Steve Lyston | The crippling effects of fear
One of the greatest hindrances to advancement and progress is fear. It will stop you from walking into greater things and will paralyze those who want to try something new or better.
Many nations are ruled through fear. The rulers set up systems to intimidate the people and manipulate them into going the route the rulers choose for them - not necessarily a path that the people desire to walk. Communism is the most obvious example that would come to mind. However, it is not the only system where this takes place; it also happens within a democracy. Freedom of speech, for example, seems quite democratic, but can also be enforced to intimidate and shut down another's viewpoint or expression.
Fear is the biggest enemy to our faith, as it diminishes your trust in God. It hinders us from stepping out into the deep, and causes us to focus on the giants or obstacles standing before us, rather than allowing us to focus on the God who has the solutions, and who can change any situation in an instant.
Fear always brings doubt, unbelief and prevents us from seeing the manifestation of our goals. For example, many times, people have dreams that are so big it looks impossible. But the most important thing is to take that first step towards realising them. Fear will show you every possible obstacle and tell you how illogical, ridiculous or even how stupid and unattainable your visions are; and always shows you the easy way out. Fear will show you all your limitations - age, height, size, academic qualifications (or lack thereof) and tends to show you a false picture of yourself. It shows you yourself as a grasshopper, while it displays your enemies or competitors as giants that you cannot conquer.
Fear distorts your vision and always tells you, you are not good enough! Fear robs you of your inheritance and hinders you from taking your rightful place in society. Through fear comes failure, discouragement, negative thinking, complaining, debt, death, and it causes you to disobey the voice of God. There are many people in the different facets of our society that can make positive, significant change(s). They also know and see a lot, but they go silent because of fear.
Some say, 'If I tell the truth, I am going to lose my job!'
Fear causes you to give your enemies too much credit. Fear causes you to discern matters incorrectly and overshadows positive reports with negativity, discouragement and doubt.
... Fight fear with faith
However, the opposite of fear - which is faith - says, 'We are able to overcome the mountain that stands before us! We have the power and the capacity to change, succeed and prevail.'
How do you know that you are not qualified for something, or that others are stronger than you, or that you are not able to do something, if you don't even try? Many are afraid to go back to school, to start over or start something new simply because they are fearful. Fear always has you comparing yourself with others, and tells you that you are not qualified enough; and so you put yourself in the minority as a result of the low self-esteem that it brings. What about faith, grace and favour?
There are people who are afraid to embrace certain relationships because they don't think they are worthy of such associations. They are also convinced that this is how they are seen, and so they settle for less in all things.
There are many times people are in their season of change and promotion, but because of fear, they hinder the manifestation from taking place. So much so that if they are given an instruction to do something by a particular time, they don't proceed, so they miss a blessing.
Fear divides and causes people to distrust their leaders and those who have the capacity to help them. It brings a person into self-pity and also directs them to follow the wrong leadership. It also blinds a person from seeing the good, and the goodness of God in a situation - even when God sends a deliverer to take them out their situation. As you advance in your promise, then fear causes obstacles to come, which increases your desire to go back to where you are coming from - back into the oppression and depression.
When the children of Israel advanced towards the Promised Land, they encountered obstacles, but fear told them it would be better to go back to the place of bondage and die there than to die on the journey to a better place.
The journey to better may have obstacles, but you have the capacity to overcome.
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.