Weekly Blog: Grow Your World
Jan 20, 2020 2080
Have you noticed that as people get older they tend to become more and more afraid? Things that only concerned them before now seem to overwhelm them. They start being afraid of things that never frightened them before. Why is that?
It’s because their world is shrinking. They’re shutting down!
However, this is true for people of every age in life. The more you let your world shrink, the more fearful you will become. And the more fearful you become, the more you will shrink your world. It’s a vicious circle!
In the Bible, you continually find God having to deal with people who are gripped by fear. And he always deals with them according to the same pattern. So, here is the short-circuit that breaks the cycle of fear.
This is the promise that God repeatedly gives to the fearful throughout the Bible:
…do not fear, for I am with you…(Isa 41:10)
When God tells you not to be afraid, that’s not a command that comes with a punishment to the fearful. Instead, it’s the voice a Father that soothes his terrified child. He doesn’t tell you to not be afraid as a command for you to stop it or else! Instead, he is telling you that he knows that you actually are afraid.
The Solution to Fear is to Grow Your World
The next step is that God tells you to grow your world. That really is the practical secret to overcoming fear. You start growing your world by growing in how you see God, yourself, and in growing in your openness to others.
Jabez lived in a time when the borders of the people of God were shrinking under constant attack from their enemies. Although fear ruled everywhere, Jabez refused to live in fear, and he was determined to grow his world! Jabez,
…cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! (1 Chron 4:10, NIV).
Here then, as the steps to overcoming fear:
- Listen to God’s voice that soothes your fear
- Recognise that God is with you
- Let God challenge you to grow your world.
To the disciples, Jesus said, “I know you are afraid, but I am with you. Take it in bite-size chunks: first Jerusalem, then Judaea, then Samaria, and then the whole world.”
What’s he saying to them? That’s right, grow your world!
You see, the world used to be a small, dark place. A place of small thoughts, narrow minds, and petty hatreds. A place where fear ruled.
But one man has opened the gates of eternity and let its infinite possibilities into your life. Lifted up on a rocky hill, he took every nightmare, the sum of all your fears into his own being, he stared them in the face. And just when you thought that fear had won, be came back triumphant from the darkness.
He says to you, “My child, I know that this side of eternity there is fear. I know, I’ve been there. But you don’t have to be a slave to it any more. Its chains are gone.”
“Sit with your fear and look at it in the face and see an enemy defeated. By me! So, take up your mission and grow your world. Because I am with you.”