Have you ever been trapped between two fears? Two forces, pulled together like attracting magnets, you the small piece of paper pinned between them? Two fears, paralyzing in their polarity, too scared to move, yet too scared not to?
They caged me.
The fear of action. The fear of inaction.
They wrapped their tentacles around my arms, around my legs, squeezing across my chest as they dragged me into their pit. Their pit of dissatisfaction, indecisiveness, anxiety.
Pinned between two fears, your dreams are infected. The once pure passion begins to fester, tainted with doubt. Day after day, you remain stuck, unmoving, yet scared of what you will become if you stay. Until all of a sudden, the dream that once drove you, fueled you, gave you joy, fills you with only one thing…..dread.
Dread. An aversion. An avoidance. A repulsion. A nightmare of cold sweats and pounding hearts.
Dread. The dream killer.
There you remain. Wishing you could move, and all the while the clock in your head is ticking. Ticking down the minutes until your dream expires, the opportunity that you hold so dear, slipping away and disappearing forever.
The dread that tells you that you are not enough, that your own inadequacies are too insurmountable. The dread that tells you that you are the reason your dreams are failing. That you were given the wrong dream. It should have never belonged to you. It was made for someone else.
That dread is a liar.
The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7,
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control.”
We were equipped, by God Himself, in our own spirits, the very essence of who we are, with power, love, and self control….the antithesis of fear. Instead, we believe the lies that are whispered into our ears, the constant barrage of comparisons that consume us with envy, disheartenment, and self-deprecation.
1 John 4:18 tells us,
“there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…”
When we confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross in payment of our sins, victoriously rising from the grave 3 days later: God abides in us. He lives in us, loving us perfectly; the defeater of death, the slayer of fear.
But then, why was I still afraid?
If God abides in me, loving me perfectly, as I know that He does, why did I still feel paralyzed?
Fear of failure
Fear of my own inadequacies
Fear of disappointing Him
Fear of doing the wrong thing
Fear of others’ perceptions
The list could go on and on. Why? If God loves me perfectly, had I not overcome ANY of these?
Because I was not abiding in Him.
God always gives you a choice. When He created you, He instilled within you the ability to think freely, to choose freely. He promises to abide in you, but He does not force you to abide in Him. That is your choice.
He offers you His perfect love, His powerful love, but you have to accept it.
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us…..There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” – 1 John 4: 15-18
It didn’t feel like it, but I was choosing to abide in my fears, instead of in God’s love.
When you allow fears to take hold, they twist your mind. They convince you that there is no other way. That what God has called you to do is too hard. That you will fail. That you will always feel trapped.
If you are like me, these fears have become a part of you. They have melded into your heart and mind, their chains becoming one with your skin. They have been with you for too long, a cage that is impossible to escape.
Well, God gave you a weapon to fight back.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
Scripture is truth. It knows what is of God and what is not, separating away even the pieces that feel part of you. If fear is a cage, then Scripture is the skeleton key, and when you study it, you will ALWAYS find a way out.
As for me, even as I write this article, I am beginning to unlock my own cage.
Don’t let your fears keep you from achieving your dreams. Don’t let them taint the pure passion and excitement in doing the good works that God has set before you. For too long, you have wrestled in the dark.
Abide in God’s love. Study His Word.
You will be freed.
Write down you fears. Instead of running from them, start by facing them. List them out one by one, pinning down exactly what you are afraid of, how they make you feel, and why you feel that way. Enemies are so much scarier, when they do not have a name.