Yesterday, a visiting speaker at church spoke about fear in leadership. You just have to love how sometimes words just stand out and yesterday, they certainly did. Given an event in recent weeks, they literally jumped out. Fear... it taunts, teases and tricks us into believing we are less than adequate.
Have you ever felt fear creeping up on you? Have you ever doubted your abilities? I have and I still do. However, I recently had a breakthrough in my thinking. I read recently about two types of fear. There is one that you need to pay attention to, for example that voice that says you should do safety checks of equipment before you go abseiling. This type of fear is logical, sensible and would be wise to take notice of. The other fear is illogical, irrational, unsubstantiated and based on lies.
Recently, as I settled for sleep, I closed my eyes and in front of me were three enormous beings. They towered over me. I say beings as they were faceless. The face of one however kept alternating between faceless and a very beasty looking skull with eyes that were piercing. My heart started racing, fear was rising and this wasn't a dream. I was very much still awake and all I had done was close my eyes. I called out to God and asked for his angels to surround my room, my home, my family. He answered. In the darkness, there appeared a comforting glow. An angelic outline of white that was just visible in the darkness of the night. With that, I was able to settle for sleep and the next time I closed my eyes, the faceless beings were gone. However, it left me wondering where did that come from? In recent years, my faith has grown substantially and because I now seek God more, I believe this was a direct attack from the one who wants me to live in fear, to settle for less than what God has for me and would love to see me cower in the corner.
Three days later the reason for their visit was evident. An opportunity was placed before me. A decision had to be made quickly. As I worked through the opportunity, fear was rising again. The same fear I felt on that evening a few days earlier. Illogical, irrational and with it came that debilitating feelings of not good enough, failure and mistakes of the past. Feelings that made me feel that my future was going to be full of more failure and letting people down. This fear is one that has hunted me down for years. Has followed my steps and put roadblocks before me many times before. It has taunted and teased, tricked and tempted me to accept that I am less than who God made me to be. There have been times when I have believed it and let it rule my thoughts. This is a faceless fear and I firmly believe the faceless beings from a few nights before were a precurser to say 'we are coming'.
Thoughts of 'I would love to accept this opportunity' were quickly intercepted with 'but you aren't good enough for this, remember your past'. How do I make a decision when my thoughts are so erratic? I have only a few hours in which to respond. God, what do I do?
Again he answered as scriptures poured out...
2 Chronicles 20 v 15: "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, it is Gods."
Isaiah 41 v 10: " So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 43 v 18: "Do not dwell on the past...I do a new thing."
Isaiah 44 v 2: "Do not be afraid. I will pour water out on thirsty land and streams on the dry ground."
All that I feared was coming from an illogical, irrational place and was feeding on the past. God does not want me to feel worthless. He wants to empower and strengthen. He directs my path and in doing so, he will place challenges that will push me into new things so that I grow stronger in my faith.
That morning as I prayed, he made it abundantly clear to me that this opportunity was one that I must accept, regardless of how scared I was feeling right then. It was time to overcome the faceless fear that has haunted me for years. It was time to not just walk around it but completely to push it off the road with force and determination.
From that moment, my mind has reached a place of acceptance. Furthermore, that overwhelming peace that can only come from God has arrived and has settled deep within. I know that I have been made for 'such a time as this'. I know that no matter what comes with this opportunity ahead, God has it covered for he has placed me exactly where he needs me to be at this moment. I have no reason to fear. I have no reason to doubt.
The faceless fears that we encounter need to be stopped in their tracks. Their darkness is overcome by God's light that pierces through and forces them to leave. You have to stand up to them. These fears need to be faced and defeated. Don't turn and run, instead drop to your knees and rise in God's strength. Speak the truth directly to them. A truth that is filled with promises of hope, strength and courage. Don't let their lies fill your heart and mind for they set out to rob and steal your joy and the plans that God has for you. You can face them. You can overcome. You will defeat them. Take out your sword, be prepared to stand and fight as you stand on the truth of the promises of God.