Up until 13 years ago there wasn’t a day in my life that I wasn’t afraid. I lived in fear and terror every moment of every day.
Throughout my adult life I had a deep fear of people; everyone, even my parents. I had fear that people would reject me, hate me and yell at me. Fear of being sick, getting sicker, doctors, medicine … towards the end even Tylenol would make me fearful. I lived in terror that I would make a wrong decision and do something to hurt my body.
My fear would fall like a weird veil over by brain and then rush through my whole body. I felt like a wild animal trapped and in terror. My anxiety attacks occurred day and night to the point that I couldn’t go into stores to shop.
Do you hear how the Spirit of Fear made me feel like everything depended on me or other people? How other people had this horrible power over me? I never focused on God’s power and love. The Spirit of Fear kept me focused on what COULD happen to me in the future and what HAD happened in the past. I was continually projecting into the future based on past, bad experiences.
The Spirit of Fear kept me from learning the truth about the Holy Spirit. It kept me from having any relationship with God. I was in bondage. I felt worn down, without strength and without hope.
You can identify the Spirit of Fear when the voice in your head says “WHAT IF?” What if I make a mistake? What if I lose my job? What if it’s cancer? What if my spouse leaves me?
Are you tormented by fear? Are you full of stress and anxiety? Do you or have you experienced anxiety or panic attacks? Are those “What if…” questions dominating your thinking?
You need to understand this, fear and faith are alike in that they both project into the future and they both need to fulfill themselves. One will always take the place of the other. If you have faith you will not have fear. If you have fear you do not have faith. Fear is a counterfeit…it is opposite to what God teaches and its root is a lack of faith and trust in God.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV
So how do we operate in faith instead of fear? It begins with our thought life. Our previous PowerTool teaching discussed the mind/body connection. Fear starts in the brain with a thought and triggers chemicals and hormones that rush like a brush fire through every system in your body. Fear can make you tremble all over, double over with cramps and run to the bathroom. Job describes the effects of fear:
“… fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake.” Job 4:14 NIV
An unfounded belief or thought can cause the same reaction as being confronted with a grizzly bear in the woods.
Being afraid, uneasy, anxious and in continual fear can put our bodies in a continual state of “fight or flight”. Our bodies react continually to the perceived dangers in life and are ready to fight, run and protect ourselves to survive. This can cause extreme damage to us spiritually, physically and mentally. It torments our minds and bodies and can cause autoimmune disease, allergies, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, high blood pressure and heart attacks, just to name a few.
I had to learn to use discernment and to guard my thoughts and my feelings to stop them before they would take control over my mind and body. We need to post a guard in our minds – an ever-vigilant guardian who watches each thought that enters our minds. This guardian will determine whether the thought is from us, the enemy or our God. We need a guardian that protects us from those “What if…” questions that can steal our joy and destroy our bodies.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Fear keeps us from receiving God’s love!
But here’s the good news. There IS hope! There IS healing! The best antidote for fear is the love of God!
“There is no fear in love. But (God’s) perfect love casts out all fear, because fear involves torment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. “ 1 John 4:18 NIV
Through the process of my healing, I have learned to have a love relationship with my Father God. Quality time equals relationship.
I have learned how faithful He is and how He wants to take care of me.
I have learned that I can trust Him and that a lot fear is about trust.
I am still learning that my life is not my own … it is His. As His child, He has promised that He will never leave me nor forsake me and that I am totally protected.
And THAT is really good news!