What are YOU afraid of?  What has fear kept you from doing your entire life?  God’s word tell us that God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind.  I knew that verse my entire life but it didn’t make a difference to me in so many areas of my life.  Fear is a powerful thing!  We become absolutely convinced that we cannot do something or that if we do a certain thing something horrible will happen.    We would be amazed if our minds could be laid open and we could see how many lies are in our brains that hold us back from so many things.  Lies can feel so real and true!  Satan is referred to in scripture as the father of lies.

As a young child I was terrified of doctors and dentist.  My family would literally have to chase me around the house to get me in the car to go for our annual shots or to a dentist appointment.  Now I know that there was a reason for that exagerated fear.  I was physically hurt at a very young age and my brain remembered!  At 21 years old I had a filling come out of a tooth and I would not go to the dentist. (And I had  just given birth to my first child.) Eventually something had to be done so my father took me to a dentist that would put me to sleep and pull the tooth.  I probably did NOT need that tooth pulled.  Now it’s going to cost me an arm and a leg to get that tooth replaced!  Oh how my exagerated fear has cost me!  Not only financially but it’s cost me so much of my own freedom through out my life.  What has your fear cost you?  Did you know that Jesus died to not only give you eternal life but also to give you freedom!  Freedom from so many things that put you into bondage.

Last week I learned to swim and I am in my early 50’s.  When I was 13 years old I almost drown in the ocean at summer camp at Florida Bible College.  I was in the ocean and before I knew it the water was over my head.  A young girl swam by me and I grabbed her.  She hit me and screamed, “Let go of me!”  A life guard eventually swam out and rescued me.  He took me back to the shore and I was encircled by a group of people on the beach as he made sure I was okay.  Talk about embarrassed!  Since that day I have had a fear of water!  My feelings told me that I would die if I got in water over my head.  My feelings told me that I cannot trust myself or water.  Feelings can lie to us!  And the enemy works often through our feelings!

When I was in my early twenties we watched a film in Sunday School by Chuck Swindoll.  He was telling the story of his wife learning to swim as an adult.  My distorted concepts of God kicked in and I was in tears.  The words that were going through my mind were, “I know God is going to MAKE me face my fear of swimming one day.”  My heart was literally pounding and tears were filling my eyes.  My Heavenly Father is a gentleman!  HE didn’t make me, HE gently led me to a place where I wanted to learn to swim.  I love the way our Heavenly Father knows us inside and out and leads us to our freedom in Him.

I don’t know about you but I want to be COMPLETELY free!  I want God to open my eyes to every area of life where I am in bondage and set me free.  HE didn’t just die to give us a ticket to heaven.  HE cares about our pain and HE wants to set us free.  The truth sets us free.  So what did I discover last week that set me free?  I can go under the water without holding my nose.  I won’t die if I am in water over my head.  I am capable (With Jesus) to face anything HE leads me to face.

Will you let HIM set you free?  The first step is to admit your fears and bring them to HIM.  And then hold on as you begin a huge adventure with a very safe and loving Father.  You are getting ready to enter one of the most fun times of your life!  Yes, fear is a powerful thing!  But even more powerful than fear is the gift of faith and trust and courage that our Lord can and will give us!  HE conquers our fears THROUGH us!  How neat is that!