That title is from the Hillsong song, “All I Need.” It was one of the first songs my phone shuffled to this morning.
I paused as the song began and winced, as I usually do, as they sang that line.
“Left my fear by the side of the road.”
Left it there, by the side of the road.
Like road kill, like trash.
Hillsong songs often challenge me with their declarations, and this is one of those songs that does that to me.
Fear rules so much of my life.
More than I even know.
Sometimes it is little things (like my very irrational, and borderline comical, fear of bees); sometimes it is bigger (like my fear of releasing control to God).
My fear is inconsistent. My fear is frustrating.
My fear is, in many ways, me.
I have talked about this before, via several different outlets, but basically, something God is showing me is just how much of my personality is built on fear.
I have, for so long, thought my personality was me. Been confined by who I believe myself to be. Done the whole, “This is how I am, and I can’t change it. This is just who I am.”
Yeah, no. No, it’s not. This is who I am because of fear. Not who I am because of Jesus. That girl, that redeemed girl – she is so different from the person I usually am that I am not even sure who she is.
Every day, I live in fear.
And I live out of fear.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of abandonment.
Fear of not being good enough (even if in only my eyes).
Fear of not being loved/being seen as unlovable.
Fear of messing up, making mistakes, failing in any way.
Fear of being seen as less than perfect.
Fear of being seen as better, or worse, than I am.
Fear of being seen as inauthentic and fake.
Fear of being seen as prideful and vain.
Fear of not being in control.
Fear is one of the greatest enemies to the life I desire. To the life God has for me. To the person I was created to be.
Pride manifests itself in many ways within my heart, but one of the biggest ways, if not the biggest is fear.
Because fear, at the core, is pride. (Maybe not fear of bees, but ;) )
Sorry if that offends you. Hear me out.
Ultimately, fear is rooted in a distrust (or even ignorance) of God’s character/heart. Fear whispers, “God can’t be trusted, God won’t do it right, God will let you down, God doesn’t care, and God isn’t there. You can’t trust him. You can only trust yourself.”
Um, I’m sorry, but when did I become the most reliable person to place my trust in?
Even I am not on my side most of the time.
I am tired of being ruled by fear.
I read that I am no longer a slave to fear (Romans 8:15); yet I don’t begin to live like it.
But I want to.
I want to be free of fear, to live passionately, to live valiantly. (Ah, that is a beautiful word: “valiant.” So Medieval-ish.)
The key to freedom from fear, I believe, is found in the next line of the song: “Hear you speak, and won’t let go.”
Hearing God speak.
Knowing his voice.
Really listening – and not letting go of him, of what he says, of who he is.
Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Dismantles it. Reveals it as the lie, as the farce, that it is.
R doesn’t cast out fear.
Striving doesn’t cast out fear.
Positive thinking doesn’t cast out fear.
Only Love does.