Lately God has been dealing with me about fear. I’ve realized how fear has snuck into certain areas of my life where I know God has graced me. What I’m learning is that it is the attack of the enemy to stop you from accomplishing the will of God through your God given gifts. For instance, I’ve been singing since I was a little girl. As a matter of fact, I lead songs in the mass choir, full of adults, at my old church at the age of about 7. I continued to sing fearlessly growing up until I came to college and met a new group of singers. Suddenly I felt like the weakest link, they were more talented than me, so I decided to hang out in the background. Finally an opportunity came for me to sing a lead after years of just singing in the choir. After losing sleep and being anxious at the thought of that song, I realized wow, I let intimidation come in and it grew into fear.
It is so important to be able to discern these attacks and catch them before they take root and grow because when it gets too far, it takes a lot of digging and healing to get them out.
So I sung the lead and that was it for a while. A year or two later I met another group of singers, who were even more talented and annointed. This time I decided I wasn’t even going to be in the choir, much less the praise team! How would I even compare, I thought. EVERYONE here can sing!
Although all these things may be true, it does not cancel out the fact that God has placed a gift inside you, 1 Corinthians 12:11 tells us that God does the distributing of gifts and He gives what He wants to who He wants. Our job is to be good stewards of that gift, not to compare it to the gifts of others.
Well once I realized I would not be fulfilled until I was operating in the gift God gave me, I started going to praise team rehearsals thinking I would go through this long training process, but I ended up singing right away!
You never know how capable you are until you do the thing. No matter how inadequate you may feel, if you worship God with all of you He will honor your efforts and be glorified in it.
One of my favorite scriptures about fear is 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. I’ve always wondered why God chose those three things to counteract fear, so I did some research.
Power in greek is dunamis which means physical strength or ability. So the first reason not to fear is because God gives us the ability to do whatever it is we are afraid of doing. Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Love in greek translates to agape which means goodwill and esteem. 1 John 4:18 says that perfect love drives out fear. Since God is love and he has given us His love, we should not fear. In addition to that, in Jeremiah 29:11 God lets us know that the plans He has for us are to prosper us and not to harm us. So even when He leads us to situations and we get fearful (God doesn’t give us that fear), we have to trust in Him and remember that He is not trying to hurt us, He’s just trying to use us and sometimes there are some things He’s trying to work out in us.
Finally a sound mind. Those words translate to sophronismos which means self-control, sobber-minded, temperate and prudent. There are numerous scriptures that tell us how to safeguard our minds. Romans 12:2 is the beginning and continuation of salvation, it says “And be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” If we follow the command to always have a renewed mindset we can be sure that our minds will be sound and free from fear. When we do not renew our minds with the words of God, we allow fear to creep in with the standards, stereotypes and ideas of this world, which many times do not coincide with the thoughts that God has toward us.
Examine your life and find out where fear has stopped you and held you back from accomplishing the will of God for your life. Don’t even be afraid to face it, God also says in Romans 8:15 that the spirit we have received does not put us in the bondage of fear but we now have sonship with God and cry Abba, father. Don’t feel guilty for having held back because of fear. Just repent and ask God to renew your mind, strength and confidence. Now is the time to forgo fear and move forward in faith!