Fear is paralyzing. It is something that I have dealt with all of my life and even though God has delivered me from so much fear, it’s still something I have to keep in check. My dad says all the time, “The enemy will not roll over and play dead when you are doing something for God”. He’s right. We have the authority over fear through the blood of Jesus but that doesn’t mean the devil won’t keep trying to make you stumble.
My pastor taught me that fear and faith cannot co-exist. When faith moves in, fear moves out and vice versa. Throughout my life, I have found that which ever one you feed will grow. If you constantly dwell on your circumstance, instead of what the bible says about your circumstance, you are feeding fear and faith can’t ever take root in your life. We don’t ignore our circumstance, but we know that the blood of Jesus trumps every doubt, fear, sickness, addiction or circumstance we may face.
Let me give you an example. Seven years ago I shattered my heel bone in an automobile accident. The prognosis was not very good and I soon learned my injury would require surgery. I had the surgery and came out fine but because of my significant injury only time would tell if I would be able to walk normally again as I recovered.
I could not bear any weight on my foot for twelve weeks so I had nothing to do but sit around. I would look up different things on the internet about recovery of a broken heel bone and none of it was positive. I had the doctor telling me there was a good chance that I’d always walk with a cane and everything I read was just as negative. I would spend hours reading up on different people’s stories and outcomes. I was totally consumed and when I wasn’t reading depressing stories, I was worrying.
I was telling my friend about this one day and she suggested that I feed my faith and stop looking at things that fed all the fears that I had. When I would read reports of how terrible foot injuries were and how you would likely never walk right again, I could literally feel fear gripping its icy fingers around my neck. Fear chokes the faith right out of you. The more I would read, the more fearful I would become until it left me having panic attacks and nightmares in the middle of the night.
After that conversation, I determined to read scriptures about healing and started to listen to them out loud from a cd that my mother in law gave me. I listened to that cd over and over and let the scriptures sink into my mind. I would dwell on them constantly. Whenever fear would arise, I would say healing scriptures out loud and resist the temptation to sink back into that depression.
I found that after a while, faith began to rise up in me. No matter how negative my doctor appointments were, no matter the pain I was in, I knew that God was taking care of me. I knew He was able to completely heal me and even if He didn’t heal me, I would still praise Him for the rest of my life. When you get to the place where you have such peace no matter what happens, the enemy loses control. When faith moved in, fear had to go. My foot eventually healed and I am able to walk just fine. I still have some pain but I will remain positive knowing it could have been a lot worse. God is able to restore my foot completely and I believe I will give that testimony one day.
Here are a few things I do when I feel fear arise. I do these things all the time and it keeps fear in check. What God has shown me, I want to share with you so you can have victory over fear once and for all.
- Fear is not from God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Learn to recognize fear right away and know it doesn’t come from God. God gives us a sound mind. The word sound is used as an adjective here and the definition literally means undisturbed, in good condition, not damaged or diseased. Wow! When fear tries to come (and it will) remind yourself and the devil that God gave you a sound mind and it won’t be disturbed.
- Fear is the opposite of faith. You may have heard the acronym fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. This could not be more true. Sometimes I will be working or even praying and I will think about something that causes me to fear. Before I know it, I have scenarios running rampant in my mind that have not even happened and isn’t going to happen. That is what fear will do. It’s false evidence that feels real and can get you in a panic. Those thoughts are from the enemy and they are launched to prevent you from walking in faith. Ever gotten a headache? You go to the internet and look up something about headaches and certain things can come up that will convince you that you are dying. Those feelings and thoughts drive faith out so learn to squash them immediately.
- You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts. When I was believing for healing, one of my mentors suggested to me that I should keep a notebook of healing scriptures. Every time I started to fear about my health she told me to take out that notebook and say those scriptures out loud because you can’t battle your thought with thoughts. The word of God is a weapon and is sharper than any two-edged sword. When we say the word of God out loud we can slash through fear or whatever is trying to come against us with our sword! When the devil would tell me I would have to walk with a cain, I would say out loud, “I resist you devil! For it is written that by His stripes, I AM HEALED!” I had a cain alright, a cain that I would use the beat the devil right over the head. The enemy belongs under your feet. How dare he mess with you, a child of God! Whatever lies he tries to tell you about your situation, respond out loud with the Word of God.
- Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. What does this scripture teach us? Speak life! It teaches us to watch the words that come out of our mouth and to never align with the lies of the enemy. There is power in agreement, so make sure you are agreeing with God and His holy word. Again, we don’t ignore issues but we believe the truth (the infallible Word of God) not facts. The fact was that the doctor told me I may never walk normally again but the truth was that I had already overcome by the blood of the Lamb. The fact may be that you are depressed but the truth is that Jesus can set you free. See what I mean? Whatever the situation, speak life to it and watch your faith grow. The bible also says, faith without works is dead, so back up what you believe with your words.
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 says…casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. That word imaginations…remember how I told you I would play out scenarios in my head that hadn’t even happened because I was fearful of something? That is imaginations! The bible says for me to cast that down along with every thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. That means anything that disagrees with God’s word must be cast down! Who can stop the Lord Almighty and His good plans for you? When the enemy tries to sweep in and tell you this and that, tell him to take a hike! The scripture goes on to say that we must take every thought into captivity. Every negative thought that comes into your mind must be taken captive or it will take you captive. I like to call it the toilet bowl syndrome. Negative thoughts will swirl around in your brain and if you are not careful, down the toilet bowl of fear and depression you will go. Do not dwell more than five seconds on a negative thought or lies the enemy is whispering to you. Take them captive to the obedience of Christ and have freedom from fear.
- It’s a choice. What are you feeding? Let faith arise and push fear out of your life for good. Whenever I feel fear try to come, I will start praying or quoting scripture. Sometimes, I’ll put on worship music and go to the secret place where the enemy cannot find me. I have the choice to choose faith over fear. I am still working this out in my life, but thanks be to God who always causes me to triumph.