What’s Your Biggest Fear? July 18, 2012
My church, Elevation, is holding a four-week series called Room 101: Facing Your Greatest Fears. This past weekend was the first sermon in the series and Pastor Furtick laid a really wonderful foundation for what we’re going to learn.Rehashing what he said won’t do it justice. I encourage you go download the first week and maybe tune in via the Elevation Network in future weeks. The first week did inspire this blog though…
It’s no secret I’m working to make my 34th year of life one where I really deal with and put to bed my tendency to live in fear. So, when I saw my church giving a month to something with which I’m dealing I jumped in with an open heart and ready mind. I know 10,000 people attend Elevation each weekend, but there’s a part of me that feels this series is ordained for me. And I’m hoping I can share what I’m learning with each of you in a way that encourages you to get out of your fear too.
I posted the question, “What is your greatest fear” on Facebook and Twitter today. The answers I got ranged from losing a child to disappointing people to being alone forever to skinny jeans and being buried alive (possibly while wearing skinny jeans). When someone tells me they have no fears I think he/she is either 1) lying to me or 2) lying to himself/herself.
We all have fears or it wouldn’t say in the Bible more than 100 times “Do not fear.”
God knew we were gonna deal with ‘em so He went ahead and gave us some remedies for dealing with ‘em.
My typical answer to, “Arden, what is your greatest fear?” is usually “I fear being alone.” However, that snap answer isn’t what I really mean at all. When I dig a bit deeper into that fear it’s actually a fear of not being unloved which seems like it’d be a really lonely place.
When I get down to it, I’m petrified I will never get married and have a family of my own AND my existing family will all die in a car crash and I’ll be left by myself on this Earth. No lover, no children, no parents, and no brother and sister-in-law. No one to call my own.
What about you? When you look at your biggest fear does it have a deeper root? I ask because it’s the root of the fear that I think should lead you into the light of His promise.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
If I take 1 John 4:18 at its word it helps me unpack what my personal fear actually means in the scheme of my walk with the Lord. If I fear being unloved and alone it means I’m not trusting God to provide for my communal needs.
When I sit in my fear I’m saying, “God, you created me to be a creature who enjoys other people; whose love language is quality time. You’ve made me an encouraging spirit who attempts to understand the needs of men and honor any man in my path. You’ve also given me a passion for children; a love that starts from their new baby smell to their awkward middle school years and continues into their high school days.
“God, you’ve created me to support my family in every way. You’re bestowing stored up generational blessings on me and allowing me to store up blessing for future generations. My Father, You created me to be this woman whose passion for her family only grows bigger with each new member. And though You’ve created me to be this exact woman, You’re not trustworthy to bring Your complete plan into fruition.“
If you missed it, let me say it another way: When I (or you) sit in my (or your) fear I’m saying God’s perfect love that created me isn’t good enough to complete me. I don’t trust He who began a good work in me to complete that good work in me. (Philippians 1:6)
Fear focuses on me and my ability to complete the desires of my heart. I know I can’t make a man love me (the good Lord knows I tried that!). I can’t make babies on my own (good Lord knows I sure as heck have not tried that!). I can’t keep my existing family safe from disaster because accidents happen. All I can truly do is give all of my innate fears over to Him and trade my fears for His peace.
Pastor Furtick said many things that really stuck with me (which is why you’ve gotta listen to the sermon!) but the best point I heard was: The path to my greatest potential is straight through my greatest fear. I really think I have the potential to be an awesome wife to my maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan and a superb mother to a few wild children. I’m already a flipping rock star daughter and sister/sister-in-law. But I must realize my potential to be good to a future family rests in Him shaping me in this moment.
What lessons do I need to learn?
Where do I need to help meet needs with my existing family?
How do I need to be assisting my Kingdom family?
Our desires and our fears often mix into one spot of confusion. I think that’s why the path to your greatest potential is straight through your greatest fear. We’ve got to face the fact that we’re human with a pure and honest desire. Then, rely on God to unleash His potential in tandem with overcoming our fear.
Fear’s are real. But we’re not meant to live in them. We’re meant to hand them over and watch our Overcomer beat them down!