TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Daniel 11:1-35
BOTTOM LINE: Facing our Giant: FEAR
QUESTION: What do we do when we’re Paralyzed by FEAR?
How do we face our FEARS and TAKE ACTION? How can we keep from being paralyzed by FEAR and help not only ourselves … but all those in our circle of influence to find REAL HOPE?
THE LENS FROM THE PROPHETIC VIEW
Daniel shares his story of discovering HOPE in a really uncertain time. How do we know we can Trust God and Lean Into God in our time of Need?
Israel at this time is under the Medo-Persian domination, and it’s an uncertain time for Daniel’s people. They have recently returned to Jerusalem after a 70-year exile, and their enemies are trying to wipe them off the face of the earth.
That’s when God tells Daniel what’s ahead for his people, that there will be 3 more Persian Kings. Then a 4th Persian King who will arise and invade Greece … and that’s EXACTLY what happened!
The phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy is one of the pieces of the story here that gives validity as people argue against the Divine authorship of the Bible … and this is another example of that!
ILLUSTRATION: Peter Stoner … the Mathematician
Peter Stone, a mathematician, once figured the odds of 8 Prophecies being fulfilled just by chance. He was talking about prophecies related to the 1st coming of Christ … but I think the Math still works with what we’re seeing here in Daniel 11 too about the Greeks, and here’s what Stoner discovered:
- the chance that 8 prophecies would be fulfilled is as a lucky guess is 1/10th to the 17th power … or 1 in a Quadrillion.
Then Stoner gives an analogy to help us understand the enormity of this number. He says take 10 to the 17th power of Silver Dollars and lay them on the face of Texas … and they would cover the entire state 2 feet deep!
Now, mark 1 of these Silver Dollars and thoroughly stir it up the entire batch all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the Silver Dollar on the 1st Try!
What is the chance that he would pick up the marked Silver Dollar on his first try?
The same chance that the prophets would have had in making 8 Lucky Guesses about the future with all of them coming true.
THE LENS FROM THE HISORICAL VIEW
Daniel was looking ahead from the perspective of Prophecy … BUT we see from the perspective of History. We can look back and see that God’s Word was true and accurate, down to the tiniest detail!
We’ve seen what God said would happen 100’s of years before it happened, and now let’s see what the history books tell us actually happened … now over 2,000 years ago.
And it all happened exactly as Daniel had said would happen!
And so, instead of being afraid about the FUTURE … we lean into the Truth that God knows the FUTURE … and we can trust GOD every step of the way!
We lean into God’s Sovereignty, which Daniel talked so much about through his Prophecy. We lean into the Promise that God will never leave us or forsake us … that God works all things after the counsel of His own will, to refine and purify us until we are conformed to the image of His Son.
God has an appointed time for everything, it’s ALL a part of His Plan. He is working that plan RIGHT NOW, to every single detail … even to the point of allowing evil or insane Rulers at times who persecute His people sometimes.
God’s Plan also included a cross for His One & Only Son … Jesus … and it was the greatest WRONG done to anyone in all of History. Yet god planned even that horrendous, unjust, and painful act to accomplish our Salvation.
God has an appointed time for everything, even unjust suffering of His Own People. WHY? Because He knows that suffering refines and purifies!
So, how do we face our FEARS & TAKE ACTION?
Max Lucado, says in his book Fearless, “We subject ourselves to a position of fear, allowing anxiety to dominate and define our lives. Joy-sapping worries. Day–numbing dread. Repeated bouts of insecurity that petrify and paralyze us. Fear will always knock on your door. Just don’t let it in. Learn to trust more and fear less.”
Here’s some practical help that can help us Trust and Lean Into God and Face our FEARS:
- Pray FIRST – don’t pace in the waiting room, pray for successful surgery. Don’t join the chorus of co-workers and complain about our Boss, invite them to bow their heads and pray for him/her. Casting all our cares upon the Lord.
- SLOW DOWN – Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him the Psalmist said (PS 37:7). I think of Mary at the wedding of Cana. She didn’t run around blaming people and panic. She slowed down, assessed the need, and went to Jesus.
- ACT ON IT – Treat our Fears like Mosquitoes! We don’t procrastinate when they are sucking the blood out of us. We give it the slap it deserves. Be equally decisive w/ Anxiety. The moment concern surfaces, deal w/ it. Before we self-diagnose our problem as cancer, go get it examined by the doctor, etc…
- COMPILE A WORRY LIST – Over a period of days, record our anxious thoughts. Maintain a list of all the things that trouble us … and then review them. How many of them turned into a reality? So often can help us see how much we worry about for nothing.
- EVALUATE YOUR WORRY CATEGORIES – The list will highlight Themes where our FEARS rise to the surface. Finances, Work, Kids … you name it. Then pray specifically about them.
- FOCUS ON TODAY – God meets our needs DAILY … not yearly … not monthly … not weekly … He will give us what we need, when it’s needed! Hebrews says, Let us therefore boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and His Grace find TIMELY help. (Hebrews 4:16)
- UNLEASH A WORRY ARMY – Share your feelings w/ a few close people who love us! Ask them to pray with us and for us. They’re more willing to help than we might imagine.
- LET GOD BE ENOUGH – Jesus concludes His call to calmness w/ this final challenge: Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. (Matt 6:32-33)
FEAR in one of the most successful tools in Satan’s Belt, and there have been so many times in my life that I’ve literally been paralyzed by FEAR!
God says lean into me! Ken. I just gave you another example today to confirm once again that I am here, and I am in control … and clearly leaning into KEN isn’t working … so come lean into me!