Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The Bible instructs us to not be afraid, be anxious in nothing, fear not, etc, over and over again. Fear is mentioned hundreds of times, in most cases, instructing us not to be afraid. When you look at the levels of anxiety today, it seems like God was onto something, He knows exactly how the enemy likes to attack. Fear can have the necessary effect of inducing an adrenaline rush in an emergency, but most fear is much less obvious.
Fear sits under the surface and masquerades itself as wisdom, caution, or worse yet, holiness. Often, we feel a call on our life, but in our wisdom or “holiness,” we deny that call to take care of other things. It sounds good to lay aside one thing to provide a good life for your family, to want to protect your family, or to serve in another area. While caring for your family and prioritizing them is important, God won’t call you to something you can’t sustain with Him while you tend to the family or other obligations He has given you, and so the fear of following your call is unfounded.
I can recall as a child feeling like I was supposed to go to the nations. I couldn’t articulate it then, but I was drawn to spreading the gospel to those who had never heard of Jesus! At the time, Africa was all the talk and seemed to be the ultimate place to reach the lost. I have clear memories even in the second grade of a deep desire to go to the nations to tell others near and far about Jesus, but I knew I had to do so here also. My second-grade teacher was pagan, and I knew several others in my class were not believers so I would sing hymns and tell everyone about Jesus during every single show-and-tell, during recess, and at lunch. This bothered my teacher greatly, to the point that when parent-teacher conferences happened, she asked my mom to make me stop.
Around twelve years old, I finally got to go on my first mission trip! I was saddened that there was not much for me to do since the trip's primary goal was construction, but it affected me greatly to see the need for the Kingdom to advance to all reaches of society! As time went on, I still had the desire, but I had so many reasons why I couldn’t go-or so I thought.
One day, while volunteering with a youth group, the leader asked everyone, “If you had no fear or limitations at all right now, what would you do?” Immediately, the thought, “Move to Africa,” hit me. It hit so hard that it took my breath away, and I looked around to see if others heard it or reacted. I had not realized the fear I was living in until that moment. As soon as the thought came, so did all of the fears I, previously unconsciously, had about missions.
After that day, I walked through a lot of letting go, setting things down at the altar, and renouncing fear. There are still moments where God reveals what I have been holding on to or other thought patterns that need to be replaced to align with His good and perfect will and the Kingdom of Heaven. We have access to all of our needs in Him but often unconsciously, fear lack. When we recognize the thoughts that are holding us back from our destiny, we can lay them down at His feet and renew our minds with truth.
After some time and walking through those mindsets, my family began preparing to move to Kenya. God had other plans, and we were surprised with our sweet little boy and several other turns of events. However, I still find myself asking that question from time to time to help reveal anything that could be holding me back from where I should be.
Today, I want to ask that question of you: if you had no fear or limitations at all right now, what would you do?
If it is anything less than you are doing now, what is holding you back? If it is a mindset, ask Him to reveal the truth to you today.