I almost quit my job this week.  I was walking to the office entrance, getting ready to swipe my key fob at the door and there it was.  Staring at me.  With its eight thousand eyes.  Ok…maybe it wasn’t exactly eight thousand…maybe it was just eight. Whatever.  Right below the key fob pad was a spider in all its hairy legged glory.  Like the ugly old troll who lives under the bridge (bonus points if you sang that in your head), there would be no avoiding it if I wanted to get through that door.

My first thought- Well, it’s been nice working here.

In no way was I willing to get my hand in close enough proximity to that creature to swipe the fob and go through the door.  So, I stood there for a moment weighing the idea of getting back into my car and emailing my resignation from a safer location.

My fear of spiders borders on phobic.  You may have even heard me talk about it before- like the time I made my husband come home from work over lunch to kill a spider that was on the ceiling and had left me paralyzed?  Yeah…true story.  Let me ask you this:  What’s worse than finding a spider on your ceiling? LOSING a spider on your ceiling. So naturally, I had to keep my eyes on it at all times so I knew where it was.  I WISH I WERE MAKING THIS UP.  God bless my husband who dutifully came home to free me from my self-imposed prison.

Fear is like that, isn’t it?  It stops us dead in our tracks. Paralyzes us.  Keeps us from walking through the doors we were meant to walk through and leaves us in our self-inflicted prisons, alone.  In the Bible, Paul was more than familiar with prisons.  He spent time in a few.  And Paul’s chains weren’t figurative or self-inflicted.  They were all too real.  Heavy.  Burdensome.  He had every reason to be afraid, terrified even.  And yet Paul was able to break free from fear by fixing his focus on Jesus.  Jesus is the antidote to fear.

Instead of looking around at his filthy prison cell, Paul lifted his eyes and looked at the One who could set him free.

Incredible.

I want to be like Paul.

What’s your ugly spider stopping you from walking through a door God has opened for you?  What’s your filthy prison cell of a circumstance, surrounding you, that you just can’t seem to get out of?

What heavy, burdensome chains are you carrying around that are keeping you from getting to where you need to go?

May I suggest that instead of looking around or looking “inside” that you look up?

Everything He has for you is on the other side of that fear.

Your cell may be filthy, but after a while it gets comfortable.  Can I tell you that the very best things in our lives are so often waiting for us just outside of our comfort zones?

And those chains that you’re dragging everywhere?  They’re not locked.  Jesus unlocked them forever at the cross.  All you need to do is lay them down and walk away.

And that spider at the door? Well, I managed to work up the courage to swipe my fob and OF COURSE the second I did that, that stinkin’ spider jumped which then made me jump, and then it quickly ran off never to be seen again IN JESUS’ NAME AMEN.  The fears standing between us and what God is calling us to are rarely as threatening as we think they are, and often amount to nothing a good foot stomp can’t fix.  😉

 

 

// Read //

Philippians 1:27-30

 

// Reflection Questions //

If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt to do for Christ?

What fears are holding you back from walking in something you know God is calling you to?

What would God say about those fears?

What can you do today to begin to walk forward in faith instead of fear?

 

// Prayer //

Dear Lord,

Thank you that you are the antidote to fear!  Thank you that when fear begins to overwhelm me, all I need to do is look up and fix my focus on you and the fear begins to dissipate.  Help me not to let fear stand in the way of living for you.  Show me the truth about my fears and the way you would have me go.  I so want to honor you with my life…show me the way.  In Jesus’ name…