Dealing with fear (6)
Achieving personal goals. The Israelites had a God-given goal: to enter the Promised Land. But to get there, they had to cross the River Jordan at flood stage. The only way to achieve what they’d set out to do was to go through something that caused them to feel fear. When God gives us a goal, we often have to go out of our depth at some point to achieve it. It’s in those experiences where real growth happens. But when we let fear take hold, we end up in a debilitating cycle: First, our fear stops us taking action. Lack of action stops us gaining experience. Lack of experience stops us increasing our understanding. And lack of understanding increases our fear. Taking action means we’ll have to move into the unknown and do the untried – and that can be scary. But if we give in to our fears, we can’t move forward, and we won’t gain valuable experience that can help us in future. Avoiding something because it’s scary or uncomfortable means we can’t experience God walking through it with us or witness His power at work in bringing us through it. The Israelites witnessed God’s miraculous power as they were crossing the River Jordan: ‘As soon as the feet of the priests…touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up…and the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over’ (Joshua 3:15-16 NLT). When God gives us a goal, He’ll equip us to see it through. What miracles could we see if we were prepared to step in faith into the unknown with Him?
Has fear stopped you reaching for any of your goals? Today, ask God to help you take that first step towards achieving them.
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