What You'll Miss If Safety Becomes Your Priority

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(Courtesy of Richmond Community Church)Pastor Rick McDaniel

The events of Friday, Nov. 13, in Paris, France have rocked the world. The terrorists are spreading terror. They are trying to make us feel afraid. Their goal is to create fear and disrupt normal life. And we must resist it.

Fear breeds fear. The more we focus on it, the more exaggerated and distorted it becomes. The worst thing we can do is to be fear-focused. If we allow our lives to be filled with fear it will breed upon itself, expanding and reproducing even more fear.

Some very bad things have happened. There is plenty to be fearful about. I do understand this present reality, in fact it hits quite close to home. My eldest son is in the Army stationed in Europe; my youngest son lives in New York City. I have reason to be fearful but I am not. I choose to be faith-focused not fear-focused. I believe light overcomes darkness, love is greater than hate, and good ultimately defeats evil.

Fear creates spiritual amnesia where we don't remember all the good. We seem to forget all the ways we have made it through various challenging situations. We get so focused on the tragedy we have amnesia about the fact God has provided and taken care of us time and time again. Fear gets a grip on us and we forget there are so many good people in this world. We become negative, losing sight of so much in our world that is positive.

Fear turns us into control freaks. Cataclysm leaves us with such a sense of loss of control we end up wanting to control even more. Gripped by fear we try to hold on to anything. This is very hurtful to relationships. We try to do everything ourselves because we feel so many things are out of control. You can't believe in freedom and be a control freak.

Paralyzed by fear we make security everything. Our true god becomes security and safety. What we seek out is the safest person, the safest place, the most secure feeling.

But there is more to life than just being safe.

We will miss out on so much if we try to build safety walls or try to hunker down into a bunker. We cannot create absolute security and safety for ourselves and loved ones, as hard as we may try.

And while we focus on security and safety, opportunities pass us by. Valuable things don't even get noticed. If we give into fear, we will miss out. We will lose out on the good God has for us; we won't even be able to see it.

Fear corrodes our confidence in the goodness of God. Either God is good or he isn't. If he is good, then we don't need to be afraid. We have to resist fear, choose faith over fear. It is a choice. We must choose not to give in to fear.

If we exercise greater faith it will automatically diminish fear. It's like a mathematical formula. The more faith you exercise the less fear you will have; they move in direct proportion to each other. If we discipline our thinking and replace fearful thoughts with faith-filled thoughts, we will move in the right direction.

Fear is limiting. We cannot allow fear to limit our future, to restrain what we can do. Fear is draining. We can't let it deplete us of our courage. Fear is contagious. It is amazing how quickly it can spread: We stop trying, we don't create and we won't step out. Before you know it we can't move forward — as an individual, as a family, as a community, as a country.

Resist the fear.

Rick McDaniel is the senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Va., and highimpactchurch.tv. He is the author of Comeback: Overcoming The Setbacks In Your Life.
Twitter: @rickmcdaniel