Updated: Feb 12, 2020
This was the third time I saw a post about not going to the Lima Mall because women were being kidnapped. It was always a friend's relative and the posts were similar although there were minor differences. The first time I saw it I just scrolled past. The second time I was minorly irritated that people were sharing this. This would certainly make the media. The third time I saw it I scoured the Lima news, no stories. So, I called the Lima Mall and asked if they knew of any kidnappings. They didn’t. Finally, I called the Lima Police and asked if they had any calls on that. They told me they had seen the posts, but they weren’t aware of any kidnappings.
These three posts were shared a total of 43 times with hundreds of comments filled with fear. And yet, there was no evidence other than the rather obscure posts. Although intentions were good, people were perpetuating fear with nothing more than social media posts about a friend's relative that in every case was nameless.
Fear is a strong motivator. If we listen to the world, we could spend all of our time running from fear, looking over our shoulder waiting for the next frightening story to get us.
Today, we live in a culture of fear. There is so much information that there just isn’t time to process all of it. We end up consumed by so much fear and uncertainty. We find ourselves in a cycle of fear that we can’t get away from.
Fear is often a liar. The enemy loves it when we fill our time running from the things that are frightening us. It’s keeping us from our time with Jesus. It keeps us from reaching out to those who need us. It stops us from living the life we were intended to live.
“But seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34
Jesus is calling us to take care of those who have needs greater than ours. Isn’t that a good way to deal with fear? Get out of our own head and look to those who are in need?
Can you imagine how Joshua felt when it was time for him to take over for Moses? Talk about being afraid. Just think about it! He is being told to lead the Israelites right after Moses. The one who brought them out of the tyranny of slavery. Moses, who saw the face of God and parted the Red Sea. He brought them the 10 Commandments, built a system of judges and brough the Israelites to the Promised Land. And now he was gone and Joshua is being told to fill these massive shoes. God needed Joshua to be a leader so what did He remind Joshua of?
“Have I not commanded you? Be to be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go! Isn’t that the promise we still have today?
Fear is a strong motivator, but isn’t our God even stronger? The world is choosing to fill us with fear. Through 24/7 news, advertising and social media we are attacked with some new fear several times each and every day. But we have something stronger than the enemy, we have the promises of God. When we choose to follow Him over fear, we win, every single time.