I would like to start this post by saying that there is an extent to which fear is healthy and even wise (i.e. the fear of getting seriously injured). However, I am writing about the society-influenced fear that keeps you from following God’s will.
Last week, while on a mission with my church in San Antonio, a song was introduced to me that has had an important impact in my life. The song is called “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams. At first, I just really liked the song in general; I liked the lyrics too but didn’t take them to heart. The leader in our van kept having us listen to the song before starting our day and soon enough, a couple lines got stuck in my head:
“Fear, he is a liar
He will take your breath,
Stop you in your steps”.
But I didn’t want to admit that fear can have so much power over me. So, at that thought, I just pushed it away as a catchy song.
Throughout the week, we held a daily vacation bible school (VBS) where we invited kids to come for an hour and listen to some music, a skit, and a small message, as well as participate in some games and crafts. I was on the skit team and so before and after performing we had some time to mingle with the kids, get to know them, share a little of our testimony, show them God’s love, and overall just have fun engaging them in the activities. However, the first two days I didn’t really interact with any of the kids. I stayed close to friends from my church, or busied myself with double and triple checking the set up, or going over my lines one more time, etc.
That worked out until the third day we were at VBS and I saw a girl sitting alone on the swings. I got an urge to get up and go interact with her. But, as I was walking across the field, I literally stopped in my tracks and I was actually frozen in thought. I stood there for a minute seriously contemplating turning around. Why?
I was afraid.
Suddenly, I had convinced myself that this girl would judge me, or that I’d say something wrong and be too awkard, or that she wouldn’t want to talk to me at all. I wanted to go back to distracting myself and avoid all situations outside of my comfort zone. I was about to turn around and do just that, when the song popped back into my head. In that moment, I was indisputably living out the lyrics. Fear had stopped me in my steps. So I stopped thinking and prayed on the spot and eventually, with God’s help, mustered up the courage to keep walking until I no longer wanted to go back.
When the girl saw me getting closer she smiled the most genuine smile. And as we talked throughout the VBS she ended up opening up to me, a totally awkward stranger, about her life and her friends and I was able to share some of my experiences with her. If I had listened to the voice telling me that God couldn’t possibly use me to connect with this girl then I wouldn’t have gotten to.
Everyone is afraid of something.
I’m not talking about heights or spiders or snakes. I’m talking about the fear that society has brought upon us, in some way, that tells us we aren’t good enough. But listen. You are good enough. If you bring everything to the table, God will use it for good. We no longer have to be slaves to fear because we are children of God. Once you get over that initial fright and take a step towards Him, He will guide you the rest of the way. So cast your fears into the fire and, the next time you find yourself doubting the Holy Spirit, fight the self-perserving urge to run away from every uncomfortable situation. In other words, show fear who’s boss. Easier said than done, I know, but worth it.