I didn’t like to do groceries, because I was scared to say hi to the cashier. To say that I was bound by fear would be an understatement. It had controlled me for as long as I remembered. As a child, it made me jump into my bed from 3 feet away, so the lions underneath my bed wouldn’t grab my feet. I spent countless hours laying in bed at night, completely frozen in fear, because even the slightest move would unleash the burglars that were surely hiding in the dark corners of my room. I cried hysterically every time my mom left for an evening of study, because I had already pictured the car accident that would make this the last time I saw her. I never told anyone, but the vivid imagination and strong emotions that I was designed with had become a playground for Fear - and he had full reign.
Lions and fear of the dark faded with childhood, yet Fear remained. It just took on a different shape. It was now found in the whispers of my classmates or co-workers, in avoiding the eye of a stranger, in a desperate attempt to fit in. Fear silenced me and stole my voice, until I could spend whole days in group settings saying no more than a few phrases. Fear of other people’s opinions about me caused me to want to be as invisible as possible.
It was there that Jesus met me. He lifted my head and locked me in His loving gaze. He patiently whispered His affections to me day after day. He held my face in His hands and told me I was perfect to Him, until I was tired of believing anything else.
Fear Steals Your Future
Fear hadn’t just affected my confidence, it also had impacted the way I viewed my future. Fear of failure, or even worse - the fear of the weight of success, shrunk my dreams to a bite-sizable, controllable future where I could lean on as many safe guarantees as possible. My intense desire for adventure and need to be significant were no match for the worst-case scenarios Fear planted in my mind. I was so aware of the risks and the costs, that there wasn’t enough space to imagine any successful outcome.
Called to be Fearless
But as Perfect Love came rushing in, He showed me how He painted my future. As He invited me closer to His heart, He simultaneously pulled me into His dreams. I watched His plans for me unfold. I saw that He actually wanted me to run straight into the darkness and danger others ran from, and bring His light to places in desperate need for His justice. I realized that He was calling me to be the complete opposite of how I had always felt: fearless.
If I would have to summarize my life’s testimony in one sentence, it would be this: Love Himself encountered me and brought me from fear into freedom. My story can be your testimony as well.
Fear is Not Your Friend
Fear is not your friend. It’s not your guardian. You only hold onto what you subconsciously believe to be beneficial. If you’ve allowed fear into your life, it’s because you believe that it can protect you. However, being scared doesn’t protect you, it makes you panic, freeze, or run away. Fear is a liar. It cannot do anything beneficial for you, and it has no power over you other than what you’ve agreed to give it.
Brave vs Fearless
There’s a difference with feeling scared and giving into fear. Feeling afraid when you’re facing a big risk or challenge is not failure, it’s human. It’s not a sin or evil, and you shouldn’t punish yourself for feeling scared. When you’re afraid, you simply have been presented the privilege to be able to choose courage. You can’t be brave if you’re not afraid. Every time you choose to be brave in the face of something scary, you take another step towards becoming fearless. When you feel the hot breath of Fear in your neck, you have an opportunity to turn around and kick it in the face. Make Fear regret it ever came close to you. You are a fearless giant-slayer, and far more courageous than you ever knew.
Being Fearless is Possible
Fear is not something that we just have to tiptoe around for the rest of our lives. It’s something that can be conquered. It is possible to be fearless. In a culture that has made worrying an acceptable state of mind, it’s important to go back to God’s perspective on this.
Did you know that the Bible mentions “do not fear” or “do not worry” 365 times? It seems like God knew that we would need a reminder of this every day. God is a kind Father who wouldn’t ask something of you that you’re not able to do. If He tells you this many times to not fear or worry, He also wants to give you the ability to fulfill this commandment.
What is something that you can choose courage in? In what area of your life can you kick fear in the face? What opportunity to be brave do you have today? Ask God to give you extraordinary boldness and courage to wage this war against fear.
Fear is based on lies, which means that the truth will set you free. Let the Holy Spirit reveal His truth about the situation you’re feeling afraid about and remind yourself to choose to believe Him instead of the voice of fear.
As you are encountering His love, dare to dream like never before. Who would you be if you were fearless? What would your life look like if you were never afraid again?
Courage, Your Anthem
Courage is your anthem. Declare today that you will fight against fear over and over again, until it doesn’t dare to come back. Remind yourself that whenever you do feel afraid, you have the choice to be brave. You are called to be fearless, and until then, you can be brave. Your freedom from fear will bring breakthrough to multitudes.
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Written by Eline Millenaar