Beth Moore: Strive for obedience over fear
Popular speaker, author addresses 15,000 in KC
By Barbara Shoun
September 20, 2005
KANSAS CITY– Beth Moore tackled the subject of fear head-on when she spoke to 15,500 women at a Living Proof Live event at Kemper Arena here Sept. 9-10.
“Constantly, the enemy taunts us with what we fear the most,” she said while developing a theme of personal bravery based on Habakkuk 3.
“What if we decided we would be more obedient than we are afraid?” Moore asked. “You can know God is your personal bravery and invisible army.”
Moore illustrated her point with a personal experience of fear caused by a stalker a number of years ago. She noted that old fears tend to be projected onto new situations but admonished that “God wants to reveal Himself to us as our personal safety.”
She listed common fears that bind Christians – fear of making a fool of one’s self, of failure, of having people think “we’re losing it,” of sticking out like a sore thumb, of making somebody mad who was born mad.
“Fear is not just an unpleasant feeling,” she said. “Fear is a hindrance to everything God has called us to be and do. Demoralization is when our enemy figures out what we are most afraid of and begins to threaten us with it.”
Moore gave four practical areas in which Christians can claim God’s personal bravery in order to make spiritual progress.
1. Personal bravery to deal with a long-standing, unhealthy situation. Using John 5, she noted that Jesus asked the invalid man if he really wanted to get well.
“Sometimes we are comfortable in our junk because it gets us attention,” she said. “We have to be willing to go through the pain that it’s going to take in the meantime.” She encouraged women to confront their fears in order to deal with parental permissiveness, unhealthy relationships, and destructive friendships.
“One of the greatest fears we have is that we will not be loved. Can we be courageous enough to believe that we are unabashedly and unashamedly loved by our God?” she asked.
2. Personal bravery to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). “If someone needs to be confronted over an issue and we enjoy it, we’re not the one [to do it],” she said. “It ought to be the one who wants to go the least, the one who cries about it.” Further, she said, “We’re going to have to let people speak the truth in love to us.”
3. Personal bravery to learn in front of others. Moore said most people understand training is needed to take our place in the workplace, but we are not willing to learn when it comes to the things of ministry.
She noted Paul’s initial experience of weakness, fear and trembling (1 Cor. 2:13), but pointed out that he did not use it as an excuse. “We say we’re terrible at things but what we’re saying is we don’t want to get out and learn it,” said Moore. As an example, she said that some people need to be teaching but are too embarrassed to learn in front of a class.
“You were chosen to be profoundly effective to the glory of God in your personal sphere of influence,” she said. “Whatever your purpose or calling, it may lay on the other side of fear. There will never be an occurrence that is God setting you up for failure.”
4. Personal bravery to say no to a strong personality. Giving the account of Paul urging Apollos to go to Corinth (I Cor. 16:12), Moore noted that Apollos refused to go until he was finished with what God had called him to do. In being submissive to God’s will, she cautioned, we must also “be absolutely unwilling to do what God is not calling us to do, no matter how strong that personality is.”
In closing, Moore challenged her audience to appropriate God’s personal bravery in order to overcome the power of the enemy (Heb. 2:14).
“Do you know how our lives would be transformed if we asked God to get us over the fear of death…how many mission trips we would take…how much money we would give…what risks we would take?” she asked.
“What might we do for the kingdom glory of God?”