This blog has always been about embracing things in life. But I’m learning you can’t fully embrace something if you’re clinging closely to something that is not good for you. The next few months we’ll be talking about a few things we need to release, so we can fully embrace God, life and the blessings and circumstances in our life. And to start it all off, we’re starting with the big one: FEAR.
The Power of Fear:
Embedded in Luke 7:11-17 is a scene that I think would be awesome to witness. A widow, already mourning the loss of her husband and source of provision, loses her only son and any hope she had for her future. When Jesus sees her crying his “heart was overwhelmed with compassion.” (By the way, his heart feels that way about us when we’re going through our own storms and struggles.) The widow’s son is lying lifeless in his coffin, and Jesus tells him to rise. And he does! Imagine the collective gasp as the crowd witnessed the son pop his head out of the coffin—the murmurs and the awe and surprise and even fear. Oh, imagine the kisses she lavished on her beloved son while she clung to him, not wanting to ever let him go. Her tears of mourning instantly turned into tears of joy.
Jesus doesn’t want us to be in our coffins anymore. I’m not talking about a literal coffin. I’m talking about a figurative one. One that holds us back, that prevents us from living the life we are called to, because we feel safe in our little coffins from whatever we fear. But Jesus is calling us to come out of our coffins and to live life abundantly.
Now, I’ll admit, one of my biggest paralyzing fears is what people think of me. It makes me avoid trying something that I might not be good at, or doing or saying anything embarrassing. It’s prevented me from being vulnerable with people, with sharing things in my life or sharing things on social media, because I don’t know how people will think of me.
2017 is brimming with possibilities, and fear is paralyzing me from pursuing some of them. I don’t want fear to imprison me for another year.
Releasing Fear and Embracing God
It’s time to put the fears aside. We are not meant to live in our self-made coffins avoiding whatever it is we fear.
The LORD is for me, I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Psalm 118:6
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
On and on the Bible goes. Hundreds of verses, approximately one for every day of the year, reminding us to not fear, to be courageous, to trust God. Reminders that all the things that we fear and worry about need to be relinquished to God. To trust that He is with you and for you and will strengthen you to do the things He is calling you to do, no matter how you feel about it. If He is calling you to do something, we should seek to be obedient and trust Him, rather than let fear keep us from going where He wants us to go and doing what He wants us to do.
Throughout Scripture, you see the power that fear has over people.
- Adam and Eve were afraid of God’s response to their sin, so they hid.
- Moses, Jeremiah, and Gideon were all afraid of their callings, so they focused on their weakness.
- The Israelites focused on the size of the people of the Promised Land, so they were afraid to enter.
- The disciples feared they were going to drown in the storm, so they accused Jesus of not caring for them.
And yet, in every instance, God looked out for them. He protected them. And then wondered why they didn’t have more faith, more trust in Him and His power and His love. Ouch.
No, I want this to be the year I release fear. To cling to God and what He says about me, rather than perform for people and wonder what they think about me. I know it’s not going to happen all at once, but gradually, as I learn to trust God and what He says about me more than my own feelings and fears. It’ll happen each time I take a step of obedience, whether big or small, regardless of what others might think of me or what I have to say.
P.S. I’m so excited for the launch of Kelly Balarie’s new book Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears (aff link). I’ve only read the intro and first chapter, and already I’ve highlighted a bajillion things and so eager to keep reading. You can learn more by going to www.fearfightingbook.com or check out Kelly’s super awesome and encouraging blog at www.purposefulfaith.com. 🙂
And one more awesome book I’m currently reading about overcoming fear is Breaking Intimidation (aff link) by John Bevere. Awesome, encouraging, convicting stuff about not being intimidated by man but instead fearing God. 🙂
If you enjoyed this post, check out the others in this release and embrace series:
Are you with me, in releasing a fear to God? What fear do you need to release? Do you believe that God is bigger than your fear and wants you to cling to Him?