When I think back to my childhood, it’s a little overwhelming to think about how much fear controlled my life. Some of it was caused by some traumatic things that happened in my early years, but most of it was irrational fear. I was nervous and afraid to go to school or most anywhere that was new or unfamiliar. Thankfully, I found Jesus at the age of 9, and God rescued me. But it was a long hard road to conquering my fears.
Of course, not all fear is bad. Fear is supposed to keep us from being hurt or doing things we shouldn’t. But many times, Satan perverts healthy fear to a place that it will just shut us down and keep us from doing what God wants us to do and from being who God wants us to be. When we let fear control us and color our decisions, we become handicapped and are not able to live and serve to the fullest measure.
I lived this way for a long time, praying constantly that God would remove all fear from my life. Then one day, God opened my eyes. I was reading Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, it is He who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you.” God did not remove all the terrifying things ahead of them, and yet told them not to be afraid. He told them to be strong and to have courage because He would be with them. He would have their back. I realized there was no reason to be courageous and strong if there was nothing fearful to face. If God removed all the battles, why would we need His strength and courage? Why would we need Him if we could do it on our own?
If God is for me, who can be against me? Whom shall I fear? No one and nothing is bigger or stronger than our God. We can no longer let fear control us, hold us back or make our decisions. Don’t allow yourself to have more faith in fear than your faith and trust in God. We must look fear square in the face. Real courage is moving forward and doing what you need to do in the face of fear.
It’s normal and OK to feel a little nervous as you take these steps. All warriors have those feeling just before going into battle. The key is to not bow to the fear but to the mighty warrior Jesus, who will never leave you. We don’t always know what’s going to happen, but we move forward because we know God will be with us. We trust Him.
I challenge you to start training yourself to be strong and courageous and start moving forward in the face of fear. You can be more and do more. You can forcefully advance the kingdom. God is with you wherever you go and in whatever you do.