God has a good plan for your life, and He doesn't want you to be tormented by fear or let it hold you back from your destiny. His will is for you to walk forward, confident in His love, trusting Him to take care of you all along the way.
We also have an enemy, Satan, who will do everything he can to stop us from walking in God's good plan. Anytime we are making progress and moving forward in God's will for our lives, the devil will try to come against us with fear to drive us backward.
This is one of the enemy's greatest tactics—to bring fear and try to prevent us from making progress. He wants us to fear our circumstances and what other people will think. He wants us to focus on the "what ifs":
What if I fail? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I didn't hear from God? What if others disapprove? What if my reputation suffers? And on and on.
All of us will periodically come to these crossroads in our lives—places where we must move forward despite our fears. Because if we wait for the feelings of fear to subside, we will never step out.
However, if we will trust God, step by step, we can learn to face our fears and enjoy new levels of freedom.
It was a great revelation when I realized that although I couldn't control the feeling of fear, I could keep it from controlling me. Honestly, I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today if I hadn't learned this lesson.
During life's moments when there are no answers—or when unexpected changes occur—I've learned to not live by my feelings. Instead, with God's help, I do my best to face fear head-on ... even when I'm "shaking in my boots."
When fear strikes, our first inclination is to run away and go back. But that's when God is saying, "Don't stop now! Keep moving forward!"
The Israelites are a great example of people who had to face their fears. In the Old Testament, God brought them out of a terrible life of slavery in Egypt to take them to their promised land. But they were soon confronted with a different situation that was terrifying.
They ended up facing the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh's army behind them. When the Israelites saw their dilemma, they actually thought it would be better to go back to their life of slavery instead of confronting the unknown.
They preferred going back to their former life ... even though it was miserable! Why? Because they were afraid to keep going forward.
I absolutely love what the Lord spoke through Moses as the Israelites stood there, seemingly stuck between two obstacles.
Moses said, "Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for those Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see again" (Exodus 14:13 AMP).
The word "fear" means "to run or to take flight." So when we give in to fear, we always run away from something that we should be confronting.
God wanted the Israelites to go forward into the unknown. He wanted them to be so fed up with bondage, they would be willing to trust Him and do what He told them to do—no matter what the situation looked like.
Notice how the Lord said, "Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed]." That's interesting, because when the emotion of fear gets a hold of us—and our minds are thinking one crazy thing after another—we really just want to run away, don't we?
But the first thing we need to do is get still. We need to set our emotions aside, get out of our head, and see what's in our heart. We need to ask ourselves, What is God saying in this situation?
Maybe you are in this position right now—you feel like you're between a rock and a hard place. It's like you're between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, and all your emotions are going haywire.
If so, don't run away! Run to God. Receive wisdom and direction from God and His Word, and then do what you believe He is telling you to do.
Ask the Lord for courage. As you do—as you trust Him—you will see Him make a way for you to push past your fear and reach the promised land He has ready for you.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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