Fear · fellowship with God · Living in Bondage

Living With the Fear Of Getting Caught

 

On a recent trip to Kentucky to visit my parents I made the trip by myself as I’ve done many times, traveling through the Cumberland Gap on many four-lane roads and avoiding the busy interstate.

As I was tootling my way along one of the parts where it narrowed to a two-lane road, I saw police lights up ahead on the opposite side of the road. As I slowed down, I noticed the car in the lane coming towards me that had come to a stop. I assumed he was being held for speeding or something. When I saw a state trooper walking along the yellow lines of the road, I also assumed that he was just slowing cars down and making them aware of the one car that they had pulled over, so I didn’t stop – I just slowed way down and drove past the police officer. When I got just past him, I looked in my side mirror to see him give a bit of a wave as he turned my direction. I waved and kept going. (Okay, I know you’re laughing right now! Go ahead! I deserve it!).

As I got on a few hundred feet away, I saw that the car behind me had come to a complete stop as he approached the trooper. It was then that I realized that they were stopping every car probably to check for seat belts and license. Duh!!!

I watched in my rear view mirror, wondering if someone would come after me. No one did. I laughed at my stupidity, but then I also reassured myself that if I had looked suspicious he would have done more than just wave. He never even put up his hand in a gesture that would say, “Stop!”

As I called my husband and laughed my way through my story, I said,

“Well, I had my seat belt on, I have a current license and I hadn’t been speeding, so why would I think he wanted me to stop if he didn’t motion for me to do so? I kept going because I was innocent!”

I got to thinking about a criminal who might have driven through that same scene and become sweaty-palmed and nervous as he approached the police cars and the flashing lights. Maybe he would wonder if the road block was to find him! Perhaps he’d start figuring out an excuse or a way to escape. Because he was guilty he’d be fearful to approach the trooper in the road. He may have even wondered the whole time he was driving if he’d get stopped for speeding and then get found out. He would want to run – even though no one was chasing him! Guilt will do that to you.

It reminded me of  Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The application of this in every day life is that when we obey the Lord’s commands and walk purely before Him, we don’t have to keep looking over our shoulder wondering when or if we’ll get caught. We won’t listen to a sermon and “sweat it out” wondering if that message Pastor preached was because he knows about the sin in which we’re involved. We can walk bold as a lion, unashamed and unafraid.

I haven’t always been as innocent as the day I drove past the State trooper, and I thank the Lord for the cleansing and forgiveness He brings when I confess the sin. I make it right with Him, and with those that were touched by my ungodly actions. The guilt is gone then. The relief washes over me and I can “drive on” not having to keep looking in my rear view mirror.

How about you, my friend? Are you involved in some kind of sin or behavior that has brought on fear and guilt? It makes you run at every turn, fearful you’ll get found out. Why not “turn yourself in” by going to the Lord and confessing it to Him. He will forgive if you humbly bow and ask.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 Then He’ll also show you the next step you need to take. Don’t live looking over your shoulder; live purely and enjoy the journey instead!

Lovingly,

denise a

Fear · trust · worry

Worry, Worry, Worry

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There are some mornings that I am up doing my usual routine and there’s a gentle nagging inside. It isn’t always recognizable, but it causes me to be uneasy, even grouchy – not a pretty thing by any means!

When my girls were small we listened to LOTS of Patch the Pirate music. There was one song called, The Worry Warthog. The chorus says,

“Yes I’m a worry warthog, I worry every day. I worry, worry, all my time away. And if you want to look like me just fear and fret and snort, and very soon you’ll wake up with a great big worry wart!”

This described me recently. I’m not sure what it was that was nagging at me, but I got my coffee and headed with my Bible to my quiet place. I was currently doing a Bible study on having a peaceful heart (no coincidence!).

The Bible study book had me read passages about times when Jesus was in a stormy time like ~

  • the death of Lazarus
  • the betrayal of Judas
  • praying in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
  • His arrest leading to His death on the cross.

As I read these passages it was brought to my attention that Jesus had been sorrowful, in tears, and in agony of spirit. None of these responses to His storms were sinful. The author reminded its readers that it’s okay to feel troubled about situations we’re in. However, if that troubled feeling is worry that is a sin.

How do we know if it’s worry that we’re experiencing and not one of the other emotions previously mentioned? She made it very clear –

“Disciplined thought moves in a straight line through a tangle of difficulties to possible solutions. Worry is a swirling tornado of thoughts centered on a fear. They repeat themselves over and over, making you dizzy but accomplishing nothing else. When fretful thoughts begin to sound familiar, that’s worry.”

When I read that, suddenly the Holy Spirit put His finger on that uneasiness in my heart – it was worry. My husband and I had been discussing something the day before that had my heart fretful and worrisome. One of the passages I studied that morning was Matthew 6:24-33 reminding me of God’s great care for His creation. What peace this brought to my heart. Yes, I can trust God to care for our needs; He is faithful. When I don’t believe this truth I John 5:10 says that I am actually calling God a liar! I asked the Lord to forgive me for worrying about this and gave it to Him that morning. I will believe and not doubt.

Gone was the irritating uneasiness and it was replaced by His sweet peace.

Is there something in your life today that has your thoughts twirling like a tornado – doing only damage? God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and He will provide for you whatever it is you’re in need of today – strength, wisdom, provisions, faith, grace. It’s readily available in vast supply!

If you’re wondering if my grouchiness left too – it sure it did. You can’t be a grouch when you’re back in fellowship with the Lord!

Give your “tornado thoughts” to the Lord, believe His Word, and enjoy the peace that will take its place!

Denise

Fear · Marriage · worry

Family Friday – Be All In!

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Years ago I remember walking along a path in which there was absolutely no light.  I had no cell phone flashlight in my pocket to aid my faltering steps.  Therer was no moonlight or glowing porch bulb that might remove the terror of my feet. I found myself grappling along, inch by inch, down a concrete stairway and sidewalk in which I made every step cautiously and with hesitation.  It was as though my toe would move forward and the rest of my body hesitated to follow, due to fear of what was ahead!

Fear can lead to lots of miserable things in our lives, but it can do the same in relationships.  Let’s think about what fear in marriage can do. If a wife is afraid that her marriage might not make it, it can keep that relationship from experiencing the freedom that a simple light would have given me that night on the dark path.  What might be the results in a marriage? Continue reading “Family Friday – Be All In!”

death · eternal · Fear · Fear of death

The Beauty of Death

Hi friends!  I’m back! To you perhaps I was only gone yesterday, but I’ve been away for a week and a half.  We had family vacation that was such a precious time, and I might also add, very needed.  We tend to go at break-neck speed, so getting out of town to rest and refresh is truly critical for ministry families (and I’m sure every other family!!).  We got to spend those days at the ocean.  Here’s a totally unedited picture of the sunrise on our last day there…

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That was well worth getting up early to see!

I was amazed that there were a few people walking away from the sunrise that morning instead of towards it!  Why  would you turn your back on something so beautiful?  I couldn’t understand that one!

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We got home from vacation on Sunday and while we were unpacking the car, we learned that a dear man in our church had been taken to the hospital.  We dropped everything and went to spend the evening with him and his daughter.  He’s a precious member of our church and truly like family to us.  We went to the hospital, not watching the clock, but his face, and also his chest rising slowly with each deliberate breath.  This event changed everything his week would have looked like.  Instead of being in the comfort of his home, he was being poked and probed, and was now confined to a small room with beeping machines and IV drips that allowed him to sleep.  It seems that his day to leave this world is imminent. Scripture tells us…

It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this, the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

I visited him in his hospital room again yesterday.  As I drove home later in the day, I thought about all the people passing by me in their cars, scurrying here and there, sure they’re going to have tomorrow, making plans as though they’ll live forever.  Some are ignoring God and His call to trust Christ for salvation.  They assume that this thing of dying is far off.  They are like the people on the beach who were walking away from the sunrise, ignoring the fact and the beauty that was just behind them.

These moments are appointed to each of us.  If Christ doesn’t return first, we will each die. We will each have a change in the plans we were making for that day.  Do you understand that death can be, not just a fact, but a beautiful thing? Oh the process can be ugly and hard, but the end result of death is seen in this verse as being precious…

Psalm 115:16 – Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Psalm 23 reminds us that death is only a shadow, and a shadow cannot hurt you.  For our dear friend, when he takes his last breath here, he will open His eyes in heaven.

Absent from the body present with the Lord!  II Corinthians 5:6

He has this assurance because He received Christ as His Savior for His sins.  He trusted in what Christ did for him on the cross and those truths make dying beautiful.  Our friend’s death, whenever it happens, has reminded me that death is like that sunrise – it will happen, and I can look forward to it and see the beauty in it.

Are you turning your back on the reality of death?  If you’re afraid, is it because you don’t have an assurance of eternity with the Lord?  Trust Him today to save you and receive the joy of walking with Him here, and having the comfort of a beautiful meeting in heaven One Day!

Denise