Fear is an interesting thing. While google defines it as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”, in real life it is so much more than an unpleasant emotion.
Fear is paralyzing. It is the lie that you can’t do this and that we cannot be all that God has called us to be because we are insignificant. Fear is an untruth the enemy uses to limit our effectiveness in the Kingdom of God. So often we feel fear before we feel what God is calling us to.
Take a minute to read Judges 6. (I love Bible Gateway – you can read two versions side by side!) The Israelites are in hiding due to some pretty serious oppression going on by the Midianites. God called Gideon – while he was hiding – a “mighty man of valor” and tells Gideon he “will be with him” before he reveals Gideon’s assignment (Judges 6:12;16). Why? Because God sees beyond the moment. God knew he was calling Gideon into something that seemed impossible. God knew the only way for Gideon to overcome his fear was to rely completely on strength found in Christ. Gideon was not a might man in his own strength. He did not see himself as capable. But God doesn’t call us based on who we think we are. He calls us based on who he knows we are.
Have you ever felt God was calling you to do something that you are completely unqualified to do? It could be as big as a career change or as small as reaching out to a friend. That is fear, speaking straight to your heart. Fear often comes before the calling because God calls us by who he sees we are going to be not by who we think we are capable of being. We have little faith in ourselves, yet God has complete confidence in his ability to bring about the changes needed to reveal the purpose he planned for us before he formed us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). So often God calls us to something that is only possible by leaning in to Him and drawing on His strength. He gives us these opportunities to exercise our faith and to overcome fear, and they come in both big and small assignments.
When you feel fearful of what God is calling you to, remember:
A refuge is a quick place to find shelter, and a fortress is built intentionally for exceptional security. A Greek word for fortress is “metsudah”, an inaccessible place. When we dwell in the safety of our Lord Jesus, fear cannot access us.
Rest in that for a moment, friends. Fear cannot access us.
Are you afraid of where God is calling you? I will be the first to admit that I am! I started this blog because I felt God is calling me into a ministry of encouragement by sharing what I am learning and where I am struggling in life. Fear is speaking to me in several ways – I don’t have time. I don’t have a degree in writing or in biblical studies. It won’t turn into anything significant. I can’t be vulnerable enough. There are so many other more qualified people out there. I struggle to have a consistent quiet time and sometimes I just forget to pray – the list goes on and on. In moments when fear comes before the call, we can choose one of two things – we can let the lies of the enemy feed our fear, or we can lean into God and trust that he sees who we am going to be and will do the shaping and molding if we allow him to. That requires obedience, which requires facing our fears and laying them at the feet of Jesus. We must rest in the assurance that that Lord walks with us and is our refuge and our fortress.
Fear cannot limit God’s ability to work in us if we dwell in him.
What is God calling you to, friends? Don’t let fear limit you. It can’t if you allow God to be your safe place. Your place of rest, your place of encouragement, your place of strength. Remember, God sees you for who you are IN HIM. God knows who you can and will be. And he will call you to assignments that reflect that. All he needs is a willing heart and a humble spirit.