Have you ever been in a relationship that brings out the worst in you? A relationship that doesn’t serve you or anyone else? Where you’re being used and abused. A relationship that sucks the very life out of you, robs you of who you are and all you’re truly capable of?
What do you do with this kind of relationship? Do you choose to stay thinking maybe you can change it? Do you settle believing this is all there is for you? Do you begin to believe you’re not good enough for anything else?
OR DO YOU BREAK UP?
Most of us have been in this kind of relationship, and many are still in that relationship. But I’m not talking about some guy … I’m talking about your relationship with FEAR. Your marriage to negative thoughts and worst case scenario. Your life-long connection with all that could go wrong.
Yes, it’s a relationship. You have fear, and fear has you. And the future of this relationship is completely up to you. You don’t have to continue this because I promise you this, fear isn’t going to change. You are the only part of this relationship that can change.
Que the music, it’s time for the breakup song!
Oh yes, we are continuing this week’s ‘Pray and Play’ devotional series. I pray, then I hit shuffle play on the BIG Life Mornings Spotify playlist, and the first song that plays becomes the inspiration for the devotional, and today it was “The Breakup Song” by Francesca Battistelli.
Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you
Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Isaiah 41:10 God says “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.”
Do you believe that? Do you believe God is with you? Do you believe he will strengthen and help you? Do you believe he is holding you in his hand at this moment? GREAT. Then you’re in a committed relationship with God and there’s no room for fear here.
Hundreds of times in scripture we are told do not be afraid, do not fear. In fact, I can’t think of a single more repeated phrase in the bible. It’s very clear, God does not want his children in a relationship with fear.
Why do you think that is? Why would God create us with the ability to fear, but then continually tell us not to be afraid? Did God screw up? Wouldn’t we be better off without fear if it’s such a hindering factor in our lives?
Fear has it’s rightful position. It can serves to protect us … but let’s be honest, we’re not facing many saber tooth tigers these days on our daily commute. We’re not being attacked by woolly beasts or hunted by savages. If we were, fear would be necessary for our survival. But ya’ll we don’t even have to walk outside to start the car anymore! We have garages and remote start. We’re pretty well insulated by our cushy life of ease and comfort.
And yet, we still walk around in this relationship with fear. Fear of what could go wrong. Fear of what may happen. Fear of what someone said or may say. Fear of what will never happen. We play out the scenario a hundred different ways of possible devastation and disaster, all before a single real thing has even happened. We’re all geared up for war against the saber tooth tiger that became extinct 12,000 years ago! It’s not even a real threat anymore. It’s over! It’s in the past and you can move on now.
What is fear doing in your life? What opportunities have you missed because you choose fear over faith?
Fear says “what if”. The countless scenarios of ‘what if’ can leave you crippled in fear. You can easily convince yourself of utter and complete nonsense with the ‘what if’ story lines.
Faith says “even if”. Even if the worst happens, even if it all falls apart, even if this doesn’t work out the way I hoped, EVEN IF … I know God will use it for good. I know my God will make a way. I trust EVEN IF.
The biggest difference between ‘what if’ and ‘even if’, is the power to take the next step. ‘What if’ puts us in a tailspin of negative thoughts, rendering us powerless to do a dang thing about it. ‘Even if’ acknowledges the facts, puts the future in it’s rightful place of God’s mighty hands, and spurs us on to do what we can with what we have.
The next time you’re rekindling your old flame with fear, rebuilding that relationship that sucks the life out of you and you catch yourself saying ‘what if’ in fear, flip the switch to ‘even if’.
Yes, it’s like flipping a switch. Everything is scarier in the dark. There’s a reason why movie theaters are pitch black. Everything is more intense and dramatic in the darkness. Watch a scary movie in the light and suddenly it seems kinda silly. Walk through the woods in the day and it’s a beautiful hike. Walk through the woods at night and you’re scared out of your mind, convinced a savage beast is hot on your trail.
Jesus is our light. Shine his light on your fears. He is in control here. He has made a way. Nothing is beyond his reach or his power. With his light, fear no longer wins.
I’ve shared the story before of my daughter in airborne training in the Army. The week before she made her first jump out of the airplane, she was overcome with fear. So she secretly went and got a tattoo on her arm that says Joshua 1:9 “No Fear”. She thought the inked reminder of no fear would allow her to jump without fear. And she was wrong. Standing in the door of that airplane, she still had fear. But there was one difference … she had decided fear would not have her. She said no to fear. The fear was still there, it just no longer controlled her. Fear was no longer welcomed. Fear was overcome as she stepped out of that airplane door and made her first jump.
Breaking up with fear is much the same. Fear still shows up. It still calls. It still knocks on your door. It’s like the bad boyfriend that just doesn’t give up. Fear still lurks and looks for a crack to sneak in. But you have the power here. The power given to you by Jesus Christ almighty who has already defeated death and has offered you life, life to the fullest, life in abundance! Use your power to tell fear NO.
No, fear, we’re not continuing this relationship. No, fear, you’re not welcome here and you will never be welcome here. No, fear, you don’t win. You won’t take one more opportunity from me. You won’t ruin one more day with your worst case scenarios and nonsense. You won’t cheat me out of a single day of life again. WE ARE DONE FEAR!
Ending a relationship takes courage. The courage of knowing who you are and knowing you deserve something better. Girlfriend, you were fearfully and wonderfully made by the creator of the universe. He put something so special inside of you. It’s called your potential, and it’s unlimited. You never have to settle in any way. EVER. So don’t you ever settle for the fears the enemy tries to sell you. Don’t you ever settle for his worst case scenario he tries to peddle. Don’t you entertain those negative thoughts, they have no place in your life.
Fear will come. Negative thoughts will form. But you don’t have to entertain it. Become aware of their presence. Oh hello fear, I see you here. Hey there negative thoughts, I caught you. Bye bye now. You’re not welcome here. As my Daddy would say, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
God told us hundreds of times in the bible to not fear and do not be afraid because it’s a always a choice, one you will need to make continually. It’s not a one time decision and boom you’re done with it. Nope, it’s a continual conscious decision in the face of adversity, in the face of possible defeat, in the midst of mistakes and messes, DO NOT FEAR. Do not choose it. Choose faith. Faith says ‘even if’. Even if this doesn’t work out the way I imagined, I know God is still making a way. So what good does my worry do? NONE!
I already broke up with fear. I remember who I am and who’s I am. Now go on with yo bad self and live the life God has given you to live. When fear comes knocking, remember you’re in a committed relationship with God. There’s no room for fear here. The no vacancy sign is lit up.