It’s astounding to think that one reaction to an outcome of life can shape not only my present, but also my future. That it has so much power that my whole life story can be sent down a completely different path.
Have you ever stopped to think about what your life would be like without fear? Not just fear of snakes and spiders. But fear of doing something with the talents and skills that come naturally to you. The fear of failing. Or the fear to succeed.
Even though it’s only made up of four letters in the English language, I believe it is the most powerful reaction a human can experience. Sadly enough, it can be even more powerful than love.
“The thing we fear is what we are giving power to in our lives. It’s what we are allowing to influence us…”
Growing up, I was painfully shy. I didn’t make friends easily and I relied on the prompting of grown ups to break free from my shell. I was never been great in expressing my feelings through spoken word. You could give me a piece of paper and a pen and I’d draw or write it out, but verbalizing, it was never my thing.
In eighth grade, I did something very uncharacteristic of myself and I signed up for a Forensics Dramatic Duo assignment, where one of my classmates and I would be judged for our performance of a dialogue. We practiced for weeks, to the point that I could recite both of our lines. We went to our training session at the high school, and then he came down with the flu. And I praised God!
Okay, let me clarify. I wasn’t thanking the Lord above that this poor middle schooler was stuck at home in the bathroom. I was praising God because I wouldn’t be put in a position where I could potentially fail.
But then I was given the option to be paired with an alternate, someone to fill his spot. Instead of bravely agreeing, I said “no thanks” and dropped out all-together.
FEAR (noun) –
Of course, that was not the first instance that fear had made an appearance in my life. I was afraid of the leprechauns that had apparently taken over my kindergarten classroom by leaving their green little footprints everywhere. But it was one instance where I was perfectly happy to settle with a life of mediocrity rather than put myself out there and see what could happen.
Do you do that too? Do you limit yourself because you are afraid of failing. Or, though it sounds counter-intuitive, do you limit yourself because you’re afraid to succeed?
We all too easily settle for less than the best because we don’t believe that we a) deserve favor, b) are capable, c) will be able to overcome defeat, or d) all of the above.
“Throughout the Bible, God chose ordinary and imperfect people – fisherman, shepherds, and farmers – to do astounding things.”
Have you ever seen the graphic on Pinterest that lists the names and shortcomings of some of the most influential characters of the bible? I pinned it ages ago, but I never really put much thought to it until recently.
Consider the characters we’ve grown up learning about. Father Abraham, Noah and his ark, Jonah and the whale, and Jacob and his amazing technicolor dream coat, for instance. If you met these people today, would you ever pick them to be influencers? People who have helped to shape the lives of countless others because they simply believed?
I wouldn’t, not from this list:[row-start]
Zaccheus was short,
Abraham was old,
and Lazarus was dead.
Miriam was a gossip,
Martha was a worrier,
Thomas was a doubter,
Sara was impatient,
Peter had a temper,
David had an affair,
Noah got drunk,
Jonah ran from God,
What if we lived our lives with faith like the people of the bible? What if we lived imperfectly, yet intentionally for God; having full confidence in what He can do in and through us?
“Even though we are ordinary, God can make the impossible possible when we surrender our fears to Him.”
Let’s not be women who settle for less than the best of our lives, allowing fear to be such a powerhouse, controlling our goings on. If we’re going to give power to something, let it be fear of the Lord, for what amazing works He has designed for us to achieve!
“The fear of the Lord – giving Him respect and influence over our lives above all else – is a positive fear that refines our hearts, pushing us to make what really matters happen.”
Let’s not be women who whimper in the face of challenges, but instead let’s live like warriors, conquering fear in the name of Jesus!
Do something small that you have been afraid of doing something you can do in the next five minutes. Refer to Pg. 25 for ideas. When you’re done, write about your experience in your Study Journal or a notebook and date it.
A little music to kick off the journey…
As a little girl, my dad would always tell my siblings and I the best bed time stories. I could be biased but his rendition of David and Goliath is pretty incredible! That’s probably one of the reasons I love this song by Francesca Battistelli. That and the words tell such truth about what we should do with the giants in our way.
Supplies for the journey…
- Have you joined our exclusive Facebook group?
The Intentional Filling is a place to grow in your faith individually, but also grow through the life experiences, prayers and support of the community members. We’re so excited for you to join us!
- Want a daily reminder to be strong and courageous?
Order the Print Pack of 3 – 8×10 digital prints designed by the community’s own Betsy Gettis, exclusively for the Intentional Filling community.