what are you afraid of?

4 05 2008

i traveled to jamaica this week with the group, and during our group devotions before we went on stage in montego bay we were talking about fear. 2 timothy 1:7 was referenced (“for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”). basically, if God has empowered us with this ‘power, love and a sound mind, why then do we still fear what it is that we fear?

after some discussion about the ‘fear factor’, the question was posed to everyone “what would you do differently if you didn’t have the fear barrier in your life?”

wow.

as we went around and shared about the fear in our lives, some spoke of public speaking and personal evangelism while others talked about things like family issues and bugs. =)

when i was asked the question, my answer was that i would act upon and make life decisions much quicker and easier, without fear of what the outcome or results may be. regardless of how it may appear, i am someone who tends carry things a little too heavy at times, and can tend to live in the ‘what if’ zone a little too much… ok, maybe a lot too much. i’m not there all the time, but sometimes it’s quite the struggle to stay out of that zone.

  • what if they disagree
  • what if it’s not popular
  • what if it doesn’t work
  • what if it ends up like last time
  • what if i fail
  • what if i am misunderstood
  • what if it looks bad
  • what if it’s not enough
  • what if i’m not ready
  • what if i am regarded with contempt
  • what if, what if, what if… all these what if’s!!!!

it is my experience that trying to move past these type of paralyzing thoughts without understanding where they are coming from is like spiritual shadowboxing, and we do a whole lot of ‘resisting the devil’ type stuff, but don’t focus a lot of attention on the fact that we have indeed been enabled and equipped with power, love and a sober, sound and vigilant mind… but we’ve got to use it. being able to move past this kind of fear involves a clear understanding of the authority and sovereignty of God in your life and being able to lean more on that than on the ‘what if’s’, and lean a little more every day…

i certainly don’t have it all figured out, but i am piecing it together every day… learning to stand more on the perfect love and security that Christ gives than on the false foundation of fear that is so easily focused on.

what is the fear factor in your life? what is it that you can see yourself doing if you didn’t have to contend with the fear barrier that you crash into with unsettling regularity? and what are you doing about it?

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3 responses

4 05 2008
rebecca(the great)

I fear…ok even to me this sounds stupid. I am afraid of the wiser people in my church. There is especially one who is SO smart and wise and mature for his age that I am afraid to speak, because I just know I will come off like a dope.
The sad thing is, if I could ever just lay down my pride and speak my mind he would probably be a very helpful sounding board for my thoughts.
There. Not like I know you at all, but that felt good.

4 05 2008
Brian Alexander

Great Post. I fear “messing up” so I overthink things.

8 05 2008
Monica

Ahhhhh! You appear to write my heart. The following paragraph could have easily been written by me.

“when i was asked the question, my answer was that i would act upon and make life decisions much quicker and easier, without fear of what the outcome or results may be. regardless of how it may appear, i am someone who tends carry things a little too heavy at times, and can tend to live in the ‘what if’ zone a little too much… ok, maybe a lot too much. i’m not there all the time, but sometimes it’s quite the struggle to stay out of that zone.”

I, too, am on the journey towards standing firmly in the perfect love and confidence in Christ. Each day, I literally pray for increased boldness and confidence that has been freely given to me as a child of the most High God. I’m smiling because I am thinking about all the ways I can see my prayers being answered. I am walking in places and doing things and accepting invitations that I used to sprint from (not just run!!!). I remind myself that perfect love casts out all fear. The authority of Christ within us and fear are like overused, cliche of oil and water. The truth remains. They just don’t mix. So, I’ll pray for you and you can pray for me as we claim victory over fear and walk in all that God has ordained and created us to walk in. Thank you for the word. It truly was a blessing!

-M

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