• Sara Chapple

You are my greatest fear. (Yes. You.)

It's October. The month of all the scary, scary stuff. You can't flip through the channels right now without some kind of scary movie being on tv 24/7!

I don't enjoy scary movies.

Another thing I don't enjoy are haunted houses. I think Covid is taking care of all those this year. Thank goodness for that small blessing!

I made it a rule to just never go into haunted houses. The few times I tried I never made it. I'd bail at the first exit they provided for scaredy cats like me. So I gave up trying.

Then I got married. And became a step-momma to three amazing kids. One of them has a birthday in October. She also loves haunted houses. One year she suckered me into having to go through a haunted house "for her birthday present". It was pure manipulation, I know, but I honored her request and did it. Did I wear earplugs? You betcha. Did I sandwich myself between my husband, my brother-in-law, and my step-son while I made a group of 13 year old girls go alone? You betcha. Did I close my eyes the whole time and grip the back of my husband's shirt to the point it was permanently misshapen? You betcha. But I made it through. Sweated like a pig the whole time but I made it all the way through.

I guess I can't really say I successfully conquered my fear, but hey, I made it through and nobody died.

Other than that I would have said I didn't really fear much else. No major phobias. I don't like all the normal things that normal people don't like: spiders, snakes, just the whole creepy crawly category - but nothing too serious. Nothing debilitating.

Or so I thought.

I was recently reading about King Saul in 1 Samuel.

Right after Saul is told he is going to be king he does some interesting things. He "forgets" to tell his uncle that he found out he was going to be king and then he hides when it's time for him to be presented as king. (1 Samuel 10)

I can't say for certain that Saul did those things out of fear but as I read this chapter God definitely used it to speak to me about my fear.

My debilitating fear. My fear that is keeping me from consistently doing all the things I am supposed to be doing.

My fear of you. Every single "you" that is out there. The "yous" I know and even the "yous" I don't know. That is a lot of "yous"! :)

I am afraid of what you think:

* of what I say

* of what I don't say

* of how I say it

* of what I do

* of what I don't do

* of how I do it

* of who I am

* of what I feel called to do

and the list can and does go on and on and on.

And it causes me to run and hide. It paralyzes me. And so I go through seasons of not doing anything for fear of doing the "wrong" thing. Wrong in your eyes. Wrong in anyone's eyes.

If you fast forward in King Saul's story you find out that this pattern did not serve him well. At all. He lost his calling, he lost his kingdom and he lost his life.

Fear would like to do a similar thing in my life. And it will if I let it.

So, I am choosing not to let it!

I don't mean to be rude, but this means I have to not care what you think! Any of you! ;)

That is so hard!!

But I know it is not impossible. Well, sort of:

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Matthew 19:26

Thankfully, with God it is not impossible.

When I stumbled my way through that haunted house my approach was actually quite brilliant and quite prophetic.

I refused to allow it all in. I didn't look at it. I didn't listen to it. I didn't allow it in even a little bit.

Do you know what I did while stumbling blind and deaf through that torture?

I clung to the one I trusted to get me through. If I ever did open my eyes I just looked at my husband who was right in front of me leading the whole way.

I didn't feed into the fear. I didn't sit and reason with those psychos. ;) I kept moving and I made it through.

And that is what I have to do now. And it's what you can do as well.

What is fear threatening to steal from you? Or where is it actively stealing even as you read this?

Close your eyes to the fear, and lift your gaze to the One who is leading you through. Cling to Him as if your life depends on it, because it really does.

Choose to look at Him and His Words, His truth alone. Don't feed your fear. Feed your faith.

Let's choose today to no longer allow our fears to hold us back. Take a step with me and declare over yourself and your life that:

"God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." 1 Timothy 1:7

In Jesus' name fear has no place in your life. You have victory in the One who has conquered everything. He has a plan for your life and it does not include fear. Press into Him and His Words. Recite them as often as you have to but decide here and now that fear will not take your calling or your life. If God has called you to it He will get your through it!

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