“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Researchers have discovered that losses loom larger than gains. The aversion to loss of a certain magnitude is greater than the attraction to gain of the same magnitude.
Maybe this helps explain why many people live in a defensive posture. Maybe that is why we fixate on sins of commission (sins we initiate) instead of our sins of omission (things that we have left undue that should have been done). Perhaps this is another reason why many approach the will of God with a “better-safe-than-sorry” mentality. Instead of pursuing (i.e. the tenacity and all-out chase to be drawn into the wind of the Spirit), we get trapped in the cage of fear, and fail to pursue God passionately. We then miss out on the adventure He has for us in playing a role to help build His Kingdom. This Kingdom is really just the rule of Christ in us. It’s how Christ’s rule is extended out through us in all the dimensions of our daily lives.
Many of us are far too tentative when it comes to discerning the will of God. We let our fears dictate our decisions. We are so afraid of making the wrong decision that we end up making no decision. Sadly, what we fail to realize is that indecision is itself…a decision. Maybe we need to come to grips with another maxim: “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
It is our indecision,
not our wrong decisions that keeps us in the prison of fear.
“13 For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” – Romans 8:13-15 (NASB)
The other day I had an appointment with my Jewish Hematologist. We had a meaningful discussion about three months prior, but as we talked this time around I had a twinge of fear begin to stir in me. I was again afraid to bring up spiritual things! In a spilt second, however, the Holy Spirit lead me….should I say pulled me because I believe He always goes before us. He is the pacesetter when it comes to leading us to speak up and speak into life situations. Consider Paul’s words to the Galatians: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25 NIV
With the fear still lingering I managed to push through and commented, “I sure enjoy talking about meaningful things with you when I have an appointment to see you.” He responded that he also was stimulated by our interaction and considered me to be one of his favorite patients. He proceeded to ask, “Remind me again what it is you do with the guys you meet with?” I said that I connect with men so we can help each other be better fathers, husbands, and upright men in the marketplace. We also are content driven in that we open the Bible and look to it for guidance. I said, “Most of us need to gain more knowledge about the Bible and how it relates to our lives.” I then referenced Hosea 4:6 by saying, “You know, your own prophet, Hosea, said that ‘my people’ meaning you in particular being Jewish, ‘are destroyed from lack of knowledge’. What I have discovered is the Bible is so powerful in regards to what it says about all of life and how we ought to live.”
He immediately gazed right into my eyes and asked, “Do you interpret the Bible literally?” The conversation that ensued was extremely insightful. As I explained what “Literal” meant he became more inquisitive. We talked about the Torah, (the first five books of the Bible), about how Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark actually existed as well as a variety of other Biblical subjects explaining the difference between metaphors, similes, narratives, poetry, parables, etc.
He graciously listened and then thoughtfully replied, “You know…I think we might differ on how we interpret the Bible but I can tell that you aren’t threatened and very open to divergent opinions.” I was bold to ask if he would ever like to go to lunch or coffee to talk further. He was elusive but I felt impressed to ask him anyway. He concluded by saying, “You know more about the Hebrew Bible than I do! Perhaps I ought to listen to my Prophet, Hosea.” I responded by saying, “We all need to increase our knowledge and can do a better job of listening to Hosea.”
Here’s the big idea. I was afraid to initiate the conversation. The Holy Spirit is never afraid and always knows what He wants to say through us. Don’t you find that encouraging? We simply need to let Him lead us and obey His promptings! (Check out Romans 8:14)
I do think that most of us have enough biblical knowledge to get started in introducing truth in the context of everyday conversations. Since we don’t integrate and use the knowledge enough I believe we tragically become educated beyond the level of our obedience. What I think we need most is courage and in most cases courteous courage!
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB
God is looking intently for those men and women that are more afraid of missing opportunities then making mistakes.
God is speaking here:
“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” – Ezekiel 22:30 NLT
May I suggest something to you? I believe God has found someone and that “ONE” is you!
 Check out “Truths from Scripture” January 2011, on daleebel.org for a detailed discussion about the Literal-Historical Interpretation of Scripture