Fear isn’t actually a liar. It’s a normal, emotional response whatever stimuli causes it.
Flesh is the liar. Our flesh says, “OHHH FEAR! GOODY! Let me use it to keep myself comfortable.”
I think I’ve been getting it all wrong. Seriously. If you’ve seen posts from the past, you know I have “Fear Is A Liar” written across my bedroom wall in very large letters, thinking it would help me get out of bed each morning as I read it.
But it hasn’t done that at all. It was kinda cool at first, seeing it up there in that popular cursive font.
You know what should be there instead? Someone’s art. Maybe mine, maybe someone else’s. Cause at least then, someone created something and it’s being admired.
No, instead I have a big, dumb, false sentence up on my wall.
FEAR IS NOT THE LIAR. FLESH IS.
I didn’t realize this misunderstanding until the other day when I was sharing with a group of friends how I wished I could be fearless, like Jesus was. Loving me, they quickly and gently corrected me.
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:41-44
Jesus freaking sweat HARD. People who are fearless don’t sweat in agony.
I often forget that Jesus was an actual human being with real, human emotions. I seldom remember that the Savior of the world asked His father to not allow what was about to happen, happen. He didn’t want to be betrayed by his friend, physically ripped to shreds and have the weight of the entire world’s sin (past, present and future) crush him to actual death.
Jesus wasn’t fearless, He was obedient. And because of His perfect obedience, I have the ability to be obedient too.
So, what the hell am I even talking about? Aren’t I just arguing semantics?
No, I don’t think so. I think there are some things we need to make distinctions about in this life, because they make a big difference in whether or not we actually come alive during the short duration we are here on earth.
Fear says, “That’s scary!”
Flesh says, “Exactly, so why bother?”
Fear says, “That’s risky!”
Flesh says, “…And you might fail, which would be sooooo humiliating. Just stay put instead.”
Fear says, “What if I actually succeed?”
Flesh says, “That’s uncharted territory, and you know how we feel about that (*cue self-sabotage).”
The Spirit says, “Be quiet and go right a song.”
Get where I’m going with this? Fear isn’t bad. Not only is it a tool that can prevent us from physical harm, but it also gives us the opportunity to overcome our fallen nature and be victorious.
It gives us the opportunity to be obedient. To engage the Spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:16-17
The biggest reason I think this distinction is so important is because if we blame fear for our lack of movement, we don’t take any of the responsibility for it. It’s all fear’s fault… right?
The Creator bestowed upon all of us gifts, talents, abilities and ideas, and they are to be used in order to piece back together the worlds broken parts. I think that something heavenly happens when my flesh tries to seduce me with my fear and I choose not to give in. That’s one of those seemingly small moments, but a moment where God’s glory is taking place.
So, I think I’m gonna take those letters off of my wall.