The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to the presence of something that is seen as stressful or frightening.
Whether it’s psychological or physical, the perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers a response that jolts the body to fight or flee.
Recently, Dennis and I have been catching up on the TV series, Heartland. If you know me, you know I LOVE animals, with elephants and horses on the top of my list. Knowing that, Greg and Ann Marie Eck (Fab Four/Five) suggested we watch this Canadian TV show which focuses on horses on a ranch called Heartland.
We finished the last episode of 15 seasons last night. During this episode, the Fleming family, during a cattle drive, came upon a bear. The horse sensed the bear’s presence while it was still covertly hiding in the brush and began to rear up and jerk to flee the area. The horse was in fear.
When two members of the family finally saw the bear, their reactions were very different. Amy, who is the youngest daughter and major player in the series and family, had a terrifying fear streak across her face. Jack, the patriarch of the family, and her grandfather, reacted differently. Through his experience and wisdom, he knew exactly what to do. He picked up his rifle and shot at the bear, sending him running away in fear himself.
This “fight or flight” syndrome is highly important for us to identify and understand why God included it in our physiological system. It aids us in staying safe and protecting ourselves and our families.
Although this system responds automatically…it doesn’t mean it’s always accurate. And sadly, there are many reasons why we could be in error.
The day we live in, is a tough one. That said, our history in this country and around the world is riddled with famine, destruction, and chaos. We are not unusual by any means. Yes, it’s a way we have not gone before because there is an actual toppling of a corrupt, demonic society in progress. But the manifestations of going through this “war” mimics others from our history. Whether this is better or worse, is not an argument I’m going to take part in. But fear was part of them all.
There are two types of fears.
In Exodus 19-20, God, through Moses, let His people out of slavery in Egypt and had a gathering at Mount Sinai. God then gave the Law to His people. He told Moses to make sure that before they gather, they must wash and consecrate themselves for three days. He then gives Moses received a grave warning: Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. (Exodus 19:12)
God was not playing. That was a serious command.
After the three days of cleansing, Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. (Exodus 19:18)
Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of a trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of Him may be before you that you many not sin.” The people stood far off, while Moses drew to the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20:18-21)
Within that passage there are two types of fear. There’s fear that drives us “from” God and fear that drives us “toward” God. Navigating both of these fears has been a great challenge for many during this present time in our history.
Can you imagine standing at the bottom of Mount Sinai during that time? One minute the sun is shining, you’re so happy that you and your family escaped the slavery of Egypt, to only find yourself, the very next day, dodging fire, brimstone, and earthquakes!
Think back just a few years ago. There we all were; our new President, Donald J. Trump, was the promise for a better nation; under God with liberty and justice prevailing once again. We were metaphorically standing at the bottom of Mount Sinai, rejoicing for our victory out of slavery.
Then BAM…just like that…here we are once again. But why?
We live in a microwave society. Everyone wants a quick fix; a hurried game plan that alleviates anything that makes them feel nervous and in fear.
Trump in 2016 was a microwave answer. He set us all at ease and gave us hope for the future. Yep. Just like that.
Now here we are; not only back where we were before 45, but WAY worse off. Why?
Because we did not fix the foundation of the problem. And you don’t fix hundreds of years of corruption in a day, or week, or month, or even a couple of years. It’s going to take time. And please remember this… because you want it quickly or someone tells you it’s going to be over very soon, does not make it truth. We are STILL in the Revolutionary War
Now back to fight or flight…
FEAR is everywhere! I get hundreds of emails every week…and I feel a true fear in most of them. There’s a general fear for the future; fear of the vaccine, fear of nuclear war; fear of lack of food, gas, water, heat, and on and on and on until all that engulfs you is FEAR!
As I said at the beginning, fear can be good. It can drive you into a deep faith and into the arms of a protecting and loving God. But this fear, is encompassed in wisdom.
Amy, in that episode of Heartland, is the fear-filled letters I receive on a daily basis. Jack was the one that understood the fear set before him but operated out of wisdom and faith. We all need to be Jack.
So what does this all mean?
As I previously said, we are in a war. For those of us who can see it, it’s very clear. But for some of us, the clarity based in faith and wisdom is clouded by our ear and eye gates. People watch fearmongers online who do nothing but fuel an already concerned population. Or they believe the most recent “flavor of the week” which is the newest fear, sending you off into a world of “what ifs” that will never happen…ever!
So what do we do?
We use wisdom and that wisdom is based in faith; faith in a God who hasn’t left us and is not vacationing in Hawaii. He is still on the throne! This is HIS world and He is going to fight hell to preserve those He created and loves!
Just now, Dennis came out of his prayer closet and told me he had a vision. He saw the United States and above it was a circle of God’s angels holding back an onslaught of hell’s demons trying to get into the fight as well.
In the middle of the angels holding back hell, there was great battling between forces of light and dark. The battle was definitely raging.
What was so hopeful about this vision, is that what we see is what we get at this point. We know the enemy; we know who they are; they are no longer hiding. But there won’t be any new demons added. Heaven’s army are holding them back to allow what has ensued, to play out. THAT is GREAT news!
So as we are about to traverse a bumpy next few months, understand that fear is normal if wisdom is coupled with it. Stock up on food. Keep your gas tank full. If you live in the north and have a fireplace, get firewood. Invest in a single burner propane plate. Just get prepared, not because of fear, but because of wisdom.
Keep the faith. Fight the fear. Listen to those who do not provoke terror into your life, stock up on necessities and more than anything let’s pray we never need any of it.
God loves this world of ours. And He will never allow it to be taken over by those who hate His creation He loves most; and that would be us.
Never forget that. He loved us when we were not yet His. How much more will He love and protect us now? John 3:16 - Amen.