My roommate in college was deathly afraid of bugs, but especially spiders. I’m a “fixer” (when people use that word “fixer”, it really means they have control issues) and thought I knew how to best help my poor friend who climbed up on her loft if she even saw a spider. It was bad. At the time, a movie called Arachnophobia had just been released. Yeah, I think she’s still in therapy. I, along with a couple of other girls, convinced my roomy to go see this movie to “conquer” her fears. I will never forget the sight of her in her movie seat, legs pulled up into her chest, face hidden in her knees. Shaking. I haven’t spoken to her in a long time (I wonder why?), but I feel pretty confident that my idea didn’t work. I’m sorry Steph.

What makes you tremble? What stops you in your tracks or sends you running in hysteria? Those physical fears like snakes, spiders, heights, or even public speaking are usually not the ones that truly interfere with our daily lives. My fear of strange dogs has not prevented me from pursuing life, obeying Jesus, or following my dreams. See, I am not in bondage to that fear. I can say that because I know bondage. Years of my life were spent in fear of messing up, making mistakes, not being enough. I was miserably exhausted! I could never do enough to be enough. I lived afraid of disappointing my husband, my children, and everyone that I thought was expecting something from me. Including Jesus.

Fears are not conquered. (This is just my take on it.) I don’t want to face my fears. I want to look into the face of the one who defeated my fears. I believe the freedom comes in trusting. If I trust a chair, I sit in it, I rest in it. I’m not anxiously waiting for it to give way, dropping me to the floor. Trusting in the love of Christ, the sacrifice that he made, the truth of his Word sets us free. I did not conquer my fears; he did. My whole life had been spent trusting in my own truths, and I found myself in a heap on the floor. Knees drawn to my chest, face hidden. Shaking. My chair gave way.

Living life in fear is not living. The Lord has graciously, freely given us a beautiful opportunity to live out a life that he designed and created for us. He knit you together with a purpose in mind. He placed inside of you the dream of it all. It’s there. Go deep and listen. You have heard its whisper. Fear is the lie we believe that paralyzes us, holds us down, enslaves us. Trusting in the truth of God’s grace – that free gift of love and forgiveness sets us free!

This world needs you to live God’s dream in you! A life spent in fear is not our creator’s design. What fears are stopping you from offering your life freely to Jesus and those in need around you? Are you living in guilt, condemnation, inadequacy, rejection, or worry? They’re all based in fear. You don’t have to face them. Jesus already has. He is offering you his life in exchange. Will you believe in the truth of his love for you? Will you rest in Him? I promise, it feels good.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18

When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:3-4

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 1 Corinthians 5:17