Can you imagine days lived without fear? Where we could be fully present in the moments of today without fearing that something might be lurking around the corner? Where the song in our head is not one of “what ifs” but one of trust in a good God? And days where we are willing to step out in faith rather than stay paralyzed by the unknown?
That’s what we’re aiming for. Today we’ll wrap up this 4-part series on fear. I first talked about my own struggle with fear and then shared the game-changing verse that helped me turn my fear inside out. We then looked at what fear steals from us and how to take it back.
I want to share one more critical piece to getting rid of our fear. While putting into practice the thoughts I shared in the previous posts have gone far in helping me drive out fear, there is one more deeply tentacled root to fear.
And that is me. My comfort, my expectations, my agenda, my entitlements.
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When I dig way down to see what lies at the root of my fear, I realize that I’ve elevated some thing higher than Almighty God.
Here’s the rock-bottom truth against which I can see the idols of my fear in such relief: this life isn’t about me and this life isn’t all there is.
- If the goals of my life are at all rooted in gathering and getting, I’m going to fear loss.
- If the goals of my life are at all rooted in my comfort, my ease and my esteem, I’m going to fear anything that hinders that.
- If the goals of my life are rooted in my agenda, I’m going to fear anything that impedes that dream.
- If my goal is to live well into old age and I figure I’m entitled to that? I’m going to fear anything that would shorten my days.
This hurts to even write it out. But that’s probably a good indication that I don’t yet have my life centered on the one thing that I was created for – to glorify God.
That’s it. Whether we live for one week or 98 years, God created us to glorify Him.
Any other goal is an idol that I have put on the throne rather than God. That idolatrous goal creates a root of fear because no other goal is certain and there is always the risk of its loss. The cotton candy Christianity of today encourages me to think that as a follower of God, trying my best to obey Him, I’m entitled. Entitled to good, not hard. Entitled to a great house, a dream job, long health. And those risks that lay out there — a job layoff, a stock market crash, a diagnosis — well, they are serious impediments to my goals and my agenda.
When I am clinging to anything else more tightly than I’m clinging to God’s glory, then fear of loss is going to set in. But if I loosen my grip on my entitlement and my agenda and my idols and realize that my only goal is to glorify God in this moment, then I can smile at the days to come, whether they are sunny and easy or difficult and stormy.
If my life is squarely centered on the glory of God, then fear has no legs. It cannot stand when I have no other agenda and no other purpose than to glorify God.
This is hard. It’s hard for me to write and it’s hard for me to root out entrenched idols. But I’ve seen that as I learn to loosen my grip on things of this world, I am becoming free from my fear. I want to smile at the days to come because God is there too. And as much life as He gives me on this earth is for His glory alone.
ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: I’ve created some Scripture reminders to help us root out our fear. I love bookmarks and I pray that these encourage you in your daily walk. You can print these on card stock or laminate them for best use as bookmarks. Feel free to share these, give them away and print them as a reminder of the perfect love that casts out all fear. Click here to print these bookmarks.
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