by: Gail Armatys
Life Purpose Coach/Facilitator
HeartSong Life Purpose Coaching Center
Is Fear Keeping You From Living Your Best Life?
Is there something you have in the back of your mind, on the tip of your tongue or deep in your heart that you would like to do, learn, give or be that you haven’t done, learned, given or become? What’s holding you back? Is it fear?
That’s not surprising. There is a lot of scary stuff going on these days: wars, sickness, disease, financial collapse. And let’s not forget the more intimate fears such as giving a speech; stepping out of our comfort zones; loss; loneliness; rejection; failure; success…and the list goes on. What’s a girl (or guy) to do?
What Happens When We Live in Fear?
It’s interesting to me that there are numerous occasions in the bible where we are told not to fear. Of the 25 scriptures I read relative to the words fear(s) and afraid, 7 of them referenced fear in general, fear of man, and fear of evil/terror*. The fact that God tells us – actually, commands us – not to fear presumes that we will fear or that we are already afraid.
God knows us well, doesn’t he? He commands us not to fear because he has good plans for us and knows the damage it can do.
John Lennon, a religious figure to some (not to be confused with the Disciple John), described well what happens when we live in fear.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life.” John Lennon
It is in this ‘pulling back’ that the shadows become bigger and the living becomes smaller. Our light and life begins to shrink. Why? Here is what scripture tells us:
God is love…There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. 1John 17 MSG
When we love, there is no room for fear. Conversely, when we fear, love is absent. Which means we leave God out of the picture. When we fear, we focus on ourselves and submit to our situation, lack of control, and whatever we imagine is coming down the road.
How do we move from fear to love?
We change our focus.
Refocus and Move Forward
Let’s look at just one example of someone from the bible that didn’t pull back, changed her focus, and overcame her fear. Keep reading. This is a great story and legacy!
Esther, the Jewish Queen, overcame her fear of being put to death by King Xerxes (A well-founded fear, it seems to me.) in order to stand bravely before him and plead for the lives of her fellow Jews.
What caused her to do this knowing that to come uninvited to the king was to tempt death? Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, suggested that perhaps she was made royalty specifically for this purpose when he stated, ‘…And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?’ Esther 4:14
Doesn’t sound like a yellow-brick-road-type path, does it? But once Mordecai helped Esther refocus, she stopped thinking about herself and the possible horrible, dark, and very final outcome.
Instead, she focused on:
- The One who was in control and;
- The role she was given to live.
Living a Better Life
In the end, Esther fulfilled her purpose and saved the lives of her countrywomen (and men). Quite a different ending than she originally anticipated.
As for you and me, we are no different than Esther. In order to overcome our fear of circumstances, people, and things and live out the purposes for which we are called, we must refocus.
Refocusing makes things clear. It opens the door, makes room for love and allows us to hold God’s hand as we move forward laying our fears at his feet.
Once fear has moved out of the way, the dreams and desires God has written on our hearts can begin to unfold. You know…the ones that are buried deeply because we are afraid they will never happen … the ones we acknowledge but never step into because we are afraid to fail.
Our focus on the One who fights for us…who is in control and who knows what’s coming next has a better life for us.
Now, we can move forward. Now, there is room for his love.
Father, I thank you that your love is bigger than any fear that I will ever encounter. I thank you for the scriptures that tell me so. I know you are with me and that I can do and endure anything you have placed on my path. I pray to be courageous like Esther and to look past myself to you when I am afraid so I may impact others for good. For I know it is in this refocusing that I will grow, I will find fulfillment, and your purposes and my heart’s desires will be accomplished.
- Name your fears.
- What possibilities to move forward are revealed as you refocus on God and surrender your fears to him?
- We all need a Mordecai. Who is yours? (Thank him or her for the important role he/she plays in your life.)
*The other 18 scripture verses I read about fear related to the command to fear the Lord. The translation for the word fear in this context refers to a positive fear – a desire to please, respect, revere, reverence. It focuses on our best life now and to come.
Listen to your HeartSong
Whom Shall I Fear, Chris Tomlin