I ran into a friend recently and we got to discussing the topic of fear as it related to a decision she was trying to make. This is a subject that I believe I’ve earned a PhD or some extremely high honors in! I once lived as though I was mastering the art of letting fear dictate my life decisions. This is still an ongoing struggle for me, one that I am now working to conquer and not submit to, but I want to share some things I have learned about the ever familiar nuisance of FEAR.
It wasn’t until recently when the song Fear Is A Liar came out that I would have thought to articulate it, but the words ring so true…”Fear, he is a liar, he will take your breath, stop you in your steps. Fear, he is a liar, he will rob your rest, steal your happiness.” Each and every one of these declarations has been an absolute truth in my life. Fear has, at one time or another, done all of these things to me…and more!
My most recent opportunity to overcome fear was when we traveled to Kenya. This was a “way out of your comfort zone” experience for me and my daughter. It would be our second time visiting Kenya but this time we would go without the “comfort” of knowing my husband would be there. There was a certain peace on our first trip knowing he would be on this journey with us should we need “protection.” (Which by the way, we never did.) As the days led up to our trip, my daughter, Brooke and I would ride in the car and listen to the words of Zack Williams song and be reminded that the “voices” trying to scare us, were not from God. They were lies that the enemy wanted us to hear to keep us from whatever the Lord had in store for our journey.
At this point, I want to stop so we can think about this question; Why do we give weight to anything in our minds that comes from someone who wants to kill, steal and destroy our lives? If there was a person standing before us and God himself said, “I know for a fact that this person has terrible plans to destroy your life, to lie to you, to harm you and ultimately wants your soul to perish,” would we then take the advice of that person? Of course not! The Bible is clear that Satan has this plan for us, and yet we still listen to him. The Bible is also clear that God’s perfect love casts out fear. God’s Word tells us to FEAR NOT 365 times. 365 times! It’s time we start listening to the voice who has victory, hope, joy, love and eternity in store for us.
Back to Kenya…as the days leading up to our trip decreased, the voices of fear began to increase. But we had a well thought out, highly strategic battle plan in place to handle this situation…ignore the lies! Yep! Really profound I know. So we headed off for our trip, 3 ladies on a plane to Kenya (my friend Marilyn joined us as well) traveling through Amsterdam then Nairobi, Eldoret and our final destination, Kipkaren, Kenya. At about 90% of the way through our journey the battle intensified as a full-fledged panic attack set in at 4AM in the morning. Yes, I know, what happened to ignoring the lies?!? Listen, we’re not looking for perfection here, just direction right!? So I did what any obedient, Jesus loving, Christian woman sitting in a hostel with her 17 year old would do…I had a melt-down, called my husband and cried, got a pep talk from him and my 24 year old daughter who was with him, got my Bible and journal out and ate Frootloops. (No judgement please.) But at that moment in Kenya, with my Frootloops and my Bible, the Lord gave me these words to write in my journal…”I will bless your obedience.” That’s it. Simple. Comforting. True. If Jesus brought me to it, He would see me through it. He would bless my obedience. All that was required of me was to do what He asked, and He would bless it.
Let me ask you this today. How much joy have your experienced by surrendering to fear? How much joy do you find living under the threat of the “what-if’s?” What victory have you been able to claim when you succumb to the lies, missing the GOD-SIZED adventure on the other side of them?
Our trip to Kenya wasn’t without a few of the things we feared…a little illness and some airport hiccups. But those are distant memories now and what pervades our mind is Jesus; His strength in us, His presence seeing us through our weak moments, His love showered on us by the people in Kenya and His God-sized experiences that He lavished on us. Jesus, the Lover of our souls, has GOOD for us. Good for us when He calls us out into scary things. Growth for us when stop allowing fear to let us shrink back into the zone of our comfort and familiarity. We are His living Gospel, His hands and feet to this world. How can we be those things if we allow the voice of the Liar to be louder than the voice of Truth? It’s time to discipline our minds and take a stand against the lies.
Allowing lies to dictate our choices will leave us filled with regret, but following Jesus never will.
*I’ve shared some pictures of our recent trip to illustrate the pure joy and wonderful adventure we experienced by breaking through the lies and fear we felt and simply obeying God.