Fear.. My Greatest Sin

1385085_600227413373059_1176363055_nWhat keeps us from trying new things? What keeps us from changing? Moving? Changing jobs? What keeps us from pursuing that dream? I would say it is fear. Fear.. It comes in so many different forms and fashions, convincingly. Taking our thoughts, shaping our wills, and twisting our emotions. Fear.. Maybe that is why we are told in the Bible, “Fear Not” over 360 times.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of the uncertainty. It has clouded our imagination and stolen our hearts, locking us in to the realm of relevance and the seen. Fear blocks the vision of faith, reducing it to theology and good ideas. We believe we have to be 100% certain.  I read the other day a quote from Mark Burnett, producer of Survivor and others shows, and he said, “The best you can hope for is to be half certain.” Yet we want to make sure every detail is covered.. Everything is planned out and runs accordingly. Each step carefully marked, with at least an eighty percent chance of success.
But I don’t read that anywhere in the Bible. In the Bible I see, “Fear Not!”577485_605119842883816_622622254_n “Only be strong and very courageous.” “We walk by faith not by sight.” “Trust in the  Lord with ALL Your HEART, and Lean NOT on your OWN Understanding.”    Or what about this verse, “We are not like those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith.”  Revelation 21:8 puts those who are fearful or cowardly in with all the vile and unbelievers. Romans 14:23 says, “Whatever is not of FAITH is SIN.”
Fear is not sin. Let me just state that.. The results of fear, the non-action, the thing “not done in faith,” is sin..Fear is an emotion. A learned response. But we are not to be led by emotions and feelings but by the Spirit of God. “Those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”

1390718_598342716894862_307321890_nFEAR
My great sin
My greatest fallback
What keeps me from moving forward
What pulls me away from you
The excuse for my solitude
The excuse for my imprisonment
When I take a leap in faith
When my heart shivers
FEAR
My pain
My falter
My reality
That lies.
That creates.
That convinces.
It is a comfort zone
It is a mile stone
1450807_601071286622005_1080551941_nFEAR
I need to break
Step to take
Courage and great faith
For God and not for us
To honor and obey
Not to turn away
Because fear is the devils treat
The thing that keeps us incomplete
FEAR.

Let us clear our vision. Let our minds become untangled. Let our hearts run wild with the notion that God is “able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or think.”

Poem and pictures By Micaela Guess

Fear of Heights

321544_283459298331271_2144643561_nYou ever been to the Grand Canyon? The Royal Gorge? On Top of a Sky Scraper? Ever get to the Edge and look down? I have been to the Royal Gorge. I have been on some high mountainy roads even.. And let me tell you, THEY SCARE ME..
I have a fear of heights. They just freak me out. I remember one time I was riding the parachute right at Six Flags, I was in 6th or 7th grade, you sit down on this bench and they clamp a bar across your lap to secure you in your seat. Well, at the top of the ride, some100 foot up, my friend sitting next to me raised the bar, which was suppose to be securely fastened so as to prevent an accident… (Me falling from a 100 ft. type of accident.)  I immediately slammed the bar down, and pushed it down with all my might, praying that God would get us down safely.  (Which he did, as I am here writing this.)
I have a fear of heights. I’m not talking about being up a radio tower, or the top of the Empire State Building, or 310673_283459351664599_420919659_nat the top of the Grand Canyon. I can get on the roof of our house with no problem I can go to the top of a tall building, but I can’t go near the edge. This dizziness and confusion takes over my mind and it feels as if someone, or something is pulling me over the edge. Not just with the roof, but on any ledge, walk-way, or thing above the ground. Maybe it’s not the height I’m scared of..  but getting to the edge of the roof. Maybe it’s not really the height that scares me, but being on the edge of something..? Maybe its a Fear of Falling!? They say that we are born with two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises, and everything else is a learned fear. So, even at forty-two years old, I have held on to this fear.. I don’t think I am the only one.
See, I think in our lives, definitely in our churches, we come to the edge of something, no matter how great or small, the Grand Canyon or the rooftop, God brings us to the edge and the fear of falling grips us, sometimes so strong that it is strangling us till we are blue in the face. Confusion sets in. We get dizzy and disoriented by this fear of falling. We start to doubt if we can do this. We wonder if the reward of the view is worth the risk. Fear takes control. We aren’t in control anymore… We could fall. Get Hurt. Look stupid. The voices get louder.. The danger looks real. Those who have fallen scream at us. “GET DOWN!!” “Get AWAY from the EDGE!!” Well meaning people warning us about the danger of falling, so we back away. We start back-stepping.  It’s like that you know.. In Life…In Faith.. We either go on, or we backslide.
536475_435867026423830_418276429_n   How many views have we passed by not gazing at the beauty that is before us? How many roof top experiences have we missed because we have been afraid to get close to the edge? What if we are missing our greatest moments because we are afraid to fall? We are told in the Bible to “Walk by Faith, and Not by Sight.” Yet we don’t dare take the step out into the unknown for fear. Fear of what? Falling??
My mind thinks of Peter, as the Disciples see what they think is a Ghost but it’s Jesus walking on the water, Peter says,” if it is you Lord, bid me to come.” And Jesus says..”Come.” Peter had to step out into the Darkness. The raging sea. The Fear of Drowning, or may I say Falling, soon clouds Peter’s mind as he is walking on the water and the Bible says, “Peter beginning to sink cries out…”  I am encouraged by this. First, to be able to step out, and Jesus calling for him too. Secondly, even when he was falling, he cried out and the bible says Jesus took hold of his hand.
I may never really get over my fear of falling, or being on the edge. But one thing I know. I can come to the Edge 316891_286688308008370_1619090709_nof what ever God lays before me, and I can look. And when He bids me to come, I can step out even at the risk of falling knowing that His hand is there. Psalms 37:24 “When he falls, he will not be thrown down headfirst because the LORD holds on to his hand.”
May we step away from that which is so secure. May we stop backsliding and as the writer of Hebrews says, “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith.” So may we walk by faith. May we look at the finisher of our faith and see that He really is in control. That “the steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord.” He is calling us to trust. “For whatever is not of faith is sin.”
I may never get over my fear of heights or falling, but I can put my faith in the One who “holds on” to my hand, who will not allow me to “be thrown headfirst.”

 

Photos by Blake Hannah