Walking on Fire and the Prison of Fear

Fear. What does that word make you think of? This morning, when I first set out to write this post I was thinking of the fear of being inadequate for a new job.

Then, my world turned on a dime when I found out a loved one was hurt. Suddenly the anxious thoughts concerning the incredible opportunity that is my new job, became so small, and this dear one’s health encompassed my world.

Joke as we do about “first world problems”, it is all too true that many of us get caught up in fearful thought patterns over minor issues. We allow these little things to rob us of our joy and peace. Even our relationships can be compromised as we our so focused on our own little problems that we don’t give our best to those around us.

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Fear has had a major presence in my life. As a young child I had horrific nightmares on a regular basis. I can still remember a couple of the particularly nasty recurring dreams. As I grew up, the nightmares mercifully ceased, but I began to put a heavy emphasis on what others thought of me, enslaving myself to the opinions of others.

Because no matter the shape or the cause, fear is a prison.

It holds us captive, keeping us in a dark, tense state. But the uncomfortable truth is that most of the time we put ourselves in that prison. We partner with the fear because it gives us a sense of certainty, or attention from others, or an excuse not to do something intimidating.  But we have the power to break out.

Rather than staying in the dark hole, stroking ‘our precious’ ring  fear, we can choose peace. It is amazing to me how many times in the Bible either God or the angels say, “Do not fear.” Do you realize it’s a command? You are actually disobeying God when you choose fear.

Seems harsh, huh? Until you think about the fact that fear sucks! I mean, really, living in fear is lousy. Once again, it seems like maybe God has our best interest at heart.

Sometimes our fear is small and easily put aside in order to do what seems impossible. Other times that fear seems insurmountable. For the big fears, my very best recommendation is build a relationship with your Creator, that you can carry the conviction that He has good plans for you. (see Jeremiah 29:11)

If that doesn’t work for you, imagine how good life would be on the other side of your fear. Really let yourself daydream about it. See it, taste it, bask in the feelings of freedom.

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Now picture the worst possible outcome of your life if you continue living in this fear. What will life be like for you in 10 years? What will you have missed out on? Do you have an ulcer?

Really let the pain and disappointment of that life to sink it. Allow yourself to et to the point where everything within you wants to choose the abundant life. Now that you’re properly motivated yell, “Heck no!” to the fear and choose the life that you really want.

Last year, I wrote a blog on a different site about letting go of fear and choosing to walk in freedom. Its been a journey, and some days I respond to tough situations really well and other days I realize that my whole body is tense because I didn’t let something minor go.

Last week, I walked across 12 feet of hot coals. I have never broken a bone or required stitches, but I HAVE suffered third degree burns, so this was a real fear for me. I kept telling myself, “If Peter can walk on water, then I can walk on fire.” I followed the instructions I was given and successfully walked across with no burns.

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It was a win. But today is a new day and the problems my loved one faces are very real. So the question is, “Will I choose fear TODAY, or will I choose peace and trust?” Choose this day who you will serve, and for your own sake don’t make a friend of fear!