Dr. Rick Thompson, senior pastor of Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, spoke during the OBU chapel service Oct. 20. The service took place inside Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus in Shawnee.
Thompson spoke on the process of overcoming fear. He taught from 2 Timothy 1:7-12, where Paul encourages Timothy to find confidence in the Lord. Specifically, he focused on the segment of the passage that reads, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
“Fear is not trusting completely in the goodness and in the provision of God,” Thompson said. “In truth, the number one fear that all of us have is the fear of failure. It is all related to the big fear that is underneath all of the fear, and that is the fear that God is not going to come through for us.”
According to Thompson, we naturally and instinctively create security zones in our lives that are things we cling to and focus on when we think our lives are falling apart. According to Thompson, if you’re going through a hard time and saying to yourself, “If this goes wrong, at least I have this,” and the thing you’re talking about is not God, you are holding onto an idol. These idols, or “security zones,” can come in the forms of relationships, knowledge, looks, anything that is not God but provides a sense of safety.
He noted that all of these idols stem from fear, but that we can overcome these fears three different ways. The first is to understand the presence of the spirit of God. The second is to accept that God’s purpose and grace give us a sense of confidence. The third is to overcome fear by knowing what we believe.
“All of those security zones that you set up in your life, all of those are going to be challenged … all of your fears are going to be realized,” Thompson said. “When you come to that moment, when it seems like life is falling apart, when your anxiety seems to be overwhelming you, I want you to hear the words of Jesus.”
Thompson then shared the words Jesus spoke to Jairus in Mark 5:36, “Do not be afraid, only believe.”
Thompson earned a BBA from Baylor University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as the senior pastor at Council Road since 2003. In addition to his work as a pastor, he has taught church history, Old Testament and New Testament at Wayland Baptist University and frequently leads conferences and training events for pastors. He has authored six books including, “The Healthy Church: Seven Principles Every Leader Should Know,” which is part of the Global Action “Foundations” curriculum, for which he serves as president.