Paralyzed by Fear


How can you learn to overcome your fears?

I’m about to start a new project, and I’m scared. I mean really, really, petrified. Where do I start? What do I say? What if it doesn’t turn out like I hope it will? What if I’m boring? What if it’s not as good as last year’s project?

Do you ever let fear paralyze you?

I do. I find myself staring out the window contemplating my next step. Or I find myself busying myself with other things. I check my Facebook status updates, then I make my way to Twitter. I check my email for the thirty-fifth time--this hour. Then I balance my checkbook--again. 

I find that the bigger the project and the more difficult the obstacle ahead, the more likely I am to run and hide from it.

And I’m not the only one. I’m in 1 Samuel 10 in my Bible reading. I just read how Israel got their first king. Saul was the tallest and most handsome man around. God directed Samuel the prophet to Saul who was the chosen one. Samuel anointed Saul. The Spirit of God fell on Saul in a magnificent way. It’s obvious to anyone watching that Saul is the guy. He looks like the King, he’s been chosen to be the King, and God Himself has given the green light to proceed. Life is looking good for future King Saul.

Except that Saul is a chicken head. He looks at the job ahead and he freezes. What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t live up to everyone’s expectations? What if Samuel screwed up and picked the wrong guy? What if...?

Can you relate? Do you build your life on what-ifs? 

In 1 Samuel 10:21-22, Samuel is about to announce that Saul is king, but no one can find poor Saul. They look and look and all of a sudden someone pipes up: “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” The future King of Israel is hiding in the garage. What?!

Saul is utterly paralyzed by fear. He may look the part, he’s been told he is the part, others have confirmed the part, and God has blessed the part. All he has to do is step forward and be the part. But he can’t. He’s too afraid.

At first Saul may seem humble and unassuming. But the truth is that his heart was terribly afraid. He had heard God’s word. He had clearly seen God’s direction. But his fear had paralyzed him to inaction. This would become a sad pattern for Saul who never understood that only a big God can turn big obstacles into big opportunities.

Are you faced with a challenge that seems too big to resolve? Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?

The old hymn says, “God specializes in things thought impossible. He does the things others cannot do.” What you cannot do, God has already provided for. What you see as a mountain God sees as an opportunity.

Refuse to let fear paralyze you to inaction. Today may be the day you need to get out of hiding and start trusting the one who can do all things perfectly through you!

What has had you paralyzed with fear lately?

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