I am a very fearful person. I don’t like the dark. I get spooked by strange noises (especially when it is dark). My heart races when I go on thrill rides. I have never broken a bone or had any kind of surgery. I fear pain. I fear the what if’s. I don’t like heights; I have a fear of falling.
If I am not careful, fear can over run my life.
About nine years ago, I was given an opportunity to travel to China and go to the Great Wall. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. I stood at the bottom of the wall looking up, and fear gripped hold of my heart. The group I was with began to climb, and slowing, I started up the stairs. With each step I climbed, I heard the fears echoing in my ears.
Your getting higher.
You might fall.
You can’t do this.
With those words screaming in my ears, I sat right down on steps. I was higher than I thought I would go — but I didn’t reach my goal. I was scared out of my mind to climb down. So, I took one step at a time. On my bottom. I never stood back up.
The whole way down, I cried tears of regret. I was mad at myself. I doubted I would never get this opportunity again — and here I was, throwing it away because of fear.
Fear completely cripples, and leaves us nothing but regret. We can not live in fear. It isn’t where God has called us to.
Fear does not come from God. If God has not given us fear, what can we use to combat the many fears in our life?
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV)
First, we need to remember that we have power! The Resurrection power of Jesus Christ resides in all of those who are believers in Jesus Christ. The power to overcome sin. The power that overcame death and the grave. That power lives inside of us. When we let the Holy Spirit lead and move in our lives, we can live that power out — and it will show by us overcoming our fears!
Second, we need to live in love. Perfect love — which is God — cast out fear. When we allow God to control our thoughts and mind, and allow Him to live in the places that fear currently dwells, He cast out fear!
Third, we need self-control. Most of our fear is one of two things:
- Pride. It seems funny to think of our fear as prideful, but in truth it is. Often, we fear things we can’t do on our own. Yet, we won’task for help. We need to let go of pride, and ask someone to help us in the places that there are fears. Most fear comes out of the unknown as well — so if we allow someone who does know to help us, we can remove the unknown with knowledge.
- Distrust. Do we really trust God. We allow a lack of trust and faith in our lives to hinder us from walking and living in the abundant life that God has for us. We need to trust God in those areas.
We allow our emotions to come in and take hold in our hearts instead of allowing the Spirit to be in control.
Fear doesn’t have to consume our lives. I was given a second chance up that Great Wall. The whole year before my trip, I began to work on my mind (and my body) so that I would not let fear rob me of the joy and abundant life that God had for me. Each day as I ran, walked and stair climbed, I would read verses that would give me strength for when I was scared.
When I got back to that wall, I looked up. Then, I trurned my heart to look up. With each step, I spoke Words of Truth to echo in my ears. I didn’t give room to fear. I didn’t give room to doubt.
When my feet reached hit the top stair, there was a long stretch of path to get to the look out. My feet didn’t walk — they ran to the finish line.
As I stood looking out at creation — and the view I would have missed — different tears filled my eyes. I lifted my hands and praised.
Don’t let fear hold you back from the adventure that God has you on. The ride is amazing — and you won’t want to miss one step.