It’s an ugly word few care to discuss.
Fear can take over many areas of our lives.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of failing.
Fear of being a disappointment.
Fear of not hearing the Lord correctly.
It can invade in a matter of seconds.
When God says move, fear can leave you unmovable. Paralyzed. Fear can keep us from obeying the call of God! Fear can keep us from His blessings.
The words “powerless” and “useless” are synonyms for the word paralyzed. To put it plain and simple, when we give way to fear, we relinquish any power we had, and are no longer useful for the work of the Lord.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 it states,
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Power. He gives us power! The Lord gives us exactly what we need, when we need it, to fulfill His call! When we are overcome with fear, we let all the doubts and uncertainty get in the way, leaving us powerless and useless. Fear is not of God.
At one time, I sensed the Lord was getting ready to open up some pretty unique doors in ministry. This wasn’t going to be your standard ministry call, and in no way was it going to be easy. It wasn’t even in my country, and it would be dealing with changing government laws, none of which I knew anything about. The idea was exciting to me, but I was cautious. Who was I? Why in all the world would God pick me to do this? I didn’t really see how I could do it, and at the time, I didn’t even know a single person in that country to help. (Obviously, I had a lapse in memory and forgot this wasn’t all about me! God is the Creator with the plan!) The only person I even whispered my thoughts to on this was my husband.
Two weeks later the Lord began opening up doors for us in that country, but none were directly related to what I had in my heart. I was fine with that. I just figured God was taking baby steps with me. Sounded great! The very next week, a stranger contacted me through a Facebook group who was raised in that particular country, and she wanted to talk to me about helping with that specific need in her native country.
Now, most of you are probably thinking this is amazing, and I must have been so excited to so obviously see the hand of God move in this way. You would be greatly mistaken. I did not see it that way at all! I immediately became overcome with fear. It scared me beyond words. I shut down!
When my husband came home from work I shared with him what happened and my fears. The very words immediately out of his mouth were, “You just slammed the door shut God opened for you.”
That seemed so harsh. Had I really just slammed the door on God? It had taken a matter of seconds, but the spirit of fear had come right in and placed thoughts in my head that created sheer panic and doubt.
Fears are lies. When fear sweeps in, it can leave you feeling like you aren’t good enough. You can start questioning everything you have ever known as absolute truth. Satan may even begin telling you how big of a fool you are.
But God gave me a wonderful husband to partner with in ministry. Before I had even fully explained my irrational thought process, he was already working on ways to show me my fears were not correct. I cried. In all things, I want to serve Him! I want the Lord to use me for His honor and glory. I don’t want Him to pass me by because I was too fearful to follow His call.
In Acts 16:25-26, Paul and Silas give us a powerful example of prayer and worship with powerful results!
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Thankfully the Lord has given us two wonderful tools to fight against fear that we can use anytime, anywhere: prayer and worship.
Don’t let fear rob you of your call, and of your joy! The next time you find fear creeping into your life, follow the lead of Paul and Silas. Begin praying and praising Him as He loosens the bands of fear in your life.