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Summary: Many are held as prisoners because of fear!

Prisoners of Fear

Psalm 27:1

Many are held as prisoners because of fear!

Shohoiya Yokowai spent 28 years of his life in prison. It was not a prison of bars & locks & wardens, but a self-imposed prison of fear. He was a Japanese soldier on the island of Guam during WW2. And when the American forces landed, he fled into the jungle & found a cave in which he hid for 28 years because he was afraid of being captured by the Americans.

He learned that the war was over by reading one of the thousands of pamphlets dropped into the jungle. But he was afraid. So for 28 years he lived in the cave, coming out only at night to look for roaches & rats & frogs & mangoes on which he survived.

Finally some natives found him & convinced him that it would be all right for him to come out of his jungle prison.

We think, "What a waste! Imagine, spending 28 years living as a a prisoner of fear." Yet, there are a lot of people who are prisoners of fear.

Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable-and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.

Ps. 27:1

“The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?”

Everyone knows what its like to be afraid.

Fear is very much a part of our lives. Maybe you’re afraid of losing your job, or your health, or losing your finances. Maybe you’re afraid of not being accepted by others. Or maybe you’re just afraid of growing old. The list could go on & on, for all of us have things that cause us to experience the emotion we call "fear."

As a result, we try to take precautions to protect ourselves. We buy insurance policies to cover those things we consider valuable. We put bars on our windows & doors & buy alarm systems to protect our automobiles. All this because of fear.

There are several types of fear:

1. Good Fear - keeps us from avoiding dangerous situations, such as respecting electricity, turning the gas off when we smell a leak.

Fear is a God Given Emotion that prepares your body and mind to deal with a challenge in life. There is nothing wrong with having fear in most instances.

In fact, it can be a very health emotion to have. It can keep you alive. The adrenalin prepares your body to deal with the possible battle or flight from danger. With fear comes the ability to do far more than we ever dreamed because of the power of fear.

2. Harmful Fear paralyzes us, it keeps us from doing things we could or should do.

Uncontrolled is Fear is destructive. It tortures, destroys and debilitates.

Dr. Walter Cannon, a pioneer researcher in psychosomatic medicine at Harvard Univ., describes what happens to the human body when it becomes angry or fearful: "Respiration deepens; the heart beats more rapidly; the arterial pressure rises; the blood is shifted from the stomach and intestines to the heart, central nervous system, and the muscles; the processes of the alimentary canal cease; sugar is freed from the reserves in the liver; the spleen contracts and discharges its contents of concentrated corpuscles, and adrenalin is secreted." You don’t want to hold all of that in! It will make you sick!

Satan is a master at using our fears. Fear is one of his primary weapons

1. Satan uses common fears Failure & Rejection to causes many people to never start, or try anything to make us ineffective in our witness

A. Our fear of failure can cause us to put things off. We do everything we can to avoid facing the possibility of messing up.

B. Fear of rejection makes us afraid to do anything that could draw criticism or give someone a chance to laugh at us.

What will they think of me?

What if I turn them off?

What if I mess up?

They probably won’t listen to me anyway!

C. You’ve failed many times, although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn’t you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try!

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