VN520476 10-23-16 Doyle Fear vs Vision And Faith
So fear. Fear. 700 times, and the main Greek word that is used for fear means to fly, flight, or retreat because fear is something that causes us to back away from the unknown. Fear is something that most of the time is unfounded. It’s just something that we have accepted in our head as the truth. I’d like to share with you a scripture, the Book of the Revelation 21:8. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” In some translations it uses the word cowards. People who are fearful is something that God does not particularly like. He doesn’t want us to be in fear. Fear distorts our perception of reality. Actually, it makes us think that there are certain things that are true when they are not true. Fear is something that we actually train ourselves to do. We train ourselves. We are taught that there are things that we’ve got to be afraid of even if it’s not true.
I know a guy who is afraid of tomatoes. I did not believe this, so being the person that I was, and given the fact that we drove a school bus together, I put a tomato on that guy’s seat. I went in and waited for him to show up. He shows up and I’m going you guys have lied to me, this man is not afraid, and then I hear this ahhhh, somebody help me. That’s true. I was like oh, no. Somebody put a tomato on my chair. Somebody help me. I was like oh, he’s faking it, and I went into the area of the bus barn where he was and he was backed away from it like this and looking like there was a snake waiting to strike. I was just like oh, I feel so bad. He grabbed the bars down the isle. He held onto them and he took the toe of his shoe and he reached out and he kept tapping that tomato until it fell off. Then he kicked it out the door and he would not go near that tomato. He was so afraid of tomatoes he would not let them bring ketchup or salsa in his house. This man had trained himself to be afraid of tomatoes.
We can train ourselves to be afraid of stuff that is totally illogical. There is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to a tomato. There are only two fears that we have when we are brought into this world. One is falling and the other is loud noises. Every other fear that we have, if it’s a phobia it doesn’t matter, any other fear is something that we have taught, or been taught, or caused ourselves to have. Fear bends logic. It’s not logical. It’s not logical. We even get to the place that we say we would rather live with something that is known, something or a situation, live in a situation that’s not good for us, that is miserable for us. We would rather live in that situation than to face the possibility of something unknown that could possibly happen. This man was afraid to get in his car. I know that for a fact. I didn’t do this one. His boy hid behind the seat one time and when they were driving home he jumped up from behind the seat and said “Hi dad”.
This guy was so afraid that there would be a tomato in his car that he drove across the neighbor’s yards, through the neighbor’s yards and hit, I don’t remember if it was the house or the tree or the garage, he had a wreck because it had become a thing in his mind that a tomato or something was going to jump out and get him. He lived with this stress constantly rather than to deal with the idea that there is a tomato out there and he could confront the tomatoes. Fear substitutes an assumption that something potentially bad is lurking out there rather than logic or truth. Logic and truth is that tomato is not going to hurt you unless you’re allergic to it, and if you’re allergic to it then you need to know that you have a tomato allergy and that’s all. You don’t have to fear and tremble and scream every time you see a tomato, but fear will project into our lives something. It will cause us to fear something that’s unknown or potential out there and we will make that projection so awful that it will make us sit like a bunny rabbit afraid to do anything.
We will be afraid because that potential is so awful we will not do anything. We will sit in this position and say I would rather have this miserable little life than to go out there and live a fuller life because I don’t know what’s out there. We actually become afraid of that unknown thing. We hear this phrase things could be worse, and sure enough they got worse. That is us training ourselves to fear our future rather than to deal with the possibility that there is something positive out there. So, we continue to live miserable lives. To some extent, and I’m not good at this, there are things that I don’t like and there’s things I don’t do because I’m like oh, this just cannot work well, it will end badly, and I will stop myself from doing things that logically I could do. This is a phrase that is contributed to Helen Keller. The only thing worse than having no sight is to have sight and no vision. The only thing worse than having no sight is to have sight and no vision, and the reason a lot of people don’t have vision is because they fear the potential of a future. They fear that there might be something bad so they won’t go out and take that chance. They won’t encounter their potentiality because they’re afraid that something might go bad.
I’m afraid what will people say? I look at them and say who cares? What are those people going to do? They can’t eat you, unless of course you’re surrounded by cannibals. Other than that, they can’t eat you. These people will say I know, but what will people think? Are you going to see these people ever again? Well, probably not. Then what do you care what they think? You have a potential to do something, to enjoy something, and you’re letting this fear control your life. When the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt there was this Promised Land that they did not know. They were just told it would flow with milk and honey, but as they traveled through the wilderness and 12 men went to spy on Canaan, the Kadesh Barnea, they went in, they came out, and the people said oh, we don’t want to go in there. What if? What if the giants are too big? What if we can’t win? What if? It’s better for us if we would go back, and fear will cause us to shrink away from something that could be so good in our life. Fear will cause us to pull back and to shrivel up in our life.
Those people were standing at the place of walking into a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey and they said we don’t know about that. We don’t know about that future. I know those two guys say it’s great, but I think we should all go back to Egypt. It would be better for us to go be slaves in Egypt because we know what slavery is all about than to go into the Promised Land and to live a potentiality which we do not know for sure how it’s going to play out. We would rather live out there and be a slave because we know what’s going to happen than to have the potentiality of something positive because it could be, but what if? The people lacked the vision. The people lacked the vision of going forward. They feared the future and they pulled back. Fear is a good prophet. Fear will tell you your future. It will look at you without flinching and your fears that you’ve taught yourself in the back of your mind will say you can’t do it. You can’t. What will people think? You will be embarrassed. Most people listen to our fears and we pull back and sure enough we can’t, we don’t, and we won’t.
Now, Abraham, the father Abraham was a faith walker. Abraham was called by God and God said I want you to go into the land that I’ll show you. He knew nothing about the land. There’s a legend among the Jewish people that says Abraham wasn’t the only person that God had called but all the other people did not get up and go because they were afraid because they didn’t know about this Promised Land that God had told them about. Abraham got up and he started. God blessed Abraham. It was an uncertain future. It was an unknown land but Abraham by faith got up and he walked right off in to the sunset, actually sunrise because he was… no sunset. He was walking into the sunset. He walked off right into the sunset believing in God. Even though it was an uncertain future out there for him he walked off. Why? Why would he walk off into an uncertain future? Because he had a certain God and that God whom he trusted said I will give you a land. I will bless you. I will bless your children. I will cause you to be the father of many nations.
The just shall live by faith. Most of us live by fear of the unknown. No, I can’t do that. No, it’s beyond my grasp. I tried once and I didn’t do it. There was a guy who is a punk rocker. I can’t think of his name but I can look it up for you if you want me to. He was a punk rocker and I heard him talking the other day and he said you know, I was scooping ice cream and I had a chance to try out for this band who was semi well known and I looked at a certain future. I could spend the rest of my life scooping ice cream, living my life one scoop of ice cream at a time, one scoop of ice cream, or I could look at this potential out there, the chance to sing in a rock band. The guy was a teenager. The chance to sing as a rocker in this band and he said my boss looked at me and said this is your one shot. You will be foolish if you don’t take it. He did not know whether it was going to work out or not. He said I laid the scoop down, I walked out, I tried out and I got the job. He goes I wasn’t the best. I am not the best singer. I’m not the best actor. He went on to become an actor. I saw him. He is not the best looking guy either. But, the one thing that he did have going for him is that he is willing to look at an unknown future and say I’ll try it.
He said do you know why it worked for me? I wasn’t the best singer, the best guitar player, but it worked for me because I took one step at a time and he practiced, and he practiced, and he practiced, and when another opportunity opened, he said every time a door opened for me to do something I jumped on it. He said there was an opportunity to do an acting job in a movie and I said I’ll try it. He said I had never acted. I just said I’ll try it. You never know what you can do until you try and you can try, and you can learn, and you can take the steps forward he said. There is something that we need to know. God puts before us just like Abraham a promised land. He puts within us great potential and yet we shrink back from it because we’re afraid somebody is going to think oh, look at him, they’re making themselves look silly up there, but those people will stay right where they are in their mediocre lives living that life just eh, in blandness, where you have the potential of stepping up. Maybe you won’t make it, but at least you tried.
You see that future out there and you can say I don’t know about that future. It’s got things in it that I would like to try. Look at that future and say I’ve got a God who is going to help me and I believe that He will give me the strength to make it through and I’m going to put my effort into that. We need to start looking at the world in a different way than what we’ve been trained to look at it and to fear. I know a guy who all his life he was a hardworking guy on line at a factory and his life became so miserable that his doctor said you need to start looking at your life and realize it’s not a miserable life. Go do something that’s totally out of character for you and learn a new skill, and of all things even though he was going to get made fun of and ridiculed he got, and I don’t know whether he did it, the doctor did it, or his wife did it, but he got signed up in an art school and he started trying to learn to be an artist. He was bad starting off, very bad, but he said you know what I learned is to look at life different. They would stand there and say that looks eh, okay, but how does the light actually shine on that rock? If the sun is here how does it hit that mountaintop? Where would that shadow be?
He said you know, I started realizing that I wasn’t living my life, I wasn’t observing the beauty of this life. I would just go mountain, but after taking some art courses I became aware that there is sunshine shining on that mountain and how does it play off? How does the snow glisten? How does the shade of that mountain affect what grows down below it? He said because I learned to look at the world in a different way, because of that art class he became a very positive person and his life started changing. His art did get better. I saw some of his later work and it got really good. Now, don’t say oh, we’re too old to change. That is a lie that somebody has told you. That is a falsehood and a fear that you may accept. Did you know Leonardo da Vinci painted the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa, you know it’s only about yeah big, he painted the Mona Lisa just a few years before he passed away? He was in his late 60s. That’s pretty old for the Middle Ages, late 60s, and he created the most famous work of art.
No matter your age, no matter your height because we all know basketball players who were told you’re too short to play basketball and yet they went on to become great basketball players and are in the Hall of Fame. There are people who said no, you’re not a very good painter but look at Grandma Moses. Her paintings are worth millions of dollars and she wasn’t that good when she started out. We have got potentiality because we’ve got an Almighty God and if we say God, I’ve got this vision, I want You to help me with my vision He will say okay, you need to take one step at a time but I will get you there. da Vinci started off doing all sorts of other things. He was commissioned years and years before he ever painted the Mona Lisa to paint that picture, the Mona Lisa, but it took all these other steps along the way where he was an inventor, he was a drawer, he started paying attention to light and how light played off of stuff, he became a statue person who made carvings. He went through all this other potentiality until finally he got to the place and he paints the most famous painting in the whole world.
We’ve all got potential, but most of us will shrink back from it because it’s safer to stay in this little cocoon even though we’re miserable than to put one toe outside of it and say I’m going to look at the world differently and I’m going to be trying to do something that I have never done. My question for you is this. First we know that God plans nothing for us, except what is good. A lot of us let fear stop us from having the promised future that God, like Abraham, said you could have a lot better life if you will trust Me. Don’t worry about your future. You trust Me and I will lead you into your future and it will be a great future. Question. What lies have you told yourself that’s holding you back? What lies are you telling yourself now that’s keeping you from having a better, fuller and richer life? What lies are we telling ourselves about Glenwood Church that’s holding it back? What lies, what fears have we got? Why are we so afraid to step outside our comfort zone and have the potential of doing something successful? Like that punk rocker said I was stubborn and I stayed at it until I got to the place where I was good enough to be in that band.
Why aren’t we more successful in our lives? Because a lot of times we settle and we get comfortable and we would rather live with our misery in Egypt land as a slave than to go into that area that’s uncomfortable of what if? What if? What if? Shall we pray? Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that You lead us, guide us, help us at this point to take steps to overcome our fears. Father, help us, lead us, guide us first as individuals. Give us Your grace and Your favor to overcome our fears and to move on to a better place in our lives, into our Promised Land. Father, give us not only physical sight but give us a vision and then take our hand and lead us step by step until we see that vision fulfilled. Help us to enjoy that vision when it is fulfilled and to brag about You after it’s fulfilled. Father, we ask this for His glory. He accomplished so much for us. We want to have everything that you’ve promised us. We want to be able to brag about Your Son and how great He is and how wonderfully smart You are. We ask it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.