Have you noticed how often we have discussed fear in this and in the previous two series? While you may tire of the topic, the Spirit of God has done this with purpose, for there's no greater enemy to your faith than fear. In fact, unbelief is not the antithesis of faith: fear is. The fear is then the seedbed for your unbelief. In Psalm 11, we see how David handled the voice of fear in his life:
In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? For look! The wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow on the string, that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates (Psalm 11:1-5, NKJV).
Voices within and without were urging David to flee from danger, so let's examine how David responded.
Some believe that this psalm was written when Saul was trying to kill David, but it could have happened at any point in David's life, for he was always facing danger from his enemies. When the advice came to flee, whether from allies or the voice inside his own head, David examined and responded to the thought so he could come to the right faith conclusion. In Psalm 11, we see that he concluded, "Where can I go that God isn't there? He's with me wherever I go and He's testing the righteous but actively opposes the wicked."
It's true that David did flee the presence of Saul and then later in his career he ran for his life from his son Absalom. And we read later in the New Testament that the Apostle Paul had to escape from his enemies from time to time. But in all those cases, flight was a last resort, for David and Paul had confronted their fears—or perhaps it's better to say God had helped them resolve them. Both men saw the reality of their situation—that God was bigger than their enemies and used that truth to calm and soothe their inner turmoil.
MORE THAN ONE WAY TO HIDE
Most of us will never face mortal enemies, those people who want to do away with our lives. We will, however, face critics and persecutors and will have to learn how to deal with them if we're going to do God's will. Of all your opponents, the more daunting ones lie within, where like self-doubt, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and fear of sorts tend to breed and thrive—things like fear of success, failure, poverty, ridicule, inadequacy, just to name a few.
I've written quite a few books but every time I start a new one, I have to battle inner enemies: "This is no good. No one bought the last one, who's going to buy this one? You've written this before." I post regularly on many social media platforms, but must face fear daily that no one is reading or that my impact is small, if not nil. When I speak at a new venue and or to a new audience, I have to control my fear. If I don't do all that, I'll run away and hide—I won't write, post, or accept invitations to speak. My fear, like yours, triggers two internal responses: fight or flight. David's friends were urging him to flight; in most cases, however, he decided to fight, even if it was only with his internal fears.
Are you hiding from who God made you to be? Have you succumbed to the voices of your friends who don't want you to be disappointed when you fail? Are you fleeing from the internal voices that sound so rational as to why this isn't the time to go, write, create, learn, start, or build? This week's PowerPoint for Living can be summed up as follows:
You must face the temptation to hide or flee from the size of your assignment or the terrors of your purpose-directed life. That will require that you not hide from your feelings or the reality of your challenges, but to process them in the light of the fact that God is watching and able to preserve you as you go.
If you're going to live an abundant life, you can't waste your creativity and energy on how not to do what's in your heart. Face your fears and then determine (and it is a decision you can make) not to hide but to be bold in doing what it is that God has created you to do. Have a blessed week!