“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
In order to write on fear I need to draw from the very real situation that occurred earlier today. I had taken my daughter to horseback riding lessons and was sitting there watching her lesson.
About five minutes or so had passed and then this mama got a HUGE scare. The sweet and calm horse got scared and jumped a bit. This caused my four-year old to lose balance and fall. Her foot got caught in the stirrup (Thank God) and there she hung upside down from the side of a horse, all that was holding her up is the foot in the stirrup. She began to cry a bit but to my surprise did not lose her mind.
My mama heart wasn’t processing and thank God she has a wonderful instructor who was there in a hot second catching her and pulling her up. By the time my heart came back into my chest and I realized my girl was safe the very next thought was this:
“Ok, well that is the end of this lesson, there is no way she is going to keep riding after that!”
Oh, such little faith I had in the work God has done on my once very fearful daughter.
You see she had a choice to make, get off and let the fear of a past event prevent her from continuing OR overcome and keep riding. Not even a flash of doubt was in her eyes. She was staying on the horse. And that, friends, is exactly what she did. I sat down and watched as my heart jumped with every gallop the rest of the lesson.
I couldn’t help but think of the fears that prevent us from moving forward in what God calls us to do. Fears of rejection, failure, ridicule, not being accepted or liked. Fear of messing up our kids, marriage, relationships, or just messing up. Fear of abandonment, loneliness, hardship or struggle.
Most of our fears stem from past events, relationships, or circumstances in our lives. Rightfully so, they’ve caused us some grief. Most of us would probably say that we are over-comers, some of us are maybe a bit more honest with ourselves and admit that we’ve stepped away and let fear live and breathe in us.
You see beloveds, it is a very real possibility that we have masked our stepping back as overcoming. That we have suppressed our fear so much it is literally a part of us now. It drives our daily activity on social media. It drives WHO we speak to, HOW we speak to them, decisions we make, places we frequent.
Maybe we spend time in a church so much because we are more concerned with what people THINK our lives are like. Fear of acceptance/approval.
Maybe we don’t communicate a concern in a marriage because it COULD ruin the good thing we have going right now. Fear of messing it all up.
Maybe we try to do all the things with our kids because that is what they NEED. Fear of messing up our kids.
Maybe we avoid situations, confrontation, or groups because we KNOW we’d be rejected.
Maybe we avoid relationship altogether because we just know we’d be abandoned.
Whatever it is, take a moment. Reflect. What is it that drives you daily? Motivation to do better for your family? To get ahead? Does it stem from our God or a past situation that elicits fear in you without you even realizing it? Let’s dig deeper because I’m not going to leave you with your fears and that be that. Where is the encouragement in that you guys?!
In the car after riding lessons, we were discussing the events, because I am not letting this God opportunity pass us up, and she needed to hear how proud I was of her.
Anyway, I asked her why she chose to keep going. Her response was so simple. It was this:
“I really like to ride Livy and I wanted to keep riding.”
This is where it hit me.
How do we over come the fears that have suffocated us for years? The answer is simple. We have to DESIRE and LOVE Gods fullness, his peace and Joy MORE than anything else. That HAS to drive us beloveds.
You see, if we are not focused and driven by his goodness we are not driven by Him. If we are not driven by Him we are driven by earthly standards. Ones that leave us consumed with fear. God promises joy, peace, comfort, love, and so much more.
Here is the kicker people:
Right after that my sweet four-year old asked me, “Mom, I didn’t like falling off of Livy, will it happen again?”
My response, “Sweetheart, it very much could happen again. It doesn’t mean it will but it means it could. You have to decide if you want to keep riding.”
She left me with this,”I’ll be brave. I want to keep riding. I know it could happen again.”
We closed the conversation in prayer and that was that.
Did you catch the beauty in the last part beloveds?
God does not promise us that we won’t get hurt, rejected, or abandoned by people. He does not promise this earthly life won’t try to tear us down. He doesn’t promise that we won’t mess up. No, his promise is bigger that.
He promises us peace DESPITE being rejected, hurt, or abandoned by people. He promises us joy DESPITE the trials of this earth. He promises us love and acceptance by him DESPITE our mess ups.
You see we serve a God who does not reject us, abandon us, hurt us, leaves us. We serve a God that despite our fallen flesh loves us unconditionally and calls us into a life of fearlessness and freedom that only he can provide. He calls us in to His special and unique will on each of our lives to come together and be the Body of Christ here on earth.
Let’s remember that even Jesus had some level of fear in him before he went to the cross. So much so that he asked God this:
” saying, ‘Father, if you are willing remove this cup from me…”
Yet the fear did not prevent him from going to the cross because he saw the joy that would follow in centuries to come. Keep reading that verse:
“…Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.”
Let us be the Body of Christ here on earth and over come fear by keeping our eyes on our God, his fullness, his goodness, and his promises he has given to us.
“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”