Don’t Give In To Fear

randomlychad  —  February 6, 2013 — 8 Comments

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“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” –Paul Atreides, from Frank Herbert’s Dune.

This is solid advice. For it is in facing our fears that we conquer them. The time is past where we can afford to run from our fears–for the longer we run, the higher the stakes are. It is time now to stop living with the “I can’ts,” or “I won’ts.”

Because these are cancers that will kill our souls. Instead of asking “Why?,” it’s time to ask “Why not?”

If we are afraid, we must ask ourselves just what it is that we are believing God for? What? The Scriptures make it plain that “without faith it is impossible to please him [God].” Thus, we must stop, do an about face, and embrace the only fear the Bible tells us to have: a holy, reverent fear of God. All else is, as I said in the image up, faith in Satan.

Who would you rather believe?

Yes, it isn’t easy, and it means embracing uncertainty. But isn’t that what faith is? The gap between what we know, and what is beyond our knowledge? As the Bible says, “Now faith the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In that same chapter, the saints of old were commended for their faith–a faith that persisted despite not receiving the promise.

Because they were looking for a city with foundations, whose builder and maker was God.

I thus conclude that God put the hall of faith there in Hebrews 11 for our edification. The saints who have gone before are an example to us. They were like we are, yet despite hardships, setbacks, screwups, and pitfalls, they persisted in their faith.

And if they could, so can we all. Faith means pressing into the uncertainties, stepping beyond our comfort zones, and trusting the outcome to God.

We may overreach. We may fail. But it is far better to go down trying, than to not try at all.

It starts by giving up the one thing we want to hold onto the most: control.

But as ancient Chinese proverb says: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Make it a step of faith, and not fear today.

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Michelle Woodman

    Thanks for this, Chad. Thank you. 🙂

  • I believe my doubts more often than I believe God’s promises. I shouldn’t, but I do. This is good advice for us all.

    • Thanks, Kevin! I think it’s something we’re all prone to.

  • I’ll assume here that people with panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, et al are excluded from this message.

    I see one other fear trigger, at least in myself: the fear that I’ll mess up what God has given me. In a school sense, it’s like the fear of failing a test, except this would be failing one of God’s tests of our faith. “God won’t give us more than we can handle” isn’t something I’ve honestly seen in the Bible. Consider Job or Joseph, or even Paul. I don’t think any of them really could handle what God gave them. Yet God did strengthen them, granting them the ability to get through stuff in His might and power.

    What gets me messed up at times, though, is a lack of confidence in myself. Will I blow it? Will I fail to use that ability God has given me? If I fail, it will be my fault. Will I fail?

    Analyzing this shows that the problem really is self-centeredness, though in a direction that appears opposite from pride and arrogance, at least as they’re traditionally presented. It’s not all about me, but about God. God grades the test, not me. He sets the standards, not I.

    In that moment of freak-outedness, though, we “brain damaged” men who can’t use both hemispheres at the same time rarely are analytical. We’re too busy freaking out.

    • Joe, as I have no understanding of the emotional, psychological, and physical underpinnings of those conditions, and am indeed just a guy sharing his opinion on the Internet, I would say that yes, folks so afflicted are excepted. I write what (I think) I see in the Scripture, and pass it on.

      That said, my bedrock is no longer what I think of myself--my abilities, or shortcomings--but rather what God says. My identity, and indeed my confidence, flow from Him. As you surmise, He will give us more than we can handle--because His grace is sufficient. For far too long, my problem was listening to all the competing voices: the world, the flesh, the devil, whoever, and what they said about me.

      Instead of what God says. Step one is Romans 12: “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Peterson puts it this way in the Message: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” We have to trust God more than the voices of fear, doubt, etc. That what He says is true no matter what our senses tell us.

      Here is a simple guide I picked up from Dr. Garry Friesen:

      1. The Principle of OBEDIENCE: Where God commands, we must obey.

      2. The Principle of FREEDOM: Where there is no command, God gives us freedom (and responsibility) to choose

      3. The Principle of WISDOM: Where there is no command, God gives us wisdom to choose.

      4. The Principle of HUMBLE TRUST: When we have chosen what is moral and wise, we must trust the sovereign God to work all the details together for good.

      And cast our cares on Him, for He cares for us.

  • I especially like this: “Faith means pressing into the uncertainties,
    stepping beyond our comfort zones, and trusting the outcome to God.”

    I like to have control on outcomes. It’s hard for me to let go. Faith requires us to trade the internal for the External.

    • Thanks, Thomas! Me, too--still learning to trust (obey) God, and leave the consequences to Him.

      It’s called a walk, a journey, a pilgrimage, for a reason. When we think we have mastery in area, rest assured we will be tested.

      Learning to let go is sometimes a moment -- by -- moment affair.

      Blessings to you!