What to do When Fear Tries to Fool Us

It was the ‘80’s and besides being a wife, mom of two littles, and working full-time, I was also sporting 80’s hair which was like caring for a third child with an attitude…

See what I mean?

This girl was busy, but playing the piano was a dream of mine so when a friend was selling her piano, I snatched it up. I signed up for lessons and tapped those keys with joy.

In just a few weeks, I could actually play something that didn’t sound like I made it up myself. Of course, the credit goes to my piano teacher, Tim, who was and still is a phenomenal musician.

The Duet

I’m not sure whose idea this was, but as Christmastime rolled around, Tim and I were practicing a duet to play at church.

Go Tell it on the Mountain that this girl did not feel ready–but Tim had the utmost confidence in how this would all play out.

When the day of the duet arrived, I sat at that church piano in a daze. The notes on the page felt like strangers staring back at me. I looked down at those keys like I’d never seen piano keys before in all my life.

At that moment I couldn’t even think to pray. Just a few notes in and all I could think was that I couldn’t do it–even though I had played that song all the way through for weeks.

Crazy, right?

Some may say it was stage-fright, lack of confidence, fear of failure–but I think it was more than that. I think it was not just about me fearing failure and looking foolish, but also about me making Tim look foolish for choosing me for the duet.

I allowed that fear to fool me into thinking I needed more time and I wasn’t ready.

So what happened?

That duet turned into a solo, as in uno, as in Tim had to play the notes I was meant to play.

He was gracious and I was mortified.

When Our Focus Changes, Fear Fizzles Out

When we allow fear to fizzle out what God wants to do in and through us, it’s probably because we’re making it all about us. God’s will be done, and if we aren’t playing our part in the body of Christ, someone else is going to have to play the notes we were meant to play.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, friend.

When we change the trajectory of our focus off of ourselves and onto God, it’s our fear that will fizzle out, not God’s call on our lives. And we know who is behind all this fear–that enemy who can’t stand a girl who stands up for truth.

When we focus on God we see His love and His ability to do the impossible through broken messes like us…

Whatever God wants to accomplish through us for His glory is not by our power, but by His power and His divine strength which He imparts to us. Our calling is like a beautiful duet between God and us, and we can play our part because He is gracious toward us and chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.

So we can tell that fear it can’t fool us anymore because it’s not about us. It’s not about having confidence in ourselves, it’s about having confidence in God at work in us.

It's foolish to allow fear to fool us into thinking it's all about us. Click To Tweet

God chooses foolish things to shame the wise. We’re not chosen because we have it all together, we’re chosen because God loves us and He has it all together.

But what about that faulty thinking?

The fear that if we mess up in front of people, we’ll blow it and they won’t see how good God is. Like the worst ambassador ever. We fear we’ll tarnish His image we were made in and they’ll think God is foolish for choosing us.

Well, we don’t have to worry about looking foolish or making Him look foolish because they shouldn’t even see us at all–they should see Him through us. Fear can’t fool us into faulty thinking unless we allow it.

Fear can't fool us into faulty thinking unless we allow it. Click To Tweet

I went on to play in a spring recital and did just fine, but I still remember how that duet became a solo. And I’m sorry to say whenever I hear Go Tell it on the Mountain I cringe a little.

But that’s a good reminder for me that even when I don’t feel ready, the important thing is God thinks I’m ready. He makes me ready. He makes you ready, too.

So I am going to place all my eggs in the basket of God knows more than I do and I’m going to put all of my trust in Him.

How about you?

So what do we do when fear tries to fool us?

*We change the trajectory of our focus from ourselves to God.

*We tell our fear to fizzle because it’s not about us.

*We put in the work when God prepares us for the call.

*We remember the enemy doesn’t like a girl who stands up for truth–but he doesn’t win.

Living life with and for the Lord is like living a beautiful duet. He shines His face upon us as we shine our light pointing others to Him.

We are called to play beautiful music together.

May this encourage you today, friend…

Photo credit: iStock

Call to Action

Do you have friends who might benefit from this message? Hit share and tell them about it. You never know how just a simple message of encouragement might change the trajectory of someone’s focus off their fears, circumstances, and troubles and onto the Lord. We can encourage each other to step out in faith, step out of fear, and impact the world for Christ.


  1. Sandy Winkler

    Doris, these devotions are wonderful and so inspiring 💜 thank you for sharing you life stories (and bad hair days) 😂 to help others! “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4

    • Doris S. Swift

      Thank you for your encouragement, Sandy! We can all find common ground in our crazy stories and bad hair days! I love that scripture, and so true that our experiences can be used to reach and comfort others. Blessings to you, friend 🙂

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