Last week I shared with you a little of my recent and current journey. Over the next four weeks I am going to write about what has been one of, if not the greatest obstacle in that journey. It is fear or lack of courage. There is a reason the most often given command in Scripture is to “fear not” (Hint: It’s not that we are naturally courageous people). I don’t believe these commands or my problem is about the shake in your boots, immobilizing fear that comes when one sees a snake or stands on an elevated ledge. Those fears are healthy and easy to spot if you meet the fearful one in the right location. I’m talking about less obvious fears that keep many from living the lives they were created to live.
Every day, if you look closely you will see people living with these types of fears. What will be harder to detect, admit and own are the fears that are limiting you. You will often be blinded to the flaws in the mirror while easily seeing these same shortcomings in others. You must realize your ability to thrive will largely be determined by your ability to see and address these blind spots in your life. My hope is to help you identify when fear is creeping in, to punch it in the face and send it away for another day.
Over the next four posts we will look at four signs you are living in fear.
Sign #1 you are living in fear: You rarely leave your comfort zone. One of my favorite biblical stories is the calling of Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Jesus on the water. It’s found in Matthew 14. In the middle of Peter's fear he decides to make a change and become an overcomer rather than a victim. He knew to overcome he first had to come. He had to come out of the fears that entrapped him and literally out of the confines of his boat. He had to move from comfort to courage. So, Instead of crying out “Lord, save me” he boldly says, “Lord ….. command me.” Yes, later in the story when Peter left his place of familiarity and was literally sinking in the waves he asks Christ to save him (Matthew 14:28-30). But not here. Here, while in the boat he asks for a command. We can learn a great spiritual growth principle here: when in your place of comfort ask for a command; when in your place of stress ask for salvation. Salvation rarely happens when we remove ourselves from environments where we need it. In other words, salvation is unlikely to happen if you stay in your boat. If you will begin asking for commands instead of comfort you will find yourself outside your boat much more often. You will be placing yourself in a position to experience the salvation of God. You will be taking a first step to overcoming your fear.
What is one thing you can do today to begin moving from comfort to courage? I’d love to hear your thoughts.