Summary: Teens learn what it means to have natural fear in this message on Fear.

Fear of the Natural

gb. 7/11/05. the Point

Black Bart was a professional thief whose very name struck fear as he terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line. From San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier. Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed 29 different stagecoach crews. Amazingly, Black Bart did it all without firing a shot. Because he wore a hood, no victim ever saw his face. He never took a hostage and was never trailed by a sheriff. Instead, Black Bart later said from prison that he didn’t need to fire a shot; all he had to do was to use fear to paralyze his victims. “Fear, the face of the unknown, was my weapon of choice, my weapon of intimidation.” His sinister presence and his threat of words was enough to overwhelm the toughest stagecoach guard.

Have you ever been afraid? I have. I remember when I was younger I would get scared by nightmares, and I was always afraid of something being under my bed, so when it was time for bed, I would turn the light off, and then run and JUMP on the bed from about 3 feet away. My brother, though, was afraid of the dark and he would have trouble sleeping unless someone was with him. Even though my brother and I had our own rooms, my parents would make me sleep in the same bed with my bro because he was so scared. When I was in third grade, the book Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark was really popular, so my teacher would read some of the stories to us. Well, one particular story scared my brother so bad that he couldn’t sleep at all that night. He told me he would close his eyes and images of that story would creep in his head and he’d pull the covers over his head so nobody would get him and he’d shake and tremble in fear. It was awful.

I remember going to my grandma’s house and watching TV and coming across the Discovery channel or something and there’d be snakes on the screen and my grandma would freak out. “Turn the channel, boys, I can’t stand those snakes.” She’d immediately close her eyes or get up and walk out of the room until the channel was changed. She was so scared of snakes that she couldn’t even see one on TV without it affecting her.

Everybody is scared of something…so tonight, we’re talking about fear: the fear of the natural. We’re going to be covering all types of fears, but you’ve got to know that fears are a natural part of life. You may be thinking, “since fear is natural, it’s ok to be afraid.” But I want to challenge that—being scared of something may be natural, but it’s not ok. We’ll get back to that later.

There are two statements that we want you to know tonight, that deal with fear…I have to, and I can’t. We usually say these things when there’s a fear, but not sure what it is. For instance…let’s say you have a fear of being alone. You may not be aware of that fear, but you may say something like this: “I have to work out, and wear lots of makeup to get that guy to go out with me,” or “I have to drive a nice car to get the hot girls.” The fear is of being alone, and the statements support that fear. Or, maybe there’s the fear of commitment. You may say, “I can’t go out with you because I’m doing my hair,” or you may think, “I can’t date that person because someone better might come along,” or “I can’t tell her I’m coming to her party, because I may find something better to do.” Do you get the idea? I have to blah blah blah, or I can’t blah blah blah is associated with the fear of something.

Jenni and I are closing on a new home on Thursday of this week, and maybe my natural fear of being a homeowner is making the payments, or doing repairs when I’m mechanically inept. I may say or think something like, “I have to be able to fix a leaky sink, or repair a broken door if I’m going to own a home, “ or “I can’t pay the bills and my mortgage payment at the same time.” These statements are natural statements that come with the fear of owning a home, but will they keep me from buying a house? NO! God wants us to overcome those fears…whatever the fear, whether it’s fear of being alone, fear of commitment, fear of the future and what it holds, fear of your past, fear of public speaking, fear of heights, fear of rejection, or any other kind of fear you have.

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