Have you ever been on the opposing side of the odds?
Have you looked up at your mountain thinking it was well…insurmountable?
Ever had one of those situations where you feel like the cards were stacked against you and the very thought of putting one foot in front of the other breeds a type of anxiety and fear that makes you want to burrow and hide? I have.
Fear. It can be paralyzing. It can render you useless when it invades your heart and mind. It has claws, I’m convinced and it grips you, determined to drag you down and engage you in battle. Fear can turn the bravest of souls into a quivering puddle of tears. I’ve mopped up my own.
Sometimes fear is legitimate. You are rightfully afraid of imminent danger. It’s fear wrapped in wisdom and foresight. When everything in you screams danger is ahead, you are wise to listen and swiftly move in the opposite direction.
I’m convinced, the scariest of fears is that of the unknown. This is the fear wrapped in doubt, uncertainty, unpredictability – loss of control. This is the fear that combats faith.
Fear of the unknown is the kind that keeps us from moving forward, making changes, taking chances, fighting for what we believe in, and standing up for the truth. These fears convince us that we can’t, we shouldn’t, we’d never succeed, we’ll fail, we’re not good enough, we’re unworthy…oh, the list goes on and on.
I’m really good at thinking of all the possible ways I could fail…terrifyingly good at it. When gripped by fear, it’s pretty uncommon to find me making mental notes of all the ways I’ll succeed. The why nots, the excuses, that list can go from 1-10 in under 60 seconds.
We who believe in a sovereign God are not immune to fear. It is ingrained in our flesh. Sin abounds and our nature is to take the reigns and try to figure it all out, and that’s scary.
Fear revolves around us. We bring ourselves front and center, we leave God totally out of the equation convinced He’s neither paying attention or dare I say…able? We plant our feet, we believe the lies, and we undoubtedly shed tears born out of being utterly overwhelmed and completely defeated. I’ve mopped up a few of those puddles too.
He did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Power: He wants us to fight…with faith.
Even if it’s just the little bit that you can muster up. If you say that you believe, then believe that He can overcome the odds, and move the mountains, even the insurmountable ones.
Love: He wants us to take a chance on Him.
To believe that He will keep His promises – to fight, protect, enable, equip, justify, save…love. He wants us to remember that tomorrow is in His hands and really, truly, being scared of it isn’t going to do us any good.
We’ll try our hand at pretzel faith – rather than surrender all, we’ll tie ourselves in knots over things we simply have no control over. Sure, we play our part. We can be proactive, and avoid unnecessarily jumping head first off of cliffs (literally and figuratively), but ultimately He is in control. Alas, He is God and we are not.
Sound Mind: He wants us to exercise our faith. He doesn’t want us to marinate in our fears allowing them to soak into every crevice of our heart and mind. Shake them off. Get up and move. Faith doesn’t come naturally and your flesh will fight you every step of the way. Fight back. Worship, pray, preach to your own choir of fears that God has your back…your front and sides too.
And here’s some good news…when your most valiant of efforts fail and fear grips you tightly, realize that God understands. He doesn’t condemn you in your weakness. He promises us that there is plenty, more than enough, grace to cover all your weaknesses with His strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Ask for an exchange – your strength for His. And even when you don’t feel it, know it’s there. Keep asking, it never runs out. He is there.
And, dear friend, I speak from experience here…when your fight is gone, lay your head down, and tell Him so. There is no need for pretense with our God. You don’t have to pretend to be strong. He knows, He sees, He understands. If all you’ve got is tears, He’ll take them. There is no shame in admitting defeat to the One who has already offered to fight on your behalf.
Let Him fight your fears – He is willing, able, and far more competent. Have faith, not fear.
Fear Fighting Promises: