All of us have a calling. God didn’t create us to simply eat, sleep, have sex and watch TV. We’re commanded to do something purposeful. We’re supposed to multiply. Meaning, to be industrious using good stewardship, love one another by helping and comforting those who are in any trouble and to worship God. To me, this means the world should be a better place because we’re in it. We may not know what our purpose is exactly, but anyone who is honest with themselves knows they have one.
While He called each of us to a specific purpose, He never said it would be easy to fulfill it. Jesus said, we’d be persecuted for His sake (Mat 5:11). Paul said, that he had to die every day (1 Cor 15:31). Every mature person trying to fulfill their purpose understands the truth of these statements.
One major thing that makes it hard to fulfill our purpose is fear. In fact, I could argue that all obstacles we face trying to obey God ultimately have roots in fear.
Fear comes in varieties, some good and some bad.
Good fear is the primal, gut wrenching feeling felt when facing a real, worldly enemy in combat or staring down some jungle beast trying to eat us for breakfast. It prompts us to fight or flee. This fear is best when it causes us to focus on the task at hand and make a wise split-second decision. It’s this kind of fear that saves our lives.
Another good fear is called respect. This is the fear we should have of God, the police, Corrections Officers or authority in general. In the end, all authority comes from God (Rom 13:1).
Bad fear is different. Bad fear isn't worldly. It comes from our own minds and spirits. A fearful thought enters our head and instead of rebuking it, we spin it, searching for new ways to see it and be afraid of it. Like a tornado, once it starts spinning, it picks up energy and spins faster. It feeds itself until it becomes a paralyzing force and we can think of nothing else. It creates a sense of urgency so compelling that we'd do anything to stop it, no matter what the cost, leading us to believe we have only one or two actions we can take. Those actions, taken when our minds aren't rested and free to explore all solutions, are usually bad.
Worst of all, the cause of the fear may not be real at all, just made to seem real by all the energy it takes up.
Some of us let others define our self-worth and we fear losing their good opinions, fear of losing a loved one by death or not, and facing live alone, fear of losing a job and not being able to support our lifestyles and families are all examples of bad fear. They are also self-fulfilling prophesy in that they help bring about the things we fear.
Included in bad fear is the belief in myths. One of the greatest disservices the Internet has brought on the world is the propagation of myth. These stories are concocted by people who desire to make others afraid, either to drive traffic to their web sites and ultimately sell something, or to draw others to their cause. Side bar: If it makes you afraid or angry, it isn’t from God (1 Cor 14:33).
Phobias are bad fear because they interfere with fulfilling our purpose.
Bad fear is what Paul was talking about when he wrote that it's not the flesh we battle against but the demons and spirits in our own heads (Eph 6:12).
We all would agree that if we could successfully fight those demons and spirits our lives would be better. Please know, that they can be fought and defeated with some simple but significant life changes.
Live in the moment (Mark 6:34). I don't mean to go out and blow all your money or take up dangerous sports as the world often interprets that phrase. Just be full of what's happing in the moment. Concentrate on what you are doing and enjoy it. Do everything you do as unto God. When your mind is busy with accomplishing a task, it doesn't have time to think of things that may or may not happen. There is no bigger waste of time than worrying because it suppresses action.
Whenever trouble comes, remember that the fear you feel is temporary and will pass when you think positive thoughts. No matter how hopeless the situation seems, positivity will make it seem better. Fill your mind with whatever is beautiful (Phil 4:8).
Focus on God. Fears become idols eventually. You must learn to trust fears to God.
Whether good or bad, facing fear takes courage. In fact, there is no courage without fear. Ultimately, courage comes from faith. Faith comes from an active relationship with God. Reading the bible, going to church, praying and being with other believers will strengthen your faith and make you courageous.