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Feeling a little nervous these days about pursuing God’s best for your life? Perhaps you are moving, meeting new people, or switching jobs and waking up with anxiety every night. Guess what? You aren’t alone in facing fear. The most underlined passage in the Bible is Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In the Old Testament, when Moses died, God chose Moses’ protege Joshua to take over. Despite his long apprenticeship under Moses, we read that Joshua was pretty nervous about his new responsibilities. Who wouldn’t be? In Joshua 1, God tells him three times to be strong and courageous. Joshua was a capable, anointed leader, but wasn’t above the normal experience of feeling shaky and uncertain. Below are four reminders to return to when fear and anxiety threaten to cut in on you or those you influence.
1) Fear is not failure. It is an opportunity to grow in Christ and toward your calling. Learn from it. Courage is cultivated over time. God will not disqualify you or abandon you for struggling with fear and anxiety.
2) Fear is not a FACT. It’s a feeling. What are you believing related to your fears? The only Truth that we can bank on is God’s Word. Go to it to find the scriptures that combat your greatest fear. EVEN YOUR WORST FEAR REALIZED can’t separate you from Christ. There are eternal truths and a heavenly reality that overrides anything that can happen to us here on earth, or our loved ones. Be in God’s Word DAILY in order to keep your spiritual armor in good working order.
3) Fear doesn’t have the final word. Our fears don’t define us or have the final say in who we are becoming. Even if you are paralyzed by fear today, you have a Savior who has already gifted you peace as your birthright and provided a way through.
4) Fear might be your path to victory. Those things you fear most are often what makes it possible to find the way toward true freedom. When you lose your dreams, relationships, or opportunities, everything can seem lost. But those feelings of lostness are often just thinly veiled lies distracting you from the true Way: Jesus. God never leaves us lost.
Whenever fear and anxiety threaten to cut in on your life and leadership, or those you influence, return to these four reminders to stay the course despite how you feel. Also remember that just as God promised Joshua He would “never leave him nor forsake him” (Joshua 1:5), He is going to finish the race with you, too. Paul, a hero in the courage club, writes:
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fear for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or the earth below – indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38
Wherever you find yourself today, however hesitant, anxious or even paralyzed, God is inviting you to step over your fears into freedom and victory!
Much of our lives are lived in the valley where threats are a reality, but we are making our way through it. There is a destination. We are pilgrims all walking the same path toward home. The way is treacherous, but our victory is in the destination and the journey is where we get to live out our faith in such a way that the closer we get to heaven, the more we realize it’s actually better than we originally believed.
Let’s link arms and get moving! Start envisioning what’s on the other side of your fears and take a step toward God and His plans for your life.
Being a fearless leader doesn’t mean the absence of fear. It simply means you aren’t FEAR-FULL. There’s room there for courage gifted by the Holy Spirit. Less fear, more Jesus! Instead of being a victim of fear, we can be victorious in overcoming it.
Katie Pearson is the owner and founder of Be New Ministries, which provides faith-based retreats, workshops, coaching and leadership development training for women. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, publications and training programs. She is a Certified Professional Life Coach, has an M.A. in English Literature, and has trained yoga instructors for more than twenty years. Katie and her husband Kevin have two daughters in college, and live on Bainbridge Island, WA, where she was raised.
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