Not long ago I attended a large, women’s conference for Bible believers with a diverse set of denominational, cultural, and social backgrounds. There, I heard a consistent undercurrent from the attendees as they spoke among themselves on end times, evil, uncertainty, failing economics, Islam, terrorism, failing education, and especially on politics. I’d identify their general focus by summing it up in a word– fear. Little was said about faith, hope, and confidence, though God was mentioned from time to time in the conversations I overheard. There was less joy apparent among believers in attendance than I can recall from any gathering of women, ever, though they were nice and happy to see one another. Still, the mood was somber, once greetings ended and discussions began before and between our training sessions. Though the speakers were primarily Bible scholars, the questions were rarely about the Bible and not even most often about the speaker’s topic; instead, they were more often about politics, political candidates, how the speaker thought the U.S. got into our current circumstances, and what the speaker thought was going to happen and how to get through the coming hardships. Time and time again, I heard speakers tell the group to look to God, obey what He says, and remember that all through the Bible that God’s people are told to not fear but to have peace, even in the Book of Revelation. They did speak of the evils going on in the world and that we needed to be aware and take some specific actions, but they told us to be bold and confident. That didn’t seem to satisfy some of these ladies though, who seemed insistent on clinging to their fear and frenzy. We are repeatedly told in scripture to only fear God, yet some of the ladies were not willing to receive this message.
The following has been on my heart a long while and is one of the reasons I choose to write on SurvivalBlog and that is to convey to the women a core message that I will touch on in this article dealing with fear. Fear is not just an issue that these women at this particular conference are fixated upon. I see it among some of my friends, too. Whether they are talking about it or not, some are making decisions and taking action that are based upon an unhealthy fear– fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of illness, fear of being a victim, and fear of being targeted by someone or some entity in authority who opposes them, or some other fear. These examples of things to fear are nothing to laugh at, mind you. They are real concerns, which we need to address and consider. We should be motivated to prepare for what might (or will) come at some point, but to live in a state of fear is not only unhealthy, emotionally and, thus, physically, it is also unproductive and unfaithful. Fear blinds us and causes us to have tunnel vision upon what we fear. Sometimes, this fixation can cause us to bring to fruition what we fear. For example, a woman who is so afraid of her husband or boyfriend cheating on her may become paranoid and overbearing and controlling to the point that her husband and boyfriend don’t want to be with her, therefore, making it much easier for another woman to step in to the position that should be hers. Of course, a husband is responsible to guard against this, but a wife must keep her fears in check, and this is simply one example of how destructive an ungodly fear and unreasonable tunnel vision fixation can be. In an attack situation, we very well may need to have the ability to intently focus on the attacker with little regard for extraneous matters, such as a thorn in our foot. However, in normal everyday life, we need to be aware of everything around us and keep perspective. We need to recognize that thorn in our foot and remove it so that it doesn’t become infected and become the reason we lose the health we so desperately are trying to hold onto. Having an awareness of the peripheral view is important. Even more important than have an awareness of what’s on the horizon around us is having an awareness of the vertical– the Creator of all things and walking close in connected relationship to Him Who sees everything and knows the way for our escape from whatever comes. There are always three options for the believer– supernatural intervention, overcoming the opposition, and being a faithful martyr. Regardless of what option occurs, we win in the end. We do not desire to be a martyr, but if God allows it to be our time and the circumstances are such, we will go to be with Him. Otherwise, we will continue to “run the race” and “fight the good fight” of the purpose and life set before us.
Store up your beans, bandaids, bullets, and Bibles, and “work as unto the Lord” in all thing, but keep your primary focus on the Commander of the World– God– and secondarily work to be a good supporter of the leader of your household. Build him up, because you will need a bold and confident leader to face peril, if it should come against you and your children and grandchildren. You two need to be united and of one accord, as best as you can do to make it so. Forgive me if I’ve shared this before, but Hugh heard this saying and has picked it up saying, he’ll “charge hell with a bucket of water, if (I) am backing him up.” Does your husband know you’ve got his back like that?
Ladies, whether you are married or single, you can have at least one mighty protector at all times. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and His Son who came as the Word to give us abundant life and forgive our sins that we might have peace, not just in Heaven after we’re dead but right now! The Bible is full of messages from God saying “Fear not”. For those fearing illness and death, in Luke 5:49-56, Jesus said, “Fear not” when he brought the girl to life. The Angel of God often said, “Fear not” when speaking to people. He didn’t just tell us not to fear, but Jesus said in John 16:32-33 “…I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
When David went to the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines to check on his brothers and found the soldiers basically paralyzed in fear over the challenge for someone to fight the mighty Goliath, he (even as a boy) didn’t understand their fear. He had believed the promises of God that his father had taught him and had fought off the animals that attacked his sheep while he shepherded them. So as he stood looking at Goliath, who was mocking God and the Israelites, David chose to boldly go and fight off Goliath without armor and with a mere slingshot and some stones, because he believed. Now, I am quite sure that this shepherd boy had practiced using his slingshot before engaging Goliath. So, we should be in prayer and listening to God, but we should also be practicing using our weapons of defense– guns, rifles, slingshots, crossbows, pepper gel or spray, or whatever– so that when we hear that voice inside tell us that we need to pick up our arms and defend our lives and those of our children, families, and friends or those who cannot, we are prepared to do it. (I’ll have more to write about this topic in my next article.)
God is speaking to us, just like our earthly father speaks to his child, giving warning when he is heading in the wrong direction or a danger is coming as well as encouragement when an opportunity for something good is presented. God’s character doesn’t change with time. I can give testimony after testimony of having personal messages from God, and it is when I draw near to Him in prayer, humility, and obedient living that I can best hear His instruction, whether that is to avoid danger or to receive a blessing.
It is natural for women to want security. It is just a core of who we are. We desire a comfortable and stable home and family. Sure, you may also be like me and love adventure and hate monotonous routine, but we still want stability in our relationships and security that our basic needs will be met. How much more secure can you be than to rest in the loving hands of the One who created the cosmos with the mere power and force of His Word? If we want to align with the most powerful, protective, loving force in the cosmos, we need to submit our lives to God by accepting and following His Son– His Word, who became flesh and died for us and was resurrected on the third day and ascended unto the Father and rules at His right hand, and who will be returning as the Lion of Judah to judge the world and claim those who belong to Him (by their choice and actions) to take them into His Kingdom for all eternity. Now, this is a very simplistic and summarized version of The Gospel, but it is enough to get started. You can ask for forgiveness, repent and turn away from your sinful actions, submit to following Him and learn to live life according to His ways and then walk through this life with the mightiest King of kings and experience great peace in Him. However, HE must be your first priority and the focus of your attention more than anything else in the world, as other things that cause fear will zap your strength and draw you away from Him and the special purpose He has planned for you. This is illustrated by my experience at the conference where some of the women were not as interested in what the speakers were teaching about God as how their knowledge of prophecy might fit into what the ladies were focused on– politics, economic crisis, et cetera. It was clear that politics and economics were more important to some of the women than the very relevant subject of God that the speaker was teaching about. The urgent tone in their voices indicated their emotional anxiety over the things of this world, but Paul tells us very plainly in Ephesians chapters 5 and 6 that:
- We are to conduct ourselves in a holy manner even though “the days are evil”,
- We are to submit one to another in the authority God gave (and I am expanding to include instruction from scripture beyond Ephesians below but following its format in identifying authority):
- God is the head of all,
- husbands are instructed to give themselves up to their very lives for their wives, and I believe, after doing study in seminary and some study in languages that this means a daily sacrifice of “self” for the well-being of their wife and family, and they are held to the highest accountability to God for the direction and provision of their family,
- wives are to submit to our husbands who are put in authority as the final headship of the home, praying for them and giving wise counsel but allowing their husband to be the leader and accountable more to God for the family than the wife/mother; we are to build them up with our words and deeds and not tear them down,
- children are to obey and honor their parents, with adult children continuing to give honor to parents for a lifetime, as it is commanded in the Ten Commandments.
- We are to stand strong, as Ephesians 6:10-13 states:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
So, women, trust God and also trust the protection and guidance of the godly husband with whom you have entered into covenant. Your husband, if a believer, is being spoken to by God’s Spirit to guide your family. I am sure there are some who may have a fit over hearing this. You may think I’m some backwards woman, but let me assure you that I am not. My background is as a former executive. I have worked in high technology, a man’s world when I first began, and I am no wall flower. However, I have also worked in a company beneath co-CEOs, which was a failing proposition. In any competitive action, there must be a leader who will be followed. A lack of clear, consistent direction and ultimate authority and responsibility in the form of hierarchy is a formula for failure. So, if you are trying to fill your husband’s shoes, you are setting up your family for something less than what is optimum and God’s plan. Women are equal in value, and that is clear all throughout the Bible. Even back in the Old Testament, Rebekah had a say and was the one prompting to leave to go meet Isaac her future husband. She embraced the idea and encouraged her family to accept it, because God had prepared her for this. She was a strong woman and respected. We do not adequately study the strong women of the Bible who supported their husbands. It was when they overstepped their boundaries that they caused problems, such as Sarah pushing Abraham to receive her gift of Hagar to make a child since Sarah had given up hope that she would be able. What a mess this caused! I won’t go into that in this article, but remember that there must be a leader and God says it is the husband. You, wives, are vitally important though, as your husband is declared by God to not be whole without you. Pray for your husband rather than nag and encourage him and build him up; then rest in confidence in him and also in the Lord that there is a plan for you.
Work hard at whatever directions you are given also. We are in a time of testing, I believe. If we call ourselves followers of Jesus or Christians, we must trust Jesus. By this I don’t just mean trusting Jesus with your lips but with your life, trusting in His Words and those of His Father, for they are one and in full agreement. The complete Bible is filled with accounts of God’s deliverance of repentant people whose eyes and ears were focused on Him and trusted Him, and I mean really trusting Him, as His people believing in His promises of blessings (rewards) and curses (discipline) enough to act upon them and listen carefully.