When we decide to move forward in our lives we will often have some resistance, and sometimes the biggest resistance to change and growth will be from within and the facing of our own fears.
Nehemiah in the bible was the man who was given the responsibility of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after they had been broken down and left in ruins. He realised that the biggest problem was not so much the brokenness of the walls, but instead the brokenness of the people around him. One of the strategies he implemented was to encourage the people to arise together, and to face their fears and not give in to the enemy’s threats.
When we seek to move from bring broken to wholeness we too must face our fears and the enemy’s threats. But our enemy is not a visible army but the principalities and powers of evil in the heavenly realms that war against us. These forces target our weakness, past and any negative influences in our lives to paralyse and limit our lives. We have to choose to face the negativity and the voices that tell us we can’t do it and who whisper, “what if this happens.”
God’s word reveals how to defend and be on the offensive against these forces, and how to, “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:11-13)
I’ve discovered that one of the greatest antidotes to fear is believing God and what He says in His word. It’s in deciding to step out in faith and regularly do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you” because when we think about it the fears we don’t face are the very things that limit us.
Our youngest child Isaac loves horses and I knew if we were going to be able to help him fulfil his dream of having a horse of his own I had to face my fear of these large creatures. As a child we had ridden ponies but I had come off more times than I’d like to remember, and had a fear of that happening again. However to help Isaac I had to get over my fears. Step by step we have learnt how to catch, groom, and ride his pony. Then the day came when God started whispering to me that it was time for me to face my fear and get up on a horse again myself. I knew I had a choice – face my fear or stay the way I am. The bible says that perfect love casts out fear, and God’s love in me and my love for Isaac helped me face my fear. Now our visits to the stables and my weekly riding lesson are one of the highlights and blessings of my week. Each week I still have to push myself as I learn a new skill but the limits of paralysing fear have been taken off.
We were not made to live in fear, but to experience true lasting healing and wholeness we must face our fears and refuse to give in to them. Many of the things we fear actually never eventuate and are just designed to steal from us the life we were made for.
The words do not be afraid are written 365 times in the bible. That’s a daily reminder from God to live everyday being fearless.
Today don’t give into fear, but with God face those things you are afraid. Doubt your doubts and cast your fears aside and just go for it! For “the worst evils of life are those which do not exist except in our imagination. If we had no troubles but real troubles, we should not have a tenth part of our present sorrows.” (Charles Spurgeon)
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,’ declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14)
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27
Prayer: Lord would you please help me to do something today that has previously been a limit in my life. Help me to face my fears with you, and to overcome them. In Jesus name Amen.