“As the three boys converged on Sam’s position, he had no choice but to run down the alley to his side. He had the feeling that they had planned this, but he hoped to outrun them and get through to the next street which may have some traffic at this time of night. Hopefully someone would come to his assistance.
As the gang followed him in, he increased his speed. His heart was pumping like crazy and the fear was causing his mouth to go dry and his ears to pound with his heartbeat.
Then two more boys appeared ahead of him coming out from behind a dumpster to block his path. He’d been set up. There was nowhere to turn. He was surrounded and came to a halt, fear gripping his heart.”
What is fear? Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives us several definitions including a ranking of types of fear which I thought was interesting.
Fear <(is less than) Dread < Terror < Fright
In the short story above, Sam possibly went through the whole range of emotions from before the story started, getting channeled toward the alley, thinking he might escape that way, and then getting cornered and imagining all the things about to happen to him.
What causes fear? Anxiety is typically at the root of the emotion and anxiety is typically caused by a lack of a good plan. How things would change if Sam had a lightsaber, right? ;) Or could say, “beam me up Scotty” and be whisked away?
If a doctor says “you have cancer,” you may start to feel quite a bit of anxiety not knowing how things are going to play out. But if he follows with, “here’s the plan” and outlines a series of steps to take care of it, your anxiety would tend to lessen. You might still be worried not knowing the outcome, but plans give us comfort.
God has a plan. In fact, God has billions of plans, one for each of us. One for the global situation, one for the pandemic, one for your church congregation, one for your family, and so on and so on. Nothing surprises God. He knows the end from the beginning, knows who is on the team, knows who he’s preparing to step in during the 4th quarter to run the play and pull off the victory, and he does it in a very simple way.
As the saying goes, when God wants to change the world, he sends a baby. Knowing the personality and traits of that child, he endows it with the right gifts and puts the right opportunities in front of that person in life to be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, to turn the tide and shift the world in the right direction. Not just the world, but our lives as well. If there’s one thing God has beat into my stubborn, fearful mind, particularly this year, it’s to stop panicking and trust Him. As a subtitle on every printed set of scriptures, there should be the phrase, “don’t panic,” written in large friendly letters. :)
In whom do we trust? God or man? Do we put our trust in the arm of God, the God of Israel that delivered them with power? Or do we put our trust in the arm of flesh: the government, the medical community, the thought that owning a gun will protect us from what’s coming (we will always be outnumbered), the idea that the store down the street will have food when we need it so we don’t need to make preparations?
In whom do we fear? Fear of God means understanding the source of your blessings and rewards and punishments. When we properly fear God, it does not put us into an emotional state of fight/flight, but calms us down to recognize that doing His will brings peace and is the only plan we can follow to get good results.
The word fear in Hebrew has multiple meanings. It can mean to be fearful, but in regards to how the scripture discuss fear of God, other meanings apply such as holding in awe, to inspire reverence or godly fear, to honor or respect.
For example, recall when the midwives of Egypt were told to kill the male babies of the Hebrews as they delivered them.
Exodus 1:17 “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.”
Pharaoh could have killed them, but they feared God more than Pharaoh. As a result, God blessed them.
Exodus 1:21 “And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”
Do you think they were afraid of Pharaoh? I’m certain there was a measure of fear there. Fear exists in any tense situation, but putting our trust in God for deliverance lets courage overpower that fear until we see the miracle and our faith grows perfect while fear departs. Having that happen over and over again destroys fear and brings about a great love for God and his work in our lives.
When the disciples feared what did Christ tell them?
John 14:1 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.“
We are entering a great day of deception. The arm of flesh will fail us every time. Our natural senses will fail us. Seeing won’t be believing, it will be part of an elaborate scheme of deception.
Remember when President Nelson said this?
“But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” (April 2018 General Conference)
The Lord gives warning after warning to help us set aside our fears. He gives us knowledge and confidence that all will be OK.
D&C 38:30 “I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”
To survive though, we must develop powers of discernment, revelation, and great faith in God. The only way to believe something will be through a witness of the Spirit.
If you need to overcome fear, pray for the gift of charity. Recall Mormon’s words written by Moroni.
16. “Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.
17. And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.
18. And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.”
And the words of John.
1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Now there is a little video I came across last week that I wanted to share. It’s a wonderful explanation of the beast in Revelation. Some will fear the future for what’s coming. The truth is, these things are here now and the reason God gave us this knowledge in the scriptures is so we wouldn’t fear. We would know with a more perfect knowledge what was happening and reading “the rest of the story” in prophecy show us the wicked destroy the wicked and God comes back to reign on earth. The fact that the rising of the beast is happening doesn’t need to fill us with fear. We just recognize that God has a plan, we are part of that plan, and it’s our turn to put on the strength of God and gird up our loins and do our part to build Zion until the stone cut from the mountain without hands fills the earth and destroys all other kingdoms. It is our great opportunity to participate in these events of the last days.
As you watch the video, I encourage you to pause it, do searches in Scripture Notes, and make notes as you go. Record the symbolism as it’s explained.
For example, open a search pane and every time a verse appears, pause the video, do search for a phrase from that verse to find it and similar verses, then record what those things mean when the meaning is given. You will start out with searches for these terms as verses appear on the screen:
Seven heads and ten horns Woman and scarlet beast Great whore Seven heads are seven mountains
Open each one from the search pane into it’s own search results pane and then create your notes as you make connections through the video. For example:
It’s an 8 minute video but will provide an hour of good study and note taking for you. You might even paste the url of the video into your notes so you can find it again. I encourage you to share this post and video with others. The day of procrastination is over. The beast is rising and we’d better start recognizing it for what it is and the deceptions taking place around us.
Paul was correct when he said:
Ephesians 6:12. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Next week’s topic continues with “God has prepared places of safety for the righteous.”
(Featured image by Tero Vesalainen @123rf.com)
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.