FIGHT OR FLIGHT?
Medical science tells us that when we face a situation that fills us with fear, our body pumps adrenalin into our system and we will do one of two things. The adrenalin rush will cause us to either “fight” or take “flight”. You see fear is a natural emotion that can be good when used for protection but debilitating when we allow it to control us.
Let me share a humorous example from our missionary days in Rhodesia. (Zimbabwe)
Glyn and I joined my parents and my two younger siblings, Henry and Carolyn, for a vacation at Wankie (Hwange) Game Park. We had been out viewing game for most of the morning and came back to camp at mid-day. I was expecting our first child, so chose to lie down and have a rest. Glyn, Henry and Carolyn decided to go back out. Later, the heat of the day was waning, so many of the wild game were moving about. On their drive back to camp they came across a huge herd of African buffalo; these are animals you do not want to pick a fight with! They sat quietly in the car just watching muscles ripple and mesmerized by the surly looks the huge male “guards” of the herd were giving them. After a while the herd became restless so Glyn slipped the car in gear and eased away on down the dirt road. The road snaked its way through the bush; as they came to a rise the road sank down into a gully and then back up the hill. They saw a herd of elephant close to the road at the brow of the hill. Down they went into the gully and then eased their way up the rise to get closer to the feeding elephants. Suddenly without warning, a mother elephant with a baby exploded out of the herd, trumpeting, flapping her ears and ready to “fight” with these intruders who might harm her baby! There was no question in Glyn’s mind what he was going to do – he chose “flight”! Quick as a flash he threw the car in reverse and as fast as he could go, he reversed back down into the gully and up the hill. His driving skills in reverse were heightening by the rush of adrenalin which told him to choose “flight” and not stay and “fight” the protective Elephant mother! Wise choice I might add!
We can identify with fear so much in life today. We are fearful of losing control or fearful of the unpredictable. We become fearful of the unknown and of the future. The turmoil raging in this present day is creating much fear even in hearts of the children of God!
May I say the children of God should NOT be consumed by fear of what is to come to pass in this world!
Fear can hinder our judgment and potentially prevent us from moving forward to receive all that God has for us. After all, we know that God is in full control of the events unfolding in this day and age and He knows each one of His children by name; so we can trust Him!
I love the Book of Joshua because it is full encouragement not to be fearful in the face of the enemy!
Look with me at this passage of scripture:
Joshua 1:6-7, 9 “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Now if these verses are not a faith booster then I don’t know what the doubters could ask for!
God was very straightforward and serious when counseling Joshua about fear.
Notice though, God used the phrase “do not be afraid” ONLY ONCE.
All other times, He chose to counsel Joshua with positive words like “be strong and of good courage” instead. The word “courage” means “to show one-self strong” or “to be alert.” Other words associated with courage are “brave, agile, quick and energetic.” We tend to associate those words as personality types, not godly traits! Yet if God commands us to be strong and courageous, then He desires all His children to have such attributes.
Now let me bring this pasage of scripture closer to home.
God gives us the SAME promises He gave to Joshua! Are you surprised?
Three times, the Lord told Joshua to be strong and of good courage. He then commanded Joshua to obey, while promising him that He would go with him wherever he goes….. And Joshua obeyed and trusted God’s Word.
So too; God tells us the same thing and He has given us the same promises!
Let me remind you of His words to us in Hebrews 13:5 which says; “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
What is the meaning of this verse? Simply, God promise is, that wherever we go God goes too.
He tells also us that all authority has been given to us through Jesus.
So what is causing us to “fear” in these end times?
What excuse do we have?
Are we as apt to be “agile, quick and energetic” as we saw Joshua to be?
We have no excuse to not receive all that God has promised us as His children.
We have no excuse to not fully believe His Word and study His Word and live out His will.
God told Joshua to be strong and courageous in taking the inheritance as well as in living according to God’s ways.
It takes courage to live for God and strength to uphold His commands. Both strength and courage are needed, to claim His inheritance and live in obedience to His Word.
What is stopping you?
Is it “fear” that is holding you back? Then ask Him to give you courage.
If it is apathy holding you back. Then ask Him to motivate you to be diligent.
Tell the Lord that you want ALL He has purposed in His heart for you.
NOTE: I said ask God for HIS PURPOSES for your life not your GREED!
Tell Him that you do not want anything to separate you from His will, including yourself.
Tell Him to help your unbelief and empower you to push forward.
You might be thinking as you read this Nugget; “Why should I tell the Lord anything, after all He can read our thoughts!” The scripture teaches us to ASK God- He desires to hear our voices!
John 15:16 (NKJV) “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
What a glorious promise!
And remember; “do not be afraid for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Photo Credit: Michael North Imagery – used with permission.