Each January 1, I take some time to pray over the upcoming year and to ask the Lord for a representational word for the year ahead. I spend time asking Him what He wants to accomplish in my heart and life. I thoroughly enjoy watching Him bring that representational word to life bit by bit throughout my year.
My goal and prayer for 2020 is to walk in fearlessness. I want to be freed from fear of man, fear of failure, and fear of loss. When I look at many of my personal hindrances, I find that they are rooted in fear. When I’m fearful of man’s opinion, failing, or losing loved ones, I am no longer able to enjoy the present and to move forward into positions and opportunities as the Lord leads. With that in mind, I pray that the Lord would root out this fear in my heart and would give me strength to instead walk in peace when opportunities to respond in fear present themselves.
How Scripture Addresses Fear:
Fear of Man:
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galations 1:10
Fear of man really boils down to a fear of rejection. We strive for man’s approval when we fear rejection. God’s Word reminds us that we can’t serve Him if our focus is on pleasing man, because the two focuses are at odds. We must value God’s perspective over anyone else’s. The opinion of man is ever changing, so pursuing man’s approval truly is a fleeting, empty task.
Fear of Failure:
Deuteronomy 1:21 “See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
We fear failure, as the Isrealites did. Often times, we know what God has called us to, but we cower in fear instead of stepping forward in faith and taking possession of what He has for us. God tells the Israelites and us to not fear, because He Himself has “set the land before” us already. He has done the work. We need only to move forward in faith. However, we forget this and begin to believe the lie that we are responsible for our success. With this mindset in place, we easily fall prey to fear as we weigh ourselves up against the huge tasks before us.
Fear of Loss:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Proverbs 31:25-26 NLT
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” Psalms 46:1-3 ESV
Laughing without fear of the future doesn’t imply a lack of future hardship or loss. It shows, however, a complete trust in the One who will walk with us through heartache or tragedy. He is “a very present help IN trouble.”