We were in New Zealand when my youngest daughter, Kirsten, decided she wanted to go bungee jumping.
Gary and I had brought her to New Zealand with us for a conference, and when she saw a sign for bungee jumping, she begged to do it. I knew Gary wouldn’t want to go with her, so I reluctantly agreed.
Agreed to climb 141 feet up, and jump.
Off a bridge.
141 feet up. That’s how high the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand is, in case you didn’t know that.
As we reached the top of the bridge, I had a sudden realization of exactly what I had agreed to.
Because most bridges usually go over some form of water, right?
The Kawarau Bridge goes over a surging river, and has a beautiful rock canyon on either side.
The people going ahead of us screamed as they dove headfirst from the bridge.
They screamed some more as they were yanked up by the cord just moments before their heads touched the water below. And they screamed some more as they bounced almost all the way back up to the bridge again.
Kirsten and I watched the whole thing. We also watched as, once they were finished bouncing, they dangled over the river until a small boat came to retrieve them and started them on their long climb up the flights of stairs.
It was daunting for sure.
My adrenaline began to kick in.
When Kirsten started getting cold feet, I was surprised to hear myself saying, “We’ve already come this far. Let’s do it.”
So, Kirsten jumped.
Then they wrapped my feet together, hooked me to the harness, and told me to climb out on the small diving-board-like platform.
Walking with your legs tied together is hard by the way, let alone trying to balance with your legs tied together while walking out on a board with no railing and looking over into a hundred foot drop. Yeah.
The guy working the thing tried to pry my hands from the bridge railing as I inched my way out. Then he counted to three.
And I jumped.
Off the bridge toward the surging river with the rock canyons on either side.
And, you know what?
As I soared through the air for those next few seconds, and I took in the gorgeous view, I was so happy I had decided to take that leap and overcome that fear.
And for the rest of that day, Kirsten and I both felt like we were on top of the world. We felt fearless. We had overcome that fear.
That’s how God created all of us to live—in a state of fearlessness. That feeling you get where it feels like you can do anything and you’re brave, that’s what you were created to live in through God’s love.
Now, I’m not saying you need to go jumping off bridges with your feet tied together.
But what is fear keeping you from doing?
Applying for that new job? Taking that course? Signing up for that big project at work? Visiting that church down the road? Riding a roller coaster with your son who loves them? Spending money on a vacation? Flying in an airplane to visit family across the country? Speaking in front of a group? Hiring another employee? Making a new friend?
That list can get pretty long pretty quickly.
The point is that fear is bondage. It holds you back.
It doesn’t matter how you’re living with it—whether you’re just tolerating it, you’re coping with it, or you’re reacting to it—if fear is present at all in your life, it’s keeping you from being free.
Fear wants to make you its slave.
But even when the emotion of fear comes on you, you don’t have to obey it. You can speak to it and take authority over it. You can choose faith in God over fear and the world’s system.
Break up with fear once and for all. And when it tries to come back, when it tries to talk to you, when it tries to find a place in your life, take authority over it. Run to God’s perfect love, because “perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)