Don't Let Fear Hold You Back.


“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9


I used to want to be fearless, but now I just strive to conquer fear in the moments it tries to hold me back from God's best.

Growing up, there was a small, golden brown dog named Chico that lived across the street from me. When people walked by his house, Chico would run across the yard and bark at them.

I used to spend a lot of time in the front room of my house, which had tall, wide windows allowing me to watch everything that was going on outside.

I would often laugh when I saw Chico scare people away because I knew something they didn't ... there was an invisible fence that kept Chico in the yard.

One day, while my friend and I were walking up the street with our bikes, we saw Chico from a distance running toward us. My friend instantly froze in fear. I laughed at her reaction and assured her that Chico couldn't leave his lawn.

Well, I was wrong. So wrong.

Less than 15 seconds later, Chico was in the street headed toward us. We dropped our bikes and started running as fast as we could up the street to my house. I don't think our little legs were moving quickly enough because Chico was double-timing us.

He chased us up the street, up the hill of my driveway, and into the garage. My friend and I flew on top of my dad's car.

That Chico was fast!

Breathing heavily, my friend and I waited to see if Chico would leave us alone. Eventually, he did. About ten minutes later, the neighbors figured out that their dog was missing and called him back.

Sigh. What a relief.

Here's the funny thing, though ... I knew Chico—he was a friendly dog that didn't bite. I knew we weren't in any real danger, but in the moment of having him charge toward us, fear had me doubt how well I really knew him.

That's what fear does—it makes you doubt what's real and what's not.

Although running away from a dog that's charging toward you is a legit response, running away from a groundless fear isn't.

Fear is like a fake friend who only appears to have your best interest in mind. Many of the things that we fear the most never actually happen.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

How comforting is it to know that we are not alone. No matter what situations we are going through, what decisions we must make, and what we have to (or want to) do, God will be with us every step of the way.

You may not know how things will turn out when you take a leap of faith to do something that you fear, but God will always be there with you. He will always redirect you if you go the wrong way.

Be strong and courageous! My friend, you are not alone.

I was afraid of starting my own company. Am I ready for this? I don’t even know what I’m doing.

I was afraid of self-publishing a book. I’m not a 'writer.' I'm not qualified to write a book.

I was afraid of speaking in public. What if I say something dumb? People might laugh at me.

I was afraid of leading worship at my grandma’s church. I’m not a singer. What will people think when they hear me?

I was afraid of praying corporately. What if I run out of things to say?

Those were just some of my many irrational fears, but, by the grace of God, I didn’t let fear hold me back from doing great things.

And neither should you. The more you fear, the further away you get from God because you aren't exercising your faith.

Don’t let fear hold you back. Trust God to lead you every step of the way.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. " 2 Timothy 1:7

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Did you enjoy today's message? What are some fears that have held you back in the past, and what will you now do differently to overcome fear when it tries to put you in a chokehold? Comment below, and I look forward to chatting with you.

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You were born to do great things. Continue to conquer the challenges of life one step at a time.

- Mags