Hey Temple Builders! As we enter May here in Pampa, Texas I begin to think about how fast the year has flown by. Have you succeeded in your fitness goals? Made new ones? Failed miserably? Today I want to discuss a topic that keeps most of us from reaching our physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for ourselves: FEAR
For myself, I deal with fear pretty often. Definitely not as much as I used to, but it is always there kind of lurking. Fear has two dualities: one type benefits us, while the other can cripple us completely. One of the biggest places I have fear is in the gym–how bizarre is that? Every time without fail, I get this nervous, sweaty, and anxious feelings before my workout. My adrenaline is high, expectancy is through the roof, and my fear is palpable. Just ask Dan, I literally go to the bathroom several times before starting that clock or hitting a lift, not to mention my heart rate has to be in the 170′s due to the excitement.
This kind of fear, is postitve in its ability to motivate you. The workout might seem intimidating (1000 burpees for time) or even impossible (500 lb deadlift) but the anxiety and anticipation of what you can accomplish can give you the adrenaline and hope to succeed. Even if you don’t achieve that task, you make gains toward it which increases your confidence. Working towards a goal and seeing that you are increasing in strength, endurance, and stamina gives you a feeling of accomplishment and encourages you to push further.
We see fear being a positive motivator in the bible as well.
“Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7)
We find true wisdom and knowledge in fear of the Lord. It is good to be fearful of a workout, because you know it is something that will be challenging and make you uncomfortable. In the end this will make you better by pushing you past perceived limits and boundaries. In the same way, being in awe and in reverence to God builds our foundation of true understanding of his nature, his word, and how to live in his promises.
On the flip side, fear can keep us from our true potential. It can be a road block in every situation not to mention weekly workouts.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18 NLT)
When we live in fear of the negative outcome, it cripples not only our physical walk, but our spiritual walk with God as well. Part of that fear comes with the fact that we don’t trust God completely. Be honest with yourself–many of us say we trust God, but when certain trials come up we have doubt that stems from our fear that God cannot work in our favor in the situation.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
We have a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline not just in our spiritual lives but in our physical ones too. Fear of failure, fear of all the “what ifs” will keep us constantly in the same place for the rest of our lives. Have you ever looked back at the previous years and realized they look exactly the same?
We must walk in that power, love, and self-discipline daily. God wants us to revere him and to walk in his Spirit simultaneously. Fear will always be a constant fixture in our life, but are we willing to step out in faith that God can sustain us, even when things go wrong or have the potential to be bad?
Ever had a goal or dream you wanted to make happen, but you told yourself it was too hard, impossible, or not worth the disappointment of failure to try? Fear should never keep us from believing we can achieve anything. In fact, how many of you are actually scared of succeeding in your goals? I can say myself that fear of success has kept me from things in my own life.
God calls us to success; don’t be in fear of truly being great.
Today I want you to choose your fear–will you master it by God’s power living in you, or will you succumb to it by using our human understanding and compliance? Fear is a double-edged sword that we must be flexible enough to use as momentum to succeed in our struggles and to be in constant step with God’s purpose and wisdom.