Not Afraid…Not Anymore
Oh yeah, I know what fear feels like. I know what it sounds like, too. I have heard the lies that reverberate around the walls of my chest and threaten to weaken my resolve and melt my heart. Yes, I have walked enough in darkness to know those shadows well. I don’t like it, but it is part of my story.
But let me be clear…it is part of my story, but it is not my storyline. Not anymore.
My Jesus, you see, He has redeemed that part of my story. Each day, each moment, each challenge I face, each memory I chase, He is showing me a different Truth. It was there all along, actually. He has been declaring it from the beginning. But that’s the funny (not so funny) thing about fear. It lies. It blinds.
Fear incapacitates your ability to see and hear the Lord.
Fear shuts us up and shuts us down.
Fear is a liar.
His light is altogether different. I am seeing it now. I am feeling it now. I am living it now. Little by little, nugget by nugget, He is replacing all the places within me chained by fear and anxiety and is exchanging them for a holy confidence. This Truth does not disappoint. This Truth does not taunt. This Truth is replacing all the darkness with marvelous light. This Truth is constant, and I can lean right back into it, wait for it, look forward to it, rest within it.
I could spend a lifetime searching out His glorious faithfulness and goodness and stand confident that I would never exhaust it. That makes me smile. But let me share a little slice with you. Perhaps you are ready to exchange those lies for Truth, too. I know I was…and still am.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”
Isaiah 43: 1-3, 5
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Did you hear that? We are chosen, we are cared for, cherished, strengthened, upheld, saved, redeemed, full of fruit, abounding in hope, able to rejoice, to be brave, strong, courageous…THRIVE!
Yes, there is not a one of us who will skate through this life without the trials of fire, deep waters, and hardship. Being chosen and delivered does not mean that we are spared from the depravity and heartache that comes with this soil we tread. But hear me, friends, we are NOT slaves. We are not forgotten. We are not forsaken.
The enemy can threaten. He can huff and puff and bully all he wants to. But that’s all he can do. His venom is impotent against the Promises and Presence of our Abba Father. So, let’s stop entertaining feelings, fears, lies, shame, or whatever sets itself up against the TRUTH of who we are and the good plans and future that the Author of the universe has declared for us.
That’s what I am doing. Every. Single. Day.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5
Oh, yes, the enemy is relentless in tempting me to look down, to doubt, to give in to fear again. But not today. Taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. I am not afraid…not anymore. I have a better choice to make. So do you.
A helpful exercise (that I have often done myself) is to simply write down all the things you are afraid of. Name them. Say them out loud. Then go to the Word of Truth to dethrone each and every one of them. There is power in gazing upon the stark reality of what is Truth and what is a lie.
Then, choose to believe Truth.
You and I have a choice. Fear is a choice. Freedom is a choice – one that already belongs to you and to me. Let’s make the right choice. He truly is who He says He is and He longs to occupy and redirect every space in your heart towards Himself.
The song I want to share with you today is from Red Rocks Worship, entitled, “Not Afraid.” Such a cool anthem and reminder. Praying for you, sweet friends, as you journey with Jesus. Praying you choose well today and walk in the Truths that already belong to you.
With joy for the journey,