‘Mommy, I don’t want to do it,’ she cried. I could hear the tears in her voice, and feel the fear that gripped her as we spoke on the phone that day. Unable to scoop my daughter up and hold her through what was shaking her, I did what I could – I sat there and listened. She was afraid, and her fear wasn’t legitimate. Understandable, but not warranted. After she said what she needed, I stepped in and began to explain why her fear wasn’t ok, and how she and I were going to stand together and overcome it immediately.
Fear is an unyielding emotion that attempts to take hold of all of us at one point or another. It is powerful, persuasive, and knows exactly where we are weak, using that weakness to leverage its hold on our mind. It is a tactic used to drive us to bondage keeping us from experiencing the freedom promised in a life submitted to Jesus Christ.
The King James Version of the Bible says, ‘Fear not’ or, ‘Be not afraid’ 103 times. It even goes further to tell us to not be anxious and do not worry many more. The number of instances God addresses these emotions is an indication that He understands our temptation and this emotion’s ability to cause us to stumble. His understanding nature opens our eyes to the truth that He is a God who knows His creation, and desires to protect us from all hindrances. We know this because of the tools he has placed in our hands to give us power over the things that come to lead us astray, equipping us to be overcomers when we accept the truth of scripture and its weapon like ability to fire back when the temptation to fear creeps into our mind.
For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
ALL strength drawing words that have been purposely laid out as ammunition waiting for us to pick up and use against these aggressive emotions.
In the following days after that tearful phone call from my daughter, she determined in her mind to face the fear that had held her so tightly, and when she did she stood in triumph, and emerged with a confidence that spread widely across her face. It was beautiful to witness as I stood back watching it all unfold. In those moments, I couldn’t help but allow my mind to wander to God with thoughts that… He is exactly the same with us as I was with my daughter. He knows the fear we face, and the effect it has on us. We bring Him these issues telling Him, ‘God, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to go through that.’ And there He sits patiently listening to what it is we have to say, then directing us to His word to identify for us that these feelings are not from Him, and this fear is not warranted, encouraging us over and over again that we will not face this alone. I imagine the pride that swells within Him when we choose to face our fear head on, to be just as incredible as it in us as parents when we stand back and watch our children find courage to face what cripples them.
If you find yourself captive to fear, I encourage you to read, and reread the scriptures I have shared, and as you do understand that yes, they were written thousands of years ago – but they are still relevant and directed specifically to you in this day. It is not God’s will for us to be afraid of anything, and it is in these words that He is beckoning us to step outside of it.
As you begin your day today, and you battle this emotion throughout, take Deuteronomy 31:8 make it personal declaring to yourself and the situation you face,
‘It is the Lord who goes before me. He will be with me; he will not leave me or forsake me. I will not fear or be dismayed.’
Stand on these words and allow God to fill you with courage as you take each step trusting that the God of the Universe is going before you just the same as a protective father does for his child. Move forward in this day, trust Him – Choose Him.