Fears and Phobias

There are many fears and phobias, most with Greek names such as these:

The list goes on and on… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_phobias

full frame shot of text on wood

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I came across one that was new to me recently and, as is often the case with a new word, I immediately began to see it everywhere. It’s FOMO.

With no Greek name as far as I know, this is simply the Fear Of Missing Out.

Perhaps it is actually becoming more common. We are afraid that if we don’t do a particular thing, we will miss an important opportunity – whether socially or in business or in some other area of life.

Miss that party and you might miss making a new friend or meeting the soulmate you’ve been waiting for so long.

Well, you might – but you might also miss a more important opportunity somewhere else if you do go! What to do?

There is one thing you definitely do not want to miss out on: fulfilling your potential.

It seems to me that this FOMO could take over our lives if we let it and even lead us into places we would be better off not frequenting, contracts we would be better off not signing, or relationships we would be better off not starting.

I leave that up to you to decide for yourself as to whether or not FOMO is taking over.

However, there is one thing you definitely do not want to miss out on and perhaps some healthy FOMO would actually help in this case.

It’s this: fulfilling your potential.

I don’t mean your career potential; that is not bad but ephemeral at best.

I mean not becoming everything your Father in heaven intended you to be, and Jesus died for you to become.

Over the last week or two, I’ve been re-reading Rick Joyner’s book, The Final Quest, which is an account of a series of visions he had starting some 25 years ago. I recommend it. It certainly has been motivating me not to miss out.

“If I had known on earth what I know here, I would not have lived the way I did.”

People he “meets” in heaven – whether really or just in the dream-like vision – frequently tell of how they grieved over what they might have become if they had not lived for themselves. They had trusted in Jesus for their salvation – in their case, just a kind of ticket to heaven if you will – but then carried on with life more-or-less as before.

“There is no greater folly than to know the great salvation of God, but to then go on living for yourself.”

After death, they saw how foolish they had been and the grief was intense. One says “If I had known on earth what I know here, I would not have lived the way I did.”

Others he meets echo these sentiments. One even goes as far as to say that even those who are closest to the King would live their lives differently if they could live them again. Another says, “There is no greater folly than to know the great salvation of God, but to then go on living for yourself.”

I’m preaching to myself here, but if it resonates with you, too, then I recommend reading the book. There’s a lot of wisdom there, which could help us both avoid missing out on the greatest prize of all!

(Click on the title to read some of The Final Quest for free on Amazon.)

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When you walk through the fire …

Two families – our friends – are walking through the fire at the moment. Each has a young child with an untreatable medical condition that has brought them close to death. There are some options, but the outcome is far from certain. To say that it’s a very difficult time is an understatement!

fire orange emergency burning

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Perhaps you, too, are going through a fiery trial, as the apostle Peter calls it. You may wonder, “What is God doing? Why me? How will I get through this?”

At times like these, the enemy – like King Nebuchadnezzar in ancient Babylon – sets up an idol on the plain of our lives and invites us to bow down. He says, “Your God is not good or He would not let this happen. Or He is impotent and can do nothing about it. Abandon your God and worship my idol instead.”

Maybe like King David, we fast and pray, but to no avail. What then?

Perhaps our best response is to echo what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar when threatened with the fire if they did not bow down to his idol (Daniel 3:16-18), telling our enemy:

“We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter … the God we serve is able to deliver us … But even if He does not, we want you to know … that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

And to remember that, like them, we are not alone!

I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2

God is not impotent and He is good, whatever happens. Jesus walked through the fire with them and He walked through his own fire of crucifixion, laying down His life for us.

He has not promised to rescue us from our fiery trials, but this He has promised: never to leave us and to walk with us through them.

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.

Jude 24-25