3 Secret Weapons for Fighting Fear
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet?
Ok, I’m stopping!! I told you I’m a walking jukebox- I just can’t help myself! [Oh, and for those that are so totally lost about what just happened, let me explain: I started this post with the word ‘hello’ like all normal bloggers do and then went into full blown Adele].
Anyways, anyways, anyways.
In the spirit of transparency, and since we are talking about fear, I hope you don’t mind if I share another one of my fears. And yes, this one is a lot better than that lousy snake story. This is a new fear that I battle every day with this blog.
God gave me the call to start a blog a few years ago although I did not realize that it was His calling. So I started a blog or four and they all failed for many different reasons. None of them were successful, so when I got the idea to start this blog I was not all too confident that it would be any different. But through lots and lots and lots of prayer, I mean, I laid it ALL out on the table to God, He revealed to me that the blogs that I started failed because they weren’t focused on what He wanted me to do. See, every blog I started was based on the things that I was interested in. I didn’t stop to ask God to guide me and direct me towards the topics or posts that He wanted me to write about. It was all about me. What did Cef want to do? What did Cef want to blog about? What did Cef want to talk about? Like I said, I started 4 blogs and they all failed and when they failed, I thought that perhaps the idea to start a blog wasn’t from God after all. So I let the blogs die and cremated them into internet dust where I am sure they are scattered wherever Myspace is. Oh, and all this happened during my quarter-life crisis too, so I was dealing with that but more on the crisis later…
So anyways, I continued on searching for what it is that God wanted me to do, career-wise and the idea to start a blog just kept coming back to me over and over and over. So, again, I starting planning for a blog but this time, I had that light bulb over the head moment: I decided to get God involved (*ding* light bulb glows). Through prayer and talking with Him, I told Him about everything that I wanted to do and I asked that He guide me and change my direction should my plans not align with His. And that, in a nutshell, is what led me to this blog. Let me tell you, though, when He showed me what it is that He wanted me to blog about, I fought it. I mean, I love God and I love Jesus Christ but to go out and blog about the gospel?! I said, God, is this really what you want me to do? Really??? Like, really, really, really? You sho? Like, really sho? Really, really, really sho? Like, Snoop Dogg fo’shizzle sho? (I could go on with this…)
To me, blogging the gospel just wasn’t cool enough. Why can’t I blog about interior design or food or music or ANY of the other 50-11 bajillion things that are cool?
So I…lamented for a while until I eventually got over it and accepted that this is what I was called. I said to myself, okay, if I’m going to do this, how can I tie what I am good at in with spreading the gospel? The word “encouragement” kept coming to mind. But even still, even after I accepted that this is what I needed to do, I wrestled with the idea of being labeled a “Christian blogger.” I didn’t want to be categorized into that. I just wanted to just have a blog that encouraged anyone- believers and non-believers. And my concern with being labeled a Christian blogger was that if I talked about the bible or about Christianity that no-one would care. I feared what others would think of me. Would they call me a bible thumper? Would they act all weird around me and start filtering their words? Hiding their drinks? Will I lose friends? I feared being rejected and judged because of my beliefs. I feared that when people visited my site, they would leave once they saw that it was about having faith in God. I feared having and promoting a blog that no-one would read. I feared putting myself out there and looking like a failure.
You see, I was more than fine with praising Him in private and keeping quiet about my beliefs. And speaking of private, I enjoy keeping my life to myself. So having a blog where I have to be somewhat open about my life and my inner most beliefs was intimidating. Even writing this post is intimidating and I seriously debated whether I wanted to share it. But God encouraged me and showed me that I am here to use my gifts and talents to spread His word (1 Corinthians 9:16). He reminded me that I needed to have faith in Him and not in my abilities alone. He showed me that this is what He wanted me to do, so here I am.
You remember the part in Esther where at first, she feared going to the king, but then eventually said (and I am paraphrasing here…) “screw it, I’m doing it; whatever happens, happens?” I got to a point where I felt the same way. I knew what I had to do, I knew what God wanted me to do, I wrestled my fear(s) for a bit, and then said screw it, I’m doing it. (And if you’re grasping your pearl necklace right now because I said “screw it” listen, I’ve come a long way from saying the more explicit alternative. So yay for little victories!). I believe that this is what I am called to do so I am going to do it and even if it does not work out the way that I hope it will, I will be able to face God and tell Him that I believed and put my full faith in Him. I may not get the results that my ego wants me to have but I can fully rest knowing that I am following God’s plan and not mine. I may never get one subscriber and that’s okay because what? God’s ways are not my ways and His plans are bigger than my plans.
But enough about me…
What is it that God has called you to do or has placed on your heart to do? Are your fears holding you back from accomplishing whatever it is? How can you get past your fear to put your faith in God?
Here are my 3 secret weapons for fighting fear so you can have your ‘screw it, I’m doing it’ moment:
1. Look to the Past.
Think about something that you have done in the past that scared the living crap out of you. Do you remember how you felt before you got through the thing that you were afraid of? And how do you feel about it now? Like a conqueror, perhaps? That is because you are a conqueror! Think about it. Think about all the challenges that you have overcome in life. Remember, there was a time when you probably questioned whether you would be able to get past it. But you did! What you are afraid to do now will be laughable in the future when you think about the fear that you used to have about it?
2. Meditate on The Word.
Read your bible. Find the truth. Pray. I used to think reading the bible on my own was optional. Why read it when I could just go to church and have the preacher tell me about it? You guys, reading the bible for yourself is super duper important because 1) preachers are humans and sometimes get the text wrong and 2) two different people can read the same verse out of the bible and come out with different interpretations of it. I believe the second point is done on purpose. God often speaks to us through the bible and He will use the bible to give us ideas and thoughts that are for us only. That is why you can read the same verse over and over during different periods of your life and get a different understanding of it each time. So read it.
One of my favorite verses that I always refer back to when fear is making me its wimp is Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Now, I know that I may be reading the watered down, NLT version of the bible and not the pretentious King James version (flips *hair*) but nowhere in any translation of the bible does God say in that verse that He has plans to give you fear so that you can stay put, accept a life of mediocrity, and never live out the grand plans that He has for you. In fact, what I am seeing over and over in the bible, no matter what translation you are reading from, is God encouraging us to have courage, faith, hope, love, compassion, POWER, strength. I have yet to encounter a verse where God is encouraging doubt, fear, worry, lack, limitations. So when fear fights, fight back with what God has to say. You are Muhammad, ducking and dodging your opponent, fear, and then doing a little you-cant-stop-me-victory-is-mine-shimmy.
But you need to fight with the Word. This is where knowing and having some key bible verses on hand will help. Here are a few of my fave’s that I like to pull out of my back pocket, recite over and over until I FEEL it, and then left hook fear with it:
No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)
I am the head and not the tail, above all not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13)
He that began a good work in me will finish (Philippians 1:6)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
Greater is He that is in me, than He that is of the world (1 John 4:4)
God will make good out of what was meant for evil (Genesis 50:20)
If God be for me, whom shall be against me (Romans 8:31)
The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1)
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of peace, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
Remember, fear is the opposite of faith. You can’t have faith in God and also have fear too. It just don’t work like that, homie. So talk to God. Ask Him to direct your paths and give you the comfort and strength that you need so that you can go forward in accomplishing His plans. GO!
3. Jedi-mind Trick your Fear.
If you are feeling the fear, do a jedi-mind trick and look at your thoughts from a future you. Imagine yourself having conquered that hurdle, totally feeling the victory and having that BOO-YAH in YO-FACE fear, HUZZAH moment. Think about where you want your life to be and where it actually will be if you decided against taking the big leap. Dig deep inside of you to find out what it is that is about your situation that is causing great fear. Fear is the driving force behind a lot of our thoughts of being judged by others, being rejected by others, being played by others, failing, dying, being ridiculed, lack of control, lack of commitment. Once you figure that out the core thought that is driving your fear, negate that thought with a positive affirmation. Visualize success and success will come. Trust in God; trust that He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:6) and go for it!
So to sum it up nicely, here is what we can do:
Think of a time where you overcame a challenge that you never thought you would get through. Keep that in your back pocket. It is your secret weapon that you will use every time fear wants to pick a fight.
Read your bible. This is another secret weapon that you will use to combat those thoughts of fear.
Think about where you are and where you want to be. Find the core of your fear, and pull out your bible verse secret weapon and throw those grenades at your fear.
BOOM. There goes your fear.
So tell me, what are your secret weapon bible verses?? I wanna know! Tell me all about them in the comments below. I am always looking for some good artillery.
Until next time, love like Jesus.
Image by Alexey Kuzma
Muhammad Ali (Rest in Paradise) Gif by GIPHY
Graphics and Content by Cefion