Webster says that fear is: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
A few of the most common fears are of spiders, snakes, heights, open or crowded spaces, dogs, storms, flying, and public speaking. These phobias cause people high anxiety, physical reactions, and sometimes a high pitched squeal, coupled with a sprint to the nearest exit. It’s easy to put fear in this box of stereotypes. To think that this only applies to those common phobias, but not to our daily lives. If 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind...” what does that look like practically?
Scenario: you’re praying for God to open up doors. You’re seeking his face about your next steps in life. You have two options- one that is going to stretch you, mold you, grow you and one that plays well with your strengths and comes easily to you. After all, you want to excel. You want to make Jesus’ name great. You want Him to be glorified in your work… What do you do?
I once thought I was pretty fearless. I mean, I’ve bungee jumped off the third highest bridge in the Americas (click here to watch the insanity). The name Casey literally means brave; clearly this isn’t my struggle. Then, the Lord smacked me upside my head with this revelation. Your fear is rooted in perfectionism, practicality, and comfort.
*Pause* Say what?!
Let’s unpack that. The spirit of fear looks like comfort, practicality, and perfectionism. See, fear is subtle. He creeps in just when your life is going well. He hides within your creature comforts. He keeps you stagnant. As you reach for the stars, he yanks you back to the ground, so you reach for what’s closest, for what’s easy, for what’s familiar. No, you don’t consciously think, I’m scared of failing and I want to save face, so I only try for things that I know I’ll succeed in. You think, “Hey, this opportunity is a great fit for my skill set, I think I’ll do well.”
But here’s the thing, growth can’t and won’t happen in an incubator. Growth happens by pressing against resistance. Growth happens by varying levels of tests and trials. Growth happens in uncomfortable places. If you’re running to things that you’ll excel at, where is there room for God’s power to show up? If you can do everything in your strength, where is your faith?
To go to new levels in life, faith and career, a sacrifice is required. A sacrifice of what you’ve always known. You’ll need to push aside that ego that is keeping you complacent and go for what is uncomfortable. To do that with confidence, you must be equipped to fight fear with faith.
Here are a few affirmations that I say:
- I am equipped with everything I need to succeed.
- I serve a God of more than enough; there is no lack in him. Therefore, I am enough.
Add these scriptures to your battle plan against fear:
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
- “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
Back to the scenario: What did you decide to do? I’ve chosen to run toward the things that are scary. Run towards uncertainty. And as so many have said before, “ Do it afraid.” Let’s vow to kick our pride, perfectionism, doubt, and comfort to the curb. In fact, there’s sometimes comfort in being uncomfortable…but that’s another post, for another day!
Lot’s of fun announcements:
- My bungee jumping video! here
- My book is releasing soon! It’s a devotional full of encouragement, affirmations, and prayers that take you to new levels. I'll be posting about it this week!
- Make sure you’re following me on social media, I post #MorningMotivation at least 5 times a week! @CaseyCarea on everything and Casey Sharperson on Facebook
- I Periscope (@CaseyCarea) on life, faith, and career, so download the app and follow me.
- I’m going to be blogging more, so make sure you have subscribed, for notifications!