Are You Making Decisions out of Fear?
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgement Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgement—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:18
I remember sitting at my kitchen table one morning before work, praying, asking God to speak. I had been considering quitting my job for months, the only issue was, I had no other clear opportunities in the future. I was miserable at my current job—the responsibilities I had weren’t a good fit for my personality and even if I could have persevered to do the work I was doing, the culture of my office was an even worse fit.
The people around me were negative, high-stress, often yelling and using bad language. If you know me in real life, that isn’t exactly my style. I was miserable. I tried my best to bring joy into the office each day, but I returned home drained, exhausted, and in desperate need of a break.
When I started to seek counsel about leaving my job, the response I got was often the same, “that sounds really hard, but what will you do next?” That was the question that kept me up at night, what would I do next? How long would it take to find a new job? Could Jackson and I live off of his salary? Would I regret leaving? Would I be bored at home? What if I couldn’t find another job? What if I hate what I do next even more?
Jackson and I had long conversations about it often, and he encouraged me to do what I needed to do. He knew he could support both of us. He wanted me to pursue other opportunities and he was confident it would be ok if I left my job. But I took some more convincing.
That morning, I started to ask God if He would show me if it was the right choice for me to quit my job. I wanted to quit, but I wanted to be obedient to Him more.
Then, in my spirit I heard God’s gentle, loving voice ask, what’s stopping you from quitting? And I simply said back, I am afraid.
I was immediately convicted realizing, I was so afraid of the future, I was stuck. The verse that came to mind was 1 John 4:18–there is no room in love for fear. My mindset immediately shifted because I realized God had been asking and encouraging me to move on from this job. He was waiting for me to trust Him. He was waiting for me to stop letting fear drive my life, and to look to love instead.
That day was the worst day I ever had at work. It was so terrible, I left the office early in tears, and finally quit. It was terrifying, but it was also empowering. I had no idea what came next, I had no idea what the future held for me, but I knew Who was in control and I decided to trust Love instead of fear. I didn’t want to stay in a job out of fear for what would come next, instead, I chose to give God the opportunity to move.
It doesn’t end there and to be honest, it wasn’t easy after that. That decision began one of the most challenging seasons of my life but I saw God put His plans into motion for us in ways I had never expected. I don’t ever think about how I should have stayed in that job until I had secured a plan in my own strength, but I often think of how grateful I am that God taught me to step out in faith and to not let fear have a voice in my life.
You have a choice today of what voice you listen to.
You can listen to fear, to the questions, the doubts, and imagine all of the what ifs, or, you can invite the voice of love to take control.
Love banishes fear. Love makes us free from worry. I don’t want to be afraid, I want to be fully-formed in love.
-Have you let fear have too much space in your life? Consider any area that comes to mind and invite God to speak to it.
-In what areas are you allowing fear to dictate your decisions? Do you see any opportunities for growth?
-How can you shift gears from a fearful life, to a life formed in love? Think action: what is one step you can take this week?
Hey Father, Thank you for being Love. Thank you for forming us in love, and for banishing all fear. We pray your Holy Spirit would come and cast out all fear in our lives in Jesus’ name. If we are making decisions out of fear, we pray you would give us the faith and trust to rely on you and your love instead. Highlight fear in our lives to us, so you can enter in and have your way instead. Help us to see we were created for love and not fear. Help us to change how we live. We are grateful for your way. Amen.