It's so easy to let fear dictate your life. I know, because I often find myself doing just that. I let the fear of failure stop me from stepping out, I let the fear of man control my value and self-esteem, I let the fear of an unknown future paralyse me from enjoying the present.
fear is our default, but it doesn't have to be, NOT WHEN the god of the universe is in our corner.
The bible tells us, that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of peace, of love and of a sound mind. Gods desire for YOU (and me) is to live free from fear. Not because life will always be perfect or there won't be times where you hurt or feel out of your depth, but because He is our ever present help and with Him we can overcome any circumstance and boldly do things beyond our natural ability.
One thing I used to be afraid of was public speaking. Most people laugh when I tell them and they often reply, "You're joking right, isn't that what you do?" Well, yes, today I do speak a bit and may appear a little more confident and comfortable, but it certainly didn't come easy. It was (and sometimes still can be) a huge fear of mine. I often recall feeling viscerally sick at just the thought of having to stand up in front of people. Strangely enough I am a total introvert by nature. No one would really know but in high school I would often sneak to the bathroom during any kind of prayer time to avoid having to pray out loud. Honestly I hated speaking in any capacity in a public space! Today it's what I do regularly and it's not because I am an amazing person or anything, it's simply the grace of God outworking in my life. He has a way of taking our weaknesses and making them strengths. He has a way of making you feel secure in His love, giving you an unshakable boldness and tenacity. He has a way of anchoring your identity in who He says you are, so it's not controlled by your performance.
FEAR HAS NO POWER IN HIS PRESENCE. SO BE BRAVE AND LIVE free!
(Here's a photo of me in High-School. Simply for entertainment value lol.)
3 fat reasons to punch fear in the face!
1. WE MISS OUT!
Fear makes us miss out!
• If we never take risks we miss great ADVENTURES!
• If we don’t step outside of our comfort zones we miss huge GROWTH!
• If we never say hello to people we don’t already know we miss new FRIENDS!
• If we never close doors we miss new OPPORTUNITIES.
• If we don’t listen to His leading we miss His APPOINTMENTS.
• If we always play it safe we miss so much FUN!
Fear makes US miss out on so much of what God has for us. Stop letting it!
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
2. OTHERS MISS OUT.
It’s not just about you. Often times there is another person waiting on the other side of your courage. A while ago I had an experience that reminded me of this.
It was a Tuesday morning and as is my custom I was doing my groceries with my three-year-old daughter. As we went through the checkout, the guy behind me (a pretty buff and rough Maori looking guy) had his card declined. He looked a little embarrassed and tried convincing the check out lady there was definitely money in there.
All of a sudden I had this thought, “go and pay for his groceries”.
I ignored the voice and told it to shut up! I continued packing my bags while trying to juggle my three year old who was grabbing for a lollipop.
The voice continued, “just go pay for his groceries”. Again I replied, “zip it”.
Finally I turned around and said, “hey, I hope this isn’t weird, but can I please pay for that”.
The lady at the checkout smiled and politely took my money leaving the man standing there in disbelief. He was absolutely shocked that a stranger would show him such kindness.
He kept shaking his head muttering “Are you serious? Are you sure”?
I replied repeatedly, “yep totally fine. I want too.” I told him it was nothing and just wanted to show him God cared about him and loved him.
Tears rolled down his face as he explained how he was a single dad and the last few months had been really tough. Those simple words “that God cared about him” meant the absolute world. Now this isn’t some kind of humble brag, like I’m just such a good person (because trust me most of the time I am not!) It simply shows how OTHERS are actually greatly impacted when we overcome the voice of fear in our head and GET BRAVE!
So Be kind. Show love. Take the job. Make the investment. Start the business. Sing the song. Open your heart and let others in.
3. IT'S WHERE GOD LIVES
When you get outside of your comfort zone, you’ll find GOD there.
Time and time again God has asked people to step out of who they are and step into everything HE IS. We see it when:
• David killed a giant.
• Moses parted an ocean.
• Esther saved her nation.
• Samson annihilated a building.
• Daniel slept next to lions.
• Peter walked on water.
Outside of us, we find Him. So go on, take the leap.