You’ll have to pardon my typing…I just got off the bike, and my hands are still somewhat frozen.

Ok, this is kinda strange, but this post was inspired by a dream I had last night. I don’t remember the dream, but I do remember the emotion I felt during that dream…fear. Now this wasn’t a nightmare, something that is so scary you can’t seem to cope, but it was a dream that scared me. For whatever reason, I don’t know what it was, but when I woke up, I just didn’t want to go back to sleep because I didn’t want to continue the dream. Now dreams are usually an extension of your subconscious thought into your R.E.M. period of sleep. I always find dreams to be potent, because if you are having it, somewhere, sometime you thought about what you are dreaming. You may not realize it, but you did it. Our brains are amazing. They process tons and tons of information every second, and half of it we are not even aware of. When you are sitting down, you aren’t really aware of your feet, but your brain is, when we are typing, it’s your brain that has to process a whole lot of variable information. Which key needs to be pressed, where that key is located, where your finger is in relation to that key, ect. Anyway, I’m chasing a rabbit. So when I have a strange dream, or a dream that doesn’t seem to make sense, I see it as my mind trying to tell me something.

I guess it is only fitting that a couple of days after Halloween I have having “fearful” dreams. But on the ride here today I was thinking about fear and how it can either help us, or hinder us. I’m sure everyone who as taken Psych 101 knows that we have a defense mechanism known as “fight or flight”. A brief description for those who don’t know what that is, basically it says when we are faced with something fearful, or challenging, our body prepares us to either fight or run away. Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol pump into our blood stream. Blood is redirected from our digestive system to our muscles which require extra energy to either fight or flee. The list goes on, and on, but you get the picture. We get pumped up. Now this is only in situations where we feel endangered, but I think it can also apply to times where we aren’t in danger, but feel fear. I think we let our fear rule us, and the first thing we do is try to run away. Take me and my dream for instance. My first thought when I woke up and realized I was afraid was that I did not want to go back to sleep, I wanted to avoid the situation. That response is ok, but what do we accomplish if we run from our fears? Now don’t get me wrong, some fears are rational. If a bear is sitting on your porch when you come home, don’t “face your fear” and walk up to it and poke it and tell it to get off your porch. That would be dumb.

The fear that is a problem is the fear that interferes with our lives. If you want to do something, but are so afraid to do it, that you never get around to it, then there is a problem. What can we do to prevent us from being afraid? Ok, here is where I get churchy, so if you are looking for a scientific answer, look somewhere else. I am reminded of Vacation Bible School this year. My brother was out, I can’t remember why, so I preached the sermon that Sunday morning, and the key verse for that week was Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” So I decided what a way to start a week that talks about the courage to know God. Now this verse is important to me because when I surrendered to the ministry I had to do just that, surrender. I was AFRAID of being a minister. I ran, and a lot of bad things happened because I did…but that’s another story and another verse. 😉 But when I finally surrendered I happened to find a Shield of Faith necklace, and if you’ve ever noticed, I am always wearing something that looks like a shield. I never take it off, because it is a reminder of the commitment I made, and the promise God made to me in return. On the back, Joshua 1:9 is inscribed.

In this verse, basically God is telling all of us that He has commanded us, He has put us where we are, and He has given us instruction as to what to do. So when you know the reason you are in a situation, and you know the instruction given to you, and you also know that He will never leave us, why should we be afraid? God will be our shield when we are afraid. Now, like before, this doesn’t mean that God is going to come down and keep the bear from whacking you with his paw, He may, but use your brain, it was given to you for a purpose. God tells us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Sometimes fear can be a tool of Satan. He uses fear to drive us away from what God wants us to do.

So, what makes you afraid? And I don’t mean spiders or snakes, what gives you fear that hinders your life? What things are drawing you away from what God wants you to do because you are afraid? As in my case, it may be a ministry that you are afraid of, or it may be whatever. So here is the deal…remember that God is always with us, and He carries a bigger stick than everything out there. Don’t let your fear hinder you.