We all have our giants; our own unique fears, and they come disguised in many forms.
Our giant might be:
- fear of failure
- fear of other's opinions
- fear of not being loved or accepted
- fear of being hurt
- fear of conflict
- fear of rejection
Living with these fears will cause us to be imprisoned as we begin to live our lives in self doubt, constantly seeking the approval of others, and being so 'safe' that we never take risks, for fear of the pain we might feel. Or our fear might manifest itself as pride, as an inability to admit any fears or mistakes we have made. Either way, a life based in fear is crippling, because it holds us captive.
This has happened to me recently. I had allowed words to stop me. Fear overcame me; fear of failure and fear of what others might think. I allowed the voice of Satan to become louder than the voice of God, and so I chose to stop; to simply quit moving forward with something I felt God was calling me to. By confessing this to another, I received a timely challenge. It was just what I needed to snap me out of an incorrect way of thinking. The one that challenged me said they saw me as someone confident, as one not easily intimidated. And yet, I confessed that fear had taken up residence in my heart. Fear of failing and fear of opinions had a chokehold on me. And then, the most unlikely of Bible stories spoke to me.
It was a passage in Acts about the Apostle Paul that woke me up. In my mind's eye, I have always seen Paul as a bit intimidating, one so confident, so tenacious in his sharing and spreading of the gospel. I saw him as having no fear. And because that was my view, he didn't seem real or approachable to me, certainly not at approachable as the Apostle Peter, whom I have tended to identify with. Impetuous, "I will never deny you, Lord", Peter; oh how I loved him, for he gave me hope! He was the hero of faith that I wanted to meet in heaven, until I read Acts 18: 9.
And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision,
"Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city."
How had I missed this? I knew that Paul suffered stoning and beatings and was threatened time and time again. And yet, I saw him as shrugging that off, boldly continuing to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of much adversity. But Acts 18:9 clearly shows he had fear because Jesus told him to not be afraid any longer. I don't know why it is a comfort to know that Paul had fear, but it is, even though Paul's fear seems much more justified that my fears. If he overcame his fear of physical threats to body and his very life, then surely you and I can overcome any fears we may have!
Later in the book of 2 Timothy, Paul writes,
" For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7
Paul was divinely inspired by the Holy Spirt in his writings, but I believe he also spoke from personal experience when he penned this particular scripture.
Indeed, God has NOT given us a spirt of timidity! Timidity is a choice that is fear based, not faith based. I do not want to live a life that is fear based. I choose faith, knowing that at times I will 'feel' uncomfortable and uneasy. But I pray by choosing faith, by choosing to trust God where ever He takes me, that I will meet what intimidates me head on, knowing that the power of God is ever present with me.
So this girl, this "Singing like a robin" girl is going to be taking some risks, and living in faith not fear! And I pray you will too.