“You will only go where your fear allows you to go.”
Well, isn’t that just a crippling statement?
We like to think of ourselves as limitless. In our day to day lives we think, “I will say that hard truth that needs to be said. This time, I know I’m going to do it.” Or in our families, “I will call my mother today, even if I know it means I’ll have to acknowledge that I was wrong.” Or in our ministries, “I will speak to my youth about this moral issue, this truth taught by the Church, even though I know I will be challenged on it.”
But I know that so often in my life, I don’t actually do these bold things, these important things, these desperately needed things. And while I hope I’m alone in this, I know that I’m not.
What is driving us? Fear or faith?
Because here’s the reality – if we only live within the bounds of our fears, everyone loses. My sister is terrified of flying over oceans, but she’s been to Australia. I have a friend who is afraid of heights, but he’s climbed mountains and repelled down waterfalls. Jesus sweat drops of blood in Gethsemene, but chose to die on Calvary to redeem the world and restore us to the Father’s infinite love. If we let ourselves be confined by our fears, we miss out on the glories of life God has in store for us. We don’t become the people He is calling us to be. We don’t transform the world with the love of God.
And God’s not leaving us to stare down these troubles on our own. In fact, He knows we can’t face our fears in isolation. He’s not asking us to. The Lord wants to fight for us. He wants us to stand on Him and in His strength.
He has assured us that He will fight for us and we need only to be still. He has told us that the Holy Spirit will equip us and teach us and give us the right words to say at the right times. He has promised us that with faith, it is possible to drive out demons, to move mountains, to walk on water – to defy all the odds and let miracles rush into brokenness. He has beautiful things in store for His own, and He wants to work those beautiful things through us.
What if we actually believed that?
What if we actually took God at His Word?
Our Father has told us time and time again that He has our back. If we would just believe that He is who He says He is, we could operate on a totally different playing field, on a supernatural level, bathed in grace and walking in bold faith. He would be animated by the Spirit, living in the love of God and letting that love radiate out into everything that we do, everyone that we meet. We would be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ at work in the world.
Jesus gave us a mission – to proclaim a kingdom of goodness, light, truth, mercy and love. We get to be the means through which the King of Kings draws all men back into the divine embrace we were made for.
Are we operating in faith to carry out that mission? Or are we cowering in fear? When we play scared and hide in the dark, it is not Jesus’s kingdom we proclaim. But – when we stand in the Light and in the Truth, we shine like the children of God that we are and we bring hope and life to the world.
This week, what fears can you lay at the feet of Jesus? What chains can He free you from? And how do you need Him to stir up new faith in your hearts? How do you need to trust Him anew today?
It is in the light of faith that we are one with Jesus, a man who has no fears. Through Him and with Him and in Him, we too can become fearless. We can become filled with Him, with His love and His grace stirring strongly in our hearts, we can proclaim the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.