know, in our own mind, how to get ourselves out of a fearful problem. It’s like a Halloween event over and over. Many times, we have gotten into situations in our personal lives, our homes, our work, our business, our career, even our spiritual beliefs where it appears in our eyes, like a ghost house.
It is good, that we, as humans, can have a time of conquering, through amusement, our base fears.
Deuteronomy 3:22 “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
Think about this…, Halloween goes into Thanksgiving. That is when we realize, again, that God is here and God is with us. Then, here is when we complete the big event as we go to Christmas, birth of our Savior.
Never walk alone; accept the help that is available directly to you from God and His Son Jesus Christ.
If the fear you’re dealing with today is allowed to proceed to the realization of God in your own spiritual thanksgiving, you will have new spiritual birth. You will have a new life. You will get beyond your fear. You will get beyond where you are today, and you will have a whole new experience of being, that will be better than anything you have ever dealt with. You can take deep, fulfilling breaths.
John 14:27 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”
We may wonder how we’re going to get past our fear. Well, we must go to God in prayer, and ask for the help. Realize we’re not doing it alone. Then, while we’re in the experience, we will be so thankful because we will realize we’re not doing it alone, then, we have a new spiritual birth. And, in that new “birth,” we can go beyond anywhere we thought we could with God’s help.
It is those people who go beyond, who go from the fear, to God, to the new birth of Christmas, who are TOTALLY ALIVE.
For many people, if they see two holes in the ground and one hole is filled with snakes and the other hole is dark, they will jump in the hole that is filled with snakes, because, at least, they know what to expect. It’s true. It’s sad. It’s human nature. If you are this way in ANY area of your life, realize this is time to ask God for help. You can go beyond fears with God’s help, to courage, strength, and protection. You can jump in the other hole called unknown and you can know it’s going to be okay because God is with you. He is there!!
One of our scriptures today is from Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you..
Jesus said, Matthew 12:27 – 32 (NIV) 12- Now, if I cast out the demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
What Jesus is saying here is that we need to go from our personal Halloweens to an experience of God and have true new birth in awareness. If I have a fear inside of me, I can’t get rid of that fear with another fear. I have to get rid of it WITH God.
I can say, “By the authority of God with me, RIGHT NOW, through the power of the spoken word, I’m NOT going to have this fear in my life, anymore. I refuse it. I evict you from my thinking by the authority of God.”
I then solve my problem from a higher level of mind than I created it. I wipe out the fear that is inside of me by a higher level of spiritual faith than that which was in me when I created the fear. It works every time. I go from my inner imagined Halloween to safety of the real God in thanksgiving. I realize something has happened; and I have new birth of conscious awareness, the birth of our Savior. – Christmas..
I have a gift for you, a treat! …. John 3 (NIV): 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Pray with me, please: Lord, we cry out to You today asking You to restore to us joy and freedom from fear. Where you see people struggling and being burdened with fear, I ask You to meet them at the area of their greatest need, and “bind up the brokenhearted – Isaiah 61:1 . Where there was once sorrow and fear, I ask you to replace that sorrow and turn it into the “oil of gladness.”
We pray for an increase of blessings in all our lives, and a refreshment of hope for our weariness. Help us, Lord, to walk through this new doorway of possibilities, into a renewed and fully restored time of blessing. We pray we will be able to soar on eagle’s wings and ascend to the heights where our vision is increased and our faith and hope renewed, releasing us of all our fears.
You are Lord over all, and You offer Your armor of protection for all of us. We claim that armor for those of us who are weary, discouraged, and fear locked. Help us to be obedient to You as You use these fears to build us into authentic spiritual leaders. Remind us of the power of obedience and the truth that allows us to be Christ–led and Christ–like. Help us to abide in You. Free us, Lord, of all that binds us to fear.
May all we do bring You glory and honor! In Christ’s name we pray. Amen