195. Respond With Courage

Isaiah 7:4-7 MSG Tell him, Listen, calm down. Don’t be afraid. And don’t panic over these two burnt-out cases, Rezin of Aram and the son of Remaliah. They talk big but there’s nothing to them. (5) Aram, along with Ephraim’s son of Remaliah, have plotted to do you harm. They’ve conspired against you, saying, (6) ‘Let’s go to war against Judah, dismember it, take it for ourselves, and set the son of Tabeel up as a puppet king over it.’ (7) But GOD, the Master, says, “It won’t happen. Nothing will come of it.

Panic sets in when we begin to get overwhelmed and over stimulated by the barrage of thoughts going on in our minds and is often combined with an unbalance in body chemistry that affects ones neurotransmitters. There are a lot of different factors that can impact people panicking or not. Personally, I blame a lot of it on our pace of life and overall health.

For instance, my phone just chimed to remind me of a task I have scheduled in 15 minutes. This is producing mild anxiety as I strive to complete this post. Another example is the access to information and connection to the world like never before. There is always news and new information pouring into our minds and thoughts at all times. Emails, television, text alerts, text messages, Social media posts, etc… Our minds are always racing from project to project, task to task so that many times we don’t take the time to process through much of the information that we receive, because we simply don’t believe we have the time. This is why I love what the Lord instructed Isaiah to speak to Ahaz here. He told him to, “Listen (Shut up), Calm down (Relax), Don’t be afraid (Choose to submit to God’s truth), and Don’t Panic over…” the situation.

Panic causes us to become fainthearted. Our hearts and resolve melt as we are overcome with fears, stress, and the volume of the thoughts racing in our heads. It causes us to be intimidated and move out of our position in Him. Statistically, panic is on the rise. Nearly 25% of all ER visits are because of chest pain and shortness of breath that are a result of panic and not heart or emergency medical concerns. What can we do to help avoid becoming panicked?

Take regular time to be quite and LISTEN to the Lord. This means turning off your television, disconnecting from the internet and dare I say it… turning off your cell phone and spending quality quiet time with Jesus where you can listen to the still small voice in your heart and hear His voice leading your from His Word. In that place you will be able to process through the concerns of life with Him and clearly hear His voice guiding you through.

Take time to RELAX and unwind. Do something that calms you. Have some fun and laugh. It’s ok and it will help insulate you from experiencing panic.

And choose to embrace His Word and FEAR NOT. These things will help keep you from experiencing panic, which works to soften your response in standing and resisting the devil. The purpose of panic is to overwhelm you so that you will be easily intimidated and moved. Isaiah was encouraging Ahaz to respond with courage, be bold, and to stand fearless. You can do the same. Don’t panic. Listen, Relax, Choose to Trust His Word, Make a choice, and RESPOND WITH COURAGE.


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