Summary: Sermon 1 in a series on Fear.
The Fear Factor
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
TOP 14 FEARS OF AMERICANS
1) Public speaking
3) Insects and bugs
4) Financial problems
5) Deep water
11) Driving/riding in a car
Fear is not bad
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.
Four guys in a jeep on a jungle trail in Viet Nam
I was told several years ago about four guys in a jeep on a jungle trail in Viet Nam. All was well until they were suddenly under fire from Viet Cong all around them. Bullets were flying at them from every direction. The driver tried frantically to turn the jeep around rather than simply go in reverse. In the process the road was too narrow the shoulders too soft and the jeep was stuck.
The driver yelled for every to jump out and grab a corner of the jeep. They did so and physically lifted the jeep off the ground and turned around in the space of a few seconds. The task accomplished they jumped back into the jeep and drove out of harms way.
When they arrived back at the base camp – wide eyed and filled with a mixture of excitement and terror – they told their unbelieving buddies what had happened. When challenged as the veracity of their story they said, “We’ll show you.” And when they grabbed the four corners of the jeep they couldn’t lift it off the ground.
This is the power of fear.
But Fear uncontrolled is destructive
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!
Fear paralyzes; Fear tortures; Fear destroys and debilitates.
We are going to look at many of the things we fear over the next several weeks – and why you don’t need to live in fear!
What Fear Does…
Today: a fear that is just as paralyzing as any of the others and a fear that is universally felt… The fear of rejection
FEAR of REJECTION
THE WORDS WRITTEN THERE ARE MENE, WHICH MEANS "NUMBERED," TEKEL, WHICH MEANS "WEIGHED," AND PARSIN, WHICH MEANS "DIVIDED." GOD HAS NUMBERED THE DAYS OF YOUR KINGDOM AND HAS BROUGHT IT TO AN END. HE HAS WEIGHED YOU ON HIS BALANCE SCALES, AND YOU FALL SHORT OF WHAT IT TAKES TO BE KING. SO GOD HAS DIVIDED YOUR KINGDOM BETWEEN THE MEDES AND THE PERSIANS.
In the book of Daniel a story is told about a king.
His name was Belshazzar. He was partying with his friends and drinking out of the holy and sacred vessels looted from the temple in Jerusalem when there appeared a hand and it wrote on the wall.
What it wrote was a phrase “mene, mene, tekel upharsin”. Translated it means: money, money, tickles the parson… No! That’s not right!
The part of the translation is, “You have been measured and found wanting.” Can you imagine the fear inside of that man that night?
No one wants to be REJECTED.
The potential for rejection is real and comes in many forms.
Guys, do you remember the first time you called a girl for a date? You picked up to the phone to call, but before you could dial the number a thousand butterflies took flight inside your gut. You decided to count to three and then dial but your mind couldn’t get beyond the number two. Did you make that phone call or did you bail at the last second? Did you let your fear of the word "no" stop you from even trying?
And you fellows know the fear of rejection that turned your stomach into a caldron of boiling acid when you asked that special woman for her hand in marriage. You were pretty sure she would say yes but what if she didn’t! REJECTED