Have you ever realized that it was time for you to move on in an area of your life only to find yourself frozen with fear? This is often the case with many people who get a revelation that they are about to move forth in something new but are not willing to let go of what has become comfortable to them, they don’t want to let go of the familiar. Many people confess that they do not like change, they are not willing to embrace the new unless they are forced to do so. I believe the reason many people think this way is because of fear. Metathesiophobia is the fear of change or changing things. Fear is a passionate emotion or excitement due to an expectation that something bad will happen. Fear causes apprehension of going into something that is not familiar and can even lead to terror or dread. Boldness is actually the opposite of fear as it means to be courageous and fearless, yet all too often fear encompasses our boldness and makes us draw back.
I find it interesting that God specifically identifies this kind of fear as one coming from elsewhere and not of Him. He says He did not give us the spirit of fear, but He gave us a Spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). Fear can be a spirit, a demonic spirit that intends to snuff out the plans of God in any way it can. The spirit of fear is always a deceiver and a distorter. A sound mind is disciplined and self-controlled. God knows that the spirit of fear will cause us to get out of control, it causes anxiety and panic. These emotions are extremely dangerous because they lead us into all sorts of chaotic direction and block our ears from hearing God’s voice.
God says, Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares about you. 1 Pet 5:7 God cares about every fear and concern you have, and He wants to help you. Unfortunately, people tend to seek other people in the face of fear instead of praying and crying out for God’s hand to adjust their hearts and minds so they can embrace whatever challenge faces them. When we run to people instead of God, we are saying He can’t help; we are idolizing another’s wisdom over His. It is true that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, but we should always seek God’s counsel before another, and He will lead us to those He chooses that can speak into our situation.
The word transition literally means change. It means to pass from one place or state to another. Sometimes we make a change in our jobs, our homes, our churches, we may even move away from family and friends to put roots down in another state or country. Other times we may find ourselves launching out into something new like starting a ministry, going on a mission trip, or starting a business. These changes can be challenging and intimidating as we walk into unknown territory, but if we have sought our Heavenly Father, we can be sure that we will not only succeed in our transitions but will even prosper in them because His hand of blessing will be upon us.
When the Israelites were moving from bondage to freedom they were often afraid, which brought about grumbling and unbelief. Fear will thwart the plans and purposes of God because it will take your eyes off the promise and put it on the problem. Fear has a very loud voice both in our minds or flesh and in the spiritual realm. As Spirit-filled children of Yahweh, we must learn to identify what and who we are hearing from. Sometimes when God calls us to go somewhere different, we begin to question Him and ask if we even heard Him. Doubt is a symptom of unbelief which is often caused by fear.
And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat [and] when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." - Exo 16:3 NKJV
Bondage is a cruel enemy, capable of distorting the truth.
It is a sad thing when the promise is overtaken by the fear of lack, even when one has seen the provision of the Lord. The Israelites had witnessed many miracles and judgments of the Lord up to this point, and yet the fear of the unknown wilderness was overcoming their faith! They actually said it was better to die in their bondage where they were full of meat and bread of the flesh then take a chance on dying of hunger. To many, this kind of fear doesn’t make sense, but for those individuals that have had addictions and knew it would lead to death, it is a solemn truth. A person who is addicted would rather take a chance on dying from their addiction while being in bondage then dying in freedom while being “dried out” from their drug or drink.
Another reason people don’t like change is the fear of failure and the “what if I fail” thinking that comes along with this type of fear. I have had to convince myself many times that it was better to fail at trying than never give success a chance. In other words, it was best I attempted to follow God into unknown and unchartered territory rather than distrust Him so much as not even to try to go.
When we allow fear to be our leader instead of faith we are taking a risk that we may depart from God due to unbelief. If God leads you to do something or life takes a turn, and under certain circumstances, you are left with few options, make sure to enter into the transition set before you with faith. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Jn 10:27 If we seek God we are told He will be found and He will reward those who seek Him with diligence. We must be careful not to harden our hearts and rebel against the Lord because of fear for this is what the Israelites did, and they wondered in discontent for 40 years, never entering God’s promises.
Heavenly Father, I come to You today with a confession on my lips that I have allowed fear to rule my soul and lead me instead of faith. I ask Your forgiveness today and that I might start over with faith. Help me to undo the wrong thinking that has gotten tangled up in my mind. I want to enter into Your rest and all the promises You have set before me, but I admit I have been afraid to make the transition required to receive the promises for my life. Today I submit my life to You and ask that Your word would reinforce Your truth in my spirit. Thank You for the daily mercy and grace You alone release over me. In Jesus name, Amen