Practicing Our Posture

posture1My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. (Psa 55:4-6 NIV)

Fear can cause us to respond to our environment in ways that are not positive. If we are not careful, it can derail our lives and hinder progress toward our destiny. There are three ways that people naturally respond when afraid: Fight, Flight or Freeze. Depending on the situation each response may be good or bad.

In certain situations, fighting can be an appropriate and necessary response. I worked my way through college as a security guard. One Friday night I was given the task of working a football game at my old High School. While talking to some people I knew, a man came and stood in the middle of the entrance. I explained to him that according to the law, he needed to pay and come in or he would have to leave. He left, but a few minutes later he returned and once again stood in the middle of the entrance. I repeated my earlier explanation to which he responded, “I went away and thought about it, but I’m on drugs and I don’t care.” He then reached inside his vest as if getting a gun. As you may imagine, fear swept over me. Although I carried a revolver, I had always wondered if I would actually be able to use it on a person. When I realized the kids and teachers were in danger, I immediately knew that I would do anything necessary to protect them and I reached for my side-arm.

The antithesis of fear is faith. But how do we learn to overcome fear with faith? Firstly, we must understand that God gives us each a measure of faith. (Rom 12:3) We learn to use it though exercise.

The FBI uses a model town called “Hogan’s Alley” to train law enforcement officers to overcome fear and surprise so they respond appropriately 100% of the time. At random intervals, various targets pop up. Some are bad guys, some are law enforcement and some are ordinary citizens. If the trainee overreacts, they shoot the wrong targets. If they run away they fail the mission. If they freeze they get “killed.” The first time through, most officers score poorly often “killing” innocent victims or getting “shot” themselves. Over time however, they learn to quickly filter the good guys from the bad guys. This training prepares them for real life scenarios when the stakes are much higher.

In a similar way, God allows us to go through many things that give us the opportunity to train our faith and learn how to respond appropriately before the stakes get too high. It is important that we learn well during these small events so we are ready when the big ones come.

You’re probably wondering what happened at the football game. Thanks to God, I was able to talk him down and the situation was diffused without violence. In this case it was very good that I did not allow fear to guide my actions. On the other hand, if he had drawn a gun, fighting may have been the only “good” option in order to protect the innocent. In the end our most important fight is the fight of faith. Do we trust God to get us through? If not maybe we could use a little more practice.


Father, thank You for the gift of faith. Teach us to overcome our fears with faith and to always respond well in every situation. May we encourage one another and build each other’s faith through testimony of the great things You have done! Amen!

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