Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Close the Door to Fear

Whether you're scared stiff, shaking like a leaf, scared of your own shadow, have butterflies in your stomach or holding your breath, fear is no laughing matter. It can be paralyzing.

Fear is the most subtle of bullies. You can't see it or touch it, but you know it's there.

I’ve scoured the Internet and know there are plenty of lists to help overcome fear, but those things are of little use when you've lost all sense of reason and fear threatens to immobilize you.

Being proactive and not waiting until the unwelcomed guest, fear,
comes knocking at the door is a great tool for victory.

Spend more time with your Father than you spend with fear. Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” In order to "put your trust in Him" you need to know Him well enough to trust Him and that only comes out of a relationship and relationship only comes from fellowship.
Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
Here are some ways I have renewed my mind in the area of fear.

The Bible

When I mention the bible, I am not suggesting you read to the “go to” verses on fear, you know those, but "in the moment" they don’t help. They do little to calm your fears and become empty mantras you recite in hopes that if you say them enough times you will believe them and feel better. Ask God to give you a revelation of His love, His presence and His victory in your life. Read stories such as David and Goliath, the parting of the Red Sea and Joseph. Ask God to illuminate truth and give you new revelation.

David tired of Goliath mocking God and it gave Him the courage to do what needed to be done. Fear didn’t stand a chance. The Egyptians pursued the Israelites and it looked bleak, but God spoke through Moses and encouraged them to trust Him. Sold as into slavery and falsely accused, Joesph was thrown into prison. The dream God gave him was the purpose for His life and nothing that happened to him thwarted that.  Read between the lines, so to speak. It is not always obvious in the passage, but the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to you in your situation.

The List

This became popular several years ago with Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts. It may seem insignificant and almost too easy, but it works. It is impossible to be afraid when meditating on all the amazing things God has done.

Years ago I did this with my kids and it changed us. Their lists were simple, "thank you for my water table" and "thank you for breakfast," but it shifted the focus from what we didn’t have or what we wanted to what we did have and what God still wanted to do for us. I still come across my lists and there are several in notebooks scattered throughout my home.

Sometimes it was “I’m thankful for the pain that comes before the healing” or “I’m thankful that His Word is living and active.” Nonetheless, it changed me. How did I know to be thankful for the pain that comes before the healing? Reading my bible and "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10
The Worship

Spend time in worship every day and I mean every day. Don’t wait for Sunday when they turn down the lights at and the amazing worship leader takes you into to the Holy of Holies. You can do this in your car, shower or living room. Worship can be silence. Sit for three minutes and meditate on the love of God, the Holiness of God or just God - He’ll show up.
His presence changes everything and if you think His word or a thankful list
will send the devil packing, just wait until He shows up - the devil won’t even make a sound he will just disappear. 

The Notebook

Keep a journal. Write down your fears and victories. Don't be afraid put down the crazy thoughts in your head. It is a great way to look back and see what God has done. Journaling helps get crazy thoughts out of your head, so you are able to focus on the “here and now” and more importantly on the “things of God.”

The Conversation

Talk to Him. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or rehearsed - be real, be raw. Tell Him how you are feeling and ask Him to tell you how He is feeling about what you're feeling. He cares about this stuff! He will speak to you. I don’t know what He will say, but He will always comfort and always speak life.

I do believe fear is a spirit and one that did not come from God, but you cannot make fear the focus of your overcoming, it has to be Him. Get to know Him better than you know fear. I know you have heard this before, but it applies here.

People are trained to recognize counterfeit money by studying the real thing, not the counterfeit.

Fear is a counterfeit for faith. Study the real thing, Jesus, so when the counterfeit fear comes knocking you recognize it and slam the door in its face. When you become deeply rooted in Him, you will stop opening the door altogether.
Sometimes you don’t know when you’re taking the first step through a door until you’re already inside. ― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

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