Recently I moved and got my own apartment for the first time in my life. Every other apartment I’ve had was with roommates and I never had an active role in the decision-making process. When it’s just you, you make all the decisions and are responsible for all the things.
During my decision-making, I found myself getting frustrated at God because he wasn’t giving me the information that I felt I needed to make a good and informed decision. It seemed to me that he was holding out on me and I wasn’t a fan of that feeling. But, as it usually turns out, I was wrong.
You see, for months, I had been waiting and praying and listening and trusting God to handle my living situation because I, quite honestly, didn’t have the mental space to handle making such a large decision at the time. But now I realize, while I was trusting God, my actions weren’t motivated by faith but by fear.
I was paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision.
The other day, while I was driving around town and looking at apartments, I kept praying “God, just show me where I’m supposed to be and I’ll go there.” Or “God, if I’m doing the wrong thing, show me.”
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these prayers–I always want to do the will of God instead of my own–I realized that the motivation behind these prayers was fear. I was so afraid to do something wrong. I didn’t want to make the wrong choice. I was so fearful of stepping outside of God’s will or doing something that was less than his best that I didn’t do anything.
When I realized this, I began to repent for unknowingly letting fear take my place in the driver’s seat. I asked for forgiveness for my lack of faith and asked that God would heal the roots that these fears are stemming from.
Then I began reminding myself of the character of God. He is good, kind, loving, and sovereign. He is a friend, father, and comforter. He doesn’t relish in our failures, rubbing our faces in them, but delights in our attempts. He celebrates when we step out in faith. He rejoices when we draw near to him.
Are any of your decisions currently being directed by fear?
I, honestly, had no idea that I was being controlled by fear. Seriously! It took me by complete surprise, but I’m thankful for that revelation. And, like so many other things, my fear motivation was rooted in an improper view of God and an incorrect view of myself.
Subconsciously, though I would never teach or tell anyone this, I believed that if I were to do something wrong or make a wrong decision it would make God love me less. I thought if I were to step outside his will then I would pay for it in a major, heart-breaking way. I thought that doing something–making a decision–was going to lead to something bad. Fear had taken this thing–amazing provision from God to afford an apartment on my own–and turned it into a negative. A lie had taken the faith I have in God and twisted it in the most convoluted of ways. But I’m thankful for clarity.
If you’re currently being controlled by fear, I encourage you to take it to the Lord. Come to him, with the fear in hand, and submit it to him. Give it over to him, no matter how uncomfortable that makes you, and rest in the truth of who he is. He is perfect love and, in his presence, fear cannot continue, so let’s run to perfect love today!
Have you ever been paralyzed by fear?
How do you go about making big decisions?