AMH Series // His Word is Written Across My Heart
Fear is so sneaky. It’s like a really talented, conniving salesman. It convinces us something is undeniably true. Yet once we’ve bought in, we look at what we’ve “purchased” and we can see we’ve been duped. As you look at what you’ve bought, if your human nature kicks in, you’ll likely find yourself feeling stupid and wanting to do everything in your power to make sure no one finds out. Why? Because it’s embarrassing, and this embarrassment will likely make you feel as if you’ve failed.
A merciful person may try to comfort you by saying it was the salesman’s fault, and you were not to blame. After all, if he had not sweet-talked you, the purchase would never have happened. A more logical person may try to argue then, that yes, you did fail since you allowed yourself to be deceived. If you had been paying better attention and had been more alert, you would not have ended up in this mess.
Which voice is right?
I know in my head, the voice of failure tends to shout loudest when I get caught up in fear. I think if I took a poll, I bet I’d find a large majority of people would say the same. We get one crippling emotion of fear, and suddenly, not only is fear at the forefront of our minds, but so is shame and embarrassment for letting our emotions run away with us.
The Bible is not silent when if comes to fear and failure. God, knowing that we would struggle with them, left us some insight in both 1 Peter and 2 Timothy.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 )
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 )
Now granted, I read through these verses, and I naturally think they’re great, yet there I go again seeing I’m not doing it perfectly. I’m still tempted to fear. What I’ve come to realize though, is I think it’s our response to fear that is more important than trying to avoid ever feeling it. Like the Bible says, (1 Corinthians 10:13b) “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” This is absolutely true when we are tempted to fear. It doesn’t say we won’t be tempted to fear, but it does say God will give us what we need to endure it.
Choosing the Right Voice
Like the salesman example from earlier, if we were to closely examine what is for sale, we’d see that it’s a sham. If we read reviews (in the Bible) on what is being sold to us (fear), there are warnings and many testimonials about the destruction and regret experienced by others who have “bought in.”
Every time I’ve bought into fear, I’ve wished I could return it. So while I cannot go back and undo the fear I bought, I can choose to not continue buying it. I can also choose to stay alert for the next time fear tries to sell itself to me, and I can shut it down before it even has a chance to latch onto my vulnerabilities.
I encourage you to try that as well. If you find yourself continuing to buy into the same fears time and time again, instead of pretending they never happen and sweeping them under the rug. Take a moment to process what caused you to buy into the fear (what was the sales pitch?), and ask yourself if giving into that fear led to your good or to harm? I will bet you it led to your harm. It caused you to miss out on something good, or at the least, it cost you your peace. Rather than feeling like a failure for all the times you let fear take control, instead, I encourage you to resolve through prayer to give those areas where you are tempted to fear to God.
Believing the Right Voice
If you’ve started thinking and praying through all this and fear still seems to win out in your mind, I encourage you to start praying and seeking for truth on how you view God and how you think He views you.
Do you believe He is who He says He is, or has your mind made Him into someone different than what His Word says? We all have moments of fear in our lives which can tempt us to sway from the truth of who God is. If that’s you, and you’re currently believing in God but it’s not really and truly the God of the Bible; if He’s your own version of a God based on your experiences, I encourage you to open your heart to the truth. The reality is that God is not who you think He is, He is who He says He is.
To fear does not make you a failure, but to reject hope and not pursue God’s peace is the waste of a free gift. I’m frugal enough that I want you to have all that God has purchased for you. Please, today, lay down the spirit of fear, which robs you, and be filled with His power, love, and a sound mind. He’s already bought it for you. It’s yours to receive because of His great love for you.