EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN: 5 Steps to Fearlessness Blogger Widgets

5 Steps to Fearlessness

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

by Keri Wyatt Kent

The most frequently repeated command in the Bible is “Do not…” What? Can you guess? You might be surprised. It is “do not be afraid.” Why then, are we so often paralyzed by fear? What can we do to replace our fear with faith, so that we can live boldly and freely?

If you ask most people, religious or not, to list biblical “sins,” they’ll likely offer you a list that includes adultery, lust, greed, murder, etc. Few, if any, would list “worry.” And yet, the most frequently repeated command in the bible is “do not be afraid.” Jesus devoted part of the Sermon on the Mount to tell his followers not to worry. But many Christians seem to be expert worriers. Their faith hides beneath a thick coating of fear. They worry about what will happen if certain people get elected or don’t, they worry about their kids, they worry about their money, or their church.

Often, their fear seems justified: when life is really hard, or challenges come your way, sometimes fear feels inevitable. You can’t help but worry, right? But what if worry is a choice? Why would Jesus say “Don’t worry,” unless it were actually a choice for us to make?

Pastor James MacDonald, in his latest book Always True, writes that fear is the opposite of faith. He asserts that it has no place in the life of a Christian.

“Fear expresses the opposite of all that Christianity is to be. Fear is the contradiction of faith. Faith says, ‘Whatever it is, it’ll be okay because of God.’ Fear says, It’s not going to be okay, and doesn’t think much about God at all. Fear is the complete state of anti-God. God seldom seems further from you than when your heart is filled with fear. Fear is relying completely on your own resources and realizing suddenly that they aren’t nearly enough to sustain you. Fear has no place in the life of a Christian.” (p. 33)

How can you get rid of fear?

Here are five steps you can take to let go of worry and fear,
 to live in the freedom of fearlessness.

1. Focus on the moment. Stress is often the result of our mind not focusing on the here and now. When we worry about the past, rehashing mistakes or wondering if we someone screwed up, we feel stressed. When we’re nervous about what’s coming, and imagine worst-case scenarios, most of which are highly unlikely, we frighten ourselves. Instead of living in the past or obsessing about the problems of tomorrow, simply focus on the moment at hand. What can you do right now? As Jesus said, “tomorrow has enough worries of its own.”

2. Pray. We often pray that God will intervene in the problems that we are worried about, but often this type of prayers are simply sanctified worrying. “Oh, God, please help me, please change this, please make this happen….” Our prayers are really just our worries, with a “Dear God” tucked on the front. Pray differently: ask for God’s love, rather than his problem solving. Instead of fretting over your concerns, why not pray that God would make you aware of his loving presence? The bible says “perfect love casts out fear.” So pray for God’s love to fill your heart and soul, flushing out the worry and fear.

3. Confess. If you do something the bible says not to do, that is a sin. The Bible clearly says not to fear or worry, so worry is a sin. Sin means missing the mark, making a bad choice. Do you see worry that way? As a sin? Sin is not just something that gets God mad at you, or gets you in trouble. It’s a choice you make that causes you to fall short of God’s best for you. It’s something that hurts you. Confess your worry as a sin, knowing that God is anxious to forgive you and show you a better way.

4. Let go and let God. If you are relying only on yourself, you have good reason to worry! You don’t have the resources that God does. But if you trust God, worry is not necessary. Fear grows out of our need to control things. Realizing God is in control means accepting that you are not in control! The Bible tells us that God is close to the brokenhearted, that he hears the cries of the oppressed, that he knows us by name, that he has plans for our future. The path to fearlessness begins with trust, with believing that if you just let go, God will come through for you. When we face struggles, God is there for us. MacDonald writes: “when you’re going through hardship, or when you’re heavyhearted and burdened, God rolls up His sleeves and moves toward you in a way that’s unlike any other time.” (p. 34)

5. Focus on others. When we are wrapped up in our own problems, we tend to worry more. When we get outside of ourselves and realize that we may not have it so bad, and that others need our help, our worries get put into proper perspective. Volunteer at a nursing home, or your church. Bring a meal to a neighbor with a new baby or who is ill. Simply sit and listen to someone who is going through a rough time.

Worry and fear keep us from experiencing God’s love. The bible says “perfect love casts out fear,” and that love comes only from God. Don’t allow fear to block your access to God’s amazing love.

Learn more about God’s always true promises
and how they can cast out fear at:

(c)  Keri Wyatt Kent

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