Years ago, I made a decision that I was going to face my fears instead of running from them. What held me back and tormented me would no longer get the upper hand, as I was tired of anxiousness, worry and constant tension that came at me. I decided to turn the tables on the enemy and I have never looked back.
Yet when you make this decision, a lot of things have to change. We spend way to much time avoiding what we fear or things which may produce pain, while running as fast as we can to what is comfortable.
Being Fearless is Not About Comfort
When I decided to face fear more relentlessly, I realized that God’s number one aim was not my comfort. He is all about equipping me to live in my God-given potential. That purpose involves facing fear at many turns.
When my wife and I set out to walk the call that God had placed on both of us, it demanded huge steps of faith, but we decided that we were not going to live as victims to fear in our lives. So from the beginning, we have established some values and decisions that would help us overturn fear, yet keep us in the rest of God.
It has been a learning process, but one where God is teaching us to live out His rest on a daily basis. Here are the decisions we made to keep us steady in the process:
1. We refuse to make decisions based on fear.
In order to make a clear decision, we have to clear the fear factor out as a motivator. This takes a lot of honesty, because most of the time we all don’t want to admit that fear is behind many decisions.
Whenever there is a breakthrough available, fear will always present itself so that we don’t take the step. In order for my faith to develop, I have to be intentional about making sure that fear is not the driving force in our decisions.
2. Growing in love is always the focus.
Wherever we struggle with fear of any kind, is a place where love needs to have a greater work. When you are in fear, it’s not a lack of faith, it’s a lack of love having a deeper work.
It’s love that casts out the fear. Faith is simply what we activate despite the fear that knocking on our door.
In our home, we talk a lot about feeling “safe” in love. It’s one of the greatest gifts we can have in the midst of a storm or discouraging times. Fear wants to pull the despair switch, but there is always a safe place where we can rest in God.
Safety in God doesn’t mean we don’t take risks. Living in the love of God actually empowers us to take lots of risks. We actually get more used to walking in the water rather than staying in the boat. Yet the Father’s love is an a steady place of reliance, where we know we are safe in Him.
The more we rest in His love, the more God gives us divine perspective. We cannot accomplish great eternal matters if we are not continually immersing ourselves in His loving presence.
3. Our lifestyle will not be rushed.
This one can actually be the toughest one.
Most people crash and hit nervous breakdowns because their lives set them up for a fear driven life that keeps them in constant pressure. Eventually it takes a toll. The endless demands and constant busyness propel them to live at a pace that may impress modern thinking, but it suck them out of rest each time.
We’ve made a decision that we will live our lives at the pace of rest. Each family has to make a decision of what that looks like. But it needs a sober assessment. If you want to live in divine rest, there are some sacrifices you will have to make in life.
4. We will seek to be ourselves.
In order to remain true to our calling, we have to remain true to the thumbprint God has given us. This means we are going to be ourselves, as we grow in learning what our identity truly us.
That means I refuse to copy or superimpose who someone else is onto me. Social media drives everyone to put on something that is inauthentic, so it’s important to remain grounded in a personal revelation of identity.
I’ve have learned that my greatest effectiveness in relationships is when I am myself, without any added show or mask. When I am myself, authenticity flows my heart in a way that is true to God and how he has called me.
5. The pressure is off.
Anytime I feel pressure, I have permission cast it off. In the Kingdom of God, there is no pressure. God is not putting pressure on me, so therefore I do not need to put pressure on myself or my family members.
So therefore, I refuse to perform. I will teach and help others as myself and let God show Himself strong. It makes ministry so much more fun and it takes the pressure off of having to have all the answers and putting on a “new show” every time I minister.
Here’s a little prayer I say just before I do a talk or teach:
“God, you love these people even more than I do. You know exactly what they need, so speak through me. I don’t need to perform or carry any pressure of the results today. It’s in your hands. So the pressure’s off. I’m gonna have fun being myself and seeing lives changed. Use that to your glory.”
When times of crisis or impossibility come, the pressure rises, causing us to panic. I have learned that it is fruitless to panic, so I let God teach me how to remain in rest when things seem chaotic. In the storm, there are often solutions and nuggets of wisdom. But we cannot hear them if we stay in panic.
One of my daily declarations even says, “there are breakthroughs today that I wil discover.”
6. God is in charge of the results.
It’s a myth to think that all the results of your life are in your own hands. That’s a burden God has released us from.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t give 100% or that life takes work. It just means that entering into rest takes the pressure off. That way you can use your energy to focus on the learning and enjoyment, rather than the fear of what is going to go wrong.
Because I have chosen to live a life that opposes pressure, I am learning to condition my heart and body to move against what fear brings. Over time, I get used to living in what used to terrify me. When we come into agreement with pressure, we feed what the enemy wants us to believe–that the outcome is under our control.
It may be good to start saying out loud: “There is no pressure. I break agreement with pressure!”
God is in charge of the results. Because I have responded to what I felt He was telling me to do, then He is responsible to carry out the results. What that looks like is often different than I thought, but remaining in rest places trust that His plans really are higher.
7. Facing fear will always be celebrated and encouraged.
I will celebrate stepping out and taking risks more than focusing on the results working out. Each time I, or someone in my family takes a step of faith, it is celebrated. Each time we face what we fear, we condition our spiritual and emotional muscles to move against the grain that fear is trying to instill in us.
We’re equipping ourselves to live as overcomers. It doesn’t mean life is comfortable. You learn to get excited about stepping out, rather than wasting so much time thinking about what co go wrong or focusing on the narrative that fear has created.
In it all, we have made the decision to wage war against fear and take back our rest.
Question: How are you going about turning the tables on fear in your life?
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