What if when we cried out, no one was there?
That would lead to what the Bible calls a "spirit of fear." It's that unshakable dread something awful is about to happen. That constant sadness so big it exceeds the volume of the universe. That cosmic loneliness because not only do you feel alone in this world, but alone everywhere. It's bad...really bad.
You've known it. We all have. My first experience with a spirit of fear came in the Army. Alone, sad, and overwhelmed, I had no one to turn to. I cried out, but there was no answer. And again. And again. But still no answer. Or so it seemed.
Six years later, when the Father's love finally washed over me, I had long since stopped "demanding" answers. For several years, I had even stopped "looking." But every now and then I would still cry out.
And then "it" happened. Grace happened. God did for me a thing I couldn't manufacture on my own. He took away the dread.
But why so long? You see, it took six years to humble me to the point I could say to God, "I am sorry. I am so, so sorry. I tried to 'work' You. I tried to 'require' You to be the God I wanted You to be. I am now so shattered that I will take You anyway I can get You."
And that was what He had been waiting for.
Fortunately there is Someone "there," and because there is, billions of us cry out for relief every day--and get it.
That's because there is another "spirit:" "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15). And He takes away that dread, that sadness, that loneliness.
But as I learned over six long years, sometimes our lives unfold in "Bible time." ("With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day," 2 Peter 3:9).
Of course, even with the spirit of a son, we're still going to face fear-raising circumstances so overwhelming that we don't even know "how" to cry out.
That's okay too, because God our Father has thought of everything! "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" (Romans 8:26).
So, fears? Of course. A "spirit of fear"? No longer necessary. You don't have to live "in" fear ever again. Because we do have Someone to cry out to--even when we don't know what to pray.
Sons and daughters, you don't have to open that mail ever again. When you sense that fear is inside, mark it, "Return to sender. Address unknown."
Until every church disciples every man…