Woods: Release the emergency brake

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Have you ever been driving and discovered that you forgot to release the emergency brake? You wondered why you felt something holding you back, but you did not know what it was?

That is what a spirit of fear will do to us.

We live our lives with the emergency brake on, never risking, never letting go, never living life to the fullest. People who live in fear are sinners. That’s a surprise, isn’t it?

You have never had anyone tell you that fear is a sin. I mean to be rough with you. I want to help all of us who are cowering behind that unlocked door to see that we are cheating ourselves, our neighbors, and, ultimately, God.

Listen to the words of St. Paul, writing to the young pastor Timothy, “for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I want every shy reclusive person to know your timidity is a spiritual problem.

It is keeping you from being the kind of effective witness for Christ that he needs for you to be. St. Paul says that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.

You haven’t been given a spirit of fear but of a sound mind.

Analyze your fears, and see them for what they really are.

When we are intimidated by a spirit of timidity or fear, it causes us to break the 11th commandment.

What is the 11th commandment? “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another.” (John 13:34).

Fear, when it manifests itself as timidity or fear, is the most selfish emotion of all.

As Christians, you and I cannot afford the luxury of giving in to a spirit of fear because Christ has called us to love one another, and how can you love someone else if you are scared to even speak to them?

Now, admittedly, people are not always loveable. In a “Peanuts” cartoon sometime back, Lucy speaks to Snoopy: “There are times,” she says, “when you really bug me, but I must admit, there are also times when I feel like giving you a great big hug.”

Snoopy looks up, with a grin on his face, and says to himself, “That’s the way I am, huggable and buggable.”

That is the way all of us are. Sometimes we are huggable and sometimes we are buggable.

Perfect love casts out fear. It really does. A spirit of sound mind, a spirit of love.

When lightning strikes a tree, it is an illusion that lightning comes down from the sky.

Actually only a tiny “leader bolt” comes from the sky. When you see that massive flash as lightning strikes a tree, you are actually seeing a tremendous charge of electricity come up from the ground through the tree. That is what lights up the sky.

The charge was already present in the tree. The “leader bolt” simply freed it up. That is what can happen when we put ourselves in God’s hands.

We have tremendous power, tremendous energy, tremendous potential within. Placing our faith in God, receiving God’s peace, God’s joy, God’s love, simply sets us free to be what God created us to be.

We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power.

A poor sailor in a shipwreck was thrown upon a rock.

He held onto that rock for all he was worth until the tide went down.

Later, a friend asked him, “Didn’t you shake with fear when you were hanging onto that rock?” The sailor answered with a sigh of relief, “Yes, but the rock didn’t.”

Release the emergency brake that is on only in your mind. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

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