We Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Fear
We play chase and repetitive games of hide and seek as young children, squealing with joy mixed with the adrenaline-pumping fear of being tagged or chased. We pay money to be hurled in dizzying circles at high speeds on roller coasters, to climb higher and tougher rock faces, skydive, base jump, run with the bulls, or many activities seen as thrilling or reckless, dependent upon your perspective of them and the level of thrill vs fear that they produce. We admire people who face their fears and push the envelope a bit, pushing the boundaries of what has been done and what we might be able to achieve if they climb higher, go faster, or bravely face an enemy in battle. We celebrate and honor people who overcome their fears whether they are children, athletes, soldiers, friends, or family facing and battling a tough diagnosis.
Not All Fear Is Bad or Needs To Be Overcome
Fear can be healthy and good, this is what we call "Truth" based fear. Healthy/"Truth" based fear helps us to use wisdom and precaution to not get burned by fire, to not step in front of oncoming traffic, not go into dark alleys alone, or not push ourselves beyond our own physical abilities when swimming in the ocean, skiing, or climbing a mountain. When cliff jumping, I have had a healthy fear of falling on rocks which helped me to run cautiously, avoiding slippery wet spots while hurling myself off of cliffs, allowing me to get enough speed and distance to get out past the large rocks below and plunge safely into the deep water. Growing up on a West Texas ranch, I had a healthy fear of venomous snakes which helped me to watch out for them, steer clear of them, and when necessary, kill them without getting bitten in the process. Healthy fear protects and keeps us moving forward through life.
"Lie" Based Fear Is Crippling and Life-Robbing
"Lie" based fear robs time, healthy relationships, and joy. Several years ago, I realized that I had a door of fear opened in my life. Without realizing it, I had partnered with a spirit of fear. In my case, this fear caused an unnatural and persistent fear of dying and fear of failing, which in a way was a dying to dreams and calling, with my true God-given identity and purpose locked away for safekeeping while I was taking the safe road. These fears had been present for so long that I did not realize they were not normal or healthy. They seemed like part of me, like old friends. It seemed like wisdom to play it safe. I had beloved friends point this out to me and help me to get healing from this crippling fear. With the Lord, I was able to identify the source of this attachment to fear, which was from several events in early childhood. I gained the Lord’s perspective and true freedom from this fear. I was drawn into a partnership with the fear of the Lord instead of a spirit of fear.
Fear of the Lord
A reverent and worshipful heart posture towards the Lord helps us to understand the magnificence and power of the Lord, strengthening and building faith, trust, and dependence on Him. Yet, partnering with a spirit of fear magnifies everything contrary to peace, rest, hope, and joy, causing us to take our eyes and trust off of the Lord, what he has done, and what he has promised. Instead of sitting and feasting at the table with the Lord in the presence of our enemies, all we can see or feel is the fear and the battle around us. It feels safer to just not sit down at the table and settle for a few snacks while on the run. That is a safe existence, but it is not abundant life. It is not living fully with the Lord with a whole heart.
Here are two journal prompts you can use:
1. Reflect on Your Relationship with Fear:
Take some time to ponder your own relationship with fear. Think back to childhood experiences that involved fear and excitement. How did those moments shape your perception of fear? Have there been instances where fear motivated you to take risks and push your limits? Conversely, have you ever felt that fear held you back from pursuing your dreams or true purpose? Write down your thoughts and feelings about the role fear has played in your life.
2. Distinguishing Healthy and Crippling Fears:
Consider the concept of healthy or "Truth" based fear versus crippling or "Lie" based fear in your life. Are there fears that have served as wise guardians, protecting you from harm and guiding your decisions? On the other hand, have you recognized any fears that seem to steal your joy, hinder your relationships, or limit your potential? Describe these contrasting experiences with fear and contemplate how you might differentiate between the two in your own life.
If you desire more freedom from fear, to shut open doors, to come to the table to sit down and feast with the Lord, allow an INNERROOM Facilitator to help you walk through this process with the Lord. We would be honored to pray with you.
CLICK HERE to book a session.