by Barbara Latta
|How to live free of the grip of fear|
Angels bringing communication from God to saints of old always preceded their message with “Fear not.” While the visual image of a creature from heaven would be a terrifying sight to our natural eyes, God’s reassurance to the recipients of the words tells us He doesn’t want us to be afraid.
But how do we live free of the grip of fear?
We are born with the tendency toward some fears such as fear of falling and loud noises. Others are learned over our lifetime due to circumstances and environmental exposures. The list is endless, but what it boils down to is this: fear is really faith in whatever we are afraid of. Our emotions are telling us something is going to happen that hasn’t manifested yet. Fear starts with a seed planted in our minds and then we nurture it with news reports, past experiences, or even statistics.
Several years ago, my husband and two sons learned to scuba dive. I was never a strong swimmer and didn’t like having my face in the water. I didn’t want to learn with them, instead I would rather just watch from the sidelines. But they talked me into taking the course. I was scared, but I also decided I didn’t want fear to rule my life anymore.
It took me longer than usual to finish the class because I had some bad moments. But that was only because I was so paralyzed with terror I couldn’t function. So I found some Bible verses to stand on such as Psalm 139:9 and 2 Timothy 1:7. I memorized and repeated them to myself every time I was in the water. I succeeded in finishing the course. And more important to me, I overcame my fear one step at a time because I faced the obstacle and didn’t run away from it.
The beginning of fear
Fear started in the Garden of Eden. When Adam sinned, he hid from God. This was something he had never done before. New emotions that were foreign to him were playing in his soul and he didn’t know what to do. When God asked, “Where are you?” Adam replied, “I hid because I was afraid.”
That first fear started because of disobedience and fear of punishment. Adam had a perfect
|I overcame my fear of scuba diving one step at a time.|
Television commercials play on human fear. Medications are advertised to create the fear of contracting a disease so the listener will request the miracle drug from the doctor. Fear of aging will drive customers to the latest wrinkle cream or surgical procedure. Fear of rejection may cause people to compromise values and make wrong decisions so they will be accepted by others. When we listen to something other than God, we are hiding from Him like Adam and Eve did. We are placing our faith in a voice other than the Almighty.
All fear starts with something heard or experienced that is consumed and meditated upon until a seed is formed producing a harvest. Constant meditation on anything produces what is being thought about. My fear of being under water was exacerbated by the continued replaying in my mind a disaster happening.
Overcome the Grip of Fear With God’s Hand
|The Word of God overcomes everything.|
Focusing on what God says instead of negative news is the first step to prohibiting fear from controlling our lives. When the constant stream of information going into our brains is full of fear and hopelessness, we feel no options are available. God’s truth supersedes worldly news. And we must remember worldly news always has a secular spin designed to draw listeners to their message.
If I had changed my thoughts to successful underwater navigation, I would have been mentally practicing the elements I needed to act on. Keeping God’s Word before me reassured my mind of His protection and success. That is the only way I navigated the scuba course and completed it. Later, when I got in the water to dive with my family, I could feel fear rising in me again. I stood on the Word of God to push me forward and wipe out the feelings trying to paralyze me.
Most things we are afraid of never happen. Whatever you are dealing with is real to your mind, but its power over you doesn’t have to be. The Word of God overcomes everything. Standing on His promises in faith washes away the fear and brings in the victory.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2 NKJV).
Please feel free to share your thoughts.