Thursday, June 12, 2014

Friday the 13th

Friday, June 13, 2014Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O Israel!  This is what the LORD says:  “Do not act like the other nations, who try to read their future in the stars.  Do not be afraid of their predictions, even though other nations are terrified by them.  Their ways are futile and foolish.  They cut down a tree, and a craftsman carves an idol.  They decorate it with gold and silver and then fasten it securely with hammer and nails so it won’t fall over.  Their gods are like helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field!  They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk.  Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good.”   Jeremiah 10:1 - 5 (NLT)

God warned the people of Israel through the words of the prophet, Jeremiah, that the carved wooden idols of other nations were simply inanimate objects.  A wood-carving, no matter how artistically wonderful, was still a hunk of cut-down tree; it held no powers or significance other than what the fools who worshipped such things gave to it.

It’s hard to give up our superstitions. 

Most superstitions and fears are passed-down from our parents and grandparents.  Some are gained through unpleasant experiences.  Some fears and superstitions are the result of profitable (albeit sinister) industries like horror and thriller movies.  Freddie Krueger still haunts my dreams at times!

I don’t know why this is true, except for the fact that we want to hold close the familiar, even if the familiar terrifies us, rather than let go and enter unfamiliar territory.

The unknown is scary!  And, at times, we’re drawn to it like a moth to the flame!
Do you suppose there’s a reason skyscrapers don’t have a 13th floor?  What fears do you hold off with your rabbit’s foot?  Do you refuse to “step on a sidewalk crack” for fear of “breaking your mother’s back”?  Ever walk under an opened ladder?  Does the 13th day of a month (especially a Friday) make you even slightly uneasy, especially if a black cat crosses your path? 

Change?  Me?

It is said that people do not change until the fear of “not-changing” becomes greater than the fear of the unknown. 

In plainer language:  you’ve got to want to change!

Sometimes that takes a crisis. By the way, I’ve heard God is good at engineering that!  From the plagues in Egypt, to the persecution of the early church, God gets His people moving, even against the strongest protestations of our superstitions and fears.  He motivates us to change.

After a lifetime of searching, wise King Solomon came up with a conclusion about the only kind of productive, reasonable, Heaven-approved fear:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)

For You, Today

Remember as you go about your daily tasks today that God desires for you to live in something other than fear. 
And here is that something:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear… 1 John 4:18a (KJV)

So, go…and live in love; let fear get along without you!

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