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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”—Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)
I’ll never forget the day Janet Parshall called for a live interview to talk about how God saved me from four near-death experiences. You’d think this would be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity any author would dream of. After all, I had just written a book chronicling His miracles in my life, and how else would people know unless I got the word out? But here was the catch. I knew Janet’s show broadcasted throughout America and potentially reached millions of listeners. How did I know this? Because I had obsessed over the details of her webpage, especially the part that said, “Her passion is to ‘equip the saints’ through intelligent conversation,” (emphasis added).
My tummy twisted.
Intelligent conversation? I thought, Does she know I failed the 4th grade? That I’m dyslexic and like to process my thoughts before speaking?
I knew that during her shows she’d rattle off questions, and I’d have to answer effortlessly, confidently, even intellectually. “Lord, help me,” I prayed. The fear of what I’d say, what questions she’d ask, what her listeners would think, and maybe they’d doubt that God actually saved me. Or worse, what if they thought I made this story up to sell a book? Endless anxious thoughts entangled my brain, so I asked friends to pray for a miracle, for peace, and let’s be honest . . . to pray for someone else’s intelligent words to flow from my lips.
For seven days, I feared my interaction with this woman of God and her large audience until I realized that my nervousness was from not doing the one thing God calls each of us to do: trust in Him. My only job was to open my mouth and share His story, so that others could see we serve an amazing Savior. Anxiety is like a noose that slowly tightens with each worrisome thought, and this entanglement is right where the enemy loves for us to be—trapped.
A week later I whispered one last prayer for help when the producer finally phoned for the interview, and wouldn’t you know that as soon as Janet asked the first question, God’s story effortlessly unfolded as He orchestrated my words.
When we trust in ourselves and try to please everyone, that’s when the fear of man fights against our faith and weakens our soul. Praise God when we learn to let go and fully lean on Him, because that’s when trusting in Him opens the door to freedom.
DIG: Trusting in the Lord opens the door to worry-free living. Why then is this so difficult? Take a moment and pray to God. Ask Him why your fears keep bombarding you. Quietly sit and wait for a few minutes with pen and paper in hand, and write down what you believe He is saying.
DISCOVER: The first step in leaning on God is to meditate on His Word. Something amazing happens when we open the Bible. Read Proverbs 29:25, Proverbs 3:5, and Psalm 37:5.
DO: All day today when those worrisome thoughts pop into your mind, reread what you wrote, and meditate on the Scripture, verbally reminding yourself of what God shared.x