fearA phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. The word fear strikes each of us in different ways. We all have fears whether we will admit them or not. Our phobias are truly unreasonable yet our mind and emotions tell us that they are real and dangerous.

This weekend my wife and I served at Converge 2015, a youth conference in Lima, Ohio. I was a volunteer for the weekend and was assigned to help one of the speakers during the breakout sessions. Kyle McKelvey, a youth pastor, spoke on fear and how we give authority in our lives to things that have no power over us. We become paralyzed in our situations if we do not face our fears.

Fear is the opposite of freedom. Fear is the opposite of fearsome. Fear is the opposite of faithful.

A Chilean rose hair tarantula crawling on my hands. Kyle shared his fear of spiders and how we must overcome our fears by facing them. To make his point he bought a Chilean rose hair tarantula for the conference and faced his fear by letting it crawl on his hand. After the third time of hearing Kyle’s session, God called me out of my comfort-zone to face one of my fears…spiders. So after much stress and several deep breaths, I faced one of my fears by holding a tarantula spider.

1 Timothy 1:7 reads, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” The power He gave us is to overcome the fears that weaken and disable us from living a life to the full.

My anxiety gave way to freedom once I faced my fear and allowed faith and power to rule. This fury monster of my dreams was a gentle teddy-bear only searching for some crickets to devour and not me. My fear ruled me until I challenged it head on. And that is where our freedom to live comes from, in facing those irrational things that holds us back from living life.

What holds you back? What will you do to challenge a fear? How will your life be different once you overcome? Fear is not not real. Keep Fighting!

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