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Paradox of Fear

“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still’.”  Exodus 14:13-14 (NRSV).

We all experience fear, and maybe the paradox is we cannot be truly courageous without fear. Fear is necessary for us to do anything truly heroic. If it is within your comfort zone, isn’t it just ordinary? I believe we cannot express faith without fear. It has to be there.

Here is the thing, when I allow the fear to take me into self-pity or frozen states (and I do this more than you might realize), I give away the opportunity at conquering the fear with the help of a holy and all-powerful God behind me. And by standing firm I do not beleive Moses meant to freeze in fear. By these actions, I give away the opportunity to exercise faith. I have allowed the wrong thing to control. I find myself praying quite often that the Lord will take away all fear but I am learning that I should and must do my part to disarm the fear itself. To give into fear and allow it to control me is sin but in the Word I am told that God provides a way out; a way to flee from sin. How do I live without this sin controlling my life? I beleive this is done in at least one of two ways because fear can manifest as a result of both the inappropriate and appropriate.

First, I can approach the problem or issue in a fear-less sort of way: to be fearless, i.e. denying the fear, but truthfully so. There are truly many fears I have that are ridiculous in the face of reason. I must acknowledge that I am allowing the unreasonable and not using logical reason that God has provided. Having acknowledged this I then must retrain my minds to think differently. I believe the goal should be to quickly recognize these fears and quash them immediately. To sit around and think on them or to worry or obsess it pretty much making an idol of them. Quash them and focus on the Lord or on His children. Get my mind off of myself.  I have learned that if I deliberately move away from this type of fear that He will not disappoint in strengthening me.

Second, I can approach it in a manner that just fears things less. Maybe the fear is an appropriate fear. I must move all the while and refuse to be paralyzed by fear but do so acknowledging that what I am fearing is actually appropriate to fear. I just must conform the fear so my actions in light of it are manifested healthily. I need to be open and honest about it and move through it anyway…trusting again in God for my strength. This of itself is to me real courage.

Being fearless and/or just fearing less. God is with me in these pursuits. It’s God’s will that I am not afraid.