Summary: We can overcome our fears through our dependence on God.
A. The story is told about a General who was making an inspection the 82nd Airborne Rangers at Fort Bragg, N.C.
1. As the General reviewed the ranks of paratroop trainees, he carefully scrutinized one West Virginia recruit standing proudly at attention, jump wings and boots shined to perfection.
2. The general spotted a loose thread and scowled, saying, “Trooper, your fatigue jacket is frayed.”
3. The young private shot back, “Sir…beggin’ yer pardon, sir – but this here airborne jacket ain’t ‘fraid a-nothin’….SIR!”
B. How about you? Are you ‘fraid a nothin’?
1. As Halloween approaches, you might say that this is the scary time of the year.
2. Many Americans go way over the top with their Halloween decorations – trying to create the scariest experience possible.
3. And for some strange reason, many people like to be scared – just look at the number of movies that come out of Hollywood that are horror flicks – Everything from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or The Birds, to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and Scary Movie.
4. Some of those movies have a whole series of sequels – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has 6 movies in the series, and Friday the 13th has a whopping 12 movies.
5. I certainly don’t recommend any of these movies, but just bring them up to illustrate some people’s interest in being scared.
6. Here’s an interesting thought to ponder - What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
C. I’m not an especially fearful person, but there are times when I have been afraid, and there are things that I have been afraid of.
1. One of the scariest moments of my life came as I was going to Northeastern Christian Junior College and working as the campus night watchman.
2. It was my job to make a tour of the campus every hour of the night, stopping at the 7 key stations, and turning the key in a clock I carried on a strap that time stamped my inspections.
3. One very dark night I was walking down the road that led to the main mansion building.
4. The road was lined with a beautiful, waste-high stone wall.
5. As I walked down the road, I could hear something on the other side of the wall that was walking parallel to me.
6. I stopped and shined my flashlight in the direction of the sound, but saw nothing. So I went on. When I walked, it would walk. When I stopped, it stopped.
7. When I arrived at the part of the wall where there was an opening for a sidewalk I stopped and looked for what was making that sound.
8. Whatever it was, kept coming toward me, but I could not see it.
9. As I stood there at the opening, shining my flashlight in the direction of the sound coming toward me, my heart was beating so hard I though it was going to pop out of my chest.
10. At the last second, just before the sound reached me, a skunk came out of the ground cover right at my feet.
11. I turned and ran down the hill. I probably did a 100 meters in about 6 seconds. I could have gotten a gold medal for that race. Boy was I scared!
D. A much more serious fear that I wrestled with until my early 20s was the fear of dying young.
1. Because my father died when he was just 31 years old, I was afraid that my life would end early as well.
2. So every time I got sick, or had a pain or a bump, I feared it was the end.
3. I was afraid I wouldn’t live to get married, or have children, or grandchildren.
4. But I remember distinctly, finally putting it all in God’s hands which lead to a lot of peace.
5. And that’s something I want to talk with you about today.
C. Fear is something that all of us have to deal with.
1. Let me say at this point that some people deal with such crippling fear that they might need to see a counselor and they might benefit from medication because their problem may have organic issues.
2. And let me say at this point that all fear is not bad – God has given us the ability to be afraid, and for good reason.
3. Good fear keeps us from doing things that we shouldn’t be doing – like driving at 200 mph, jumping off a building, or playing with rattle snakes.
4. That kind of fear is our protection against unnecessary harm.
5. Also, the ability to fear, is important in our relationship with God.
a. Ecclesiastes 12:13b says, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”