Recently, I have been wrestling with fear. Fear, I’ve experienced, can be paralyzing. Fear wants to dictate how I live my life—what I can and cannot do, where I can and cannot go, and who I can and cannot become. Fear points to my insecurities, shortcomings, and lack of faith, which often causes me to feel even more afraid.
In his sermon, “Village Identity – Part 9: A Shadow of Significant Realities,” Matt Chandler addresses the reality and danger of fear. He explains that fear, itself, is not a sin. It is a sin, however, to live in and be ruled by that fear. He says,
Fear in the life of a believer should be hunted down and killed without mercy. At any point you see, smell or sense fear welling up in you to where you’re basing decisions off it, to where you’re allowing it to seep into your relationships, you need to attack the root of it, which is a failure to trust God.
This has been truly convicting for me. After all, if I were to truly trust God’s sovereignty, goodness, and love for me, how could I possibly be afraid?
The fact that I am afraid exposes my heart. I do not truly trust God’s sovereignty, goodness, and love for me. My initial reaction to this realization is shame. My pride is hurt when I remember how incapable I am of mustering even a fraction of faith.
If I am so incapable, how can I ever hunt down and kill this fear? The truth is, I can’t. Not alone, anyway. But God can. I’m learning to pray for faith. I’m remembering that God is the giver of that faith. In my darkest, scariest moments, my Father who loves me is teaching me to find my strength in Him—the only One who is strong enough to conquer my fear.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”
– Psalm 23:4