Fear has a way of making average look attractive . . . but you weren’t created to be average. For every step you take towards your purpose, fear will be right there trying to push you backwards. It’ll tempt you to settle for something less than you were created for, which is why you’ve got to make up your mind that you’re going to go after your purpose despite feeling afraid . . . because if you wait for fear to subside before you pursue your purpose, you’ll NEVER step out and do it.
There’s a million different ways that fear can show up in our lives. For some it comes packaged as a fear of failure, for others it’s the fear of success. Some fear getting hurt, while others are afraid of people’s opinions or disappointing people – the list goes on and on.
At times walking in your purpose will demand that you take risks, to do things that you’ve not only never done before, but you’ve never even seen done before. This requires courage.
In Isaiah 41:10 (ESV) God said, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
To step towards conquering your fears is first to realize that fear is not random – there are only 4 emotional platforms from which fear can set up camp in your life. So if you want to conquer fear and eliminate its grip on your life, you have to identify and dismantle the platform.
In the Bible, the Lord spoke to the prophet Hosea and said, “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a NIV).
Below we’re going to learn how to identify the 4 Platforms of Fear as well as discover practical and godly ways to conquer them.
1 – The Platform of Unresolved Pain.
Old wounds = an open door. Fear often traffics in unresolved pain. It’s from this platform that you often feel the fear of rejection, the fear of being hurt again, the fear of someone discovering just how wounded you really are, the fear of being alone (which can tempt you to settle into a relationship that’s not good for you).
Example: In Genesis 42 when Joseph saw his brothers for the first time in years, the unresolved pain of their actions towards him bubbled to the surface. He accused them of being spies, treated them very harshly and pushed them away. What was really happening? Fear manifested itself through past pain, and it almost kept the entire family from being reunited. This is also why many struggle with unforgiveness today. Fear is the fuel of unforgiveness.
Dismantle the platform: You can dismantle this platform of fear by forgiving the people that hurt you. Go back to those old relationships (to the best of your ability), and choose to forgive the people who wounded you. If you don’t forgive, fear will keep standing on the platform of unresolved pain manipulating your emotions and keeping you from moving forward in your life and purpose. You’ll remain a hurt person, and hurt people just keep hurting more people. Dismantle this platform of unresolved pain, and silence the voice of fear in your life! To learn more about the dangers of unresolved pain, click here.
2 – The Platform of the Unknown.
How often do you find yourself afraid because of what you don’t know? For example, you feel a physical pain in your side, and you don’t know what it is, so you search the web for possible answers. Suddenly fear grips you as you imagine the worst case scenario. Or your son or daughter was supposed to be home at 9:00pm, but it’s 9:30pm, and once again you allow fear to hijack your imagination.
Example: A few years ago I read a story of the man whose wife found her husband’s credit card statement with a charge for a hotel stay, and the hotel was just down the road. She immediately assumed he was having an affair . . . after all, why else would he stay at a hotel just down the street from where they lived? She waited all day long for him to get home to confront him. When she did, he was shocked and emphatically denied it. As they dug deeper, they discovered that the hotel was owned by a Chinese restaurant next door where he had eaten lunch, and when they ran the card, the charge came through under the name of the hotel. The wife didn’t have all the information, and as a result, fear used what she didn’t know against her – robbing her of peace, joy, and confidence in her husband.
Dismantle the platform: Suspicion will always fill the silence so, practically speaking, you need to give people the benefit of the doubt until you can get the right information. Pick up the phone, have the right conversations with the right people, and above all, in every situation, choose to put your faith in the One Who causes all things to “…work together for the good of those who love him…” Romans 8:28 (NLV).
3 – The Platform of Insecurity.
Nothing will poison your perception like the platform of insecurity. It’s from this platform that the enemy will tell some of his greatest lies. Fear will stand upon the platform of insecurity and tell you you’re not good enough, gifted enough, acceptable or qualified. It will point out all of your weaknesses (or perceived weaknesses) as reasons why you’ll never move forward, be accepted or experience God’s best for your life.
Example: You see two coworkers in the corner whispering. Fear will stand on the platform of insecurity and shout, “See, they’re talking about you right now. They’re rejecting you right now. In fact, one of them is probably telling your boss stuff about you, and you’re going to be fired!”
Dismantle the platform: Stop telling yourself the story that the enemy’s been whispering in your ear! The Apostle Paul wrote, “…take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NOG). Start telling yourself a new story about yourself . . . God’s story – I am fearfully and wonderfully made; I’m created in the image of God; I am called and chosen by God; I’m created on purpose for His purpose! (See Psalm 139:14; Genesis 1:27; John 15:16,19; Romans 8:28.) You might have to go backwards so that you can go forwards. You may have to go back and retrace the path of pain that led to this insecurity in the first place and invite Jesus to heal that pain. You also may want to see a professional counselor to help you work through and process your pain. And before you say you can’t afford it, YOU’RE WORTH THAT INVESTMENT. Not only that, but Jesus wants you to be completely whole and able to fulfill His purpose for you in the Kingdom of God.
4 – The Platform of Religion.
Fear loves to stand on the platform of religion. Why? Because religion has a form of godliness, but no power (see 2 Timothy 3:5). Fear loves to control people with ideas that on the surface sound godly and pious but in reality have been twisted to intimidate and manipulate your emotions . . . to make you feel like God is out to get you and can’t wait to execute judgment. Worst of all is that if fear is successful, it will use religion to convince you that you don’t deserve the abundant life that Jesus promised you, and it will guilt you into a life of isolation and mediocrity.
Example: In John 8:3-11 the Bible tells us that a group of really religious men caught a woman in the act of adultery. They tried everything in their power to condemn and punish her. But instead, Jesus forgave her and restored her to the life that He came to give us all.
Dismantle the platform: Rediscover a personal relationship with Jesus! Jesus’ final sacrifice on the Cross was enough to completely destroy the enemy’s power to keep you bound by fear. Once you receive Jesus, you become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), and there’s nothing that anybody can do to change the fact that in that moment you’re loved, forgiven and accepted by God. Jesus didn’t go through everything He went through to establish a new religion. He came that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). He didn’t come to condemn you . . . He came to forgive you. He didn’t come to hurt you . . . He came to heal you. He didn’t come to beat you . . . He came to bless you.
Now that you’ve discovered how fear comes to rob you of your destiny and keep you from your purpose . . . and you’ve learned how to identify and dismantle the 4 Platforms of Fear . . . you can step boldly into your future, knowing that Jesus has conquered fear for you!
To discover more about protecting your purpose, click here.