I always thought I was born afraid, and even referred to myself as a ‘fearful person’. What was I afraid of? Everything! Ever since I can remember I was afraid. Afraid of the dark. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of failure. Afraid of conflict. Afraid of rejection...the list goes on and on. Fear became a companion, like a faithful friend, filling my mind with fearful thoughts. Those of you who’ve encountered fear would know, it always anticipates the worst in every situation. I realized what I was feeling was not ok, and tried desperately to get rid of it. But there was one thought that haunted me, and left me feeling paralyzed: How can I be so afraid and at the same time have the love of Jesus in my heart?
A few years ago I had a dream where I was climbing a mountain. In the dream Jesus walked ahead of me and as He got to the edge of a cliff, He invited me to come closer and look at the view. I was so scared of the height that I didn’t go, and then I woke up. I dreamt this a few nights in a row and thought it was a warning that I would miss out on something beautiful if I didn’t say yes to His invitation. And sure enough, the invitation came soon after: To go live in the middle-east and serve the Syrian refugees for a year. I decided to choose against all the fears the invitation held, and with much anxiety, I said yes.
After the year, when we got on the plane to head back home, I thanked God for a life-changing experience but expressed my disappointment that I was going home still being a fearful person. And then He spoke the words that set me free: “This is not who you are. You are not a fearful person. Fear is not part of your DNA. This is the enemy tormenting you.” For the first time in more than 30 years I could dissociate myself from fear! I experienced the fierceness of God towards my enemies, like when David describes God’s anger being kindled on his behalf in Psalm 18. I understood then that it was always just Jesus in me, and that fear was put on me somewhere along the way.
For the first time in more than 30 years I could dissociate myself from fear!
To be honest, I thought I’d need to go to a specialist for deliverance from this ever-present fear. I didn’t expect freedom to come through the words of a loving Father speaking to my identity, reminding me who He made me to be.
After God saves David in a very dramatic way, He lifts him up on a high place, strengthens his arms and teaches him how to fight his enemy. As leaders in God’s Kingdom, we need to be fearless daughters, for even though He sets us free from oppression, the battle goes on and the fight is real! But He doesn’t leave us. When the storms of life come, He hears our cries and surrounds us with His love. His peace meets us there where our thoughts wage war. He fights with us.
This God, Whose voice roars when our enemies draw close, also speaks loving words to our hearts, reminding us of who we are. We are His fearless daughters!