The Bravest Step You Can Take

Clark Kent.  Indiana Jones.  William Wallace. These were some of my favorite movie heroes growing up.  They were the bravest of men.  They faced enormous, sometimes super-human challenges.  They overcame.  They conquered.

 

I admired them for their courage.  I envied their indomitable will.

 

I used to believe these men had no fear.  How I longed to have no fear.

 

I imagined that it must have been Clark Kent’s Superman cape that gave him the strength to defeat Lex Luther.  I thought that Indiana Jones’ cunning intellect and his whip were what allowed him to overcome just about anything.  I could picture William Wallace thrusting his sword into the air on screen as he rode like the wind across the battlefield and imagined that it was his burning conviction for family and country that gave him the courage to face such overwhelming odds.  These are the things I used to believe.

 

Over the years I have come to realize these brave men were not immune from fear.  They felt it.  There were moments before the great battles where they struggled within themselves, where they pondered, where they were — scared.  Yes, they were scared.  If they didn’t experience fear, the challenge wouldn’t have been so great, the victory wouldn’t have been so sweet.

 

We all feel fear.  We will all be scared.  The difference for them is they didn’t shrink back from their fear.  They acknowledged fear, walked right up to it, looked it in the eye— and they took the next step anyway.

 

Isn’t that what Jesus did?  Wasn’t He the greatest of all superheroes?  Scripture tells us that even in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was handed over to Pontius Pilate, before He was crucified, before He overcame death, hell and the grave, that he cried out to God, that He sweat blood.  I can only imagine the fear and anguish He felt as He prayed to have the cup pass from Him.  Yet in the face of the unimaginable, He got up from His knees, He submitted Himself to the Father’s will — and He took the next step anyway.  For you.  For me.

 

I often wondered what it would feel like to overcome my fear.  I hated my fear.  I was scared of so much.  I was scared of snakes. I was scared of the dark at night as I lay in my bed.  I was scared of losing, of rejection, of the unknown, and yes, I was terrified of fear itself.  It consumed me.  Paralyzed me.  I certainly didn’t feel like a superhero.

 

I prayed for my fear to disappear.  I begged for it to be taken away.  I thought if God loved me, He wouldn’t want me to feel it either.  Surely a life with Christ should mean a life absent of these feelings that were so unpleasant and unkind, relentless and shrewd.

 

As I studied and grew, God gave me a clearer understanding of fear.  God never promised us a life without struggles.  He didn’t.  Life will always have Mt. Everest’s to climb.  There will be times we will feel like we are fighting to swim upstream.   And just as sure as the day, we will feel fear — sometimes agonizing fear.  These feelings are part of what makes us decidedly human.

 

The difference is we don’t have to be slaves to our fear.

 

What God promised in Psalm 118:6 is that, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”  In Deuteronomy 31:6 He says to, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

He says that we don’t have to be afraid.  We don’t even need capes or whips or swords.  What we as Christians have is better — we have the Lord who goes with us wherever we go.  We can face any obstacle, we can conquer any fear because He is right by our side.

 

He will never leave us.  He will never forsake us.

 

Perhaps bravery doesn’t come in the absence of fear.  Perhaps bravery comes in simply facing our fear, knowing the battle is already won.

 

What is the Mountain Everest that stands in front of you today?

 

What is the greatest fear you face?

 

You don’t have to run from your fear any longer.  You don’t have to let it paralyze you and steal from you the sweetness of victory.

 

With the Lord, you can face the fear that cannot kill you, acknowledge it, look it right in the eye – and take the next step anyway!

 

Congratulations!!!!!!  Our winner from last week’s drawing for a FREE copy of Danise Jurado’s new book, Fulfilled, is  Kathy W!!!!  

 

 

46 Comments

  1. Stacey Thureen

    April 23, 2015 at 6:54 AM

    So so good and so true! Hebrews 11:6. Thank you for your transparency and authenticity. Stopping by from the #livefree Thursday link-up.

  2. I love when you say “If they didn’t experience fear, the challenge wouldn’t have been so great, the victory wouldn’t have been so sweet.”……. and they took the next step anyway.” And you are talking about heroes, that the same as you we used to think they do not meet with the fear. Fear is normal, but as you say we cannot get stuck there. Fear should move us to go further believing and trusting that God is there with us in the middle of the fire. Thanks for sharing this encouraging post, Lisa.

    I’m linking up with you also in #livefreeThursday.
    Love,
    Tayrina from TGAWrites

    • lisamurray

      April 23, 2015 at 8:17 AM

      Thank you, Tayrina, for stopping by and sharing! Yes, I used to believe that heroes never experienced fear. How freeing to realize that fear is normal, yet we do not have to be a slave to fear in our lives. We can take the next step anyway! Blessings to you!

  3. Crystal Hornback

    April 23, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    Lisa, are we sisters?! I could’ve written this myself. “Perhaps bravery doesn’t come in the absence of fear. Perhaps bravery comes in simply facing our fear, knowing the battle is already won.” YES YES YES!!!! I love this! I choose brave because of THIS reason exactly! Thank you for sharing from your heart. Praying as you walk this journey of life in bravery! #livefree

    • lisamurray

      April 23, 2015 at 3:09 PM

      Crystal,

      Thank you for sharing! It is encouraging to know that others share similar experiences and have been able to face their fear, knowing the battle is already won. It took me a while to get there, but living with bravery feels a whole lot better than living with fear! Blessings to you.

  4. I love this post! I love your line of “If they didn’t experience fear, the challenge wouldn’t have been so great, the victory wouldn’t have been so sweet.” I think about the journey that I’ve walked so far, the times I’ve stepped out in faith and experienced sweetness. Yet still when the next opportunity come I still feel fearful so these are really great reminders!! Thanks for sharing.

    • lisamurray

      April 23, 2015 at 5:42 PM

      Winter,

      Thanks for sharing! I think we all at some point, in some way, experience the journey of faith that you describe. It is a continual process. Plus, we’ll get many opportunities to learn and grow along the way! Blessings to you!

  5. Truly, bravery comes in facing our fears! Great post 🙂

  6. What a good word today, Lisa!

    I like this line from your post, “You don’t have to run from your fear any longer. You don’t have to let it paralyze you and steal from you the sweetness of victory.”

    I came over today on RaRa, and I’m glad I got to read your post.

    I pinned your pin here: https://www.pinterest.com/melredd/blog-link-parties-and-blog-link-ups/

    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

    • lisamurray

      August 18, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Melanie,
      So glad you enjoyed this post! We don’t have to run from fear, we can face it. God is by our side. We can take the next step! Blessings, friend!

  7. Bethany McIlrath

    August 18, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    Lisa,

    Another wonderful post : ) This time stopping by from #TestimonyTuesday…and what a testimony this is! Mine is quite similar. I’ll never forget the day, about a year after I was saved, that someone called out my life of fear and redirected all of that time and energy and worry to growing in the Lord instead. What a blessing! I love your words today, and treasure them! Thanks!

    • lisamurray

      August 18, 2015 at 3:46 PM

      Bethany,
      Thank you for your encouragement!I love that we share similar stories with worry and fear and that we have chosen to face our fear with the Lord! Blessings to you, friend!

  8. Amen! Jesus is the greatest superhero of all time. Thank you for sharing this incredibly inspiring post over on the #RaRaLinkup today!! Blessings to you dear Lisa!

    • lisamurray

      August 18, 2015 at 3:46 PM

      Thank you for stopping by, Lauren! Yes, Jesus is the greatest superhero of all time. Blessings!

  9. Lisa,

    Friend you are challenging me today. My word for 2015 is COURAGE. And each step along the journey this year, God continues to stretch me. Even as I was reading this post I want to close it, to run in fear. My heart began to palpitate but I challenged myself to keep reading and I’m glad I did. I was able to push beyond and this nugget right at the end illustrated it so perfectly, “Perhaps bravery doesn’t come in the absence of fear. Perhaps bravery comes in simply facing our fear, knowing the battle is already won.” So I stand believing the battle is already won. I’m moving out of my own way. I have fear of success, but no more. I’ve got a smoothie book I’m working on and in faith I’m pressing beyond fear and announcing it here to hold myself accountable. Thank you Lisa for the nudge to keep pressing beyond my fear as I activate my faith.

    • lisamurray

      August 18, 2015 at 3:50 PM

      Tyra,
      I hope you are being challenged in a good way! For those who have battled fear, courage seems an impossibility. I’m glad you continued to read to the end of the post and were encouraged, knowing that the battle is already won. Congratulations on your book! You’ve announced it, so you can press beyond your fear and grow stronger on your journey toward God’s plan for your life and ministry! Blessings, dear one!

  10. Hi Lisa, fear cripples us .
    I enjoyed reading your devotional today.
    Very encouraging reading your experience.
    God bless

  11. You’re exactly right in saying that the difference is not the absence of fear and the trials that cause it but freedom from it. Ah, to be free in Christ is a wonderful thing 🙂

    • lisamurray

      August 19, 2015 at 3:14 PM

      Yes, freedom from fear is much difference than the absence of it. Freedom in Christ is the best. So glad to have you stop by. Blessings!

  12. Lisa,
    Thanks for being part of the chorus God has been using to remind me that He is with me as I battle anxiety and His grace is sufficient….and how being brave doesn’t mean an absence of fear…I hold onto His promises 🙂 blessings to you 🙂

    • lisamurray

      August 19, 2015 at 3:16 PM

      Always love having you here, Dolly! God is with you, His grace covers you. Bravery is simply facing our fears knowing the battle is already won. Such a freeing truth for me. Blessings, sweet friend!

  13. Mary Dolan Flaherty

    August 20, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    My husband and I do a lot of hiking, and we often encounter ledges that have to be crossed in order to continue on the trail. I always become so fearful of crossing but I know I have to, or turn back. Turning back is not an option, so I always cross–usually in the midst of the fear—and I’m still alive. Fear doesn’t kill us-the dangerous situation might, but the fear won’t. As Ifeoma said, it cripples us, but it won’t ever kill us.

    • lisamurray

      August 22, 2015 at 8:18 AM

      What a great story, Mary! You are right – fear cannot kill us, yet it can cripple us if we allow it. Blessings to you!

  14. Lisa, I am reminded of the words of Joyce Meyer, words I say when I decide fear won’t stand in my way. “Do it afraid.” Bravery is taking that next step even when we feel afraid. But we don’t go it alone, for it is God who goes with us and has even prepared the way. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

    • lisamurray

      August 22, 2015 at 8:20 AM

      Crystal, I love this! Do it afraid. Bravery is the very act of “doing it afraid.” What comfort to know that we never go it alone, that God is with us! Blessings always, friend!

  15. The devil wants you to be consumed with yourself and your fear. Trust me, when you’re looking at the face of death, a life-threatening situation, His hand is on your shoulders and the fear is gone…forever. With the trust in Him, you can do anything. I speak from experience, read it here (http://all-thats-jas.com/2012/10/this-is-why.html). Thanks for joining Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop and have a blessed weekend! 🙂

    • lisamurray

      August 22, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      Yes, the devil would love nothing more than to stop us in our tracks. That kept me stuck for many years, until I learned that God was with me, that I could step out into the unknown, even if I felt afraid. It was a very empowering and freeing revelation! Blessings!

  16. Learning to confront our fears and trusting God to see us through them … such an important part of our faith walk! I’d like to say I’ve arrived, but like most of us, I wrestle through them with God’s grace day by day.

    I’m glad I found you today on Satisfaction through Christ’s Grace & Truth linkup.

    Blessings!

    • lisamurray

      August 22, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Donna, I think we all continue to wrestle at times with fear. It is a continual part of our journey here on earth. But what a great journey it can be when we learn to overcome and face our fears anyway! Blessings over you!

  17. My go to verse for fear: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee . . .
    I can always tell when a verse has lived with me for a long time because it comes out in King James!

    • lisamurray

      August 22, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Michele,
      I LOVE THAT VERSE – it calms me just to hear it. All my verses, too, tend to come out in the KJV!!! Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Constance Ann Morrison

    August 22, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    Yes! If I waited until I didn’t “feel” afraid, I would have missed out on so much. I really like the picture painted by this quote: “They acknowledged fear, walked right up to it, looked it in the eye— and they took the next step anyway.”
    visiting from Still Saturday

    • lisamurray

      August 23, 2015 at 7:38 AM

      Constance,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and that you stopped by today! Blessings to you!

  19. So true – fear can be so paralyzing. I love Deut. 31:8 because it reminds me that not only is God with me, but He goes before me. Knowing God is already there makes it easier to take that next step, even when I have no idea what’s ahead.

    Visiting from Weekend Whispers. Have a good week!

    • lisamurray

      August 24, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      How I often need reminding of that very thing – that God goes before me! It does make it easier to take the next step. Blessings, Laura!

  20. It is only with God that I am able to face my fears. I appreciate your honesty here in facing your fears. We can be overcome by fear but luckily we have God to walk us through the fear and past it. Blessed you shared this at Weekend Whispers.

    • lisamurray

      August 24, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      Mary,
      I always love having you stop by! Thank you for your encouraging words. Blessings, friend!

  21. Thanks for these words, Lisa. Fear (of all sorts of things, some completely nonsensical!) is something we can all relate to on some level. How wonderful to cling to the truth that we never have to face our fears alone! Stopping by from Weekend Whispers 🙂

    • lisamurray

      August 26, 2015 at 5:58 AM

      Laura,
      So glad you found the post helpful! We all deal with fear in one way or another. It is empowering to remember that we never face our fears alone! Blessings to you!

  22. Thank you for this encouragement today Lisa 🙂 I have been facing a “Mount Everest” for a few months now and allowing fear of the unknown and lack of direction creep in and steal my peace. I’m going to be brave and just keep taking next steps 🙂 #WordsOfComfort

    • lisamurray

      August 26, 2015 at 6:00 AM

      Sarah,
      It is easy for Mt. Everest’s to creep in and overwhelm us, stealing our peace! That’s when we have to take a deep breath, face them head on and keep walking! I’ll be praying for you – you can do it! Blessings, friend!

  23. What is the greatest fear you face?

    Right now I am carrying a baby to term who has a fatal diagnosis. My son Aaron has Trisomy 13, a fatal chromosome abnormality. We found this out soon after the first trimester. I know what is going to happen to my son. He will die either before he is born, during the birth process, shortly after birth, or within a month or two after his birth. There is a small chance he could live up to six months. And there is even a smaller chance he could live up to a year. But those with T13 rarely live past a year. It was very hard to carry a baby to term when you know this kind of outcome. My mama heart is breaking, and I have fear. It’s hard not to fear the death of your baby. I fear the pain it will cause ME. I know he will be with the Lord, and that gives me comfort. But I can’t help but to be afraid for when the moment comes when I will have to say good-bye to him.

    • lisamurray

      August 28, 2015 at 7:42 AM

      Katrina,
      Your story is heart-wrenching! I know this is a fearful season – fear of so much, the unknown, the loss, the pain – but you can make it through. God is right there with you, even in moments where it is hard to feel Him, He is there. He will never leave you. He will walk with you through this darkness and though you cannot see it right now, there will be light again. Trust this. Trust Him. I will be prayerful for you in the coming days. Praying God’s comfort, strength, and grace over you in abundance, dear one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

© 2017 Lisa Murray

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑