I laughed. I literally laughed when I saw the subject, “Fear of Failure,” sitting in my inbox. What’s so funny about that? Fear’s been my constant companion all my life, and I believe the Lord wants me to confront it. Currently, a play I’m writing for my church has a focus theme about fear. Therefore, when Felecia assigned this topic, I knew it was none other than Holy Spirit speaking to me.
As a child, we moved to a new residence every year. We remained in Atlanta, but the move meant a new neighborhood, new schools, and new friends. This constant change can be challenging to a child who struggled with insecurities. As I grew, the fear grew with me. What if I’m not accepted? What if I’m not liked? What if I fail to make friends? These thoughts grew into…What if no one understands me? What if I fail to attract an audience? What if no one thinks I’m worthy?
That thought process always held me back from giving my best. I didn’t think much about who I was or what I had to offer. I’ve shared many times that my husband (boyfriend at the time) was the one who discovered not only my love of writing, but my gift of writing. That was 1997. I didn’t share it with the world until 2012.
One day, my husband shared with me that he did not believe I was scared to fail. I asked, “What do you mean?” He replied, “Chelle, could it be that you’re afraid of success?” I pondered that for a while. Then my faithful companion, “fear,” reared its head. It asked the question, “What success? You’re not doing anything better than or different than anyone else.”
Once again, I began to plod along at a mediocre rate, always second-guessing myself. I was very familiar with 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Yet, it never sunk in. It wasn’t until he asked, “What if?” that I began to move forward with anything. What if people do like it? What if they find inspiration in it? Would it be so bad to share it with the world? Then something my husband stated to me all those years ago in the 90’s popped up. As I nervously prepared for a job interview, fear had me in its grip. He posed this question: “What’s the worst they can do to you, Chelle? They can’t kill you. All they can do is say ‘no.’” I got that job!
If you’ve ever experienced fear in its deepest depths, you know it can be mind-numbing, paralyzing; and it can pull you into the deepest recesses of darkness. You begin to imagine preposterous things. The fear turns into anxiety, escalating to panic. It does not matter what you are facing in this life, you must believe you are never alone (Deuteronomy 31:6). Fear is the enemy’s trick; he uses it to keep you from living your best life ever! He doesn’t want you to walk in your ordained purpose. He needs to hold you back so that Christ does not get the glory He so rightly deserves.
Falling into the enemy’s trap by believing his lies gives fear power to destroy your plans, dreams, and life. It’s impossible to succeed when you believe the deception the enemy plants in your mind. You have to cast down every vain thought and anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:5). Believing the enemy’s lies denies the truth of the Word of Sovereign God. We know the enemy is a liar (John 8:44). Because of God’s Word, we know He has redeemed us and we are His (Isaiah 43:1); He cares (1 Peter 5:7); He rescues (Isaiah 35:4); He is a sustainer and provider (Psalm 55:22; Luke 12:22-26); and He is there in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
There is no reason to allow the constraints of fear to hold you back. It accomplishes nothing. It protects you from nothing. Fear is simply a figment of your imagination that only holds power when you feed it. You have the authority to revoke that power and take back authority over every area of your life. You have the authority to give your best in whatever situation you’re facing, and you have the authority to walk in success. You simply must believe in yourself and trust that He knows the plans for your life. He wants to prosper you and give you peace; He desires to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Regardless of what you’re facing, He plans to prosper you. Remember…fear is simply a trick of the enemy. You are victorious!
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