Say Goodbye to Fear
By Rick Warren
“Some of these people have missed the most important thing in life — they don’t know God” (1Timothy 6:21 TLB).
Some people are afraid of Christmas. They fight nativity scenes and people saying “Merry Christmas.” They even threaten lawsuits. They fight Christmas because they fear it.
That happened on the very first Christmas, too. Just look at Herod. He was paranoid. He was afraid of Christmas because he was afraid of anyone who might threaten his kingdom. When the wise men show up and ask where they can find baby Jesus, Herod goes ballistic. He has to find Jesus because he doesn’t want anyone taking his place. In an attempt to wipe out all of the competition, Herod makes a rule that says every baby boy born in Bethlehem within two years must be murdered. He was very afraid of Christmas coming.
You may not have that fear, but I know many people who are afraid of getting to know God. They have three fundamental fears in their heart. Many people fear that if they let Jesus into their lives, he’ll take away all their fun, he’ll take away all their freedom, and he’ll turn them into a fanatic.
But when you invite Jesus into your life, he doesn’t make you more religious. He makes you more human. Saint Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” You’re not really living until you’re connected to the Creator who made you.
The bottom line is this: You were made by God and for God. Until you understand that, your life will never make sense. You can try to find life in making money, having fun, or gaining power, but you’ll have a God-shaped hole in your heart. Only God can fill your heart. Until you understand that, your life will not make sense.
Herod’s deepest fear was that he didn’t want anyone in control but him. He let that fear keep him from meeting Jesus. Our fear of being out of control dominates us too. We don’t want anyone in control of our lives but us.
Say goodbye to that fear this Christmas. Remember what the angel said to the shepherds: “Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people’” (Luke 2:10 NLT, second edition).
Talk It Over
- What fears have you seen keep people from knowing God?
- How does your desire for control influence your relationship with God?
- What are some of your fears that have kept you from getting to know God better?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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