Monday, January 25, 2016

Overcoming Your Fears

By Andrea Merrell

What are you afraid of?

This might be a tough question—and a strange way to begin a blog post—but it’s one we need to address in order to overcome those things that hold us back from fulfilling our destiny.

Among a few other things, I personally battle with a fear of public speaking, even though it is something God has called and equipped me to do. I have heard many pastors and speakers admit they fight the same battle.

Maybe you have a fear of rejection. We all do to some degree. That might be the very thing that keeps you from submitting your manuscript to an agent, editor, or publisher. One lady told me she was terrified to let her words “out of the nest.”

Perhaps you’re intimidated by other writing professionals, and this keeps you from attending workshops and conferences where you can network and polish your skills.

The question is this: What has God called YOU to do? Maybe He wants you to create a blog or teach a class. Perhaps He’s nudging you to start a critique group in your area or mentor a new writer. If you’re a novelist, maybe He is calling you to write devotions. If your sweet spot is magazine articles, God might want you to venture out and try historical fiction. The key is to pray over your writing, and allow Him to lead you out of your comfort zone.

When fear rears its ugly head and we don’t feel capable of doing what God is calling us to do, we have the choice to react with fear or respond with faith. He knows us intimately and is well aware of our weaknesses and insecurities. That’s when He works the best—when we admit our need for Him. The Word says His power works best in our weakness (1 Corinthians 12:9). In other words, He does not call the equipped; He equips the called. Don’t base your God-given destiny on personality, education, degrees, connections, talents, and—especially—your past.

If you are battling fear in any area of your life—especially in your writing—let’s look at a few Scriptures that will help you overcome.

  •  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6 NLT). The plan is God’s. He started it and will complete it. All we have to do is trust and follow His lead.

  •  Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free (Ephesians 6:7-8 NIV). When whatever we do flows from the heart—and not the head—we know He is working in and through us.

  • For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT). Fear is not of God, and we can walk in His power and love when we take His Word to heart.

  • There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:18 NKJV). When we love God and love what we do, it will be reflected to others and fear will have to go.

God has given us a covenant of peace, and His desire is for us to walk securely and confidently in our calling. Don’t let fear—rational or irrational—steal your destiny. I once heard Joyce Meyer say, “Do it afraid.” In other words, if you are afraid of something you know you are supposed to do, do it anyway. God will honor your faith and obedience and give you the power, strength, and courage to complete the task and come out victorious.

What do you struggle with the most? If you are trying to overcome fear in a certain area, we would love to pray with you.

(Photos courtesy of Morguefile and FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles.)

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3 comments:

  1. You must have written this for me, Andrea. I've been successful with magazine articles, anthology stories and devotionals but have lately been trying my hand at fiction. But I want to do the rest, too, and can't do it all! It's scary to me to think about completing (and trying to market) a fiction book. I "took off" this month to seek the Lord on what He wants me to pursue. Would love your prayers, too.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy. We will definitely be praying for you to hear and follow the Lord's leading. Don't be hesitant to let Him stretch you outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes that's where we find the greatest blessings :)

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  2. The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement, if you can't deal with this you needn't apply.

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