What fear is holding you back today?
I was sixteen-years-old when I spent a day at Triumph. An eight-hour obstacle course, Triumph bonded teens from nearby schools as we relied on one another to complete the day’s events. The final challenge, Full Surrender, required each teen to climb to a 6 foot plank, wear a blindfold, and fall backwards into the arms of new friends. Guys and girls, the teens ended the day surrendered, with the exception of one.
Yes, I am that one.
I could not get past my FEAR of falling. Intellectually, I had no doubt that I would be caught; I even watched the football players land safely in the group’s arms. However, I couldn’t overcome letting go. My fear overshadowed my day’s success; I left feeling defeated. I bartered my confidence for a few moments of avoidance; every success that day paled in comparison.
What about you? Have you ever allowed fear to steal your success? Perhaps, it was a time in your past or even a situation that you are dealing with currently. Either way, fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) is a tool used by the enemy to keep you from your best life. Unlike discernment, often misquoted as “good fear” which protects you from real harm, spiritual fear demands a surrender of your faith, and ultimately, your dreams.
Consider Moses, the man who feared his job promotion. In a moment of rage that led to murder, 40-year-old Moses fled from Egyptian royalty to employment as a wilderness shepherd. From the outside looking in, it appeared that he had been demoted. However, God used a herd of sheep to train him for his next great position. At the age of 80, much later than Moses had anticipated (I’m assuming), he got the call. From a burning bush, God interviewed Moses; from a fearful heart, he gave the wrong answers: “Who am I?” “What shall I say?” “What if they don’t believe me?”
To add insult to injury,
10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Not only did Moses question God’s call on his life, but he insulted the talents that God had given him to get the job done. Thankfully, and only with God’s help, he accepted the promotion and delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Imagine history if Moses had stayed in fear instead of faith.
Imagine history if you allow fear to keep you from God’s calling on your life.
“Why are you afraid?” Jesus asks in Matthew 8:26. Please look at the wisdom packaged in His question– Why?! Jesus knows that there is no need to fear anything, and He prompts our hearts with “Why?” Although there is a debate over the number of times “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid” is in the Bible, the point is that Jesus said to not be afraid. If He says it one time, it’s as good as one thousand times.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” —2 Timothy 1:7
If we are acting in fear, then we are not living in faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” –Hebrews 11:6
To please God is to live each day in purpose. We are to feel the fear, step from our comfort zones, and trust God with the results. It is in faith that we see the results of what’s to come. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” –Hebrews 11:1 Fear is the enemy’s obstacle to keep us from the results of our faith. We can’t hope for anything if we remain in fear. Hoping is believing in the pictures that God has given us for our lives, the future that we see replaying in our thoughts. Fear emotionally drains us, keeping us in avoidance mentality; faith energizes us, keeping us in God’s view of our future reality.
Are you in fear or faith today? Choose faith!
What if today you take a step of faith? Whether small or large, you step from your comfort zone and say either “Yes!” or “No!” As you do, you cross into uncertain territory, not knowing what the result may become. What if instead of listening to your critic’s voice, you take another step to finalize your new decision? You can no longer turn back; you must go forward. As you move ahead, you see glimpses of the hope that is placed inside you, the future that is anxiously waiting for you. You take one step toward the person you were always meant to be, and then another, and then … until–
You are no longer defined by your past, by the words and actions that you regret. Your boundaries cease to exist, there are no titles chaining you to an image. And all the stuff stealing your time– you see it for what it is– just stuff.
Today, you know who you are, whose you are. A child of God, a difference maker; you are assigned to a mission. Wherever you are led is your mission field. You surrender to God’s call on your life, and your life will never be the same. By the grace of God, you don’t want it to be.
Will you take the challenge today and Fully Surrender to your falling backwards moment? As you do, may you remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ““What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”