Something I’ve noticed about me. My life has often been controlled by fear. I never really enjoyed living a life controlled by fear, but the alternative…living through courage did not seem like a better option. After all, fear was like a friend. It was with me and the decisions I made. Besides, I didn’t have much of a relationship with courage. It just seemed that courage was around one day, and gone the next.
Then one day, I noticed that my life wasn’t getting better. I noticed that my life was actually quite stagnant. Fear was still my friend, it was just that now fear felt less like a good friend I could have a conversation with, and more like a friend who put me down all the time. A friend who told me I wasn’t good enough. That I didn’t have what it takes. That my future was destined for bad. Seriously. That’s what fear told me. I am not kidding. Fear told me all that, and I believed fear for a long time.
Courage was coming around less and less. Fear didn’t really like courage, and since I was so weak…fear spoke for me. Fear would just say, “Courage, you need to leave now. Seriously, go. He’s chosen. He took me. Not you. So just leave.”
After all, fear and courage aren’t things that takes us. We take them. Now, we may feel like they take us, but really that would just be us giving into the louder voice. Which is fear. Yes, fear is the louder voice…until you can’t keep living life like you always have.
One time, Jesus walks out on the water towards his disciples. They freak out. They think he’s a ghost, or maybe something worse. Maybe a sea monster synthesized into a gliding spirit form. Who knows. But they’re not happy. Their souls and voices collide in chaos and then Jesus says,
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Take courage! Take it. There are two voices that are in your head. Take courage! And when you take courage, you can’t lightly hold onto courage. You have to grab courage, and hold on for all your worth. Because courage won’t be your cuddle buddy. Courage doesn’t say sweet lies to you about you. Courage has a difficult path, but the path of courage brings you to a complete confidence through Christ that you don’t have to be afraid anymore.
So here are two questions that I find helpful. (and by the way, I put the LORD in these sentences not as a social-faith-cliche, but I do so because I believe the LORD is with me, and that I need to call on HIS name before my victories, and after. Read about David in 1 Samuel 17 for why. Or talk to my buddy Drew Chancey on this one. The guy could roll for hours on being with the LORD.)
Ready? The two questions…
What Fears Did I Overcome This Year With The LORD?
What Fears Do I Need To Face With My LORD?
You can print these off. Maybe make two columns, and then write down what fears you need to face. Most of the time, we are aware of our fears. However, we often avoid them. Sometimes, it takes a little more unearthing. So if you want to find more about how your fears drive you, then I suggest going to a counselor. Don’t worry, counselor doesn’t mean you’re broken. Wait, yes it does. But we all are…so you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of there. I’ve seen a few different counselors over the past few years, and let me suggest that you check one out. (If you’re in Tulsa, I recommend the Christian Counseling Center at the Park Plaza Ministry Center. 4930 S. Sheridan.)
And remember, as you take courage, you have the Holy Spirit with you. And He is a much better counselor and comforter than your fear ever has been or will be.