Earlier this week I reposted parts 1-3 on the Temptation Tracker. This particular post will be part 4. You can listen to the sermon link below. In it I explain how to use the Temptation Tracker and how the Lord wants to be with us in whatever emotion we are feeling.
Where did this come from?
I always like to give credit where it is due:
Temptation Tracker (created by Doug Hutchins with goingtransparent.com)
To see more on this on my site, click on this link: TempationTrackerPage
One of the things the temptation tracker helps us identify is what emotionally triggers us to bow down to other idols. Every time a person is tempted to bow down to a false idol, they need to account for what they were feeling emotionally during that temptation. It looks like this-
Feeling: how were you feeling when temptation hit (Remember: BLAST)
Today let’s look at A, the issue of feeling afraid.
If I am honest, I would tell you that I feel afraid a great deal of the time. Some feel afraid a little, and some feel afraid a ton of the time. The reality is this: we all feel afraid. Of course we would need to be honest with ourselves to admit that we feel this way. Fear, feeling afraid, impacts everyone.
How do you deal with this?
I used to tell myself that I just needed to have more faith. I would almost will myself to have more faith and even try to explain away my fears. Let me tell you. This never worked. All I would do is suppress my fear. I would still feel afraid, but I would lie about it. I would just convince myself that I was having more faith to overcome it.
Like I said, this did not work for me, and it does not work for you either.
Don’t misunderstand me. When I am afraid I do need to have faith. I just need to get to a place when I can place my faith and trust in Jesus in the midst of my fear.
One must ask, How do I get to this place? I can’t will myself to do it for sure.
1 John 4:18 in essence says that God’s perfect love casts out fear. If I want to get to a place that I am trusting Jesus every time I am afraid, then I must be experiencing His perfect love. His love causes the fear to dissipate, and His love compels me to trust in Him.
What do I need then? I need to be experiencing the love of God. How do I do this?
This is what works in my own life. I start with the glory and awesomeness of God. Job 38 says that God commands the ocean to stop. Psalm 29 says that God’s voice can snap trees in half. Isaiah 40 says that God can hold the waters of the earth in his hand. That is a powerful God. If he can do all that, then He can probably help me with my fear issue. I don’t think it is as big as the ocean.
The next thing I do is move into how He loves me. This awesome and powerful Jesus loves me. He went to the cross and rose from the dead to reconcile me with Himself. He did not do that for me. He did that for the glory of God. Somehow reconciling me to Himself brings Him glory. Man, I must be valuable. Dude, He must love me.
Then I move to practical ways He has shown love to me. He gave me my wife and my kids. It was brutal when my son died, but I remember how He sustained me when this happened. I remember ways He has crazily provided for us.
I might even go on a walk and just meditate on all this, just really deeply letting it sink into my heart. I might listen to songs that remind me of God’s love. Here are a few:
The Love of God is Greater Far
Oh, How He Loves
One Thing Remains
As I reflect on God’s power, the cross, and the practical ways He loves me, I am not thinking about being afraid. When I sing about His love, I often am experiencing His love, and I am no longer feeling afraid. Why? His perfect love casts our fear!
Feeling afraid can lead us to escape into idolatry. Experiencing God’s love can lead us to trust Him.
Will I let Him perfectly love me today? Will you?
I am so thankful for God’s perfect love!