*WARNING: Graphic content at the very bottom of post.*
Such a small word but the devastation it can leave in its wake can be devastating.
It can change the course of our entire lives…if we let it.
Fear is something I have had to address in my own life the past few weeks. There is so much to fear in this world we live in. I’ve been asking YHVH how to proceed and what to do, but still, it’s difficult.
I have the same fears that, for the most part, we all share. I fear for my safety and the safety of my family. I fear for the future. What do I do with my life? Where do I go from here? Who am I supposed to become? Am I doing anything right? Am I making the most of this life?
And then there are some fears that are my own unique creation. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing with Voice in the Desert. I wonder if I’m risking too much by speaking out. Am I saying the right things? Talking about the right issues? Speaking His words at the right time and in the right way?
We all have our own unique fears as well as those that are common to us all. Just as Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Fear can be a good thing, in moderation, of course. It can motivate us, revive us, keep us alert, and keep us pressing on towards the goal. Fear can also be a way to draw us closer to our Heavenly Father.
But fear can also ravage.
It can keep us in bondage to things that may never actually take place. It can keep us from realizing the destiny YHVH has appointed for us. It can keep us bound and hidden in a dark closet at the moment we need to speak out and act. It can keep us frozen in place when action would save our lives or the life of another.
I just watched the video released by ISIS of the murder of the captured Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, who was burned alive in a cage. It’s very, very sad. My heart is incredibly heavy. I can’t imagine how horrific it must have been.
At the end of the video, ISIS lists the pictures, names, ranks, and locations of other pilots they want dead. They have put out a price for each head and wished people “good tidings” in their hunt.
I find it so hard to believe sometimes that we live in a world where such evil can exist. How could a person become so evil? How could you do that to another human being? How long can we stay hidden? Is it possible to remain untouched?
I have to remind myself that YHVH is our strong tower. YHVH is mighty to save. These people are the same ones who swept the world during the time of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It is no surprise the depravity and evil that exists in ISIS.
But YHVH watches over us day and night. We have no need to fear. But that doesn’t allow us to hide ourselves from the truth or to hide our heads in the sand. It does mean that we have a shelter to run to in times of trouble. We have a Friend who will comfort our hearts in a world that is consumed with darkness.
I debated for a long time if I should post the video and in the end, I decided that I should. Not to stir up fear or anger but to reveal the truth. This is what violent extremism looks like. This is the evil we are facing in the world. These are the enemies of YHVH and His righteousness. This is the evil that we must prepare to fight. This is truth.
It’s difficult to watch, and it’s ok if you aren’t able to watch, but if you can, I think you should. It puts into perspective who the real enemy is and who we are really fighting against. It’s a wake-up call that we can no longer remain oblivious to the evil right outside our doorstep.
I also believe that it is a way to honor the dead; to not forget. To not turn away from the brutal reality of how his life was taken. To not let these terrorists get away with murder by ignoring the brutalities they commit. Every time we turn away because we don’t want to see the truth, we allow these atrocities to continue. Once you see these things, your life is forever changed and I guarantee you won’t be able to keep silent any longer. That is how you fight this kind of enemy; by speaking out for truth instead of turning a blind eye.
I like how Glenn Beck explained his decision for releasing the footage:
We as a company have aired or released many horrible images in our short tenure as a media outlet, none of which have risen to the level of depravity of the images of Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh’s death.
We had chosen not to release these images out of respect for the victim, his family and his countrymen, but also because we do not wish to spread fear and the message of psychopathic killers.
This morning, I, as the owner and operator of TheBlaze, have changed my mind.
After looking at the images again, I believe it is important for the world to see them. We have been lured into a poppy field where we have fallen fast asleep as grave danger quickly approaches.
It is time to wake up. This is the enemy of all mankind. Make no mistake, this is a global jihad and it has everything to do with “their” religion and their fundamental interpretation of the Koran.
Jews, gentiles, straight, gay, black, white, western, eastern, atheist, Christian or Muslim — it is time you recognize what you are up against, look it square in the eye and call it by its name: evil and a plague on mankind.
It’s important to remember that even though we are facing a terrible evil, we should not be afraid. There has always been evil in the world and YHVH has remained faithful through the ages. YHVH is our ever-present help in time of need. He will never forsake us; He will not forget us. We may face moments where this truth is hard to believe but it doesn’t change the truth: YHVH is our strong tower; a fortress in time our time of need.
And we live in the days where we are desperately in need of Him.
Often times we fear because we are focused on the wrong things. Fear, debilitating fear, comes about when our focus is on the enemy and his evil.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that any person will ever truly be able to rid themselves of all fear. We will always have some amount of fear about something. Some amount of fear is good. If we didn’t have some amount of fear to overcome, we would just be reckless people putting ourselves in dangerous situations.
No, having fear to overcome is the difference between a courageous warrior and a reckless daredevil.
Fear is the filter that makes us realize there is something worth living (and dying) for. It opens our eyes and forces us to see what we really stand for and believe in. It forces us to choose who we will become.
But when our fear overshadows our faith, we will fail. Every. Single. Time.
When we allow our fear to control our emotions, our actions, our vision, fear moves from being a motivator to a show-stopper.
In the midst of these thoughts, YHVH led me to Psalm 46 as a gentle reminder of His love, guidance, faithfulness, and security.
Elohim is our refuge and strength, a help in distress, soon found. Therefore we do not fear, though the earth reels and mountains topple into the heart of the seas. Let its waters rage, foam; Let mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.
A river whose streams make glad the city of Elohim, the set-apart dwelling of the Most High. Elohim is in her midst, she does not topple; Elohim does help her when morning turns. The gentiles shall rage, kingdoms shall topple; He shall give forth His voice, the earth melts. YHVH of hosts is with us; the Elohim of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Come, see the works of YHVH, the ruins He has wrought on the earth, causing all fighting to cease, unto the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariot with fire. Be still, and know that I am Elohim; I am exalted among nations, I am exalted in the earth! YHVH of hosts is with us; the Elohim of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Psalm 46
In a world where nothing is certain, He is secure. In a world where things are constantly changing, He is steadfast. In a world filled with evil and wickedness, He is righteous and good. In a world where there is much to fear, He is our assurance. In a world of chaos, He is our peace and tranquility.
When I talk about fear, I always compare it to skydiving (which, by the way, is a blast). When that door opens and you look outside, your first instinct is to hide inside and not leave the plane. But if you never leave the plane, you’ll miss out on one of the most amazing experiences of your life. It’s ok to scream and close your eyes as you jump out but you have to trust the parachute and take that leap of faith. It’s ok to be afraid…it’s not ok to let it stop you. You have to jump anyway.
I will not tell you to have no fear because trusting Him doesn’t mean fearing nothing; it means moving forward in spite of that fear. I will, however, tell you to jump out of the plane anyway.
So let the mountains shake and the earth tremble because YHVH is our Strong Tower.
*WARNING* Graphic content below.