A little while ago our oldest son went through an extended time of experiencing fear at night and anxiety during the day. Although it was a a challenge to watch, the encouraging thing is that he has now overcome the intimidation and fear that threatened to keep him from fulfilling his potential.
They key for Oscar – as it is for anyone, came down to what voice he chose to listen to. As we encouraged him to tune into God’s voice – the voice of truth, eventually the volume of fear began to diminish – and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we overcame and won the battle!
Fear will use all kinds of voices to intimidate us and cause us to become silent and withdraw from walking in the purposes of God. As for Peter and John, it was the voices of the powerful religious leaders who attempted to intimidate them into silence:
‘They called them in and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus’ – Acts 4:18 (NLT)
There was no subtlety in their wording. If Peter and John didn’t shut their mouths, they would be expelled from the Jewish community. But things had changed – because although Peter and John were once afraid of these people, they had now discovered a new strength rising up on the inside:
‘But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (4:19-20)
Peter and John declared that they were no longer going to be intimidated by the voice of fear. They had chosen to tune into the voice of truth – the voice that gave them the courage to step into destiny and speak with a boldness that came from the Holy Spirit.
There is no hiding from the fact that a large portion of our society would love nothing more than to intimidate us into silence. But although it’s important that we apply great wisdom to how and when we speak, we should never allow fear to gaffer tape our mouths closed.
Make the choice to auto tune the ears of your heart to the voice of truth – because as you do, you will discover a new found freedom to live free from fear and full of courage!