Palpable, conquerable fear

Ben Reed —  January 25, 2012 — 4 Comments
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image credit: Creation Swap user Jon Davis

There are times in our lives where fear is as palpable as the key in the ignition of your car.

You sit there, wondering if you really have to start the engine. You wonder if it would be easier to plant, unencumbered by the stress that awaits you the next time the engine will go silent. When the engine returns to its resting state, you’ll be much closer to the fear you dread.

There are times in our lives where fear seems to grip our hearts so tightly it squeezes every the life out of each ounce of authentic, unconjured courage.¬†Our past failures fuel the fire where fear slowly burns, the warm coals pulsing red-hot. Out of nowhere, a flame sparks upward and we’re reminded of the heat contained within. The gray coal we thought dormant shows life once again, and our past rears its head and cripples us again.

Fear seeks to destroy you, and the beautiful future laid out before you. It wants nothing less than to maim and leave you insecure. It takes the gifts God has given you and twists them so they appear weak and inert.

And you can do one of two things with that paralyzing fear.

What to do with your fear

You can let it keep you in the driveway, effectively out of the game of idea-sharing, problem-solving, healthy community, where fear and insecurities dominate.

Or you can dominate your fear. Reminded that you weren’t created out of fear, but out of love, you can stoke the flame of your God-given gifts. Laughing at fear’s potential to cripple, you can begin to help others become conquerers. (2 Corinthians 1:3-11; Romans 8:35-39)

If you’re afraid, work through it and let it propel you to work harder, dig deeper, and fight with all the strength you’ve got.

If you’re afraid, use that fuel to charge your creativity to go places it’s not gone. Instead of stuffing fear under the proverbial rug, find a way to explore it, using it for good. (Genesis 50:20)

Whatever you do, don’t let fear win.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:6-7

 

Ben Reed

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Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.