‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim 1:6-7, NKJV)
There are times when we sense God calling us out of our comfort zones, to try something new. We hear the Spirit say, ‘It’s time!’
- It’s time to push through that barrier
- It’s time to say yes to that opportunity
- It’s time to speak up
If you struggle with uncertainty or fear, when it comes to stepping out in your spiritual gifts or ministry, you are not alone. Take Timothy, for example. He was called of God and gifted as an evangelist and teacher (2 Tim 4:5) and yet he struggled with timidity.
Overcoming fear is a recurring theme Paul addressed in his leadership of Timothy, and his insights are relevant to us today.
Perception is a Key to Removing Fear
Due to his youth and his position as Paul’s assistant, people sometimes looked down on Timothy.
Paul saw the need to admonish Timothy, ‘Let no one despise your youth’ (1 Tim 4:12, NKJV) Paul also wrote to the church at Corinth, saying, ‘And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore let no one despise him…’ (1 Cor 16:10-11a)
The fear that threatened Timothy in this case was a result of the perception—of both Timothy and others—about Timothy’s capability, given his young age.
Whilst many of us aren’t young any more, we may have our own view as to why we can’t boldly and confidently step up to perform the service God has put on our hearts.
According to the Bible, we are not disqualified by our natural attributes. We are qualified by the call of God.
Many other heroes of Scripture had obvious limitations—for example, Moses had a stutter, a criminal history, and was eighty years old when God called him to act!
What qualified him in God’s eyes was, ‘I’ve created you, I’ve called you and I am with you.’ (see Exodus 4)
What is Perception?
Your perception is your assessment of who you are (your identity) and what you are capable of. But does it match up to God’s perception of you?
The good news is that, just as with Timothy, God is calling us to upgrade our perception, so we can do God’s work wholeheartedly and without fear.
3 Ways to Overcome Fear and Upgrade Your Perception
1. Identify Your Current Perception
The clue to our perception can be found in the answer to these types of questions:
- ‘What is my excuse (if any) for not stepping out and doing what God has called me to do?’
- ‘What is the story I tell myself, as to what will happen when I do step out?
Our perception is not only what we see (about ourselves and others), it is the interpretation we place on what we see.
2. Spot the Gap Between Your Perception and God’s
Once you have an idea of your current perception—your assessment of what you are capable of—compare it to what you believe God is asking you to do.
If God has given you a problem to solve, a vocation to serve in, people to love, or a ministry to accomplish, know this: He sees you as someone who is fully equipped for the role!
You do not stand alone. You are empowered with the Holy Spirit. God is with you.
You have God’s ‘yes!’ Whatever your challenges are in terms of physical attributes, position or experience, don’t allow these to affect your perception.
- See your weaknesses transformed by the power of God.
- See them as an advantage—because of your limitations, Jesus will get the glory!
Don’t measure yourself against the task, opportunity or other people and decide you are lacking. What does your Father say?
Perhaps you have a leader who, like Paul did with Timothy, sees more potential in you. He or she is urging you to go to a next level, and it is time for you to listen and move.
Take a good, hard look at the difference between your perception, and that of your Heavenly Father. How is the Holy Spirit leading you to respond to this today?
It may be time to see the real issue for what it is—be open to allowing Him to reveal unbelief, or pride. Let Him shine His light on it, lead you to repentance and he will heal your perception.
3. See Yourself on the Other Side
Finally, here is a powerful key to upgrading your perception:
See yourself on the other side of your comfort zone, walking in your miracle.
Hold that picture—see who you are, and what you are capable of in that light. God does.
© 2018 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
In the David McCracken Ministries family