Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fear vs. Focus

~ Nancy Goring

     The other day, while watching the local news, the reporter was interviewing an Australian man who was a base jumper. For those who do not know what this “sport” is, they are the brave souls who parachute off of shorter heights, such as cliffs etc., instead of going up in an airplane. There is a limited amount of time for that parachute to open, so the shorter the distance up, the more likely the chute may not have time to open fully enough to break their fall. This man was scheduled to jump from the Liberty Memorial in K.C. MO. The reporter asked him if he was afraid. He replied that he absolutely WAS afraid and appeared to be so from his demeanor. Then she asked how he was able to control himself when he was up there looking down, knowing the time element involved. He simply said, “I am fearful every step of the way, until I am ready to jump and then I must focus. When I am focusing on what is happening at that very moment, my thoughts are concentrated on only what I am about to do. Fear is gone and Focus replaces the fear.”

     I couldn’t help but think how our spiritual lives are much the same. We must have complete focus when we are attempting to teach the Word of God to those who need it. There is no room for fear that they may not like us, or fear that they might get angry. Instead, we need to focus on what is the most important issue here – their eternal soul. Whether we are dealing with someone who has never been taught, or with someone who has gone astray, we are often fearful, and we should have a healthy fear; one of respect for the power and authority of God’s Word. That should never be taken lightly. The loss of one’s soul is of greater consequence than if we were in danger of losing our physical life, for the soul will live eternally somewhere – either with God in heaven or with the devil and his angels in eternal damnation. Yes, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” (Hebrews 10:31). Thus, we need that focus to be able to help bring others to Christ.

     We need to be focused in our own spiritual lives. There is no place for the fearful and unbelieving in the kingdom of God. As a matter of fact, John tells us in Revelation 21:8 that there is a place prepared for the fearful – the lake of fire which has been prepared for the devil! The preceding verse tells us that those who overcome will inherit eternal live and live with God. Where do you want to spend your eternity? If you want a home in heaven with God to live in eternal bliss with Him, there is no room for fear in your life; no room for fear of rejection when you must speak the truth, no room for fear of taking the gospel to the lost, no room for fear of lovingly letting a brother or sister know if they are in error, no room to be fearful to serve Him daily and let your light shine in a lost and dying world, whether it be in the workplace, school, the community or wherever your steps may lead you.

 John tells us in 1 John 4:18, “ There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” Do you love God; completely love Him? That is what the apostle is saying. When our love is perfect (complete; mature), we will not be fearful because we are focused, totally focused on Him. This will take much study, a great deal of prayer and a humble heart, but it can be done. Verse 17 of that same chapter tells us that we can have boldness in the Day of Judgment, if we spend our lives personifying the love of God to others. That’s what I want to do. And I know that is what you want for yourself as well! So let’s get focused, ladies, and make sure that we do not have a timid and fearful spirit that will keep us from spending an eternity with heavenly Father. My prayer is that I would be able to be with my Father, my Savior and the Holy Spirit, with all those faithful brethren who have gone on to their reward, and to be with each and everyone of you dear sisters. I just need to FOCUS.

 Nancy is the wife of Bill Goring, who serves as a gospel preacher and elder for the Chipman Road church of Christ in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren and has taught Bible class for over 40 years, speaks at Ladies Day gatherings and has published several books including: Behavior Becoming Holiness: Studies in Titus Chapter 2 and Overcoming our Self-Imposed Prisons

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