A Spiritual Message on Anxiety & Fear. These fearful times are golden opportunities to witness our faith in God! On the flip side, our fears make us very vulnerable to manipulation & promises of false security. The path out of fear is NOT worldly power, BUT TRUST in a good God.
FEARS: FRIENDS OR FOES?? A child is said to be born with 3 basic fears, fear of: falling, loud noises, & being abandoned. In adulthood the basic fears are… fear of: ill health, poverty, old age, death, criticism & loss of love. God gave us the ability of imagination…but too often we use it in the wrong way. A world class boxer may run from a mouse. Do fears improve or injure us? Both; fears can be from the dark side of life, something that lurks in the shadows & robs us of spiritual victory.
LET GOD BE GOD, & BE OF GOOD COURAGE. God repeatedly says, “I will never leave nor forsake you!”(A) He repeatedly says, “Fear not, for I am with you.”(B) “Take heart, I have overcome the World.”(C) So why do we fear? Sometimes we are just not walking in the Spirit, we are estranged, alienated, or simply not close to God’s Holy Spirit at the moment. Many of the great men of faith went through times of fear: Moses, David, Isaiah & Paul to mention a few. And then we must also acknowledge that fear is a God-given instinctive reaction for survival to face a crisis. Fear can nobly motivate a soldier to rescue a wounded comrade. At West Point, our pugal/bayonet training officer asked for a volunteer to fight him. My classmates repeatedly chanted my name to challenge him. Heart pounding & scared to death I went forward; my fear enhanced my reactions & strength, & while I was focused on saving my life, I defeated him. Yet, many times I have had fears & anxieties that were counterproductive. We are told in God’s Word, “Be anxious for nothing…”(D) Chronic anxiety is unhealthy. Many fears are really a lack of faith & a spiritual hindrance. Let us learn how we may unhinder & unburden ourselves of the load of fears & anxieties that we carry around.
TOSS ASIDE OUR WORRIES. God will call us to dangerous adventures…Christ said “Take up your cross and follow me”! (E) Let us practice the Scripture that says to cast all our cares upon Him.(F) In doing so, we take advantage of these fearful times, to witness faith in our Creator. Had Daniel, a man of God not been thrown into the lion’s den, there would have been no miracle & witness of faith. And further, once in the lion’s den, what would have been the point for him to have had numbing fear & dying of a nervous breakdown fearing the lion would eat him? There was no place to crawl & hide. God won’t keep us from all danger. He allows potential disasters. But fear could keep you from finding God’s plan for your life.
SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. The demonic realm, the intelligence agencies, and Satan’s World system in general study our fears to manipulate & take advantage of them. Job said, “For the thing I greatly feared has happened to me!”(G) Behaviorists study “human assets” to refine the power of fear. For instance, they have realized that disgust enhances the effectiveness of a fear inducing threat. An example of how this knowledge gets used to manipulate the public: An ad will show a young man on a trash-littered, filthy, grimy mattress. His arms are covered in bloody open sores. [Quite disgusting.] The caption reads, “Picking for bugs under your skin isn’t normal. But on meth it is.” This kind of ad is far more effective than the ad I saw when I was a kid which said that marijuana would make you impotent. The dark side will take advantage of what you fear, by playing upon that fear. They will make the fear relevant to the targeted person. The Germans feared an invasion of the Pas de Calais area, so the Allies hoodwinked them into thinking that was where D-Day would take place. The Illum. & Intelligence agencies are masters of manipulating fears. If you don’t want your fears to happen, then don’t have those fears. Do you notice that the fear of ISIS is being strengthened by the almost-daily disgusting videos of them beheading innocent people?? There is a well-designed campaign of fear here. Even without that skillful campaign, our fears our self-fulfilling. For instance, a spouse is fearful that her man will leave her, so she caters to unreasonable demands and then he loses respect & love for her, and then leaves.
FACTORS OF FEAR. The World’s gurus of fear have identified the factors they need to manipulate a person with fear: the person must feel vulnerable & must feel the threat is severe. They try to identify if the targeted person will have insecurity over what he/she should do and if it is possible to escape the perceived threat. The way the message of the threat is portrayed is important. So I have just explained to you the mechanisms for using FEAR as a tool of manipulation. These manipulators get nowhere if we surrender our fears to God! If we let fear take control of us, fears can go viral like germs. They become monsters in hiding that are ready to pounce on us at every corner. But God did not give us a Spirit of Fear (H), it is a choice we make. Not only do fears breed other fears, they can ruin our self-image. So don’t feed fears, let them starve.
“WATCH OUT!” First, it might help everyone to realize that while we are agitated & jittery focused on some fear, there are many more serious threats that pose dangers to us that we not even be bothered by because they are not in our awareness. The thought of this makes me want to laugh at life. While we are focused on a bird pooping on us, we are about to trip into a deep mine shaft. “Thank you Father for all You have done for us. You have promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Lord help us conquer our fears. Father, they are using fear to enslave us. Help us overcome Satan from stealing our authority by tempting us with sin & false security. Help us use our spiritual gifts. Help our hearts be pure. Help us to destroy the roots of fear. Pour your Spirit of Love & Faith & Courage into us. We don’t want fear to dominate our lives. We turn our fears & situations over to You Father, In Christ we pray. Amen.”
HOW CAN I CALM DOWN?? HOW DO I SHAKE THIS FEAR? The safest place is a padded maximum security cell…so most of us realize that risk comes with life. Every day we get up facing an uncertain day with possible risks. Do you want your God given gifts to be active or dormant? Fear will smother the life out of our gifts from God. So we must be valiant warriors for God walking in our priestly-royal authority. Our position in Christ gives us authority. His power is great.(I) “Behold, I give you authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”(J) We are not to fear confrontation, but in the anointing earnestly contend for the faith.(K) Fear & its resulting discouragement defeat us before we start. But focusing on our fear and then trying to stop fearing is self-defeating. Don’t think about trying to stop fear. Reframe your thinking on faith. Prolonged exposure to what we fear often dissolves the fear. One should take “baby steps” of faith forward towards the feared object. If we do the thing we fear, & do it repeatedly, it takes the negative charge of fear away from it. The more exposure we get in life to different situations, the more chance we will have of naturally not falling for fears. For instance, having flown on airplanes all my life since age 2, I have not an ounce of fear about flying. We need to learn how to relax, as well as leave the future to God.
WHAT IF?? What is the worst that could happen? God can convert any bad situation into good. Read & meditate on ROM 8:28…”All things work together for good to those who love God…” and PS 27:1: “The Lord is my light & salvation, Whom shall I fear?” I write PS 27:1 because a heavenly perspective puts things in proper place. Christ said that he leaves peace with us! Shalom is a blessed word, & something we want to embrace. There is a force far greater than fear, it is perfect love. Perfect love casts out fear. In the midst of chaos, if the cold fingers of fear are clutching your heart, turn your eyes upon Christ and look into his wonderful face. Face your fear as you would Satan, and it will flee from you. This is what Christ was teaching when he intentionally allowed his disciples to sail into a storm. Then he taught them “Fear not”. (L) In fact, the words there in Greek are Ego eimi which mean “I am, have no fear.” Christ is the great I AM, Emmanuel. We have a God that participates in history & our lives. Hallelujah!!
(A) HEB 13:5; see also DT 20:1 & ISA 43:2 (B) ISA 41:10, 13 as well as the DT & ISA verses in A (C) JN 16:33 (D) PHIL 4:6-7 (E) MK 10:21, plus MT 10:38, 16:24, MK 8:34, LK 9:23, 14:27 (F) 1 PTR 5:7 (G) JOB 3:25 (H) 2 TIM 1:7 (I) EPH 1;19-20; 2:2,6 (J) LK 10:19 (K) JUDE 3 (L) JN 6:15-21