To all those of us who battle doubt and fear that make us unable to reach into faith in God on a regular basis, this is the testimony of one who daily fights and sometimes wins this battle to find a wonderful victory in Christ. It is not an easy road to defeat the inner fears that never seem to be vocalized but hide in our hearts lurking, waiting to jump out at us at unexpected moments when we need strength the most. The Bible is very clear that fear is a torment, a place where worry and doubt walls press against our faith.
Fear has no place in a relationship with the Lord Jesus. He is love manifested in the flesh. He came to bring life to our dying world and by his love he saved us to the uttermost. The problem most Christians face is the fear that is resident in our souls. We have received our Salvation in Christ and are walking out our day-by-day relationship with Him. The flesh, or soul part of us is in constant battle with the re-born spirit that now belongs to Jesus as Savior and Lord. Our mind battles against the Word of God, wanting to please itself and not surrender to the Word of God. Fear is one of the motivating forces that control our minds. Fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of people, fear of outside opinions, fear of lack, fear of rejection, on and on the fears go bombarding our minds according to the personality and history of each person. There are those who can pick up snakes and other creatures with awe and joy while others will be running in fear. There are others who are great speakers in public while their friends could not string a sentence together in front of a crowd. We all have hidden fears that are triggered when confronted by the object we fear. Our choice as Christians is to allow the Word of God to free us from these fears and be “more than conquerors through him that loved us”
If we are ever going to get victory in our lives, we must admit to the sin problems in us. Fear is sin as it is in direct contrast to faith. It is walking in doubt or unbelief according to how deep the fear grips us inside. Doubt is wavering back and forth between faith and fear, whereas unbelief is having knowledge of faith yet rejecting it for fear’s work instead. Either way, we are not receiving the victory Christ has paid for us to receive when we allow fear to rule our lives.
My fears started manifesting as a young child. I was shy and constantly clung to my father’s leg if we were in public. I remember one horrifying time when I looked up the leg I was clinging to and realized it was not my Daddy but some other man! You can believe I was quick to panic and scream for my daddy. He was right there I had just leaned against the wrong man. I was trapped in a dark closet a few years later, never realizing the lock was on my side and I could have escaped at any time. Once again fear stalked my mind and emotions. By the time I was in my teens, I was gripped with so many types of fears it was nearly impossible to grow spiritually at all. Only by the grace of God and some really wonderful teachers of the Word of God, was I able to grow in the Lord during those years. The problem was, those fears were never dealt with only subdued. It was many years later the Lord finally started helping me work through fear’s grip on my soul. Fear is so powerful it can cause a normally rational person to absolutely lose reason for a time. We have all seen a person when a bee or other creeping thing lands on them go berserk for a moment. That burst of fear had their whole being under its control for those moments. Afterward, they are usually embarrassed and really cautious for a little while.
One of the misunderstandings of the Christian walk is that we are never to admit openly our failures and fears. We are told to walk by faith, truly, but in contrast we are to keep all our inner self hidden from those around us. Doing so only allows those problems to ferment and grow into really ugly problems that can be harder to deal with. Any gardener will tell you small weeds are much easier to pull out than full-grown ones. When we allow those hidden fears to stay dormant inside us and grow in the unseen parts of our soul, we are asking for the devil to keep us in torment.
What freedom comes when are able to finally admit out loud the tormenting fears we have inside. It may seem rather a small thing to some who hear us confess it, but to us it is like releasing a very sore wound from its festering scab. Once we have openly admitted to the sin of fear, the Lord is able to go into the inner man and start healing and delivering us from them. The process will not be instantaneous, but the road to recovery is started and can be completed in Him.
I was in my early twenties sitting in a church service when the pastor invited anyone who wanted prayer to come forward. I had no idea at the time the Lord had set this day for my recovery to start in earnest. I went forward and they prayed for me. It was as if the Lord took me to a place inside myself for a season. I really did not know what was going on outside the walls of my heart.
On the outside, things did not look any different. I noticed over the next weeks some of the things I would have never tried to do because of fear, were not so fearful anymore. I was able to testify in front of others, and be more outspoken in a crowd and even prayed out loud in a service when asked to. Shyness started to fade somewhat and I was more comfortable around people. I still had opportunities to fear, but the Holy Spirit in me reminded me of verses I had read about fear and I was able to start growing in ways that had be impossible to me before this time.
One particular verse became my watchword for many years and I still use it against fear’s attack. “For God has not given the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  When fear stalks you, your mind can be clouded and unclear. Thoughts you would never normally entertain will suddenly appear and start circling in your mind. Worry, dread, anxiety, depression all follow fear’s entrance in your mind. Even the most even-tempered person can become morose and closed-up.
The first step to any recovery program is to admit there is a problem that needs to be repaired. The same is true in the Christian’s life. Be willing to open that hidden vault of festering fears and allow the Light of Life, Jesus, to begin healing you from the inside out. Using the Word of God against the thoughts of fear is our weapon of choice. When thoughts start circling…use the Word, out loud, to defeat them. Find a few choice “Word Weapons” and use them repeatedly. Soon those thoughts won’t bother coming around as they know they have been defeated.
The Bible calls it, “pulling down imaginations” . I literally, say to the fear, “you have no place in my mind, I pull you down in the name of Jesus”. When worry about a family member comes at you, tell the worry, it has no place in your mind, and pull it down by interceding for the family member and then rejoicing that God is working in behalf of that person.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.)
One thing I have found in my walk of faith, it the need to fight against those attacking thoughts never stops! But, the victory gets easier and easier the more we learn to use the Weapon of the Word of God. We become skilled swordsmen, rightly dividing the Word, using our instrument of faith and Word together bringing victory over and over again. Praise God!
The Healer Comes In
Jesus is our Healer. He is so ready to meet us at the point of our greatest need. He died for us on Calvary and wants us to be made alive in Him. The book of John has so many verses describing Jesus as healer-restorer. He is called Shepherd of the sheep, who know his voice. He is Life and the giver of it. He is the Light of the World. He is the Savior of the world. He is the Vine and we are the branches. He is the giver of peace.
All of these titles are part of His ministry gifts, given to bless mankind. He reaches inside of us with these gifts and heals the inner man. In John 14:13 He told us to ask anything in His name and He would do it. What a giving Lord we have. Not selfish and uncaring, but open and giving always. One of our greatest blessings from Jesus is His intercession for us with the Father. In Romans 8:34 it says, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
Knowing this, why do we allow ourselves to live tormented lives? Maybe because we have not really believed these gifts are ours for the taking. We must come to a place in faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to believe we are included in the benefit package bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus on the cross. We have to say yes to the privileges and be willing to fight our own flesh’s war against us to enter into this blessed freedom.
There is a battle we fight. Not one of flesh-and-blood, but in the spirit. Our spirit is the home of Jesus. We have his name, his blood and his victory on our side. We can win against our own mental strongholds by the Word of God and our testimony. We can fight the fight of faith, pulling down strongholds of mental dungeons that have tormented us for years. Our fight is not against outside people in our lives, though they may be the catalyst to our pain. Our war is against our reactions and apathy to their attacks of words or deeds against us. So many of us internalize our pain, folding in on ourselves, holding in the pain. Some even pretend there is no pain so they can function in the world around them. Others act outwardly aggressively pressing against the pain with outward actions. Either way the destruction left behind can be very devastating to us, and those in our lives. A person who never reacts outwardly is just a bound as one who constantly comes back fighting.
We need to take the next step in recovering by allowing someone in to help us. God uses other Christians to be His hands extended. Yes, there are times when the Lord by a sovereign act delivers and heals a person. We would never deny Him that right, as He is God Almighty. He does use others for the most part, to bring about healing for us. We have to be willing to take the chance with our brothers and sisters in the Lord to really get to know us inside. It is a truly humble person who can open himself to another in trust. The question we must ask ourselves is what have we got to lose? Pride, embarrassment, time, loss of respect, all these things can happen, yet the price is worth it if we can be free from the torment of fear. Most churches have an eldership or ministry team who we can go to for help. There are small groups and many types of prayer groups available for prayer. The pastor may be the one you need to seek for prayer and counseling. It is only when you are willing to take the first step to find help that the Lord opens the doors for you. Don’t be in a hurry to run out and grab the first person you see and tell him or her all your problems. You may really open the door for more hurt, as they may not be the one God is sending in your path to help you be set free. Pray about whom you should talk to. Ask the Lord to open the door for your recovery program to start. Be willing to take the time it requires to fully recover. Just like after a serious physical surgery, healing takes time, so it is in emotional and soul healing. Changing your mindset takes time and much effort. Prayer and Bible reading, listening to the voice of the Lord in your spirit all lead you out of the path of destruction and into the path of freedom. If you fall, get up and keep going, forgive yourself and seek the Lord for more strength. Remember, without Him—we can do nothing.Thanks be to God, we are not without Him!
 I John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.”
 Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:”
 Romans 8:38
 Hebrews 2:9-15 “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” vs. 15
 2 Timothy 1:7
 John 10
 John 10:10;
 John 12:46
 John 3:16-17
 John 15:1
 John 14:27
 Ephesians 6:10-18
 John 15:5
He Gives His Beloved Sleep
Some nights seem to last forever. Tossing and turning,
thoughts rolling through our mind’s seemingly
without end and no way to shut them up.
During one of these nights, I realized all I had to do was call out to the Lord and claim His Word.
It worked and I was able to rest within a few moments.
If you are having nights like that, call upon Him and
He will answer you with peace and rest.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late,
to eat the bread of sorrows:
for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
The Love of God in Our Hearts
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time sometimes showing love towards the “unlovely”. Those angry, bitter and so unhappy people that show up in our lives to seemingly torment us. We all have them in our lives and sometimes, we are that person. I used to be so frustrated in my heart about how to deal with them. I love Jesus and want to love the people He loves (everybody)! But I didn’t know how to do that when my mind told me to give them back just what they were giving me…spewing hurtful words.
I was reading a book by Corrie Ten Boom one time and she shared how God had given her the grace to forgive the guards that tormented them while in the German prison camps. One of her former guards had received Jesus as Lord and had come for forgiveness. She prayed about it and told Jesus she didn’t think she could forgive him. The Lord showed her the above Scripture verse. He asked her to let Him love the the man through her with His own love.
That statement, “for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts” stood out to me. As I meditated on that verse I finally started to see there was a way to deal with hurting, angry and aggressive behavior that was not reactionary and harmful. I could actually allow the Lord to use my heart to love that hurting person. It has not been an easy road, and I certainly have not been 100% successful, but my heart softened toward others who out of their hurting life react in a negative manner. I try to look into their heart, or at least not react back quickly.
We cannot show God’s love towards others until we know it for ourselves. When we finally get those glimpses of the true power of the Love of God, we will be able to share it with others. The knowledge that I don’t have to “work up” love, but only have to allow Him to love through me is such a release of spirit and soul.
Matthew 11:28 (PHILLIPS) “Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
What are your plans for the weekend? Working around the house, getting caught up on the lawn, laundry and other household chores that always seem to grow bigger towards the end of the week? Spend some family time out in the boat while summer still shows her heat? Maybe read a good book, watch a game on the TV, go the the mall?
God wants us to have some down time as well as work. He calls it “rest”. Our minds need to have some time to forget the daily grind that sometimes is a big part of life, and just relax.
That is one of the reasons he wants us to be in church on Sunday. We need more than ever in the day we live to get recharged for the week ahead. Our souls and spirits need to have a place of rest also. In a church fellowship we can find both. Brothers and sisters in the Lord to greet us, a time of worship and praise and the Word given from the pulpit…all go into that place of restoration we need each week.
In The Dark Hours
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
It seems the darkest days bring the deepest insights. Both about yourself and God. When the boulders in the way of your path seem so overwhelming, you can do several things. You can whine about all your problems. You can try to “fix” it. You can tell all your friends and see if they can help you fix it. You could give up completely and check out of life.
Your own effort may help the problems. Your friends may even step in and help. But the best plan, is to turn to the Lord and ask Him to step in on your behalf. He is filled with wisdom. He knows your future. He loves you abundantly and with an everlasting love. He will meet you at the first step of faith toward Him.
My choice during my recent battles is to trust Jesus to lead me in the right path. To fight fear’s voice in the Name of Jesus and learn to rest in His leadership.
What choices are you making? Do you want to give up? I did too, but that little spark of faith in me was able to hold on to Him.