Win Today with Christopher Cook

Get Unstuck. Reclaim Your Purpose. Win Today.

Exposing the Roadblock to Reaching Your Ultimate Destiny

Nothing suffocates your potential, exaggerates the suspense of life’s unknown, and drives pain deeper into your soul and spirit more than fear; specifically, the spirit of fear.

I hate fear. I have firsthand experience with its crippling, numbing effect upon my life. And it’s that very hate that motivates me to be a source of hope and encouragement in the lives of people just like you. After a string of really encouraging emails from readers in the last month, I knew I needed to write this article because it could set the stage for greater breakthrough in the lives of many people. I realized that building the best “you,” saying “yes” to the right things, beating procrastination, and equipping people with game-changing communication skills is only effective when our lives are rooted in love, not fear. What good are personal growth principles if they never move from the head to the heart and from the heart into your everyday life? Not too good at all.

The Message in the Mayhem

Fear is a thief, one that has broken down the door to my heart more than once. On the subject, the apostle John provides a solution:

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry…There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭17-18‬ MSG)

As that verse suggests, freedom from fear positions you to be your best for yourself and for those who matter most in your life.

Removing the Daggers of Despair

As I’ve written before, navigating through severe trauma and disappointment in my own life posed the threat of giving up on hope. But what I discovered is that there’s a message in the mayhem if you’ll look for it, triumph in the trauma if you’ll persevere, and most certainly life after death.

It’s just that the real road to freedom isn’t as cute and sugary as that tweet.

In the last year, I’ve fostered a God-breathed anger towards an absolute lie that has turned so many of us into fear-bound, cement shoe-wearing prisoners who, instead of walking on the waters of life, sink to the bottom. In the last twelve months, I’ve discovered that this is more than good-intentioned motivation—greater than even passion…

It’s a call I can’t shake.

It’s what drives pen to paper and finger to each deliberate keystroke as I give my life to dismantle the disgusting tentacles of the powers of darkness that have so slyly captivated the minds of believers and sunk daggers of despair into their soul.

If you feel tied-up and trapped by the seemingly immovable roadblock called “fear” and want out, I pray that you’ll glean truth and freedom from the story of a young man I encountered four years ago.

Three Childhood Fears Exposed

The Fear of Abandonment

“Every night as a small child, as part of my bedtime routine,” he explained, “I would beg my parents, “Please don’t go downstairs…promise?” Reluctantly, he went on to share that falling asleep without their guarantee was nearly impossible. As he grew into adolescence, the mantra faded quickly, but the underlying root of fear did not.

Worse yet, as he grew into his twenties, battering waves of disappointing events and the accumulation of circumstances in his life challenged the notion that he had not actually been abandoned emotionally and even spiritually. As a result, he said, it led to living life by a tightly wound leash of self-protection.

The Fear of Vulnerability and Violation

As our conversation ensued, he told me that each and every night, after receiving his parents’ promise to remain upstairs, the bedroom windows had to be locked and checked, which, in his mind, prevented robbers and raccoons from entering his bedroom. The exercise, he smirked, extinguished any fear of being unprotected as an open target for assault, both emotionally and physically.

Attending to his story, I was shocked by his sensitivity at such a young age. It was reminiscent of the fact that people who have been robbed feel violated at the core of their being. Had he ever been robbed or violated? No. But that’s precisely what fear does. It creates a “reality” based solely upon speculation and untruth that’s as real as if something tragic had actually happened.

Robbers and raccoons. How ironic, yet how specific. Both represent prowlers that lurk in the night.

The Fear of the Dark and the Unknown

As the dialogue progressed, he revealed that in addition to his parents’ promise and the assurance of the windows being locked, his nightlight had to remain on. Though he was a very young boy at the time, his fear of the dark and being left alone without protection translated into a figurative fear of the dark as a young adult; fear of unforeseen future circumstances and an inability to see every twist and possible turn of life. Was his position totally irrational? Not really. By the time he was a late teenager, he had experienced a sizeable dose of tumultuous life circumstances. It’s just that the underlying root of fear was hampering his ability to hope.

The Common Thread

Collecting my thoughts, I helped guide him to recognize the common thread of these three childhood fears: the fear of losing control. And that’s precisely where most of us lose our peace, too. As a best effort to absorb shock and dodge pain, we condense every aspect of life into a manageable package and tie it to a short leash, one that is in constant reach. Think about your life and the circumstances surrounding it. Am I right?

But it doesn’t work. In fact, it makes things worse.

As hard as we may try, none of us are in total control of life. So how do you and I trample fear? It begins with recognizing that while the opportunity to be displaced by fear will never go away, there is a greater opportunity to bolster your soul and spirit to walk through it and even in the face of it. But walking through fear is far more than a drive-thru delivery of courage. It’s an everyday, lifetime commitment. For starters:

  1. Don’t Stop Moving Forward. Feel the fear then walk through it, even if you’re afraid.
  2. Get in Truth. You must get in the Word and stay in the Word as your mind, will, and emotions catch up to truth and get anchored in peace. If you’re bound by fear, you too should study, memorize, and apply these scriptures to your daily life: Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 30:18, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 16, Psalm 91, John 14:27, Romans 8:37, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, and 2 Timothy 1:6-7.
  3. Get in Love. 1 John 4:18 says, “…Well-formed love banishes fear.” God’s primary identity to you is Father and His primary character trait is love. Would this Father leave you helpless and abandoned even when real-life circumstances challenge the validity of that very statement? Definitely not.
  4. Get in the Company of Others. You won’t be successful in this fight unless you have plenty of support in your corner; it’s that simple. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (MSG) says, “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.”

Some seek to conquer the world, but some just need to conquer Monday, and that in and of itself is success. On the other side of fear is the freedom to be true to you and in turn, true to everyone else. On the other side of fear is the freedom to say “yes” without regret and “no” without shame. And on the other side of fear is the empowerment to live each and every day confidently in your own skin.

By the way, I should probably let you know that the “young man” in the story…is me.

Chris - Bible

  • Kathy Craig

    Great article, Chris! Soon after Gary died, I became a clean freak. Everything in my house had to be clean and stuff put away. It was easy to do as I lived by myself. I realized even then it had to do with being able to control my environment, since I couldn’t control the cancer in my loved one. I didn’t relate it to fear, but I see the connection now. Alas, now
    that I am remarried, my clean freak gene has slowly ebbed away. Now when I have the time, I prefer to read a good book than clean house, lol!! Keep writing, you are amazing!

    • Kathy, thanks so much for your transparency. I know exactly what you’re talking about. In the last days of my mom’s life, I was frantic because the pain was so deep. Cleaning was definitely an outlet for me, too. I appreciate your generous encouragement!