“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Fear can be defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”. This kind of fear keeps us from giving our all to God because we think doing so will threaten our ability to enjoy our life and be happy. We think that surrendering to God will make us more vulnerable. Actually, that’s what sin does. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Fear says, “God isn’t able to meet THAT need in your life.”, “Don’t share your faith, you’ll be embarrassed when they reject you”, “If you continue being abstinent you’ll be single forever”, or “If you surrender your career to God, He’ll call you to do something that makes less money and you’ll hate it”.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. – John 10:10
Friend, that voice is liar. THAT voice is from the enemy, the devil. How do we know? Because it opposes the truth of God’s word. Jesus spoke about the devil’s character in John 8:44 saying “…He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Learn to Discern
Culture tells us many things about what makes a good life and who God “is”, but God’s Word teaches us that He is good and faithful, every good and perfect gift is from God, and those who fear Him lack no good thing. We get to decide which voice to listen to. We can’t feed our self everything that opposes God and think we’ll automatically grow in trusting Him.
“Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” – Matthew 7:9-11
We have no reason to fear God’s leadership or sovereignty because He loves us perfectly. Jesus came to this earth to save our souls and give us an abundant life, but fear is working to steal that hope away from you.
Evaluate your perspective
Often, we fear the hardship and the discomfort that come with following God, but God’s love cares more about your character than your comfort. Whatever He calls us to do is for His glory. Isn’t that the point of our faith after all, to glorify Jesus above all else?
We are blessed when we face trials because our faith has the chance to grow. If we are too weak on our own to accomplish the task at hand, we are made strong through God’s power made perfect in our weakness. Our weakness gives us the opportunity to display His glory.
Related Post: The Faith that Moves Mountains
You may be thinking, “But that’s not easy!”
Renew your mind
We have to fight the good fight of faith and let our thinking be re-wired by God if we want to stop living in fear. Stop looking with your natural eyes and start praying to see with your spiritual ones. Fear leads you to believe God isn’t good because He hasn’t given you [insert whatever it is you want the most right now]. However, faith reminds us that His goodness and love were displayed on the cross. He is for us, not against us. His love is perfect.
Perfect Love holds things back from us to protect us, not to punish us. If God gave us the things we idolize, we’d put all of your hope in them. Then one day, when they fail (because they will), we’d crumble and blame Him.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
If we want to have a true relationship with God, we have to trust His sovereignty and accept Jesus not just as Savior but as Lord of our life. We will not experience the fullness of God with half-hearted devotion. He requires complete surrender.
We think we know what we need and want, but we don’t really. We set our sights too low. Meanwhile, God knows us better than we know ourselves because He made us. Five years ago the thought of traveling and living abroad would have terrified me. Then God allowed me to take a trip abroad and it awakened a desire I never knew I had. Now all I want to do is travel. I laid down my plans and found that God’s were better.
Start to Trust
Give God the opportunity to transform your mind and heart, and reveal who He purposed you to be. As He transforms you into Christ’s image and likeness, your desires will begin to align with His desires for you. He’s not necessarily going to call you to become a missionary and move to Africa if He didn’t purpose you for it. What He calls you to do is perfectly designed for YOU.
The next time fear of surrendering to God rises up inside of you, remind yourself of the truth of His word. Check your motives and evaluate if you’re pursuing God for His glory or just His gifts.
I spent years chasing relationships, money, and society’s image of beauty even after giving my life to Christ. When I finally surrendered everything to Him, I watched my life become something I never knew I wanted, something better than anything I could of achieved for myself. Do I wish God would hurry up sometimes and bring me a spouse and that promotion? Do I feel overlooked and out of place in this world because of my faith? Am I facing hardships and trials specifically for following Jesus? Yes, Yes, and Yes. But would I change God’s plan for me or trade this life in Christ? Not for all the riches in the world.
I know His love is perfect and He will never lead me wrong.