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Fear and anxiety are perhaps the greatest threat to our Kingdom Influence. Maybe that’s why “fear” occurs 365x in the Bible–one reference for every day of the year. Fear is natural and even good when we need to protect ourselves through fighting, freezing and fleeing. We are given superhuman strength to survive. The problem isn’t dealing with fear, it’s living in fear. That doesn’t even make sense. There’s no life in chronic anxiety. Instead of problem solving, we become paralyzed. This usurps our Divine design to overcome fear and instead, we become its victim. Imagine where the world would be if every leader served anxiety and fear, instead of trusting Jesus as Lord? I bet most ministries would be non-existent, let alone be transformational to friendships, marriages, books and businesses!
Fortunately, there are tactical steps we can take to keep us tracking with our callings and becoming women of faith. So, even if you feel paralyzed by the “what ifs” today, trust that through the power of prayer and lots of practice, you can become bold and courageous. Anything is possible with God! It starts with acknowledging who God is and his ultimate control over our lives and circumstances:
“We would be right never to forgive. We would be right never to have mercy. We would be right to think that our faithfulness is about being flawless and un-messy. We would be right to think that grace is for the weak. We would be right to think that risks are a bad idea. But do not be afraid–it’s not what you think. Risk for the sake of risk is recklessness. Risk for the sake of obedience to what God is asking of us is freedom. And that risk is really no risk at all because the nearness of a faithful, sovereign, in-control God guarantees that we’re making the right call in the long run.” – Melissa Zaldivar, Kingdom Come
1) Relate: Share your fears, first with God, then with others you trust. Bringing things into the light allows them to be seen for what they are – enemy tactics to keep us arm’s-length from our Father and from fulfilling our God-given callings.
2) Reframe: Harrison Ford says he flies planes because it reminds him there is a third dimension we forget from our limited vantage point on the ground. Get into Scripture, listen to other God-sized stories of deliverance, and get a spiritual perspective. It helps to remember that God always has our best interests at heart: In Genesis 50 Joseph tells his brothers “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish the saving of many lives.” Facing our fears is often what the Lord uses to deliver us from being imprisoned by them.
3) Pray: Ask God to help you discern what He wills you to do. Ask for courage. Build up Holy confidence that He not only goes before you but will guide your next step.
4) Act: This might be the scariest part. Only when we let go of our rope and free fall, do we fully realize in our heart, soul, mind and strength that Jesus is right below us. Even when we feel like we are living under the weight of our anxiety, we have a foundation we can trust more than our feelings. What you most fear might be your launchpad into a greater influence, freedom, and adventure with God.
5) Repeat: Practice! You likely won’t walk away today “fear-free”. Just like our bones and muscles, courage needs to be stressed and tested to get stronger.
Women of Kingdom Influence trust that God has their best interests in mind despite the threats that surround them. When we face danger, brokenness, or confusion that is beyond our control and understanding, we can be still and know that He is God. Note that being still with the Lord isn’t where we are meant to stay. It’s just a starting point before embarking on the 5 steps above. That said, it’s time to take action!
What is God inviting you to do next that requires overcoming anxiety and/or fear? What step are you willing to take today to move toward God’s higher purpose for your life and leadership?
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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