My heart was racing in my chest and I could feel that cold, clamminess in my clenched fists. I swallowed hard. Here it came again…FEAR! I’m sure if you are a mom, then you know what I’m talking about.
I remember being riddled by fear. I was afraid something would happen to the kids or my husband. I was afraid we couldn’t pay our bills. I was afraid of traveling by myself. It seemed every time I stepped out, fear was there to greet me with its sinister smile and icy grip.
I look back now at the person I was, and she seems so unfamiliar to me. She was a woman who was playing small because she was afraid of being big.
God created you for a big life, full of freedom and abundance. And if you give fear a tiny inch of your life, it will consume the whole thing.
But what do you do? I remember feeling afraid, and I felt helpless to do anything about it. I would get consumed with anxiety. One time, in particular, I was lying in bed at night, so scared that I literally began sweating. I threw off the covers, jumped out of bed, and just ran outside the house.
No, it didn’t make any sense. But, then again, fear doesn’t make any sense. So why should our reaction to it be any different?
When I ran outside, I could feel a dry desert breeze sweep across my face. We lived in Arizona at the time, and the stars seemed so bright in the night sky. As I was standing there, looking and feeling ridiculous, I could feel the presence of God. It was as if He were caressing my face and speaking to my heart:
“Child,” He said. “Relax. I got this.”
Something changed that night. It isn’t like I haven’t felt fear since that time. But, I have learned how to put fear in its place. I decided at that point, I would quit trying to manage fear, but instead, learn to overcome it by God’s Word.
Step 1: Obey God’s command to reject fear.
This was tough for me. I was a shock when I realized that God doesn’t suggest that we don’t fear. He commands it. Fear seems to be a common theme throughout the Bible, and God always responds to it the same way—“Fear not!” He doesn’t say, “Yo! I know it’s hard, but you should probably try not being so afraid.” God doesn’t mess around with suggestions or implications. He cuts right through the issue with two words: fear not.
And when we see Jesus speaking about fear, we don’t see him shrugging His shoulders or giving idle talk. He faces fear head on, and tells it where it can go. And it Jesus could do that, then we certainly can as well, because “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). But, if you’re like I was, so trapped in fear that you’re thinking it’s impossible to not be afraid, relax. God would never tell us to do something and then not give us the power to do it.
Step 2: Understand how much God loves you.
The very next verse (1 John 4:18) gives us the key component to overcoming fear. It’s the love of God. That verse reads, “perfect love casts out fear.” If you want to kick fear to the curb and be free of that bondage once and for all, you need to get a grasp of the love of God.
Romans 5:8 tells us that “God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If God so loved us that He sent His only Son to die in our place, then won’t He take care of the rest? If He loved us enough to rescue us from hell, doesn’t He love us enough to give us heaven right here on earth? Giving in to fear is letting go of love. When you know God loves you with an immeasurable, unrelenting love, you know He’ll take care of the rest. You can let it go and put it in trusted hands.
Step 3: Find a scripture for your specific fear.
God’s Word is your weapon, so use it. When you don’t know how to use God’s Word to create abundance and freedom in your life, it’s like letting a thief break in your home and steal everything while you sit there with a loaded shotgun and no idea how to use it. Yeah, I know. That illustration is a bit violent, but you get the idea.
Start poring over God’s Word and find out how He handles fear. He speaks against it because He has power over it. Here are some to get you started:
- “God is on my side!” (Psalm 118:6; Hebrews 13:6)
- “Since God is for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31)
- “No weapon turned against me will succeed” (Isaiah 54:17)
- “My God will supply all my needs!” (Philippians 4:19)
- “ I will live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:17)
- “Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)
Step 4: Take hold of your thoughts and direct them.
Are your thoughts, your thoughts? (Be careful. It’s a trick question.) Many times, people can become so consumed with their fears, they forget they have power over them. If they are your thoughts, then they are your thoughts. That means you own them, so take ownership. Ownership means responsibility. So when those fears come knocking, take charge and don’t open the door.
We can learn how to take responsibility in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.” When those thoughts, images, and fear-filled pictures pop in your head, don’t give them any real estate. Kick them off your property immediately.
Step 5: Speak God’s promises over the problem.
You can’t defeat thoughts with thoughts. You’ve got to take the battle to a different level and get the advantage over your enemy. You do this by battling thoughts with words—spoken words! Mark 11:23 tells us to, “say to that mountain, ‘move.’” If we don’t open our mouths and say anything, that mountain won’t go anywhere.
But I’ll feel stupid talking out loud to my problems! Would you rather feel stupid talking out loud to your problems, or feel stupid cowering from your fears? Instead of giving power to your fears, you’ve got to give voice to your faith. Speak it! Take authority! And watch that mountain of fear melt away.
Do you ever feel like fear is attacking you? Then let’s do something about it. Comment below and tell me what scripture you are going to stand on and what you are going to say OUT LOUD when it tries to attack. I’ll be reading your comments, standing with you in faith, and covering you in prayer!
Let’s whoop this fear thing, once and for all. Just like Jesus did!