You want to start something new — a relationship, career, project, life — but you feel stuck and scared. How do you overcome your fears and doubts? Whether you think you hear God’s voice or you’re “just” following your own desires (which God planted in you from the beginning!), my tips will help you move forward.
No matter what the source, it’s important to listen to and follow your calling. But you feel confused, insecure, uncertain, and afraid. Overcoming fear is your first step forward into the new life God has planned for you. That and admitting you want to follow God’s voice…but you don’t trust Him 100%.
In What to Do When You Hear God Calling – Step 7 I encouraged you to take one small step forward when you hear His still small voice. In this article I dig deeper into the obstacles holding you back, and give you a few ideas for overcoming fear when you want to follow God.
I like to think I’m not scared to follow God’s call on my life…but the truth is that I am afraid. My fear might look different than yours, though. I’m afraid of disrupting other people’s (my husband and dogs) lives. I don’t want to put them out, to ask them to make sacrifices “just because” I want to follow God’s voice.
It’s important to identify and admit your fears. You can’t dig up or overcome fear unless you find its root. If you feel a vague fear or anxiety about trusting and following God’s voice, then you don’t have a good chance at overcoming it because you don’t know what you’re dealing with. You don’t know why you’re afraid, how to start overcoming fear, or what it means to follow God’s voice into a new season of your life.
Overcoming Fear When You Want to Follow God’s Voice
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of the Bible; at the end of this post you’ll find a list of my previous articles. This article (Overcoming Fear When You Want to Follow God’s Voice – Step 12) is inspired by God calling Abram into a new land in Genesis 12.
You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips on how to overcome fear and follow your calling. Just keep an open mind and consider new ideas! Listen to the still small voice. Amazing new beginnings and fresh blossoms always grow from tiny seeds of life.
God gives us specific assignments
In Genesis 12 God told Abram to “go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Abram heard and followed God’s voice even though he had to leave everything that was familiar and comfortable. Abram took his wife Sarai with him, as well as his nephew Lot, his people, and his possessions. They all had to make sacrifices because Abram heard and wanted to follow God’s voice. God gave Abram a specific assignment, and Abram had to learn how to overcome the fears he faced.
What do you think God is calling you to do? It can be as “little” as sending a card or email to someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. It can be medium, such as talking to your supervisor or boss about taking more or less responsibility at work. It can be huge, such as packing up your family and moving overseas. Everything involves some element of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. They key is learning how to live with and overcome fear — especially when you want to follow God’s voice into a new season of life.
God speaks to us in different ways
Genesis 12 tells us that “The Lord said to Abram…” and voila! God gave Abram an assignment. But God’s assignment wasn’t a step-by-step no-fail outline to life in a new land. God called Abram to leave his home and family, and go into a land God would later show him. This was actually the second time God called Abram to go into a new land (see Acts 7:2-4). Abram heard God’s voice the first time but didn’t act — perhaps because he couldn’t overcome his fear.
How do you hear God’s calling in your life? Sometimes I hear a small voice inside my head, telling me to do this or say that. Maybe it’s God’s voice, maybe it’s the Holy Spirit (whom I call Ruach or sometimes Rudy), maybe it’s Jesus…or maybe it’s my own inner voice. The specific source matters less to me than the thing I feel called to do. I’m learning how to overcome fear by talking about it and waiting on God to open doors in my life. I also find it helpful to write about overcoming fear when I want to follow God’s voice. Writing helps me slow down and think.
If you’re struggling to hear God’s voice, read How to Find God and Change Your Life Forever.
God gives us freedom to choose and even refuse
From the beginning, God created us free to choose or reject Him. We are invited to hear and follow God’s voice, or let our fears and doubts overwhelm us. In Genesis 12 we see that Abram wasn’t perfect, but he was obedient (mostly). Abram allowed fear and doubt to affect his perspective, decisions, and family…and he also allowed love, faith, and obedience to guide his life. Genesis 12 is just the beginning of Abram’s recorded walk with God, and it’s already filled with successes and failures! God created Abram to be a specific person with specific strengths and abilities. And, God gave Abram specific instructions about what to do with his life. I don’t know how Abram overcame fear when he followed God’s voice, but I know he met God. Abram worshipped, submitted, and sacrificed to Him.
God created you for a reason. You matter to Him, to your family, to the world.
He gave you specific abilities, talents, strengths and passions. God wired you to do something with your life that only you can do. Whether it’s starting a business, raising a family, traveling the world, performing surgery, training dogs or speaking in front of hundreds or thousands of people — you were created for that thing. Your purpose is to love and glorify Him; your assignment is the thing He is calling you to do. Learn how to overcome fear so you can follow His voice, so you can live fully madly and deeply.
Read Genesis 12. God spoke clearly and distinctly to Abram — and God’s promises are for you, too. He wants you to grow and flourish in a new life. He wants to bless and heal you so you can become a healthy, joyful, uplifting presence in this world. How do you do this? By deepening and strengthening your relationship with His son, Jesus.
How is fear affecting your relationship with God, or preventing you from following Jesus? Get to the root of your fears. Keep learning how to overcome fear when you want to follow God’s voice into a new season of life.
May you find courage and strength as you move forward in your walk with Jesus. May you find healthy, Biblical tips for following God’s voice and overcoming fear. May you take time to listen to the still small voice of Jesus — and may you expect the lion to roar when you least expect it! And may the Lord God our Father speak loudly and clearly into your life.
With His love,
P.S. If you’re struggling with a difficult decision or starting a new season in life, read An Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will.