Is Fear a Factor in Your Life? Part 2
Because fear is such a powerful emotion that can produce so much darkness in our lives, I thought it necessary to push in just a little further.
In the previous post, I explained how, for years, fear was an integral part of my existence until I began to surrender it to God.
Living in fear can hinder your progress, thwart the peace that Jesus intended for you to have, and even stop you in your tracks.
When I became older, I found that the fears I’d carried with me from childhood did not subside when I ignored them. Instead, those fears just took the shape of other things and became more entrenched in my life.
Once I realized that my fears were becoming a prominent determinant in the decisions I was making, I knew that I had to face them.
I believe that once we are able to confront fear directly, we will see that it really is powerless against us.
My favorite part in the movie The Wizard of Oz is when Dorothy and her friends finally reach The Emerald City. Until then, their entire journey had been centered around seeing the Wizard, so that he could help them get home.
Everyone they met was afraid of the Wizard and cast him as this powerful force who controlled everything. However, once they got there they found a little man behind the curtain who was more afraid of them then they were of him.
My father was a police officer. I remember vividly the ritual he performed every evening when he came home from work. First, he would remove his gun from the holster, then take out the bullets and place them in the drawer, finally he would put this steely, cold, black object high on top of the dresser where it would taunt me.
For years I was terrified of guns. I hated them because I knew the damage they could do. But it was an irrational fear.
It wasn’t until I was in college covering a story about gun safety training, that I was forced to confront it.
When I went to the gun range to observe and gather information for my story, I deliberately side-stepped multiple questions from people asking me if I was going to actually shoot a gun.
I will never forget the comment of one gentleman who discovered that I was writing an article about the safety training, and that I had no intention of actually shooting the gun.
“How can you write a complete story about shooting and gun safety if you don’t actually do it?” he asked.
Several minutes later I found myself standing in the lane of the shooting range holding a 9-millimeter and aiming at a target.
How many of us go through life tolerating irrational fears, or living in circumstances that make us uncomfortable and anxious because we are afraid of consequences that haven’t happened yet?
Fear disguises itself as a thing that is meant to protect us. And yes, there are a lot of things that we should be cautious about before moving forward, but terror, constant anxiety, and worry are not how God wants us to live our lives.
The first thing that Adam did after he listened to a voice other than God’s voice, was to hide himself.
“Then the Lord God called to Adam, Where are you?” So Adam said, I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”Genesis 3:9-11
Adam had never had a reason to be afraid of God before, so why was he now? God’s response to Adam was to challenge his thinking,
“WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NAKED?”
Because Adam was afraid of an unknown consequence, his focus was no longer on his intimacy with God. Now he was preoccupied with how he looked and what others thought about him.
The bible tells us that the spirit of fear is clearly from the enemy and not from God.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:5
Worry and anxiety is a distraction that pulls us into self-preservation mode and away from the truth of God.
How can we trust God if we are afraid and anxious and worried?
I probably could have gone my entire life without shooting a gun. But what that experience did was begin to restore my confidence, not in myself, but in God.
We can apply that theory to any part of our lives where we are fearful or anxious, or worried.
We care too much about what others think of us. We worry about the future, or we worry about growing old and who will take care of us.
We are fearful about money and not having what we need. We worry about our children and the choices they make. We have regrets about the past that keep us from moving forward.
These are things that we were never meant to carry alone.
“Come to Me all of you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon You, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is Light.” Matthew 11:28-30
This is the Jesus that came to restore us back to the Father. This is the God that promises abundant life so that we no longer have to hide from Him.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that you would have life and that you would have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
You cannot attain that if you are worried and anxious most of the time.
As I sit here writing this tonight, my car is sitting in a parking lot because it wouldn’t start. I have no idea what the mechanic will find tomorrow or how much it will cost me, but I have lived long enough to know that I will outlive this particular problem also.
Jesus told us plain and clear, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
This is always the choice. Do we believe Him or do we trust in what we can see or hear around us?
Not that long ago, a broken down car would have sent me into a place of withdrawal as I sat worrying, and becoming anxious, and obsessing about how I would get to work and how much money I would have to spend?
What I am learning along this beautiful and marvelous journey with the Master, is that worry and anxiety is a choice that I can entertain or not.
My prayer, this time, went something like this;
Father, You know that I need my car right now. You promised that you would help me no matter the situation. I called the mechanic and did all that I could do, and now I give this car problem to you and remove it from my shoulders, because I know that Your capacity to carry this is greater than my own.
I am going to be about Your business instead, trusting that You will take care of me. I trust that the problem will be manageable and that no matter what happens, You will help me. I thank You for the victory right in the middle of my fear. Amen
I get it, first time trusting is the most difficult. Is God listening? Does He even care? Will He answer?
This journey into a real, and personal relationship with God is just that- a journey, but if you choose to trust Him and truly surrender to Him, He will answer you.
Just think about it, do you know of anyone whom you can run to with all of your problems and just give them over and continue with the life that He has already created you for?
Walk it out.