I don’t know what keeps you captive to fear, but I do know that I have spent my share of time fearing when I should have chosen courage. I still struggle, but I’m slowly learning to process my fears using wisdom and the truth in God’s Word to move from fear to faith. Here are a few steps that have helped me…
1. Talk through the situation
-Why are you afraid?
-What’s the worst that could happen?
-Do you believe lies or truth?
-Have you employed the advice and wisdom of others regarding your fear?
Last week one e-mail sent me spiraling into fear. One of my greatest fears is disappointing others, especially authority. I sent some of my notes for an upcoming project and received two sentences in response. Anyone else in the whole world might have read that e-mail and not given it a second thought. Not Miss prone to the think the worst in a situation over here! I had to talk myself through those very questions. I pulled out my prayer journal and wrote across the top of the page: WHY AM I SO AFRAID AND EMBARASSED? I worked through the process and ended up acknowledging that my fears were unfounded.
“Wisdom will come into your heart. Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Foresight will protect you. Understanding will guard you.” (Proverbs 2:10, GWT)
2. Identify lies
When I boiled down my fear to three different points I realized that I believed some pretty ridiculous things. Most importantly: the perception and approval of others was more important than the message I felt God had laid on my heart. Ouch.
“Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10, GWT)
“The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people’s defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, GWT)
3. Admit your Weakness
Confess to God your fears! After pinpointing the source of my fears and worries I was able to then turn them over to the Lord and admit that once again, I feared the disapproval of others. How freeing to admit and turn to the one who has the strength for our every weakness.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)
4. Claim God’s Promises
I can either choose to be ruled by my emotions and fears, or I can claim the words of God found in the Bible! When God promises you something, you can take it to the bank. Over and over He says to you, “You are valuable, I am for you, I love you, I have work for us to do and I will be the one to see it to completion!” Will we trust Him?
“Faith is believing or trusting a person, and its reasonableness depends on the reliability of the person being trusted. It is always reasonable to trust the trustworthy. And there is nobody more trustworthy than God…” (John Stott)
I may not know the source of your fears and how big they really are, but I do know how mighty, awesome, powerful and personal our God is. He will be with you wherever you are and wherever you go.
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39, NIV)