I put on this shirt today and my loved one (who will remain nameless) said it didn’t make sense. “Fear isn’t a liar! You need fear- it’s what keeps you safe.” True………. That is true. But it can also keep most people from moving forward and doing what they need to do I argued. He agreed that was true too. As I played the song by Zach Williams “Fear is a Liar” I heard my loved one yelling out, “Would it be okay if a unabomber wore that shirt?” Or, “How about someone going into the school with a gun? That just doesn’t make sense.”
I bought this shirt Friday when I attended the #Roadshow2018 concert in Charlottesville. Do you know it only costs $10 to see all those artists in one night??? (The lineup this year was For King & Country, Matthew West, Natalie Grant, Bethel Music, Zach Williams, and Social Club Misfits- all for only $10!! Obviously all these artists and their crew aren’t doing it for the money, but for something and for someONE greater than they. Thank you Compassion and the other generous sponsors who brought this opportunity to our state!) As I went around, after first securing some pretty close seats, I checked out all the booths. (My loved one says I should start designing shirts since all I seem to wear are shirts with various things to say about Jesus on them!) I thought about that this morning when I looked at myself and my wrists in the mirror… I thought I looked like a walking billboard for Jesus. HAHA!! But then again, we all are in a way, if we claim to be Christ followers whether we spell it out on our chest or not, people watch our lives and get to know about our God even without us saying a word.
But anyway, back to the concert- So, I was looking to see if any shirts caught my eye. As I walked around checking out the booths, the bold statement “FEAR is a Liar” on one shirt caught my attention but then what really got me was the verse on the sleeve. It said 1 John 4:18. So standing right by the booth with other folks milling about eating their stadium food and checking out merch – I whipped open my YouVersion app and looked up the verse. In ESV (just my first go-to translation) says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” Nice! I’m sold so I buy the shirt. Later, during the concert, I hear the song performed. My 9 year old daughter looks at me and I at her as we realize the shirt’s words was referring to an actual song. We both listened to those words for the first time as it was being performed by the artist himself and yes, absolutely, FEAR IS A LIAR!! I’m so glad I got the shirt!
Back to reality because this morning, after being caught off guard with the conversation about how “Fear is a liar” didn’t make sense, I listened to the song again. Right after the lyric video ended, the official video played. (Check it out if you haven’t seen it. It really explains the heart of the song here.) I know I didn’t have a good answer and explanation about the meaning of the shirt to my loved one when I left for church. I wasn’t prepared to make a reasonable defense about how God’s love should lead us- not fear leading us. The conversation marinated in my head throughout out the church services and conversations today. I KNOW that we need fear, on some level, in our lives to help keep us safe. I thank God for the different emotions that he gave us. The problem though, is when fear rules our lives. When we let fear lead. Fear of what others will say about us. Fear of rejection. Fear of hurt. Fear of loneliness which causes us to do things we shouldn’t do……… it goes on and on. I know that Fear is something that holds me back from being all who God purposed for me to be. When he knew of me and planned me even before the foundation of the world– I don’t think he intended for me to walk in fear but rather in love. In His love. Romans 5:8 says “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I had to learn what this really meant (not just what it said, but what it really meant.)
As I drove home today, I heard the song “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. The chorus says, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.” Yes! What a great song! Why? For me, it’s a reminder that I AM NOT RULED BY FEAR. Then I began to think how many songs are there that address the fear that we all have? I made a playlist of some songs that address fear- have a listen here. What are some other songs that you’d add to this list?
Obviously, we want to keep things in context and in balance. While it is true that we need fear in our lives (we don’t want to jump off a cliff into the ocean with zero feelings do we???) We don’t want to be ruled by fear or governed by fear if we are followers of Jesus. The only thing or person I want ruling me is the Lord. It should matter to me what HE thinks and says above what man says. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” I would be weary of anything else or anyone else having a say over my life above God almighty.
How do I explain it better to someone who asks what “Fear is a liar” means? A unibomber does not love with a perfect love. If they did, there is no way they would do what they intend to do/or have done to all those people. Same in the other sensational and extreme situations that were mentioned by my loved one about the ridiculousness of what the shirt said… Ephesians 6:11 says “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.“
I can be ready to explain (1 Peter 3:13-17) my shirt the next time I get an opportunity. I will wear it proudly and when asked, I hope to share boldly that fear doesn’t control me (and that my actions prove it). I acknowledge fear’s place in my life but it will not rule me. I will look to the Lord and value His words over me. My identity is in Christ. He knows my imperfections and my fears but I hold fast to HIS truth by staying in His word on a daily basis. I need that connection to Him – I have learned that there is no way that I can make it on my own operating in this world in which we live today.
I’d love to talk to you more about this Jesus if you don’t already have a personal relationship with Him as Savior of your life. If you already know Him but recognize you aren’t where you’d like to be- you are not alone. Find someone (Ecc 4:9-12) who is following Christ (you can tell from the fruit of their life) near you and ask them if you both can meet to share your lives and dig deeper into His Word together. If you have a strong faith and just want to give me encouragement as I move forward in faith with what God has put in my heart- have at it! (1 Thes 5:11, Hebrews 10:23-25)I’d love to hear your thoughts about fear. Thank you for reading and for sharing!
Songs on the “Fear is a Liar” Youtube playlist I created here. May it encourage you throughout the day to choose to put fear back in it’s place where it belongs!!
Here’s an old song “Whom Shall I Fear?” by Chris Tomlin. He explains the song here. Or how about “Holy Ground” by Passion? A part of the song’s lyrics are “Chains fall Fear bow Here, now Jesus, You change everything Lives healed Hope found Here, now Jesus, You change everything” Yes Yes!! We have so many songs and verses about fear. Reminders from God to DO NOT FEAR are all throughout the Bible. There is a song by @Kirk Franklin that writes a goodbye letter to fear called “Hello Fear.” It is a great song. Here’s another song, this one’s by Lecrae called “Fear” with some lyrics to reflect upon. Hillsong UNITED’s song “Not Today‘s” verse 1 says “Fear must have thought I was faithless When it came for my heart” and the chorus says, “I’ll sing the night into the morning I’ll sing the fear into Your praise I’ll sing my soul into Your presence Whenever I say Your Name Let the devil know not today” Resurrecting by Elevation Worship talks about fear “The fear that held us now gives way -To Him who is our peace – His final breath upon the cross – Is now alive in me” “All In” by Matthew West talks about letting it all go and following the Lord. “Lay it all down” by United Pursuit. …