Stepping Out of Fear and Into Purpose
by Lalenunat Johnson
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
I used to hate writing when I was a little girl. Actually, it wasn’t so much that I had a natural disdain for writing, but it was more that I felt inadequate at doing it. In the 3rd grade, my teacher would assign that we were to write a story using all of the week’s spelling words. I just knew I couldn’t do it and would cry and cry, week after week!
In my late teens and early 20s, I recall being afraid to talk on the telephone, and most definitely “could not” answer customer service calls or help anyone via the phone. So, anyone that thought I could do that had the wrong person in mind.
As a young mom, I recall an interview for an assistant teaching position. The principal leading the interview said he thought I would make a great teacher one day because there was just something about me. I thought to myself, “Yeah, I don’t know about that.”
Then, years later while volunteering in our ministry’s Children’s Church, the Children’s pastor saw something in me and said she was placing me as the coach to train and develop the Children’s Church teachers. I began by going into classes and observing the teachers to give them feedback and training. However, I just didn’t feel like this was for me and allowed my trepidation (ok, fear) to get the best of me, and I resigned from volunteering in the Children’s Church. I felt she was asking too much of me and I just couldn’t do it.
Looking back at all of this, I can see how I allowed fear to stop or hinder me from being who God had always called me to be. God had not given me a spirit of fear. That came from the enemy. But the Lord had given me power, love, and a sound mind, capable of doing so much more. You see, I became a phenomenal and well sought-after teacher with parents often requesting for their children be assigned to my classroom. That principal at the interview was right!
I went on to observe, train, and develop teachers and was very good at it. Even before I had gone to school and completed hours of training on coaching and developing teachers, even as a mere assistant teacher, I found myself helping to develop other teachers as well. Yes, the Children’s Church pastor was right, too! She saw this ability in me and believed in me before I even believed in myself.
Oh, and if you had not guessed by now, I soon conquered that fear of writing. In fact, not only did I realize that I was a strong writer, but I became a writing teacher. To this day, I assist others with writing, editing, and grammar and am even writing my own books. Come on! You can’t make this stuff up.
You see, life has taught me that the very things we are fearful and timid of doing, are often the things that God has designed for us. The enemy brings fear and tries to plant it in our minds. “You can’t do this. You can’t do that. No, I don’t think I can do that. No, you’ve got the wrong one. I don’t do that.” When these thoughts come, we so quickly own them as ours and become crippled, unable to be all that God has called us to be. We need to believe the report of the Lord concerning our lives.
Just like in Jeremiah 1:5 (AMPC), “Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God knows who He has called you to be and what he has put in you. Now, it is time to own it!
We have to stop listening to the enemy and begin listening to God say we can – we are! “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts, and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome”
Jeremiah 29:11 (AMPC).
Think back over your life. What have you allowed fear to prevent you from accomplishing in your personal life and for the Kingdom of God? What have you been afraid to do or just reluctant to step out and do?
Take a moment right now and decide that you will no longer partner with fear. Say, “I repent for every time that I have partnered with the spirit of fear. I cancel my agreement with fear and walk-in power, love, and a sound mind, according to 2 Timothy 1:7.
I decree and declare that I am not conformed to this world, but I am transformed (changed) by the (entire) renewal of my mind [by its new ideals and attitudes] so that I may prove for myself what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing that is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for me!
Romans 12:2 (AMPC)
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