It was a Sunday afternoon, and there I sat on my kitchen floor, singing worship songs to the Lord while I waited for water to boil. I felt a weight on me because the Lord had given me a task and something was holding me back from walking confidently into what I knew He was calling me to.
Fear of failure.
Fear of embarrassment.
Fear of not being taken seriously.
Fear of judgment.
As I laid all my fears out before the Lord, I felt the His gentle whisper, “Faith over fear.”
This is a theme that has been present in many aspects of my life and walk with the Lord over the last two years. Putting my faith into action always causes fear to rise up in me, and I have to choose whether it will stop me or spur me on.
Lately, the familiar feeling of fear has become a strange friend to me. It’s presence evidence of having stepped out of my own territory and into a place where dependence on the Lord is mandatory.
His whispers to me, “Faith over fear” reminding me that faith doesn’t require an absence of fear (an emotion I feel often), all it asks is a commitment to obedience and surrender in the face of it. The feeling itself isn’t the problem. My response to the feeling is the issue.
Feeling fearful isn’t a sin, but letting the fear keep me from walking in obedience is.
Feeling anxious isn’t a sin, but dwelling on and feeding the anxiety is.
Feelings are God-given, it is in the way we handle them where our sinful nature, if not surrendered and brought into alignment with the Spirit of God within us, leads us astray.
The enemy who is out to steal, kill, and destroy wants to keep us honed in on fear, anxiety, anger, etc. His goal is to prevent us from walking in the freedom Jesus died for us to have.
Through His life, Jesus modeled for us how to overcome our emotions and the temptation of the enemy. Through His death and resurrection, He restored us to right relationship with God, and through the sending of the Holy Spirit, He empowered us to walk the way He walked (1 John 2:6).
One of the ways Jesus modeled overcoming temptation was by fighting it with scripture. Here are a couple of my favorite passages that help me fight against the urge to let fear keep me from walking in obedience to the Lord.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”2 Timothy 1:7
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
The more I spend time sitting at Jesus’ feet, soaking up His presence, and genuinely seeking to know Him better, the more I am able to claim these truths in confidence over my life. Being close to Him, abiding in Him, leaves no room for the enemy to bring His lies. Truly loving Him and desiring more and more closeness to Him leaves no room for the gratifying of the flesh. The cost is simply too high. When relationship with Him is what drives and sustains you, you’ll think long and hard before doing anything that might inhibit that connection.
So friends, if you are like me and you find yourself struggling to walk in obedience because something is holding you back. Whether its fear, anxiety, anger, or unforgiveness- take it to the feet of Jesus. Lay it down and then ask Him for the strength to choose obedience regardless of your emotions.
With each step of obedience, each willing surrender of our own comfort or plans, we allow the Lord to bring our hearts more into alignment with His heart and will for our lives.
I would love to know, what are some bible verses you use to overcome fear, anxiety, anger, unforgiveness, etc? Leave your response in the comments below!