“He said to them,
Why are you so timid and fearful?
How is it that you have no faith
(no firmly relying trust)?”
Mark 4:40 Amp
What are you afraid of?
What do you stop short of, or even run from, because of hidden anxiety?
Nearly everyone, it seems, has resigned themselves in one degree or another to living with fear.
- Fear of death
- growing old
- being poor
- getting sick
- having an accident
- meeting new people
- losing a loved one – the list is endless.
But fear isn’t a quiet pet that stays in a cage in the back room. Rather, as termites undermine the internal workings of a structure until it collapses from within, fear spreads to every part of your life unless you deal with it.
I grew up with my own vast array of trepidations. Some were simple and childish. Others paralyzed me. I was mostly quiet; happy to blend into the wallpaper. Even when I found myself playing piano and singing in front of a crowd, I happily melted into the back corner of the group.
I was horribly claustrophobic, frightened to have anything covering my face (even water in the shower) and several times bolted from the dentist’s chair when I could no longer take the tubes, lights, and hands so close.
I was scared to fly, scared to be a passenger in heavy traffic, scared of making a mistake, scared of being in the spotlight. Yep – fear is a no-win situation.
So how has God dealt with my fear?
The same way He dealt with Job’s: By letting it come upon me in wave after wave so it can no longer hide in the dark corners of my thoughts. Then, when all seemed a loss and it was more than I could take, God stepped forward in beauty and power to give me a more accurate perspective.
One by one the Holy Spirit began replacing my fears with love and truth. One by one I came to see that all I was afraid of were just grains of sand, not the mountains I’d thought.
I now see that my God is greater than anything fear can throw at me – and He lives in me.
So, what does this have to do with obeying God?
Think for a minute. How often does fear keep you from going deeper in your walk with Jesus? How often do you hold back from drawing closer to Him because you’re afraid of what He might ask you to do?
- How many dreams lie in the back of the closet?
- How many bridges detoured around?
- How many Holy Spirit nudges ignored?
Fear will always keep you from fulfilling your destiny in Christ. God knows this. And so – at the perfect time – He will lead you to face your fear. Not to scare you, but that you might be free. You are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus, but often don’t realize it until you need to.
Look at the disciples in Mark 4:35-41. They had just heard Jesus teach profound truths. They had just been told that they, of all the people, had been entrusted with the mysteries of the kingdom of God. They probably felt excited about the future.
Then Jesus made a simple request, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.“
It seemed like a simple request, but the disciples soon found themselves in an unexpected storm. A storm of hurricane proportions. In great fear they cried out to Jesus, “Master, do You not care that we are perishing?”
The bottom line:
You will have to face your fear if you want to follow Jesus.
You will have to face storms and obstacles. But look again at Mark 4. Where was Jesus? Sleeping in the stern of the boat. Sleeping in the midst of the storm.
Jesus never shines light on your fear without also revealing His peace and His power.
“When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. ” v. 39
Obedience to God is the safest place you can be. Truly. There is no greater security than knowing you are in the care of a perfect, loving, powerful Creator. His wisdom surpasses all thought and His desire to see you live a life of peace and joy exceeds all imagination.
Grab onto Him. Grab onto His Word. Follow this One Who is leading you to fullness of Life. And if you find that you have somehow let go, know that He never lets go of you.
“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!” —Minnie Louise Haskins
Find more of Amy’s encouragement in Will to Be Filled
Amy Layne Litzelman is passionate about knowing God more intimately in each moment and helping others do the same. Amy released her first book, This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship, in 2011. She has also composed over seventy songs, recorded four CDs, and traveled to teach and lead worship across the United States and in the Philippines and China. She and her husband, Matt, live in Jackson Hole, WY and have two adult sons.
Click here to learn more about gifted faith writer Amy Layne Litzelman