8 Ways to Crush Fear as Artists of Faith
There are 8 ways to crush fear as artists of faith and it is all about our relationship with God. Now we are into the new year, there may be many thoughts and fears swirling in your head about the types of decisions you must make to move forward in your life and career. And you and I both know the global economy is a bit dodgy right now and we don’t know how long this will last.
We know risk-taking and wise decision-making are critical to our success both creatively and in business. And perhaps last year was a grand success for you. If so, congrats! If not, perhaps you need to consider a pivot. Or if it was a mixed bag of bad and good, there is definitely some reflection to do of what worked and what didn’t.
As a matter of fact, we always recommend some new year reflection to either affirm what’s working in your career, or to reexamine what needs to change for you to both grow closer to the Lord and find success in your creative career.
The New Year is Fresh Start Time
The truth of the gospel is that God gives you a fresh start everyday! But many of us enjoy the tradition of reflection and planning at the beginning of each new year. So regardless of how last year was working for you— Take time this year for a fresh start. A new beginning. And a clean slate to evaluate where you are both artistically and spiritually. Stopping and evaluating once in a while is critical to success, and the new year is a great time to do it.
In this new year, if you want to create goals and resolutions that’s awesome- go for it. But first, let’s be honest and reflect on the fears we have for the new year. From the fears related to our careers and success, to the fears and worries in our spiritual life.
It’s okay to face them head on. Because God is faithful to care for us and help us overcome those fears. The truth is this: you have to deal with them in order to be effective and successful this year. And guess what? We want you to have an incredible 2023, so listen up and walk with us through our short guide to overcome your fears and worries so you can be a successful and Godly artist in 2023.
8 Ways to Crush Fear for Artists of Faith
#1: Remember Who God Is and His Promises
The first of the 8 ways to crush fears as artists of faith is to remember who God is and His promises. God is perfectly faithful, protective, loving, clear, true and good. His mercies are everlasting. He is your strong tower and refuge in times of trouble. The scriptures are full of God’s promises and we can count on them.
So in this new year, let’s know them, let’s meditate on them, let’s BELIEVE THEM!
Here’s a list of just a few to get your started to memorize and meditate on:
God gives strength to the weary: Isaiah 40:31
God’s love never fails: Isaiah 54:10
God will never forsake you: Deuteronomy 31:6
Call on God and He will Answer: Psalm 50:15
God will make your path straight: Proverbs 3:5-6
God gives you rest: Matthew 11:28-30
God exalts the humble: Matthew 23:12
God has adopted you: Ephesians 1:5
God has redeemed us: Colossians 1:13-14
God gives wisdom to those who ask: James 1:5
God promises the devil will flee if you resist: James 4:7
God will meet all your needs: Philippians 4:19
#2: Identify the Lies You Believe and Repent
First of all, we ALL believe lies, about our-self, our abilities, about others and the world around us, and especially about God. This may sound shocking to you. But it’s true. A part of our sanctification process as Christians is us realizing the lies we believe, repenting to the Lord and having God make us new-transforming our mind and conforming us to His likeness.
We are inundated with lies from three places: the world, our flesh and the devil. Some of these lies we see clearly and reject, other lies are subtle and take hold. And other lies exist in our heart and we don’t know we have them until the heat is turned up in our lives or careers.
This is why we need the gospel, why we need to read God’s word regularly and ask God to search our hearts. We also need to deeply know who God is and why that matters so much to our creative careers, our art making, and our calling as artists.
Here’s the steps:
First step we must acknowledge the lies and false narratives we believe.
Second: Confess them to God in prayer.
Third: Read God’s word and meditate on who you really are in Christ and who God really is.
As artists who are Christians, we have ALL the tools we need to find joy and hope as artists and creatives. We don’t have to be ruled by fear or worry. The great and wonderful God of ALL THINGS is on our side- loving us, providing for us, caring for us- emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally.
And we want you to be in touch with that this year! Do you realize that’s true? Do you believe that? If you struggle with unbelief here, ask for God to help!
We also encourage you to read Isaiah chapter 40 and use your creative gifts to imagine in great detail the descriptions of God – his size, his power, his worth and his immensity. It’s helpful to meditate, and engage the awesomeness and wonder of God’s extreme power and majesty.
It’s easy to forget the greatness of our God and His awesome power. Sadly, we sometimes live like practical atheists, living as if God is not active in our lives or has any power to influence our day-to-day challenges. So, in this new year look for God’s hand on your work, your business and your relationships.
And look for how he is leading you, guiding you, directing you. Guess what? He is present, involved, and there for you. You are not alone. (You also have us too here at AEM, reach out if you want to connect!)
#3: Fight Your Fear with Fear of the Lord
An excellent way to fight your fears is with fear. Just a very specific fear, fear of the Lord. This may sound like doublespeak but hear us out. The way to overcome fear of man, fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of the critics, or any other fear is to fear the Lord. Paul Tripp puts it this way,
“Only vertical fear will conquer our horizontal fears.”
This isn’t a doctrine we hear about much in our culture, but it is truly the powerful antidote we need.
Consider these words from Psalm 112:
“Praise the Lord, Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments.”
Our language today doesn’t really give the word fear from the Bible it’s best meaning, it is better understood as having awe for God. Fearing God is being in awe of God and recognizing how powerful, holy, and good God is. When we engage in awe of God- who he is, how wonderful He is, how powerful He is, how in control of our circumstances He is— it’s in those moments of awe, our perspective changes. It is like a man who believes he is strong until he stands before a roaring tiger. All of the sudden, he is humbled and more honest about his abilities.
When we see God as he is, we are humbled and reminded that life is not about us, but about God. God is writing the story of our lives, and of all eternity. When we grasp this truth, the pressure lifts from our shoulders and rests upon Gods. Remember, Jesus told us, “my yoke is light.” He carries our burden.
When we learn this, we are not obsessed with ourselves, and therefore not captivated or paralyzed by fears that are anchored in self-awareness. Our fears are powerless to crush our heart when our heart is anchored in the God who loves us and has a wonderful plan for us.
If you take the time to think about it, you know intuitively life is not about you. There is something at work greater than you and me.
#4: Facing Your Fears with God By Your Side
The fourth of the 8 ways to crush fear as artists of faith is to face your fears with God by your side. Remember the four men standing in a fire in the book of Daniel? This is the picture every child remembers when they hear the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And this fire was real then and is now a picture of how God is with us in our “fires”.
These men were warned if they did not worship Nebuchadnezzar, they would be thrown into the fiery furnace. Any woman, man or child focused on their own ability to survive would be terrified and paralyzed with fear. The problem, for Nebuchadnezzar, was not that these three men did not have fear. They had fear. The problem for Nebuchadnezzar was that they did not fear him. They feared the Lord Almighty. They fought the fear of earthly power with the fear of the ultimate spiritual power. They would not betray their God, and cave into the fear of man.
The miraculous ending is found when Jesus appears with them in the fire. God was with them in the fire, protecting them. And God is with you in your fires. So call on Him, He is faithful! Remember these words from Psalm 27:1:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
#5: Anchor Your Identity In Christ
To be strong and live with deep passion as an artist or creative professional, requires anchoring that passion in what God is doing. When we trust in God, we have an anchor that will hold, and a foundation that cannot be moved.
The key questions: Where is your identity? Is your sense of self-worth anchored in your talent, your resume, your ethnicity, your education or something other than the Lord?
None of those will give you the confidence of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Your identity must be anchored in your relationship with God. It is God that controls the universe. It is God’s commandments that teach us how to live right, and it is His love that will never let go of us. All too often, we run and cower because we forget our identity as children of the most powerful and good God that rules the universe.
#6: Ask Yourself Better Questions
What happens to your heart when trouble comes? Where does your mind run, and where does your heart go when finances are drained, when the critics disparage you, your art and your fears are growing? If you want to grow spiritually, take the time to diagnose the path your heart takes. Then begin to take the antidote – confessing how much you depend upon your own abilities. Confess how much you rely on your own plans not on God. Confess how little time you take to consider what God is doing, and what God is about in this season of your life.
Our culture is loaded with self-help books and resources encouraging you to plod ahead without understanding your heart, but God cares deeply about you and your heart. God longs to heal your wounds and make you whole. In this new year, let’s take the opportunity to reorient our hearts to seek and glorify God, not just a great career or great reviews.
#7: Love Casts out Fear
Jesus is our model for fearlessness. He was fearless – before the politicians, before the religious hypocrites, before the critics and the crowds. Jesus himself spoke of doing only His Father’s will. He didn’t trust the crowds and he was not afraid of what they thought.
John 2:23-25 reminds us:
“Now when he [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”
Jesus knew the crowd came for the ‘show’, and the signs he was doing (verse 23). They were fans, enjoying the show, not disciples counting the cost. Jesus knew they would scatter as soon as he was betrayed. He was not ‘entrusting himself to them’.
Jesus was focused on loving people rather than appeasing or gaining approval of people. Their approval did not lift his spirit, and their disapproval did not crush his spirit.
John tells us in 1 John that, “Perfect love casts out fear.” It is this perfect love of our Savior, our Father in Heaven and the Holy Spirit that finally destroys the hold fear can have on us. When we love God with our whole heart, and love our neighbor as our self, fear washes away.
Our father in heaven knows your temptations.
Jesus knows the heart-breaking reality of life.
He knows the fickle nature of the fans and the crowds.
He knows the temptation to fear so much in life.
Yet the Lord loves you and invites you to live a different way. He invites us to learn to love as Jesus loves, to fear God instead of man, and thereby find greater joy in our art, our work, our relationships and our art business.
#8: Join a Deep Community
We think one of the creativity killers for an artist of faith is loneliness. It can be a killer – of creativity, relationships, faith and so much more. God didn’t create us to be alone. We are created as dependent beings. Dependent on God and dependent on one another. We are built to encourage and spur each other on toward creative, intellectual and spiritual growth. We need our community to remind us and encourage us in our identity in Christ, our calling and talent when we struggle with fear.
Community is a ‘means of grace’. Something God has provided for each one of us here on earth. Community is a gift we dare not ignore. So if you aren’t connected to a community of artists and creatives committed to the gospel, to excellence in their art and support of fellow artists, you need to be. You are invited to join our group- if you haven’t signed up for our weekly newsletter– do it- join our community here at AEM. We have lots of resources, events both online and in person where we discuss the issues you are facing today. You will experience an awesome community of encouragement!
God’s given you a spirit of love, not a spirit of fear. When we experience fear, we have wandered away from the Father’s side and from his love. Whatever the opportunities and the risks we must take, we must remember God is with us. Ask yourself this question- am I trusting in God, and is my motivation to love others?
And take the time to search your heart and process. Wherever you have failed, remember that you are not condemned. Find forgiveness at Jesus’ feet, as you repent and confess. Then, as you experience his forgiveness, you also experience the grace, hope and joy he died to give you.
Next, ask God, who gives freely, to give you the strength and humility to live, create and work fearlessly. It is His plan for you!
We hope these 8 ways to crush fear as artists of faith has helped you see your new year with hope, let us know in the comments which one ministered to you the most! And be sure to join us for our upcoming Arts & Entrepreneurship Summit.
Copyright © 2023 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.
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