Summary: Learn how to obey God in spite of hesitation.
“No Fear” Series
How to Make Decisions in the Face of Fear
Obeying God In Spite of Hesitation
I. Fear is…
a. Anxiety caused by real or possible danger, pain, etc.; fright
b. Awe; reverence
c. Apprehension; concern
d. Synonyms: (noun) fright, terror, horror, panic, dread, dismay, awe, scare, revulsion, aversion, tremor, mortal terror, cowardice, dread, timidity, misgiving, trembling, anxiety, phobia, foreboding, despair, agitation, hesitation, worry, concern, suspicion, doubt, qualm, funk, cold feet, cold sweat.
II. Fear = Hesitation
What does it mean to hesitate? When someone hesitates, what are they doing?
Hesitate: falter, fluctuate, pause, stop, hold off, hold back, be uncertain, flounder, alternate, ponder, think about, defer, delay, think it over, change one’s mind, recoil, not know what to do, pull back, catch one’s breath, weigh, consider, hang back, swerve, debate, shift, wait, deliberate, linger, balance, think twice, drag one’s feet, straddle the fence, leave up in the air
Now, at times, it may be good to hesitate, for instance, when you’re about to do something stupid and crazy like jumping off of a 30 ft high bridge into a lake, or jumping off of a roof onto a trampoline. That’s when it may be a good idea to hesitate, or think twice about doing something dangerous. But when hesitation is caused by fear, it is preventing you from moving forward and getting on with your life.
We’re involved in the process of relocating and moving to Columbia County. Now, if our pastors had heard from God about moving, and then fear came, which I’m sure it did, and then they hesitated, thought twice, or pulled back, we wouldn’t be moving forward and a lot of lives wouldn’t be changed. You see, there are an unlimited possibility of things that could happen but won’t unless you decide right now to obey God in the face of fear.
So, how do I obey God in the face of fear, how do I make important decisions when I’m scared? There are a few things you need to know before you can successfully obey God in spite of hesitation:
1. God is With You
Philippians 1:28 (AMP) “And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and a seal) to them [your enemies] of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.”
In other words, when trouble comes—and it will come—don’t be frightened, or intimidated by it. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many evils confront the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Trouble will come, but you can be confident the Lord will deliver you from it---all of it. Instead of being intimidated by trouble, be constant and fearless. This will be a sign to your enemy that God is with you.
2. Don’t Run
The Sandlot Clip
Fear is not some huge, ugly brut that’s going to rip your head off and use it as a basketball, NO. Fear is simply a feeling. However, this feeling does try to make us shake, tremble, or sweat.
Fear in the Greek is the word phobos and initially had the meaning of FLIGHT which is caused by being scared. So, you’re first instinct when fear comes is to run. Think about that for a minute. I remember when I was about 6 or 7 I used to live just down the street and around the corner from my grandma, so my brother and I would sometimes walk to her house. Well, about 4 houses down from ours, there was a huge chain link fence, and a house with a swimming pool. So, we would walk really close to this fence sometimes so we could get a good look at the pool, especially on a hot day, because we wanted to take a dip in that cold water so bad. Well, one day we were walking to grandma’s house, and we were walking along that fence, and all of a sudden we heard (bark, bark). And the first thing we did after we screamed was take off running. We were scared, so we ran. Well, that’s the exact opposite of what the Word says to do. In so many cases, the Lord, or the angel of the Lord, would tell folks, “Fear Not,” literally meaning that when fear comes, don’t let it stop you, don’t run away. Stand up and do it afraid.
Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
3. If You Hesitate, You Might Miss It!
Have you ever heard the phrase “Offer valid for a limited time only,” or “Limited Time Offer.” Well, some things in life are like that, and if you don’t act when you get the unction to act, you could miss an opportunity. For example, I was driving home from work one afternoon, and I passed a gas station where I saw an old man that looked like Santa Claus just sitting there beside his truck. I heard a voice on the inside telling me that I should stop and witness to this fella, you know, tell him about Jesus. And I thought for a minute and figured it could be a God idea. Then I hesitated because fear came and said, “Now, Nate, you don’t know this old guy and where he’s been. He may look like Santa Claus, but he could be a murderer. You better not go and tell him about Jesus. He might kill you, too.” What a crock! I hesitated because of fear, and I missed the opportunity to lead someone to Christ. That man could have died and went to hell because I hesitated. All because I didn’t stand up to fear and obey God in spite of hesitation. Any time you step out into something new, fear will try to stop you because Satan is constantly trying to keep you from moving forward. He wants you to stay where you’re at, so if he can keep you second guessing long enough, he may get you to miss your opportunity.