Every destination requires a journey for it to exist.
Every goal requires obstacles to make it worthwhile.
Every exercise requires resistance to achieve growth.
On the path to any destination, the march towards each goal, the action of every exercise, stuff gets in our way.
Maybe it’s traffic, or busyness or injury. These are all the things we have to overcome daily in order to get where we’re going.
But, when it comes to spiritual things such as inner growth, emotional intelligence and answering the calling on our lives, all too often we let one obstacle stop us dead in our tracks.
Like the song says, fear is a liar. But, it’s more than that.
Fear is the obstacle.
It comes in many shapes and sizes, insidiously hiding its true nature to trick us into believing the lies it lays between us and our destiny.
Anxiety, stress, nervousness, uncertainty, panic and doubt, these are the children of fear.
Each of these are reasons why people like you and me fail every day. Not because we’re incapable, or untalented, unintelligent or unwilling.
Fear is the mind killer.
We fail because we’re crippled.
Crippled by the whispers of the enemy that breathe cancer into our souls. Like skeletal fingers, the lies reach in and snatch the seeds of destiny from our hearts and replace them with pain. And, we let this happen.
“I’m not smart enough to pull this off…”
“I can’t see myself doing that…”
“There’s no way they’ll listen to what I have to say…”
“What will they think of me?”
These are the road blocks of fear the enemy wants us to believe. These are the iron bars of the prisons we sentence ourselves to each and every day. When we hear the key turn, locking us within the walls we’ve placed around our own lives, we’ve essentially written another page in the tragedy we choose to live.
The Fear Factor
We are often the star in our own story of self-inflicted, systemic failure. As the saying goes, if you don’t control your fear, fear will control you.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Where is your faith?
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:24-25 (NIV)
It’s a simple choice, one we don’t even think about as we make it.
When we choose to believe the lies that fear whispers into our hearts, we’re also choosing NOT to believe the promises of Christ.
We’re like the Israelites whom Moses led out of slavery. After the first days of resistance to their new-found freedom, they grumbled, complained, bought into the negativity and actually declared they were better off when they were slaves.
Sounds insane right? But, we’re doing it right now.
When we say, “I can’t lead” or “I could never do that” or otherwise shrink away from the calling God has placed on our lives, we’re declaring that we prefer to be enslaved rather than live the free life God created us for.
To make matters worse, let’s consider this:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
If God has created a world reliant on the good works Jesus created for us to do, yet we fail to do them because we’re anxious, nervous, uncertain or allowing ourselves to follow doubt and dismay, what happens to the world around us?
Those deeds go undone… and the world is darker for it.
How are we to know what those deeds are, you ask? We must go to the margin, the place where the only input we receive is from the Holy Spirit. We ignore the flawed human condition our eyes tell us is our reality, silence the fear-laden whispers the evil one breathes in our ears and we cling tightly to our Father.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
Fear Not for I am with you.
The bible tells us to “fear not” 365 times. And, there are no coincidences in the scriptures.
So, what is the calling on your heart you’re not embracing 365 times a year? What deeds has Christ created in advance for you to do that aren’t getting done?Where are you letting the world go dark?
What can you do right now to tell the enemy “Not today you don’t! Today is the day the Lord has made and you’re not going to stop me from living out my faith!”
Is there someone you need to lead to Christ? A person who needs encouragement? Someone who needs to feel loved?
The good deeds Christ has created for you to do today are waiting for you. But, like any other destination or goal, they require you to overcome obstacles.
Take a moment to look inward and speak this into your own life: “I was made to live out my faith. Jesus, use me today in ways that show Your power to everyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear.”
Then, turn your focus outward to those God has placed in your life, the ones who need the love that only Christ has to offer. Tap into the power that is yours by birth, the inheritance you gained when you accepted salvation.
The children of fear are nothing more than obstacles.
Focus on the goal, not the hurdles.
Fear isn’t your destination, it’s the opponent you were born to beat.