When talking with women, it is pretty obvious. Many women struggle with fear and anxiety and it’s no small thing. In regular conversations with women I know in all walks of life I get the honor of praying for and with, it’s easy to trace back so many faith struggles to fears.
I have found myself spinning webs around completely made-up scenarios. I’ll tell Danny that I’m just wanting to be prepared in case “so-and-so” happens. He says, “You’re wasting your brain-space and worrying (the real word there) on things that will probably never happen. Sometimes he’s right and sometimes what I worried over may come to pass, but I never feel anymore grounded by spending my time worrying over things out of my control.
I’ve never struggled much with deep anxiety and fear for most of my walk with Jesus. But recently, due to some difficult things coming to pass that were completely out of our control as a family, I can honestly confess that a serious fear battle came to life inside of me, out of those circumstances. It was a real, tangible sort of fear that would wake me up in the middle of the night and keep me awake as I struggled to “fight the good fight of faith” and get my thoughts grounded in the word of God. It almost seemed like an around the clock struggle, and God began to whisper some truths to my heart in the middle of it all, as He continues to do.
What is fear and what is anxiety? Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. Whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Anxiety is very similar. By definition it is distress or uneasiness of mind caused by far of danger or misfortune.
What is the solution for ongoing fears and anxieties that keep us up at night? We know that God doesn’t send fear to us. It is not from Him. For God does not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. -1 Timothy 1:7
This scripture is so much more than just simply the fact that fear isn’t sent from God, but also, what He HAS given to us. Power (There’s nothing passive about that!), LOVE and a sound mind (So not the web-spinning and worrying?? oh :/ ). I think replacing fear with God’s power alive in us, LOVE and a sound mind (right thoughts) are surely worth fighting for- for more reason than one.
It is no coincidence that over and over in scripture God spoke to His people and said, “Do not fear.” There are so many instances where He was directing His children to make a move or step forward and those were the first instructions…“Do not be afraid.” I find it so interesting that, as God spoke to Joshua and prepared him to go in and lead the children of Israel into the promised land, He told him many times to not be afraid. He did not elaborate on any of the things the original, doubtful spies had gone in and noticed, like the size of the giants, how many people they were coming against, or even how small Israel’s resources were by comparison. God did give clear instructions for how they’d take Jericho, but he prefaced it with “Do not be afraid..” and no specifics about the enemy they were coming against.
I think this is beautiful and so telling of the importance of not allowing fear to take a foot-hold in our lives. Maybe we are told by God to be unafraid over and over because our circumstances have nothing to do with whether we will walk out the plans and promises God has written for us. Our circumstances, the battles we face and the giants we are called to go up against do not have the power to wipe out the destiny God has for us. But fear, being the opposite of faith, causes us to doubt everything God has already assured us He will do. When we stop believing God- we stop walking by faith. We can look at the other spies and see what they inherited, along with their families, when they decided to believe their fears rather than what God had promised.
When Josiah was a baby the Lord laid it on my heart to memorize Psalm 91 and pray it over him. I am so glad that I memorized that Psalm because it is seriously seared into my mind and I have constantly run back to it’s words lately. A good part of this Psalm talks about God being our refuge, our shelter and a hiding place for us. When a storm is raging in this life, our SAFE HAVEN is clearly in the Father…there is no place for fear when we are sheltered in the shadow of the Almighty God. One of the scriptures in this Psalm says: He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4)
How could we be any safer, more protected and more shielded than under the wings of the Father, like a mighty eagle spreading it’s wings over it’s young. Some translations say: His faithful promises will be your armor and protection.
The word promise itself means: a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc.
So how do we combat fear when it is beckoning us to dive in headfirst? What do we say to the enemy when he invites us to question that God is for us and if He will be with us and has good for us at all? His faithful promises will be your armor and protection.
The promises are the solution to the fear. Again, fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. Whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. The promise is a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc. The promise is the solution to the fear.
His faithful promises will be your armor and protection.
The Lord very clearly revealed to me in my own personal journey that fear is nothing more than an idol, and one that I can willingly allow to sit on the throne of my heart. It will come in uninvited and wants nothing more than to rob me of my God-given destiny. But listen y’all, that throne is for JESUS alone and I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let fear come in and wipe out the precious dreams and plans God himself has placed inside of me. So every day I am putting on His faithful promises.
Fear not for I am with you.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.