Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” [Mark 4:40 (NLT)]
Fear, he is a liar; He will take your breath;
Stop you in your steps. Fear, he is a liar;
He will rob your rest; Steal your happiness;
Cast your fear in the fire. Cause fear, he is a liar.
[Zach Williams, Jonathan Smith, Jason Ingram]
I was singing along with Zach Williams, “Fear, he is a liar,” when I recalled one of my memory verses: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid?” [Psalm 27:1] I then realized a commonality in the Bible verses I’ve been memorizing: fear. If asked, I wouldn’t say I’m a fearful person and yet the Bible verses I’ve been memorizing contradict me. I don’t suffer an assortment of phobias nor do I see a threat around every corner. I’m not unduly anxious—I don’t pace, bite my nails, stay awake all night, or binge eat. While I’m cautious when the situation calls for caution, I don’t consider myself irrationally fearful, so why did I choose to memorize so many Bible verses dealing with fear?
I’m not afraid of public places like the grocery, losing my cell phone, or reading books, and a walk through my house would tell you I’m not afraid of dust; clearly, I don’t have agoraphobia, nomophobia, bibliophobia or koniophobia. When thinking about fear, however, I was mistaking phobias for a common garden variety fear that can afflict us all. It can keep us imprisoned in much the same way as agoraphobia—only instead of being trapped in our homes, we’re trapped in our small comfort zones. It’s the fear that we’re not enough: not good enough, strong enough or smart enough. It’s the malicious voice that tells us we’re unworthy, unwelcome, unloved, and unfit. It’s the fear that we’re not up to the task, we’ll be embarrassed, or we should be ashamed. It’s the apprehension that we’re either too young or too old and the whisper that says we’re not dedicated, loving or virtuous enough to do God’s work. It’s the fear of failure and of the unknown. It’s the same fear that plagued Gideon and Moses: the fear that we’re inadequate to the task at hand.
In a way, fear does tell the truth—alone, we are not enough. Fear, however, is a liar because he doesn’t tell us the whole truth; we have a more-than-enough God. He has more than enough riches, wisdom, strength, and love for us all. If we live by God’s power, there is nothing to fear! When we place our not-enough-selves into His hand, we become His more-than-enough servants. Indeed, fear is a liar.
Remember: even the smallest drop of God’s strength is more than enough to cover our frailties, our shortcomings, and the places where we deem ourselves weak. [Lysa Terkeurst]