The deadline was looming. I had to find another apartment, but all the ones I had seen so far were either too expensive or run-down. Only one was halfway decent. Despite many red flags, I decided to sign the lease; I was afraid I wouldn’t find anything else. It was a mistake.
Life is full of decisions, both big and small. If we could somehow examine the motivation of all the billions of choices made each day around the world, my guess is that a large portion of them is based on fear. But should we allow our apprehensions and anxieties to direct our steps?
If we read the Bible for any length of time, we will often come across the expression, “Do not be afraid.” Fear is one of our most basic emotions, and for a good reason – the world is full of dangers. It’s our natural “fight or flight” reaction to a threat, but it should never be the main factor in making decisions. If we follow its voice, we will only suffer harm, because fear hurts our ability to evaluate a situation correctly. More often than not, it spews out lies to confuse and lead us astray.
Going back to my apartment example for a second, what did fear tell me? It convinced me that the place I had so many doubts about was my last chance – if I didn’t take it immediately, there would be nothing else. Fear persuaded me that I couldn’t trust God to provide something more appropriate. But every word was a lie. The day after signing the lease, a perfect place became available. Thankfully, I was able to get out of the agreement, but it cost me a hefty fine.
Are there times when both fear and God are saying the same thing? Of course, there are. If we see an out-of-control car careening our way, we don’t have to wonder whose voice is screaming “Run!” in our heads. But when the two sides are leading us down separate paths, we have to choose whom to believe – God, or fear? Who do you think is the most qualified to tell us what to do?
We are always going to feel the emotion of fear; it’s a natural reaction to the world around us. But it’s our choice whether or not to follow its lead. The more we focus on what God is saying and obey his voice, the less fear will have its stranglehold on us. And our decisions will be all the wiser.
*For more on how to defeat fear, you can read my post, “How Can We Defeat Fear?”: https://bibleandsoul.com/how-can-we-defeat-fear/