3 Ways to Defeat Your Inner Worry-Wart
Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you did anything and everything… unafraid?
If this were true, you would find me speaking what’s on my mind instead of shrinking down in my chair.
I would be risky, real risky, embracing challenges instead of running at the sight of them.
Not only would I camp outside of my comfort zone, I would also accept failure, beating down my apathy instead of myself.
You would find me chasing down those God-inspired dreams, instead of chasing down the perfect way to execute them.
It’s true–fear is such a hindrance to the things we want in life– the things that God wants for us in this life. Fear prevents us from taking hold of opportunities that are beyond our natural abilities. It also hinders us from receiving unwavering peace that comes from Christ. Instead, fear keeps us running on the same old hamster wheel where we are daily consumed with stress, pressure, anxiety, and crippling defeat.
Are you ready to put a muzzle on your inner worry wart ? I’m with you friend. Here are three powerful truths I’m preaching to myself to move out of fear and into freedom.
#1. Fact Check Everything
“Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him, in keeping with the truth that is in Jesus, to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4: 21-24
One of fear’s greatest tactics is to paralyze our feet by flooding our minds with potential peril.
“What if my heart breaks?”
“What if I take a risk, and God doesn’t come through?”
“What if I look like an idiot?”
“What if ____________?”
So often we allow these thoughts to linger in our minds and we will spend HOURS of our lives making mental-movies featuring our own demise. By the time we’ve run through every potential peril we might face, stepping out in faith feels impossible because we’ve already convinced ourselves of the outcome (and made a sequel!).
When fearful thoughts come into our mind, as legitimate as they may be, we have to fact check it against God’s word. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, just as I have, but I think we really need to ask ourselves: “What kind of ‘truth’ am I filling myself with?”. Because so often, instead of meditating on God’s word, we medicate ourselves with inspiring Pinterest graphics, pseudo-scripture based quotes, self-help books, and positive self talk. And can I tell you something? These sources do not, can not, and will not hold up in a battle for your mind or your peace. The only thing that actually holds the power to break strongholds, shut up the voice of fear, and lead to break-through is God’s word. And too often we only use it to repair wounds from a battle we lost instead of using it to prepare us for the worry-war we will inevitably face everyday. We need the truth of God’s word to be fresh in our minds daily so that we won’t be caught off guard.
As we continue reading and growing in God’s truth, we will realize that certain fearful attitudes, thoughts and feelings are not from God. And we don’t have to keep them and let them hang around!
I can’t tell you how much this phrase is setting me free, “If it ain’t from God’s Spirit, I don’t have to keep it.”
#2. Face It
“Don’t fear sudden danger or the ruin of the wicked when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare.” Proverbs 3:25
While believing God’s truth is the first step to defeating your inner worry wart, oftentimes moving our feet towards the scary thing is the second. And oddly enough, lions can teach us so much about this!
Lions typically hunt in groups. One of their strategies is for the less experienced lions to move toward the prey and scare them with their loud roar. But the secret is, the more experienced lions hide themselves in bushes among the escape route, knowing that the roar of the other lion will cause the animal to run away from the roar. Consequently, the terrified prey falls right into the trap because it runs away from the roar and right into a well-crafted hunting strategy. To avoid being eaten, the prey must run TOWARDS the scary roar because behind the roar is a chumpy, inexperienced lion whose strength can’t match it’s roar.
In the same way, we must run towards the thing that scares us instead of running away from it. When we listen to fear and run away from opportunities to trust God, we will inevitably fall into traps of apathy, discontentment, and bitterness. Not only that, but we will just plain miss out on relationships, learning experiences and faith-growing encounters that only take place in the deep end.
What’s roaring at you today? Is it fear of failure and risk? A looming diagnosis? A crumbling relationship? An opportunity that is beyond you? Take it head on. Run towards it. Because right beside you will be a faithful Companion who has already stared death in the face and has overcome every trial. Nothing is too big, too scary or too much for Him.
When we are actively digesting God’s word and staring our fear in the face, we begin to see that fear is nothing but a chump whose bark is bigger than it’s bite. A life detached from fear’s grip will allow us to free fall into all the things God has for us.
And I’m learning that the freefall is the STUFF of life.
We’ll find ourselves leaving comfort, accepting challenges, stepping into things that are SO far beyond us it’s not even funny. But in those times, we will find that our Savior isn’t cheering us on from the shore, but He is in the middle of the deep, standing amongst the waves, calling us closer and closer to Him. We get to know Him deeper in the free fall because our eyes are constantly steadied on Him for strength to keep on moving. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. It’s the best way to live life.
If you don’t take away anything else, take away this: it is the power of Christ who delivers us– yes, even from our inner worry-wart. It is by His authority, His power and His might that we can be freed from a life of fear and walk in freedom.
How will you move from fear to freedom in this season of your life?
** This post is apart of the Fear to Freedom Tour. Be sure to check out more posts on moving from fear to freedom by clicking on the picture below!**