Today starts the second week of camp with the high school kids. We use the same lessons, but try a little more depth and a little more intensity (mess, that is) with the games.
We’ve discussed with the kids that they received superpowers as soon as they were saved, including the indwelling Holy Spirit to help them accomplish the mission God gives us to evangelize the world. We warned them that the Enemy has plenty of weapons of his own to hinder us, including anger. Another huge weapon- the one that works on me- is fear.
We don’t usually think of it this way, but fear is the absence of trust. When we don’t trust the quality of our studying, we are afraid to take a chemistry test. When we don’t trust physics and Boeing, we don’t get on airplanes. When we don’t trust people, we are afraid to invest ourselves in friendships and relationships. When we don’t trust God… nothing else works.
My gracious Father knows that fear is a major issue, so He talks about it a lot in the Bible. There are hundreds of references dealing with fear, worry, anxiety- all different heads of the same monster. Here are a few to implement:
(2 Tim 1:7 – KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear NEVER comes from God. He gives us a spirit of power (yes I can do what He gives me to do) a spirit of love (loving others is the key to carrying out the mission) and a sound mind (thinking clearly and truthfully about ourselves and our situation.)
(Psalm 118:6) The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
That’s IS. Present tense. Right now. Count on it. Not “I hope He’s with me”, or “He might be if…” If I get the IS part, the ” I will not be afraid” part is a piece of cake. And that’s GOD with me. What can a man do to frustrate the purposes of Almighty God? Nothing… (Why don’t I remember that?)
(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
GOD IS PERFECT LOVE. He defines it. He loves me perfectly and so seeks only my best interest. Granted His definition of ‘my best interest’ and mine often clash, but that’s my lack of trust popping up again. His perfect love carries an eternal perspective that I can’t always see or wrap my mind around.
This is one of those lessons the teacher needs more than the students. God called me to go forth and conquer, not stay home and whimper.