It's the beginning of the year, and for most, this is a time of excited planning for all that's to come and/or be accomplished this year. New calendars are purchased and you've decided on your "word" for the year. Hope is present, and you are determined to make the most of this fresh start.
Yet, for some, the calendar change means little. You're walking into 2020 with the same set of circumstances as you left 2019 with, and hope seems a distant friend. Instead, fear has snuggled up close, and like this winter - it's showing no signs of leaving.
I think I've always thought of fear in a very distinct way. That in order for it to be fear, it had to mean trembling and crippling manifestations. While, really, fear simply means faith is not present.
An often quoted scripture of fear is 2 Timothy 1:7
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
In this verse we can see that what God gives us isn't necessarily what we would see as the opposite of fear. On the SAT we'd probably answer that bravery is the opposite of fear. In reality - God trades fear for POWER, love and a sound mind. Noticeably, power is listed first. While power and bravery are similar, by definition, Power is:
"the ability to do something or act in a particular way"
Power is active. It speaks to motion or movement. It calls us to step forward, to step out and move in a direction directed by a sovereign God. He hasn't give you the spirit of fear that requires your feet to stand still and you to remain motionless and lifeless. Instead HIS power give YOU power. His spirit calls you to move, to walk in progress of dreams, of life, of living out every part of you that is called according to His purpose in you. He has traded your fear for His power and what a deal that is for us all.
But, how do I walk in that power when I'm facing mountains that won't move, when I can't seem to muster up a single mustard seed of faith to speak to that mountain to be gone in the name of Jesus or any other name for that matter?
My girl, you speak to that mustard seed first!
Recently, I left a high risk OB appointment, pregnant with my 3rd child and leaving with information that stirred definite fear in my heart...first I cried...then I cried more...then I turned my focus to heaven and I cried out...My walk with Jesus has been tested in the last decade of life, and every time - the trade off of fear for faith has begun to manifest when my spirit connected with His and when my words lined up with His. So, I plugged in my phone to the car and pumped up the volume. As one of my latest favorite worship songs began in that car, my tears could not be contained. "You are my champion. Giants fall when you stand. Undefeated. Every battle you've won." I couldn't sing. I didn't need to. My soul was simultaneously declaring this truth while my fears were being diminished. I chose then to believe the truth of those words, of His word. That is when, in this instance, faith was traded for fear.
Not every situation can be solved on a 30 minute ride home from a scary dr visit, and this one isn't wrapped up perfectly with a bow just yet. Still, the POWER that God gives us instead of fear isn't a feeling that's traded in an instant - it's active pursuit of His love and it's our speaking, declaring, walking in the truth that we know of Him.
Maybe today you are drowning in fear. You may find yourself no longer even searching for peace, but have given way to the defeat you feel to deeply set in. That is not the story God has planned for your life. That is not who He is, and that is not the victory-wielding, battle-winning, ground-gaining God I know and serve. Yet, we've all struggled with faith.
In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says this:
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Truth is, sometimes even a mustard seed of faith seems difficult to find. If that's the case for you, I implore you - muster up that mustard seed! Fan the flame of faith. Remind yourself of all He has already done. Look for Him in all things, find proof of His presence in the everyday and give Him praise when you do. It's there, and with each seemingly minute recognition, your faith will begin to grow. That seed with sprout, The flame of faith will grow and the mountain that seems so large will begin to shake by the POWER of His LOVE that you sought and took hold of with a SOUND MIND. Victory is yours because all He is, is Victorious.