This February I decided to face fear. Not the big fears: flying, spiders, death… the small fears that hold me back.
Fear talks me out of obedience. Not the big sin/little sin type of obedience, if there is such a thing. More the niggling, subtle promptings of obedience that are so easy to brush under the carpet:
“I really should….”
“I know I need to start….”
There are times where I feel God tapping me on the shoulder to step out and overcome, but fear reminds me of all the reasons it would be ok to stay the same, not to change, not to stretch, not to obey… I look around and argue: ‘they do it, and it’s fine.’ Or ‘they don’t do that, and it works for them.’
We know we can’t compare journeys but we still do hey? What God is asking you to overcome is different to what He is asking of me.
My trivial fears reveal themselves in the things I keep putting off, in the things I am constantly avoiding:
- Life without coffee- my crutch, my go-to, my turbo charge for accomplishing more in life.
- Hunger. A story for another day.
- Public speaking at church. It would be much easier to stay hidden. Safe.
- Getting out of bed at the time God has laid on my heart. It’s a fear of being tired for the rest of the day. Funnily enough, tiredness is never a concern when staying up late watching ‘one more episode’ of something. Deep down I think it’s the fear of intimacy that awaits me when I’m alone with God at that hour of the morning.
- Sending off the manuscript for my first book- the fear of the unknown.
This February I faced some of my fears head on. Some were easy; I stopped drinking coffee, got a few headaches and moved on; I skipped the odd meal, felt hungry and got over it.
But other fears are requiring continual internal rearrangement under the watchful hands of Heaven. I face them then hide, conjure up the courage to face them again, then retreat.
Quiet obedience to Jesus is outworked in the small seemingly insignificant details of our lives: our hidden lives, our secret lives, the unseen the stuff only heaven sees.
By the way, is there something God has been tapping you on the shoulder about?
Something you’ve been meaning to attend to?
We ignore promptings to attend to health, to step out at work or church and build relationships. We ignore promptings to reconcile with loved ones and we put off engaging our discipline. It’s the simple things that are often the hardest to overcome.
Sometimes we fear the outcome.
Sometimes we just don’t want to give up ownership of that part of our life. It’s a call to a deeper level of surrender. Deep calls to deep.
Do you want to know what I’m discovering about fear?
The answer to overcoming fear is found in perfect love.
Each time I’ve faced my fear of being tired and crawled out of bed to spend time with Jesus at the beach, I’ve found myself overwhelmed by His love. As I dig a little deeper and position myself in His presence fear is beginning to untangle itself slowly from my life in other areas. I’ve not had to do things in my own strength.
Speaking at church no longer has me dreaming of dissolving into the crowd. I’m not as concerned about what other people think of me as I am more aware of God’s love for me. I have perspective on meals and coffee as I am aware it is He that sustains me.
That just leaves the manuscript…
Facing the fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of the unknown. What if I get my book published and it is terrible? What if it gets published and it’s amazing? What if… Regardless of the outcome, I know God is more concerned with who I am becoming in the process. His love is unchanging.
To face this fear and send the manuscript off will require discipline as well as positioning myself in the knowledge of His love. So here’s my commitment: no more blogs, no more social media, no more procrastinating until I email it off ready for the first round of edits. Okay?
How about you? Is there an area that is holding you back that you are ready to face? I’d love to know. Just comment below or send me an email. The accountability is aways great.
Oh, and don’t face fear on your own. Our journey is not about more of our own strength. We need to be positioning ourselves in places where His perfect love can trump fear.
‘There is no fear in love; Perfect love casts out fear.’ (1 John 4:18)
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From a young age, society teaches us that to fulfil our purpose we must set goals, break them down into tasks, then achieve them. However, task-oriented goals don’t allow for the ebb and flow of life. When life throws us a curve ball, we can either continue trying to achieve these goals in our own strength, or give up, feeling like a failure.
By changing the focus of your goal setting from What has God called me to DO? to WHO has God called me to be? then regardless of what circumstances unfold, there is purpose in every moment and your calling will be outworked by the grace of God.
Now Is The Time is a three part reflection that chronicles my journey to an entirely different way of goal setting.