The Fear

posted on: 10.18.2012

© Mariam Sitchivana
Well, here I am again.
Today I'm gonna talk to you about a recent struggle: fear.
You may or may not know that this blog is based on this verse:
"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." Proverbs 31:25
I smile, I write—that's how it's supposed to go—or that's what the Lord had spoken at the beginning of my journaling/blogging journey.
That wasn't the case this week. But because God loves me so much, He wants to deal with me. He can't leave me where I am: fearing.
So what is fear anyways?

According to the dictionary
Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid; concern or anxiety (via)
According to the Word of God
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."—2 Timothy 1:7
In other translations, they use the word cowardice & timidity to define fear in this verse, so that's the definition I believe that the context of this particular passage gives. Of course there are other fears the Bible talks about (fear of the Lord, etc..) that have other definitions, so please note that I'm emphasizing the fear defined above.

Context: [if you know this already, feel free to skip it] Paul writes 2 Timothy as a final exhortation letter to Timothy. His death is imminent although the timing uncertain. This letter is very personal. Paul calls Timothy to continue the fight of faith & faithfulness (Paul mentions being abandoned by others in his time of need). It's crazy that Paul is about to be executed & he writes an encouragement letter to Timothy. Umm, shouldn't it be the other way around? Paul is about to die! But it's precisely Paul's testimony that points Timothy in the right direction: what he calls Timothy to do, he himself has done already. I don't know about you but, knowing that Paul had fears too makes me feel a lot better about myself.

Fears. I've been worrying, fearing & making scenarios in my mind of "what ifs". Anxiety overload shut me down emotionally. It kept me depressed—I didn't get out of bed for TWO days! I was seeking God still but I knew He wanted to reveal the root of my fears.

"Fear paralyses us. It can keep us from all that God has in store for us. If you're afraid you don't know the character of the One whose hand is holding you. Fear kept the Israelites from Canaan. Fear is the opposite of faith; it is a sin. God wants to free you from fear."
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It all became clear to me after reading those words: God was asking me to let go of my expectations. I had listened to the lies the enemy fed me. The worst was realizing that they came from me. I was idolizing my expectations over God's plans for my life. I didn't want to be engaged at 21; I wanted to have my degree by 23; I wanted to get married after having that degree; I don't even want to have a wedding in the middle of the semester. I had pictured my life going a certain direction and it dawned to me that it was not what God had in mind. I was serving my expectations and that's where my fear came from. It was all about what I wanted not about what the Lord wanted.

In order to live the life God has for me I have to stop living in the confinements of fear. I must let go of the expectations everyone has for me, including my own. I serve God, not me (or anyone else for that matter). I desire to go to Canaan, to my spiritual promised land.
Yet, more than going to the promised land, I want to obey the Lord.

If you find yourself struggling with fear, your expectations or maybe the expectations someone else has for you, I encourage you to read Isaiah 55 in your time with the Lord. His kindness in this passage will calm your anxious heart.

" are disobedient, you are trying to keep some part of your life under your own control. That is what is preventing you from listening to Christ and believing in His grace. You cannot hear Christ because you're willfully disobedient. Somewhere in your heart you are refusing to listen to his call. Your difficulty is your sin."
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The call for you is to come to Him. Give Him your worries, your fear, your sin.
That is the invitation of Isaiah 55: let go and let God.
The Fear by Ben Howard on Grooveshark
(This song is a metaphor of what fear does: you spend all this time worrying, growing apathetic, when you could stop worrying & start living the life you deserve: a life free from the bondage of fear.)

15 Smiles:

  1. you got it girl you are so so wise, PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT ALL FEAR and the enemy wants nothing MORE NOW than to grab you, engulf you in his lies now that you are engaged you are in a whole new danger!!! Satan HATES I repeat HATES marriage and he wants to take it down. YOu have to fight your way out of this which is sounds like you did. It's so dang easy to get caught up in this DANG STUPID WORLD that wants us to cling to IT. But just remember, hold loosely, like in suspension (this is what i've been trying to teach my daughter)...that your "plans" are loose enough that if they don't happen it's OK. Picture them suspended in the air, and God holding them there, they are so strict and frigid. God is doing so much behind the scenes we haven't a CLUE what's going on!!! So just keep your heart on the right path toward Him, and be His faithful daughter that He wants and let Him work!!! And you are His companion, and soon the three of you will be, well, really four. LOL.

    LOve you girl I have no idea if this made any sense I have got to get my booty to bed!

  2. and another thing, GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN ME THAN HE WHO IS IN THIS WORLD, so take that SATAN!

  3. Wow, thanks for this reminder. Beautiful words!
    And by the way thank you for your little drop of sunshine on my blog you really brightened my day! :)

  4. As someone who struggles with fear, I can definitely relate, but I refuse to let my fear control me (while not always easy and I often fail, this is my goal).

    "Fear paralyses us. It can keep us from all that God has in store for us. If you're afraid you don't know the character of the One whose hand is holding you." This quote is so powerful and true. I have to ask myself, "Why would I fear when the God of the universe is holding me up?"

  5. Fear takes over when I give more weight to the devil's 'what ifs" than to what God says. The devil wants to keep us in the 'what if' mode because then we are not looking to God.

    We learn in Daniel 3:18 how to talk back to 'what if'. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedengo tell King Nebuchadnezzar 'that if' they are thrown into the blazing furnace God is able to save them. But 'EVEN IF' he doesn't, we will never serve your gods or worship your statue.

    So, when the devil floods your thoughts with 'what if' flip it back on him by saying that would make me feel _________ BUT EVEN IF ____________happens I know God will meet me there!

    Faith is believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.

  6. This is such a beautifully written post! And I love the scripture your blog's name is based on :)

  7. You raise an interesting point with expectations. I think that many times, fear causes us to set our expectations too low. Setting our hope in God's plan places a very high expectation in His ability to provide for us, but fear causes us to settle for something that we think we can achieve without Him. That is one of the big lies that the enemy convinces us to believe: that our expectations are bigger than God's expectations for our lives. His ways are higher than ours, so also are His expectations. Good for you for not letting the expectations of fear confine you!

  8. this definitely caught my attention. i loved this post. beautiful and just what i needed to hear today.

    ~ melissa

  9. Wow. I had those exact same expectations. I got engaged at 21 when I wanted to have my seminary degree at 23, prepare for the mission field and THEN find a husband. Crazy. It took a lot for God to strip me of that and show me His plan. It's easy to say that His ways are better, but letting to of the fears is hard.

  10. encouraging and convicting =) and I love the quotes you shared!

  11. this is something that god had to deal with me as well for a long period of time. I always found myself worrying and creating "what if" scenarios. But I've found that EVERYTHING I worried about, never happened. I love this post Ash!
    This is very encouraging!
    have a great day!

  12. Oh wauw thanks for sharing this with us. This really is beautiful!

    xo Sarah, at The Indie Fox

  13. such a great post! so true! thanks for posting
    xoxo Mila

  14. THIS is amazing! I think we have a lot in common, in that my expectations are what leads to such fear. I agonize over the past and the decisions that I made or the things that happened to me, wishing I could go back and change them. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement. I can't wait to reread it tonight!!! much love, Katie

  15. I'm a control freak and I'm always worried that things won't turn out the way I planned them, and they usually don't. Haha!


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