I make you weak at the worst of all times.
I keep you surrendered, I keep you resigned.
I make your hands sweat, and your heart grow cold,
I visit the weak, but seldom the bold.
What am I?
Fear is something we all carry with us, but somehow think it’s there to protect us.
Perhaps that was once true for us when we were young. Back when fear told us not to play in the street and to never trust strangers. But the more we give power to and agree with fear as we grow older, the more it takes over us.
Its so subtle that we don’t even see it. Like a familiar companion we think we need to survive, we trust it, because its helped us in the past. It claims to still be working in our best interest and insists that it will protect us if we will listen to it’s voice.
But the truth is we don’t need fear once we’ve grown up. Because fear cripples us.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. 1 Corninthians 13:11
Imagine that fear is a person. Like Parallax in this clip of the Green Lantern. (I realize it’s sort of a cheesy movie, but bear with me!) Throughout the movie Hal has to face the fact that he is afraid of failing as the Green Lantern. Watch the clip and imagine that the monster Green Lantern is fighting is in fact, fear himself.
The monster taps into Hal’s greatest fears (because he is fear) and uses them against him.
Fear threatens Hal in the worst possible way and almost succeeds in killing him. But Hal realizes something…
The villain Fear, has no power of it’s own, the only power it has, is the power it can trick Hal in to giving up. Hal fights back, because he realizes the only reason fear could ever succeed, is if Hal agrees with it and by doing so gives up.
By giving up hope and agreeing that fear can fulfill its vicious claims, Hal gives up his power. Because fear can only take the power of someone it’s frightened into surrendering. It can do nothing on its own.
Once Hal realizes that fear can only win by getting him to agree with him, Hal changes his mindset.
And immediately the tide changes in his favor.
Hal stops being afraid.
He stops buying into the lie that he will fail and refuses to believe anything that has to do with fear.
He completely dismisses everything fear said by holding tight to the belief that he is unstoppable, he is powerful and no one can stand against him.
Now, I know this is a fictional and not very well received movie. But I learned a lot from this scene. After watching this movie I started thinking about how courageous I truly could be, once I stopped listening to the lies of fear. Suddenly I wasn’t afraid of fear, but confident that it was nothing more than an ant under my boot. Some verses that came to mind are:
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Psalm 118:6 “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand.”
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
So be bold, If God is for us, who can be against us?
Be strong and believe in yourself. You hold all the power, the only power fear has is what you give it!
Fear doesn’t protect you, it cripples you.
Fear keeps you from following your dreams, and your calling,
Fear blinds you to who you really are.
Fear blinds you to who other people really are.
Fear keeps you trapped in the same cycle of dysfunction.
Fear keeps you making the same mistakes in relationships.
Fear keeps you squelching your true self, because you’re trying so hard to please others.
Fear suffocates you.
So stop believing its lies, and abandon it.
The little that fear has done to keep you safe, isn’t worth the damage it does to you in the long run.
Do something you are afraid of and when that fear rises up, and tells you all the scary things that could happen, remind yourself of the opposite.
Remind yourself that God has given you Power, Love and a sound mind and that fear has no right to intrude on your thoughts.
Challenge your fears, don’t let them challenge you.