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Summary: A message about overcoming fear and winning personal battles.

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Dakota Community Church

January 21, 2007

Fight or Flight

Last week I shared some personal things about battling fear. I would say there are only certain areas of my life where this true.

Before I begin this morning I want everyone to take a minute to think about this past week. Was it a good week for you? Do you feel that you lived victoriously in your faith, or would you say that the forces of darkness pretty much executed a successful coup?

Question:

If you could go back and do or undo one thing from the past seven days, what would you change?

How many said they would not do something that they did?

How many said they would do something that they did not do?

According to social psychologists Tom Gilovich and Vicki Medvec, time is a key factor in what we regret. Over the short term we tend to regret actions- things we did that we wish we hadn’t. But over the long haul, we tend to regret inactions- things we didn’t do but wish we had. Their recent study found that action regrets outweigh inaction regrets 53% to 47% during an average week. But when people look at their lives as a whole, inaction regrets outnumber action regrets 84% to 16%.

(Mark Batterson, Relevant Jan-Feb 2007, pg. 71)

The goal of life is not to arrive safely at death.

Quote:

For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.—Plato

Look at what these heroes of faith have in common:

Judges 14:5-6

Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.

1 Samuel 17:33-35

Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."

But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.

2 Samuel 23:20

Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab’s best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.

They all faced the things that make ordinary men turn and run. They all conquered where others run and later wonder what might have been.

Illustration:

Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocketknife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: "Someone had already done that."

What is the lion in your life? What are you running from? What is the big issue you avoid facing? What are you setting yourself up to later regret?

Why do we avoid the lion in our lives?

1. The lions are vicious.

Daniel 6:19-22, 24

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?"

Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king."

At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Do you realize that the spiritual realm is more real than this natural realm, and that there is a real enemy, who schemes to destroy you?

Ephesians 6:11

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Jesus said the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy!

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