I used to be afraid of the dark. If I came home alone at night, the first thing I did was check under beds and behind curtains and in closets for…well…the “bad guy.” Though I’m not sure what I would have done had I actually found a bad guy.
One night while I washing my face — with my eyes squinting and my feet in ready-to-attack-mode should the “bad guy” sneak up from behind — every light in the house went off. GASP! After my heart started beating again, I did what any freaked-out, frady-cat would do. I screamed as loud as I could, “JE-SUS!”
Thirty seconds later, all the lights came back on. Insert hyperventilation here. I called a friend and she came over with her anointing oil — she wasn’t Southern Baptist — and we anointed every window in the house while praying over every room. Once I finally fell asleep, the fear subsided.
Fear is…dumb. In fact I think it might be one of the primary hindrances to us as humans living in the abundance of Jesus. Remember, He promised abundance to those who believe Him. He promised life marked with peace and joy to those who take Him at His Word.
But fear convinces us in the deep down places that God really can’t be trusted. Fear in essence determines that God’s promises aren’t enough. And that’s a dangerous place for our souls to linger.
As long as we live in this world and have this flesh, fear will come. It’s the natural response to the unknown. But fear doesn’t have to be where we live. It doesn’t have to be our dwelling.
John tells us that God’s perfect love casts out fear. When we choose — by the empowering of His Spirit — to believe that God’s relentless love motivates every single thing He allows into our lives, fear has to bow down. It has no place when we abide in Him.
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
It’s so trite compared to some of the soul-crushing fears that have gripped me in my life, but that night when my lights went out was the start of a new thing in me. God convicted me that fear was ultimately unbelief, and I could never please Him if I didn’t believe Him. (Hebrews 11:6) By His grace He started me on a road to being freed from fear.
What has you in fear these days?
What truths of our God can you choose to meditate upon to combat those fears?
Lara, To Overflowing