Irrational fears may be silly, or embarrassing, but y’all they are for real.
I know they are no joke because of how many times I find myself angsting over or paralyzed by one.
I bet you’ve experienced this in one way or another in your life too. The first and only job I was ever fired from left an indelible mark on me.
Not only did I have all the emotions of being embarrassed, angry, and frustrated. I felt the reality of fear saying, “you’re not good enough and this proves it.”
Being fired highlighted weaknesses in me that, come to find out, are partially how I am wired. I am not perfect, none of us are, yet having my faults exploited sends fear rising in me to this very day if I’m honest.
I propose the feelings of fear never completely go away, although they may lessen in some areas of our lives, or we wouldn’t need faith.
I still experience varying degrees of knots in my stomach, flutters of nerves and my heart racing when I go to take a test, speak in front of a group of people, face uncertain times, attend a social event (yes, as an introvert this sometimes happens), go to a job interview, or face a new challenge.
Having the feelings of fear and obeying fear are not the same thing.
The crazy thing is that when we give in and listen to fear, it becomes louder in our heads than the God we serve. We find ourselves putting the fear of our discomfort above God’s power to help us overcome.
Then we begin to lean on human reasoning, disguised as wisdom, more than the Word of God. In that place our faith in God’s promises can diminish.
Obedience to fear elevates idolatry and sin in our lives. It binds, paralyzes and leads to dread and hopelessness.
Fear wears a mask too, it’s called wisdom.
It tries to convince us that it’s wisdom to not move forward in case we fail, we’re turned down, we discover we’re not good at something and the list goes on and on. This is not genuine wisdom. This is fear masquerading as wisdom.
“Evil depends upon disguise.” – Thomas Aquinas
No wonder God tells us to, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart, rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go” (Proverbs 3:5-6 TPT).
This doesn’t mean we don’t experience fear, it just means, that in the end, we don’t let “fear be the boss of us” as Jennifer Allwood says in her book, Fear Is Not The Boss Of You.
We take courage, move forward and do it scared.
The amazing thing is that as you and I step forward, in all of our uncertainties, God will meet us there single every time and it WON’T be the end of the world.
He is faithful!
And as if the scriptures above weren’t enough here’s one more: “Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong. Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for” (Proverbs 3:7-8 TPT).
I remember the day it hit me that “fear not,” was a command and not merely a suggestion in the Bible. How could God command us NOT to do something that all humans do?
Thankfully God isn’t saying not to feel or experience fear. That would be absolutely impossible and everyone of us would be failing all of the time!
He is saying to not let fear rule, or have the last say in our lives. Fight it, step over it, wrestle it down, refuse to obey it and reframe it to the truth of God’s Word.
Commands in the Bible have the intent to protect us and set us free—not hold us back. “Do not be afraid” and “Fear not” are said over seventy times in the Bible and in some translations you can find them much more often.
God knew what we would need to hear many times over.
If you are struggling with a large looming fear, small irrational ones, or both – you are not alone! We all might be wearing masks during this COVID pandemic, but fear wearing the mask of wisdom is never right. Don’t believe it!
True wisdom, God’s wisdom will lead to hope not hopelessness.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT).
“And it is impossible to please God without faith” (Hebrews 11:6).
God is on your side friend.
You can experience fear and God’s goodness as you move forward scared, operating in God’s grace and power – not your own.
Let’s keep encouraging one another to step over fear, take courage and choose faith.
God will not leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and that is a promise we can ALL count on!
With much love and grace,
If you need a little more encouragement, this one is for you Faith Over The Impossible.