Recently, when I was getting ready to speak…I was asked by a dear friend if I was nervous. Another asked if I was scared. The answer to both questions was, “No!” I have experienced fear and nervousness hundreds of times…those emotions do not dominate my life as they once did because of the depth of my relationship with Christ…and seeking to obey HIM.
I love John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.” God is the only one capable of “perfect love,” man is not. Thus, the closer our relationship with Christ…we find we experience more of that “perfect love” and….fear departs. Fear paralyzes and neutralizes us spiritually. It stunts our faith. It keeps us from taking bold and courageous steps. We don’t have confidence in the “perfect Lover of our soul” because either our relationship with the One and only One who is capable of “perfect love” is weak OR it is because we truly do not have a relationship with Him.
The emotions of fear, anxiety and nervousness…are emotions that seem to evade me more and more due to the “perfect love” I experience with Christ on a daily basis! I am growing in my understanding that the only healthy fear…is one of fearing Christ…a reverence….knowing He is God and I am not!
This understanding is the only way to unlearn our learned fears. We need to instill in our lives the only healthy fear there is–“fear of God”. Recognizing God is the Alpha and Omega–the beginning and the end. HE holds all the answers and directions for our lives. When we develop that relationship with Him, it builds trust…which drives out fear!
If we learn to fear God, then we don’t have to fear anything else. God is God. He has perfect love available for anyone. It is Satan who wants to deceive and devour. I Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” If he is successful in chaining us with lies and irrational fears…then we are…
and most of all
The first time I can remember speaking in front of anyone publicly was at a Christian summer camp when I was just 10. I was asked to share my testimony with the whole camp. I was fearful. Scared to death, actually, but facing that fear…which was composed of thoughts of being laughed at, making a mistake, falling, not being able to speak clearly and effectively…and I am sure many other fears. But with prayer and encouragement, and most of all the help of the Holy Spirit, I stepped out even when feeling fear. I faced the fear head on.
Stepping out in the face of fear at age 10 was a pivotal point for me….life altering actually. Several years ago, I was facing some fears–real “lions” in my life. I was encouraged once again to face the fear. Encouraged to rely on God and His perfect love and to reflect on times in my life when I had “faced fear” and recount what God had done in those times.
I took that advice. Amazingly, I was reflecting on God’s work in my life during my quiet time one day and God brought that time at summer camp to my mind. Something I hadn’t thought about in years! I was able to almost see in my mind, and certainly “feel” and reflect on, how “scared” I was. The great news? Now I was much older and able to reflect on and trace God’s fingers in my life countless times since that one time of facing my fear at camp. I bet I sat for over an hour journaling and recounting how many times God had enabled me to face my fears. …allowing the “perfect Lover” of my soul to guide me. And how many times that one decision has influenced multiple things in my life since, even at age 50!
Point of this post…”face your fear”….face the “lion”. You are equipped with the Holy Spirit…who wants to help you “drive out the fear”…to become fearless…to replace unhealthy fear with healthy fear. As you face your fears, you will be amazed at how your faith grows!
Facing fear head on allows us to “lean into God’s arms” thus, relying on Him and not ourselves. It builds our fear immunity. That is why I don’t get scared or overly nervous before I speak. By facing my fears with the Perfect Lover of my soul, I have been able to develop fear immunity. It is encouraging to know that, along the way…as we are developing our immunity, 2 Timothy 2:13 is true–“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Face your fears today. Step into the realm of the unknown where Jesus lives…allow His perfect love to drive out FEAR in your life.