Being fearful is the most PARALYZING emotion that anyone can have. It weakens and takes away all power from the strongest of men/women. I can honestly say it took me getting to the “Back 9” of life to truly understand fear, where it comes from (the pit of hell) and how the heck to overcome it! I truly desire for anyone reading this journal who struggles with the “emotion of fear” to have victory. Otherwise, your life will NEVER BE what God created it to be.
In starting to look at fear in my own life, I could list all the things I was afraid of–fear of failure, fear of one of my kids having a wreck, fear of confronting wrong, fear of the consequences of poor choices. I could go on and on. There are hundreds of things!! Daily I struggled with fear. The first thing I learned in counseling was to look at the root of things, not the symptoms. Let’s face it, only treating the symptoms of a tibia broken in two–elevation, Tylenol, and immobility–aren’t going to fix the broken leg. It requires surgery and time to heal. To deal with fear and being healed requires major surgery.
The root of fear is pride, lack of faith, and plain out wrong thinking! Really? Fear comes from the thinking, “I am in control” and “I am responsible for ALL outcomes” (pride). It is a lack of the understanding and conviction, if you are a Christian, that God is ultimately in Control, not YOU! Somehow you say you believe and trust God, but you really don’t. Words are empty without action. I was giving “lip service to God and myself”. Maybe as a Christian, “you live on spiritual milk,” and not “spiritual meat,” and you truly have NO CLUE AND HAVEN’T APPLIED God’s Word to your life. It was sooooo convicting to me personally to look at the “ROOT OF MY FEAR”. I didn’t know Scripture as a whole, and truly, deep in my heart, didn’t know that God was in control.
I was asked some very simple, but challenging questions:
Do you truly believe in God, the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus? My answer? “Yes!”
Do you believe that you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior and HE lives in you? My answer? “Yes!”
Do you believe God is in control of all things and, at His command, He can do anything? My answer? “Yes!”
Do you believe God is supreme over satan? My answer? “Yes!”
Where do you believe fear comes from? My answer? “From me!”
FEAR comes from the ENEMY, satan. It is one of his strongest weapons that “debilitates all Christians from living a sold out life to Christ and becoming all that God created us to be!” If satan can cast the chains of fear over our lives and we believe the sneaky lies, then we are totally unable to move in the direction God has for us. We give authority to the “prince of the world” (satan) over our lives. Fear is a tool that is so crafted by satan, and addresses our “pride”. Most people do not want to admit they are fearful,(sorry men) but I will go ahead and say it. Men are the worst at admitting fear. They want to be strong and courageous, and the world tells them to be, so they keep it a secret deep down. They are prideful and don’t want to admit to anyone, even themselves, that they are fearful. It is a “worldly sign” of weakness. What would people think? Thus, we are afraid of man and what they would think of us if we admitted weakness by saying we are afraid! Fear is a “stronghold” that has to be broken for us to lead a “victorious life” and accomplish God’s purpose for us!
The start for me was not asking God to take my fear, but repenting for NOT TRUSTING God and His Word. It meant diving into Scripture and understanding that I had given satan a stronghold in my life, “FEAR.” I had not surrendered to “trust and faith” in God and walking and trusting HIM. I was listening to satan’s voice: “What if?” “I can’t!” “What would so and so think or say?” (people pleasing). My eyes were off of God and onto me and my strength (pride) and that is where satan wants us to live and stay, in a dependence on ourselves. My friend, let me tell you, it causes “TRAIN WRECKS” IN YOUR LIFE. When you buy into FEAR, you are giving satan enough control of your life so that you will be STUCK!!!! DON’T DO IT!!!! GOD’S will for all of us is to move forward, RESTING AND ABIDING IN HIM. Remembering Fear is the enemy of faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.
The following are the steps I have taken to “CAST OFF FEAR”. To break the stronghold in my life. To allow my life to “FLOW AND MOVE and ABIDE IN CHRIST!” I AM NO LONGER STUCK!
1. I had to confess and repent of a lack of trust and faith.
2. I asked God to help me recognize fear when it was approaching. I was a “frog in a boiling pot of water”. I was so familiar with fear it had become a comfortable way to live. (Sounds odd, but it is human nature to return to what you are comfortable with. I had been that way for so long. I was comfortable so I had to start “recognizing and labeling what I saw in my own life, FEAR!)
3. I had to hourly remind myself I was not in control (my pride). God was in control. Seriously, I had to tell myself this constantly. I realized how much ground the enemy owned in my life and it was an hourly battle at first, but I slowly started gaining ground. 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of POWER, LOVE AND SELF CONTROL.”
4. Daily, during the first part of my day, I DOVE into Scripture that talked about Fear. If you have a computer, just google “Scripture on fear” and, BOOM, the internet will give you a ton!!!! There are also great books that address fear. One of the best I have found, outside of the BIBLE, is Joyce Meyer’s book, “The Battlefield of the MIND”. Fear starts in your “thoughts” and then it becomes your actions. So you have to address your “thoughts!” Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am YOUR GOD, I will STRENGTHEN YOU, I WILL HELP YOU, I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND.”
5. This is the hardest. Obeying God and taking steps. Even though I “felt fear”, I had to CAST fear aside and TRUST GOD. Taking action even though I felt fear. The MORE STEPS OF FAITH I took, the more ground I gained in conquering fear and breaking the stronghold. By trusting God and taking the Steps that He was directing, the chains started to break!! My shoulders were no longer heavy! I now sleep well at night. I look forward to embracing every day.
Do I still feel fear? Of course, but now I know where it comes from and I KNOW WHAT TO DO! I live and claim daily, and sometimes hourly, 1 John 4:4, “You dear children are from God and have OVERCOME them because the ONE who is IN YOU is GREATER, than the one who is in the world.”
MY PRAYER IS THAT YOU WOULD NOT ALLOW THE CHAINS OF FEAR TO KEEP YOU FROM LIVING THE LIFE OF SIGNIFICANCE THAT GOD INTENDS FOR YOU TO LIVE!