An effective disciple is someone who truly understands that they are loved by God. Without such knowledge we lack courage along with the relational strength to be obedient to the Word of God. In her book The Fear Cure, Lisa Rankin says that we need courage to deal with our fear and that, “Courage is not about being fearless it’s aboutletting fear transform you . . .” (xxix) If I may change the wording on this just a little and apply Christian truth to it I would say that as a Christian we let God transform us in the midst of standing up to what we fear. But I believe that Rankin has touched on something that even most Christians aren’t aware of; that is, God wants to transform us through our fears. God does not want to supernaturally take away our fears. Rather he wants us to “faith” our fears, to be personally empowered, by God, to overcome them through our initiatives and experiences so that we may experience the love of God and as a result deepen our faith. The disciple needs to exercise such faith in order to be convinced that God has the power to do what He promises. And God promises above all to love those who obey Him. A disciple needs to believe, in faith that this is true and take courage to persevere onward, knowing that God has his/her back. In this way, regardless of the outcome, the disciple will begin to experience God’s love as empowering and trustworthy. The more we “faith” our fears in such a way the more powerfully we will walk through our world overcoming those fears that have kept us down and be able to give the glory to God as we live obediently, wise efficacious lives for Him. I believe this to be one of the core initiatives a disciple-maker needs to persevere with in the disciple’s life. An effective disciple-maker will need to provide ongoing encouragement as they seek to challenge the disciple to “faith” their fears and in so doing help the disciple to experience the love of God.
by Chris Matthisen
1Lisa Rankin, The Fear Cure. (Vancouver, British Columbia, Hay House, Inc.,2015) p. xxix.
3John 14:21, 23