375. You Don’t Have to Stand Alone

left-outHebrews 11:23 NKJV  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

 

 

 

“Be brave enough to accept the help of others.” – Melba Colgrove

In this verse we see the faith of Moses’ parents being commended.  In the face of a horrifying situation, where Pharaoh had decreed that any Israelite boy born should be turned over to the Egyptian soldiers and thrown into the Nile River to drown or be eaten by crocodiles, they refused to follow the command and risked the lives of not only themselves but of their other two children by hiding Moses for the first 3 months of his life.  I love that this verse commends both of them saying, “By faith Moses, …was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw… and they were not afraid.”  It is easier to stand against fearful circumstances when you don’t do it alone.

The Bible is not short on verses that talk about the power of agreement & unity.  Matthew 18:19-20, Ecclesiastes 4:12, Amos 3:3, James 5:14-16 ,1 Peter 3:7, and so many more all point to this truth.  We see the principle throughout the Scripture in so many examples of faith, covenant, and even the power of agreement of the ungodly seen with the Tower of Babel.  One of the reasons that agreement is so powerful is that it encourages the other party.  When we stand in agreement with one another we encourage each other in the things of God and our resolve to stand and trust God even in the most terrifying of situations is bolstered.

Besides that, the teamwork that was necessary to effectively hide a cooing and crying child and misdirect or distract the soldiers that are conducting routine searches of all the houses couldn’t not have been managed by any one person.  It required a team to be alert, vigilant, and working together to do so.  Together they persevered and preserved the life of their son.

Isolation is one of the strategies the Enemy using to keep people bound by fear.  He will try to get you to think that you are alone.  Sometimes this comes through the form of other fears like the fear of the opinions of others or the fear of failure, which will keep you from being honest about a situation or accepting help.  I’ve even seen people use “faith” as an excuse to struggle through their fears alone.  That’s just not Bible people.

The lord created us for relationship.  We are children of a relational God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).  You don’t have to go through fearful situations alone.  Some of them you simply can’t make it through alone.  The good news is you don’t have to.  There are people who will come along side and together, like the parents of Moses, will agree with you, encourage you, and even make the battle their own and fight alongside of you.  You don’t have to stand alone.  Will you be brave enough to accept the help of others?

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348. Pistanthrophobia – Fear of Trusting People

left-outActs 9:26-27 NKJV  And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.  (27)  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Pistanthrophobia is the fear of trusting people or the fear of putting any faith in people.  For some this is a debilitating phobia that not only isolates them from loved ones, it also makes it difficult for them to receive any of the kind of help that they need.  Though I’m sure most of you don’t suffer from this on that level, we’ve all experienced not trusting someone before.

*Disclaimer* I have had circumstances where the Spirit of God was warning me not to trust certain people I’ve met and I just knew in my spirit to be nice, but not to trust them.  I’m not talking about that… always follow the leading of the Spirit.  Is what I’m talking about are those people who many instinctively recoil from; those with a past.

We have all met people that have a not so great past and past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior… unless there is a REAL change.  But sometimes we meet people, find out about their past and immediately write them off as totally untrustworthy and though we know Theologically they are redeemable we’re reticent to believe they have changed.  This is what Saul experienced after his conversion.

Many of the disciples were afraid of him because of his past (he was arresting Christians after all) and though he didn’t cast any stones personally, he did hold the coats for those that stoned Stephen.  We have the hindsight to see that a real and genuine change had taken place in Saul/Paul, but these people didn’t….  Many churches push new converts or attenders away when they begin to get to know them, because of something in their past.  We all have a past that would raise somebody’s eyebrows and make them nervous if they don’t know us today, so how do we overcome this fear so we can begin to trust others and connect with them.

First, recognize that your suspicions may be unfounded.  Are you just negatively recoiling about how they look, speak, or their past?  A relationship with Jesus can change people.  It changed you.

Second, take them to leadership. Barnabas took Saul to the apostles who met with him and heard his story. These men were all very close with Jesus and were experienced with the leading of the Holy Spirit. It was also part of their responsibility to protect the people.  They should have a good sense about someone’s intentions and trustworthiness. NOTE: not all church leaders are as sensitive as these ones were either.  They might be wrong.

Third, spend time with them. Saul was invited to spend time with the Early Church Leaders (Acts 9:28).  They were able to watch him. NOTE: If you have a speckled past, submit yourself to the elders of your church. Somethings you have to live down and show over time through your actions that the change in you is genuine.  The apostles didn’t just immediately sign off on Saul and promote him to a leadership position.  Saul had to live down his past and prove himself.

Lastly, provide opportunities for people to earn your trust. Give them non-critical places where they can prove themselves and let them grow to greater responsibility as they do (Acts 9:28-30).

Following these steps will help you grow and strengthen new relationships while fostering trust within them.  The person you are afraid to trust because of their past, might just be the next Apostle Paul.

340. Autophobia, Isolophobia, Anuptaphobia Oh My!

John 14:16-18 NKJV  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  (17)  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  (18)  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.”

Autophobia or monophobia is the fear of being alone.  It is closely related to isolophobia a fear of being isolated, ignored.  But neither of these fears need plague God’s people for we are never alone.

Before His crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, Jesus said that He would be going away, but that He would not leave us orphans.  Thankfully He will return for His Church.  In the meantime, He still did not leave us alone.  Instead He sent the Holy Spirit who abides with us forever.  When we were born-again the Holy Spirit took up residence in every Believer.  We are never alone.

The Spirit of God is a friend like no other.  Ever present.  Full of wonder.  Giver of Truth.  Possessor of Wisdom.  A Heavenly Coach that will walk with us through every circumstance or trial we experience in life, leading us through and into the abundant life that is ours in Christ.

Most of my childhood and adolescent years my parents left for work before I went to school and returned home after I had been home a few hours.  During the summer or winter breaks, I spent a lot of time at home alone.  Sometimes it was fine.  Sometimes it was great.  Sometimes it was scary.  The cracks and creeks of the ranch style house or of the towering trees in the woods behind our home, or the shadows of an animal passing one of the windows would cause be to jump.  I felt alone.

But as a child of God, I am never alone.  I have God the Holy Spirit with me everywhere I go.  Ephesians 1:13 tells us that when we believe in Christ we “…were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise”, and he will never leave me nor forsake me.  And if you’ve been born-again, He’ll never leave you either.  Fear Not; You are Not Alone.