So in today’s lesson, we are going to be talking about…
I love the acronym that most of us are familiar with when we think about fear…
But if you’ve feared anything, and I do mean anything – no matter how big or how small, you’d agree with me that if you fear something, it’s not “false evidence,” it’s freaking REAL.
Like in our mind, whatever it is we fear is in no way, shape, or form false evidence, it is REAL evidence.
It doesn’t even feel real, it IS real.
I actually remind us of this in my book DREAM, I Dare You, when I say: “your brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality.”
That doesn’t include just our dreams, it also includes our fears.
And how many of you know, if you’re fearin’, you ain’t dreamin’. Hence why we’re talking about this today, because if you want to live the life of your dreams, the life that God has called you to, you cannot afford to continue fearing in the way that you do.
So let’s look at some of the greatest fears we have:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of loss
- Fear of judgment
- Fear of losing identity (this just means the story of who you think you are)
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of time
- Fear of the future
(I pulled these from https://www.lifehack.org/864903/biggest-fear and just loved the insight SO MUCH!!!)
- Fear of inadequacy
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of change
Oh and don’t forget, fear of:
- Situations in which escape is difficult
- Thunder and lightning
Lord almighty, it’s amazing we even get out of bed in the morning.
Here’s what’s so interesting about the top 10-12 fears you find on that list… they’re all mental and emotional. They’re all FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. They’re all the stories we tell ourselves about “what might happen,” “what could happen,” and have no bearing on the actual future. They’re all premeditated by way of the past.
This is what makes this so dangerous. We have these experiences in time that rock our world, where we do fail, where we do succeed, where something happens and someone says something and our fear becomes our reality. Warranted. No questions asked. It’s a fact. But then, what we do is we take that experience and we carry it with us for the rest of our lives. We, in theory, throw our past on our future… and then we wonder why we get the same results.
Instead of processing the pain, we carry it with us. We hold onto it.
Lemme put it this way:
We cannot create a new future with past holdings.
I will also say this… failure, success, loss, identity changes, judgment, losing control, ALL OF IT, EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT is inevitable friends. This is par for the course. This is called life. So instead of fearing it, what if, WHAT IF, we began to LEARN HOW to accept it, process it, heal with it, and actually LIVE despite the fear.
I even had a friend the other day that said, “I want to live without fear.” Fair. But in my experience, no matter how much personal or professional development you have, you still have fear. So what if we learned to move forward in our life despite the fear?!
Well, how do you do that?
First you must understand a few things… first things first, most fear is built based upon the things around you. Again, warranted… but if you want to bring Heaven to this earth, if you want to overcome, if you want to live your dreams, you cannot be distracted by the things around you.
You cannot be distracted by the things around you!
If we become too preoccupied by the things around us, we cannot put our focus and attention on where it should be… on the things within us.
God is speaking to you. He is directing you. But it is in the still, small voice within you that you’ll hear Him. He will never compete or vie for your attention. He will wait patiently until you get quiet.
But how do you get quiet when the world is so loud?
How do you get quiet when you’re fears are talking so loud?
Here’s the most climatic part of this whole piece… you ready for this:
You FEAR THE LORD.
Here’s what’s happened… we’ve misplaced our fear.
We’ve put our fear in things, people, circumstances around us, our past, our future, all the things and we’ve forgotten that we’ve been built to fear the Lord, not all the things.
We’ve misplaced our fear of God for traditional fear of man.
And because it’s been misplaced and misused, we’re experiencing negative consequences of feeling depleted, depressed, anxious and unaware.
We fear what other people think,
We fear the outcome,
We fear CVOD,
We fear rejection,
We fear we’re going to make a mistake,
We fear what might happen tomorrow…
THIS IS MISPLACED FEAR.
The Bible says “fear not” 365 times. 365 times!!! That’s a “fear not” for every single day of the year! Every, Single, Day. Why? Probably because God knew you and I would have 365 days to choose fearing stuff OR fearing Him.
“Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13
“Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life.” Psalm 27:1
“I will fear no evil for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4
And I love Psalm 34:4 which sets us up for our tactical next step, “I sought the Lord and He answered me.”
I stopped seeking from this world, I stopped looking around me, I stopped going “out there” and I started going to Him.
How we “fear not” is we FEAR HIM.
“Teach me your way Lord that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart that I may fear you.” Psalm 86:11
This type of fear is one of respect, awe, submission, reverence.
And that IS the opposite of fear.
It’s not courage or bravery or boldness. The opposite of fear is love.
The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.”
It’s LOVE that will cause us to run towards Him, despite the fear.
It’s LOVE that will cause us to GO when everyone else wants to stay.
It’s LOVE that will cause us to be obedient even when it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t seem to make sense.
LOVE is a powerful thing. Equally as powerful as fear BUT they will cause you to pick a side. You can’t have both.
We either fear opinions, rejection, failure, all the things OR we fear (LOVE) God. Which is it going to be?!
The Bible says, “Noah, who in reverent fear of God built the ark.” Hebrews 11:7
We could also say, “Noah, who, IN LOVE, of God, built the ark.”
This is called being motivated by love, not fear.
Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord (the respect, awe, reverence, love) is the beginning of wisdom.”
It’s when we put our attention ON HIM, not on things of this world, not people or opinions or even the past, ON HIM, it’s when we put our attention and affections ON HIM that we find wisdom, knowledge, insight, answers. This is our mind blow. HE is our mind blow. It’s HIS love, His crazy, agape, whole – hearted love the DEFIES all logic and reason and fear we could have. Love has a way of doing that you know?! It’s the kind of love that blows your mind, all contextual reasoning, societal norms, world views, self view, all of it. THAT is where we find our wisdom. This is where we find our point of clarity. It’s in love.
Who would you be IN LOVE?
What would you do IN LOVE?
Where would you go IN LOVE?
How would you live IN LOVE?
Completely different answer than how you’d do it in fear, eh?
The Bible says, “Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” Mark 8:17-18
In these verses Jesus is basically reminding them of all he had said but the disciples had conveniently forgotten causing them to no longer see or hear the truth. Did that mean the truth was no longer available to them? No.
Did that mean there was no answer? No.
It meant they weren’t primed and positioned to hear, to see, to receive…
Your fear is positioning you to NOT hear. To NOT see. To NOT receive.
It’s not that God’s answers aren’t all around, or better yet, on the inside of you, it’s that your fear has got your ear.
Your fear has got your ear.
The disciples had simply stopped fearing God and they started fearing man.
They had stopped developing their love for God and started putting their attention on all the things instead…
If you are in a place of fear today, simple, stupid hard lesson: You are not developing your love for God… your fear of God.
Back to my earlier point of misplacement… if you’re worried so much by the things going on around you, you’ve lost your awe and wonder for the things of God. The things around you have become bigger than the God who holds the things around you.
This is misplaced fear. That’s all it is. It’s the enemy’s way of taking what God originated for good – to love Him, and used it to separate us from Him.
We are called to NOT fear the things of this world. We are to fear (LOVE) the God who holds this world in the very palm of His hands. If you fear all the things more than you fear (LOVE) God, you will lose the battle.
“I have not given you a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.”
It’s time to recall this fear and to replace it with the fear (LOVE) of God. It’s time to up our LOVE FOR THE THINGS OF GOD. Our awe, and wonder.
How we “Fear not” is we FEAR HIM. We stand in awe and wonder, an overwhelming sense of admiration of who He is and His extreme power. It is our recognition of Him, in the midst of it all that we find our hope. “Yea though I walk through the valley…” In the midst of the fear, I will walk because, “you are with me.” And YOU God, are bigger. That’s what we’re saying. My fear might be BIG, circumstances might be legit, my past may be brutal, my future may be unknown BUT GOD. But God is bigger.
I love that the Bible is NOT overlooking the realities and the realness, it just DEFIES it.
It’s in my fear of Him, my LOVE for Him that all other things are then added to me. It’s when I make Him bigger that I gain perspective and it’s in my perspective gain that I find my answers. Here is the beginning of wisdom – it’s in knowing the LOVE, the sincere, undivided, untethered, unconditional love of our Creator that everything changes. Everything!
We think we know God’s love. Geesh! We haven’t even scratched the surface.
How do I know?
Because if we did, if we knew the depth, the height, the width of His love, we would be COMPLETELY, RADICALLY, UNEQUIVOCALLY moved by love.
Our care for other people would increase while our care about what they think would decrease.
Our attention on the uncontrollable factors would decrease and our dependency on Him would increase.
Our angst and anxiety would decrease and our peace and joy would increase!
Why? Because our fear was purposefully replaced in HIM.
Take your fear and place it on Him today. Let His love SWALLOW YOU WHOLE. Let it transform you.
“Teach me your way Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness, give me an undivided heart, that I may fear you.”
Undivided is WHOLE.
And it’s in LOVE that we can live whole.
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