From the blog-post ‘Do it Afraid’, I finished it with this sentence ;
“Don’t do it afraid. Deal with the fear, then do it.”
A meticulous friend of mine brought it to my attention that it might be worth breaking down what ‘Dealing with fear’ is, because logically reading that, it probably makes sense to most of us, but do we actually know what it means or what it takes to deal with fear?
Fear is no respecter of person or position as you might have discovered, it is also very sneaky and can crawl up on you without you even realising it is there, till you trace your actions backwards and realise that some of the steps taken were taken in fear.
There’s another twisted part of fear, it actually gives its own motivation, but it’s motivation is usually to take the more familiar or easy way because you can tell it’s outcome which really isn’t advisable for people committed to living and walking by the Spirit of God because most times, the Spirit of God will call us to the unknown and the daunting but expects us to step out in faith knowing Who has called us.
Below, I’ve highlighted 5 ways of dealing with fear, not in any particular order but depending on situation. I also want to first highlight that fear is Never of God, it is not in God’s nature to make us fearful or timid. His word says ‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’ – 2 Timothy 1:7.
This verse makes it clear that fear is not a package that God comes with and so we should be intentional about dealing with it.
- Don’t deny it, confront it – We’re human with histories and backgrounds, sometimes fears have grown from things we’ve experienced or heard. Some people are terrified of travelling by air because of plane crash news, some are terrified of eating fish today because in their childhood, they almost choked to death by a fish bone, and I myself use to be terrified of Married men as I shared in a recent blog-post because of my past. Some of these fears have been fed by occurrences in our past and God doesn’t want us to deny them but confront them with prayer and His word which is truth. When we begin to see that ‘God has a plan for us and has given his angels command to keep charge over us’, we won’t be scared of transportation or death even, because lets even say death does meet us there, at least there’s the joy of going home. When I also saw that Married men are never the problem and they are not out to get me, that fear dissipated. God is with me and watches me wherever I go, automatically I cease to fear whatever is man made or caused. We need to find The truth of God that liberates us from the fears we have.
- Sometimes do exactly what seems to scare you – By personal experience, I also discovered that the devil uses fear to keep us from God’s promises. Using just a home example, there were numerous times when I allowed fear stop me from asking my Mum or Dad for things and I suffered in whatever situation I was because fear crippled me and when I did gather the courage to ask, the way they even received the request showed that they would’ve granted it whenever I had asked but I allowed fear stop me from even making the move to ask. Sometimes spiritually too, God calls us to people, places and things and fear stops us from launching out, but we have to be bold enough to trust the Word of God.
- Something has to be growing, so feed faith – Something is always growing within you. It is either your faith or fear, so make it intentional always to be growing your faith by exposing yourself to the Word of God. Why? “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. When we feed our faith by seeing God’s work in the life of others, fear fades out because it has met with something more powerful than it, so please, spend some time in your bible.
- Talk to people about what’s causing fear – I had a friend who feared failing in school, the fear so overwhelmed her that when it was time to read, she was more afraid that she wouldn’t remember what she was reading than she was that she will actually write and pass. In sharing this fear with me, I always kept her accountable, encouraging her with words of success and also praying with her about the fear. Sometimes when we share fears with people, we lessen its power over us. Fear also takes the facade of guilt and shame sometimes, when you do something, because no one is aware, you move the rest of your life in fear just hoping no one finds out. In sharing that with someone able to handle it maturely and pray with you, you dismantle the power of guilt and shame in that fear, so sometimes, God might lead us to deal with our fears by sharing them with people. Confession has so much power, don’t ever let fear stop you from confessing.
- Ultimately, remember whose you are before even who you are – A major trick I’ve used in my christian journey is realising that I am empowered and backed up by God. My life is not normal or ordinary by the fact that the Holy Spirit lives within me. I think we Christians forget this sometimes, because you can’t have the power that spoke creation into existence inside of you and still be running away from cockroaches (By the way i’m so guilty of this, i’m not a fan of insects at all). But hey, it is something we must daily remind ourselves of. That, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
If we’re intentional about these practical steps of dealing with fear, we’ll be more sensitive to recognise it when it comes around even.
So remember, “Don’t do it afraid. Deal with the fear, then do it.”