“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” (2 Timothy 1:7).
What is fear? The definition of fear as used in 2 Timothy 1:7 is timidity, fearfulness, cowardice. Let’s take a brief look at some those definitions:
- Timidity is lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily alarmed; characterized by or indicating fear. Fearfulness is apt to cause fear, feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude.
- Cowardice means lacking courage to face danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.
So, what does fear look like? The answer depends upon whom you ask. To be clear, I am not a psychiatrist nor a psychologist. I’m only a woman who has spent time with God. I’m a woman who always asks God why I behave the way I behave. I believe He has given me insight on this topic.
Fear has manifested itself in my life in many ways, including but not limited to, low self-esteem, insecurity, procrastination, shame, negative thinking, doubt, and indecisiveness. Fear also shows up in real physiological ways such as an upset stomach, shaky hands, and a flushed face when called upon to speak in public.
Everyone has fear. Being afraid of stepping outside our comfort zone seems to be a part of human nature. Everyone becomes afraid or gets nervous or anxious. Although God understands our desire to stay within our comfort zones, we are still called to obey His commands.
Fear is a bully. Bullies use intimidation to control. Fear likes to control you as well. The Lord could be speaking to your heart but fear will cause you to turn a deaf ear to the Lord and ignore His instructions. Fear will also cause you to move ahead of God and obey its instructions, rather than God’s. Either of those scenarios will lead you down a path you don’t want to travel, the path of disobedience and rebellion.
How would your life change if you stepped out in faith and obeyed God? Listen, my face still turns beet red sometimes when I’m teaching. I sometimes lose my spot in my notes while preaching. I still have worrisome dreams in which I’m standing before a crowd and can’t find the scriptures in the Bible (I have that dream before every sermon). I conquer fear through obedience to God and so can you. You have to DO what you’re afraid to do.
Fear will keep you stuck in circumstances which are less than God’s perfect plan for your life. Instead of stepping out in faith, fear will tell you to stay in an abusive relationship or dead-end job, rationalizing a relationship with an abusive man is preferable to being alone and a dead-end job is more comfortable than applying for your dream job and facing possible rejection. I understand…I get it.
We can be confident God will accomplish exactly what He promised He would accomplish in our lives. We need to be obedient and courageous. Although we’re facing insurmountable odds and don’t know how we’re going to complete the tasks before us, we have to be courageous and step out in faith. We have to trust God. Overcomer’s faith says since God came through for others, He will come through for her too. Do you believe He will come through for you?
Did you enjoy this excerpt from Aretha’s book, Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously?
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