Are you living in a prison of fear? Years ago workmen were demolishing a penitentiary when they made a startling discovery. The prison walls were fake! The gates were made of steel and the windows were barred, but the outer walls were simply boards covered with clay and paper. What appeared to be an impregnable barrier was in reality a weak facade. The prisoners could have flattened the walls, but they never even made an attempt.
Many times our fears are like those prison walls. They appear real, but in reality they are not. Like the prisoners our fears paralyze our actions. We fear rejection so we never ask for the promotion. We fear failure so we never try. We fear personal harm so we never take a risk. Some even fear God so they never draw close. The result? We live locked up in make-believe cells allowing ourselves to become prisoners of walls that are flimsy imitations.
Elijah was a prisoner of unfounded fears. After single-handedly defeating 700 enemies of God he ran like a frightened dog — tail tucked between his legs.
When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had slaughtered the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods also kill me if by this time tomorrow I have failed to take your life like those whom you killed.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the desert, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors. (1 Kings 19:1-4 NLT)
The scene is both comical and sad. Elijah had just called down fire from heaven. He had just eradicated 700 very bad guys. And now he is afraid of one person? Someone has said fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Nowhere is this truer than with Elijah. If God delivered him from 700, could he not rescue him from one? The answer is obvious.
David said, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 ESV). Are you living in a prison of fear? Perhaps it is time to tap on the walls. They may not be as thick as you think. With God by our side we can knock down those walls!
FOCAL POINT: Knock on a few walls today. Let it serve as a reminder of unfounded fears and of our God who helps us step out of the prison of fear.
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis