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There is a flight-or-fight response that resides within all of us but it needs to be trained because fear might be based upon a ‘perceived threat’ rather than a ‘real threat.’ Yes, there is wisdom in running at appropriate times but at other times wisdom says we should stand our ground, and remain steadfast.

Discernment is a major key but knowing what to do in any given situation is not always as easy as it sounds!

Our staff took an ‘Active Shooter’ class presented by the wonderful Sheriff’s Department in Kings County which gave us wisdom and insight on knowing when to run and when to fight.

One key point we gleaned was: ‘To have this discernment, one must be governed by something higher than fear.’

When the army of Israel was running and hiding from Goliath because of fear – David, the soon to be King of Israel stood firm against insurmountable odds because of his faith in God. It was a time to stand firm and not run!

Faith in God is the antidote to fear. Jesus drew the connection between fear and faith when He said: “ Why are you afraid – oh you of little faith.” Simply put: If you are governed by great fear, you will have little faith but if you are governed by great faith you will have little fear.

Fear has to be broken – It must not be allowed to rule because it is shortsighted. Like our emotions – fears are valid but they don’t provide a good foundation for good decisions.

David said: “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Ps 34:4, David refused to allow his fears to trump his faith. If a person follows his example – he or she will not act upon what they want to do when fear comes but what God wants them to do.

Fear Not – is a phrase used upwards to 150 times in the Bible and it admonishes all of us to break the power of fear. The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus came to break fear’s hold on us so we could rise up in faith.

Here are a few questions I periodically ask myself to make sure fear doesn’t rule in my life.

Are there any ‘Pink Elephants’ in my life that I don’t focus on because I fear what might happen if I actually expose them for what they really are? Is it fear that causes me to procrastinate, ignore or even deny the reality of some aspect in my life? After reflecting on my past decisions, I frequently ask: What motivated that decision? If fear was not present, what would I do?

Don’t allow fear to be your guide throughout life – Unhealthy fear will too often cause you to run when you should stand your ground

I encourage you to make the decision I made years ago.

I will rise up in faith today and in all my days and in all my ways I will seek the Lord. If you make that decision: Faith will supersede fear and you will have the discernment needed when fear knocks on your door.

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Pastor Tim Howard is a Pastor at Koinonia Church. Any comments can be sent to tim@kchanford.com

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