We must fear. Even as Christians. Are we going too far fearing fear in today’s Christian culture? Have we misinterpreted these hundreds of passages about not fearing as a command to not do anything that causes fear?
Have we sought comfort to the point of complacency in the church? Why is there only 10% of the congregation serving? Why is there such a small number of believers giving regularly? Why do we have men like Francis Chan being one of the only national speakers who are making us uncomfortable and asking us to stop being lukewarm?
If we aren’t doing things that cause us to fear then are we really living for God? If we aren’t somewhat fearful, are we ever doing anything that is worthy of the calling that God has placed in our lives?
How many of us have been pursued by a mad man who is trying to kill us and had that level of fear but still able to say:
When I am afraid
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me? (Ps. 56:3-4 as cited in Fervent by Priscilla Shrier)
Was it possible that David was truly afraid, but he was not willing to allow his fear to debilitate him and had the strength to give his last ounce of trust to God to tell Him that he will not be afraid, that he would still trust in God even though every part of his mind and body wanted to flee?
Who would not be afraid in this situation? But David did not let his fear stop him from obeying God. He did not give up hope that God would save him. He trusted in God’s promises and rather than focusing on his fear; he focused his energy on God to take over for him.
For the past 3 years of being a single mom, I have been afraid almost daily. Afraid that I am messing up everything, that I’m making the wrong decisions for my children, for my career, for their schooling. But one thing I don’t do, I don’t sit in that fear. I don’t dwell in the fear. I don’t allow the fear to stop me from moving… well, most of the time anyways.
God, in His Word, tells over 300 times to not fear. He is not asking us to not do things that might cause fear. He is not asking us to stay comfortable and to not do anything that might be out of our comfort zone. He is not asking us to run away from fear. He is telling us to give Him our fears when we feel them so that He can replace it with boldness and confidence. He is telling us to move forward even when we want to stop, roll up into a little ball and cry.
We SHOULD be doing things that might immediately cause fear but not stay in that fear.
Change What Fear Means
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7 As cited in Fervent)
Can we change our perception of fear? Is it possible for us to not fear at all or is it more about giving our fears to God, so that He can redirect it into a feeling of power, love, and peace?
The goal is not to never feel fear at all as much as it is for us to not allow fear to debilitate us. The objective is to pursue what makes us fear and overcome it through God’s power in our lives.
I have not gone a day without fearing for my children, our financial situation, or our future. But I don’t live in that fear. I don’t let it hold me here, content. I use that fear to give to God as hope for things to be different. I use that fear to fuel the change that is required in me that must happen so that the future change is possible.
See, I can’t hope for things to change without being willing to change myself. And the change in myself is the catalyst for my future to change. I can and will change. I can and will see a change in my life for my children, for my financial situation, and for my future. It is the fear that inspires the change but it is also my ability to trust the Lord that facilitates the change.