Summary: This sermon gives the recipe for conquering fear. It also has a radically new interpretation of the command, "Stand Still." I used it for Halloween but it is applicable any time.
Since today is HALLOWEEN, I decided to go with that theme.
However, when I went on sermon sites... looking for ideas... all of the resources were ANTI-HALLOWEEN.
They all talked about how it is a pagan holiday and is about worshiping evil spirits, or Satan.
Well, I did not want to preach an anti-Halloween sermon. Neither did I want to glorify the day.
I realize that Halloween has roots in things that are un-Christian.
However, I do not believe that it is a pagan holiday today.
True there may be those who still use it for that purpose... but for most people it is not about worshipping anything... it is about fun... and fear. Many people... like myself... enjoy the adrenaline rush that you get from some good natured fear.
We like to get dressed up and play tricks and games.
The fact that we dress up in scary costumes does not mean we are worshipping demons any more than we are worshipping food if we dress up like a giant banana... or a bunch of grapes.
Halloween is really about having fun... and maybe scaring someone else or being scared yourself.
So, For Halloween... I am going to preach on... FEAR!!!
It may not be as good as preaching on NAKED... but it can be a close second.
Zig Ziglar says: FEAR is: False Evidence Appearing Real!
Everyone knows what itfs like to be afraid. We all have things that wefre afraid of - I can remember as a child being afraid of the dark - a fear I think we have all had at one time or another. For my wife itfs definitely got to be spiders!! For some of you it may be storms, an extreme height, traveling in airplanes, or dogs.
GOOD FEAR - keeps us from driving 100mph, picking up a rattler snake, jumping off the side of a building, or other foolish things that you can think ofc and
BAD FEAR - This fear paralyzes us, keeps us from doing things we could or should do.
Perhaps there is a fear that you need to overcome today. This passage gives us insight on "Overcoming Fear"
In our scripture passage today,
Moses gave to the Israelites the recipe for conquering fear.
(v.13) And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, standstill, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.
(v.14) The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace
Well ... our background opens with Moses and the children of Israel, probably about two million in strength, heading out of Egypt on their way to the Promised Land.
And our text picks up with Moses and the children of Israel, free from slavery but surrounded.
- On the north by desert;
- on the south by desert;
- on the west by Pharaohfs fast approaching Army;
- and on the east by the Red Sea
This picture alone is enough to fill the heart of the strongest in faith with despair
Yet, Moses gives us two commands and two promise of deliverance that we could use to answer the question:
- What do you do when you are surrounded by the desert of despair on the north
- Surrounded by the desolation and dismay on south
- Anxiety and apprehension on the east
- And enemy of your situation is fast approaching on the west
WHAT DO YOU DO...
Well, the first command Moses tells us is...
#1. (v.13) Fear Not.
That this is not an easy command; like Israel, many of us are going through some stuff and our situations warrant fear; our situation warrants the emotion of fear.
And this requires faith. Moses was able to stand firm
because he did not focus on the situation, nor did he focus on his own ability ...
because of his confidence in the Lord.
One of the great lessons we learn from the book of Exodus as a whole, and a message reiterated throughout the scripture, is that God is ever present.
Turn to Exodus 13:21-22
(v.21) And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
(v.22) He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
This tells us that Ever before them was this physical reminder that God was present with them.
In fact (v.22) says that God did not depart from them.
In Exodus 33:14 God says, gMy presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."