And like many things, we either move towards what God intended for us, or we move away from what God intended for us. We don’t often stand still. So when we allow fear to stop us from moving towards the destiny God intended for us, there is a good chance we are becoming part of the problem, not the solution.
When I talk about fear stopping us in our tracks, I am preaching to myself. I have let that happen to me way too often. There is such a thing as good fear. A fear that protects you from doing something stupid. That was the role fear was intended to play. It was intended to be an alarm bell, if you wish, to protect you from danger.
Sometimes all it says is: “proceed with caution, danger exists.” But we let it stop us completely. In those cases when we allow fear to stop us, fear quickly becomes irrational. But any journey God takes us on, will involve facing those fears, and learning to trust Him.
If we are to overcome fear, we will need to acknowledge that fear exists in our hearts. Fear is the opposite of faith, it is not believing that God is enough to take us where He is calling us to go. And we will never be able to please God if we do not learn to replace fear with faith. It is part of that journey God takes us on.[tweetthis]Any journey God takes us on, will be an invitation to faith. #NoFear[/tweetthis]
And to replace fear with faith, the first step is acknowledging that we have fear that needs to be removed. And then the Holy Spirit can start building faith in us. Any journey that God takes us on, will be an invitation to faith. An invitation to let go of our fears and trust Him.
And in my experience, the Holy Spirit often takes us to the root of that fear. Fear is more powerful when it remains a mystery. When it is a shadowy unknown. So getting to the root of fear; to the specific fear we have, and naming it, allows us to hand it over to God. It allows us to start dealing with that fear.
For example, many people are afraid of the dark. Or so they say. But often it is not the dark they are afraid of. Maybe it is the fear of animals that may hurt them. Or scary monsters under their bed. Or of the unknown. Being able to identify what it is, allows you to start dealing with it. Saying that I am afraid of monsters under my bed, allows me to hear how irrational that is. And it allows me to start replacing lies with truth.
We expose our fears by exposing ourselves to what we fear. If we are afraid of monsters in the dark, telling ourselves the truth consistently and then daring slowly but surely into the dark, is a great way to expose your fear. If you are scared of heights, climbing up a few rungs everyday, and gradually daring higher, will expose your fear, and lessen its power.
Some fears have a healthy component and will never be completely eliminated. Climbing a high ladder should probably always cause enough fear to cause you to be careful. So then we climb carefully. We still don’t let it stop us from doing our job.
When you realize that you are letting fear stop you, take a moment and set specific goals in spite of your fears. Then work each day towards those goals, exposing yourself to your fears, and doing the things you fear anyway. Identify the lies that fear is telling you and replace them with truth. And as you expose your fears, confidence will build and fear will lose its power.
For me blogging is one of those fears. And I have not yet reached my potential, partially because of fear. Putting yourself out there, on record, in public, is scary. I am getting better at it every day I do it. But I have a long ways to go yet. A lot of fear to name and expose. But I’ll get there. I’ll become less scared of criticism. Less scared of sounding like an idiot. Less scared of being judged.
Facing fears doesn’t necessarily alter reality. But it changes your perspective. And it changes your response. God says: “don’t fear, I will always be with you.”