The final subject I want to touch on in this mini-series, “She Laughs” is fear. My prayer today is that as you read the words below you will be encouraged to let God in a little deeper and chose to live fearless! In proverbs 31:25 it says that a characteristic of a noble woman is she can “laugh without fear of the future”. Reality is, control and forcing relationships, like we discussed in my last two posts, is a response to fear. Fear is a real emotion for many. It is obvious that God understood that fear would be something we would have to face often. That is why I believe He provides countless scriptures that speak against fear. Praise Jesus!
I believe when an individual is functioning out of fear it causes them to go into “survival mode”. However, in Proverbs 31:25, it shows that God offers us an opportunity to act out of faith and function in “dependence mode”. Let me explain.
Unfortunately, we can find more comfort in fear than we realize. Some of you reading this are currently functioning out of fear without even realizing it. We act out of fear and those actions become a normal part of our everyday lives. What we don’t realize is that those fear based actions can actually be robbing us of the freedom that Christ died for us to have. Fear taps into something within us that causes a reaction. That reaction for most is what I refer to as a “survival” response which could be any of the following: comfort eating, shopping, controlling situations or people, forcing romantic relationships, striving, isolation, starvation, substance abuse etc.
As early as 5 years old I can remember finding comfort in food. Some of my earliest memories are sitting on the couch zoning out to the television while overeating on varies junk foods. That was a reaction even at 5 years old that I learned to do to survive and escape the reality of my surroundings. This response to life didn’t just stop there – it continued throughout my teenage years and on. Never did I stop and think twice about why I wanted to overeat or why I felt like I couldn’t stop. I thought the way I ate was normal. Until one day about a year after becoming a Christian, I heard the sweet soft voice of the Holy Spirit reveal something to me. As my hand was in the midst of reaching for my choice of junk food to binge on I heard the Holy Spirit say “my love, you are looking to food to give you what only I can give you”. Whoa! My hand stopped midway as I processed what I just heard. I was 20 years old when my eyes were opened to a fearful habit I had created. You see at that point it had been 15 years of my life of choosing food again and again, never thinking twice. Finding comfort in food wasn’t the only bad habit I had indulged in to help cope with fear in my life. I also found value and comfort in seeking affirmation from people which also led me to always have a boyfriend whether it was a healthy relationship or not.
You might be reading this and wondering how my overeating habits or need for relationships could relate to fear. You see if I was confronted with anything that brought me pain, discomfort, insecurity, rejection, or loneliness I would search for comfort in food or men. I did not want to face my fears so I covered them instead. I didn’t want to face the fear of not being good enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, intelligent enough, or loved and accepted enough. For some reason I felt I wasn’t any of those of things so I certainly did not want to FEEL them. Therefore, I covered, filled and replaced. This is where fear stepped into my life. However, in that sweet soft moment of the Holy Spirit opening my eyes, He was giving me an opportunity to start living out of faith – to learn that in Christ I was already good enough and more.
Why do I share this vulnerable, not so dignifying, story with you? I share this because my story can open up your story. Over the years, I have seen the reality that people live completely unaware to the fact that fear has rooted itself in their lives, greatly influencing their day to day habits, resulting in bondage (being bound to something other than God).
Is there a habit in your life that is a result of fear that has become normal to you? I want to encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything that you may be holding onto that is from a place of fear.
So you can live FEARLESS!
Earlier, I touched on a faith-filled response called “dependence mode” that contradicts “survival mode”. Faith-filled responses are a result of depending on our faithful God. That’s exactly where God wants us – in a place of complete dependence on HIM and Him alone. When life hits us hard, God presents a choice for us. To choose His presence, His word, His truth, His peace and His comfort or to choose to fill, cover and rely on something that was never intended to help.
Without a shadow of a doubt, God has called us to live fearless as a result of our faith and dependence on Him. Every day presents opportunities for us to choose how we want to respond and live: survival mode or dependent mode.
Where do you find yourself within this?
For those who may be reading this and your heart is pumping a bit faster as you feel the Holy Spirit putting his finger on an area in your life, I want to encourage you to stay open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. There can be a lot of fear in the thought of letting go of the habits we use to survive, but I want to remind you that we live for a God who brings GOOD things and wants to fill those deep places within you with His truth and His freedom.
When the temptation of choosing that habit that allows you to survive comes, chose to deny it and rely on our God.
This will be a daily process but one that will bring freedom as you choose to live fearless!
A few scriptures to think on and speak out as you choose to live fearless:
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Jeremiah 29:11– “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Psalm 56:11– “in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?”
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
1 Peter 5:7- “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Proverbs 31:25 – “She laughs without fear of the future”