As we pulled up into the parking lot, there it was . . . the main transportation to Masada . . . a cable car suspended in mid-air! Folks, my take on this is, man made it and therefore it can break. There was no way I could ride hanging from what to me was a thin thread with thousands of pounds suspended from it. When the moment came for our group to board, the crowd was so large that I slipped away. No one missed me until they were on their way up the mountain.
For five years, I have been dogged by the fear of knowing I would probably “return to the scene of the crime” someday. Also, Craig, who organizes these trips, has threatened me non-stop ever since!
So, Monday morning, January 16, after a dip in the Dead Sea, it was off for a stop at En-gedi to view where David hid from King Saul (1 Samuel 23:29), and then . . . Masada. I wanted to be like David and hide again, but I knew I needed to face this fear by God’s grace.
Same story as five years ago. The bus ascended the parking lot and there in my view was that cable car. As we entered the complex and received our tickets, I was praying and so were others. Craig came to me and said, “I want you get in the middle the cable car, face the mountain, and keep your eyes on me. I promise you, it will be okay.” I did exactly as he said. My knees were a bit rubbery, but it wasn’t long until we were at the summit. The doors opened, and by grace, I had conquered another fear in my life! My! What views and history I had missed by slipping away five years ago.
As I walked around on that massive rock plateau of what was once Herod’s fortress (Masada), I thought about Craig’s words to me. They are absolutely spot-on for dealing with any and all of our fears.
- Get in the middle of the cable car. Whatever that fear is in your life, you need to get right into the middle of it and meet it head on! Don’t make excuses for it! Don’t try to make it what it is not.
- Face the mountain. Yes, your fear(s) may be a mountain to you, but instead of running from it, taking some false remedy to overcome it, or living in that fear the rest of your life, face that mountain!
- Keep your eyes on me. This final command is the most important. Hebrews 12:2 says, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God.
The word looking means “to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.” This is not a quick glance but a fixed look on something. For all the fears of life, you must fixed your eyes on Christ.
That fixed look begins at salvation as you see Christ alone as the only Savior (1 Timothy 4:10, We have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers), Redeemer (Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18), Reconciler (Colossians 1:20-21), Rescuer (Colossians 1:13), and Justifier (Romans 3:24; 5;1) for sinful man. He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. This is proven by the fact that He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, the place of authority. There is only one way to Heaven and that is through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Jesus is not A way; He is the ONLY WAY. You must turn from all other religions and self-helps to Jesus Christ alone.
Then once you are truly born again, you live the rest of your life with your eyes fixed on Christ through faith in His Word because now Christ is always for you (Romans 8:31-39). Peter stepped out of the boat in faith, but he began to sink when he took his eyes off of Christ (Matthew 14:22-33). The Lord’s words to Peter sum up all of life after salvation when He said, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid (14:27). Our Savior never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He is our Shepherd Who leads us even in the valley of the shadow of death, but we are to fear no evil, because He is with us (Psalm 23:4).
What do you fear? Let these words sink into your heart.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. . . . For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:10, 13)
By the way, all the way up the mountain, Craig talked to me. In the midst of your fear, rather than listen to yourself and others as well as the distractions of your fears, listen to Christ. Read and meditate on His Word that addresses all the fears of life.
So, get in the middle of the cable car; face the mountain; and keep your eyes fixed on Christ!