In my last post I came clean on my addiction to fear. This week, I will talk about my plan of attack and the steps I am taking to beat it once and for all.
I will say right off the bat that the last week has been less fear-full for me already, thanks to one easy change: I stopped checking Yahoo News. I probably looked at the news page 3 times in 10 days, instead of a dozen times every day. When I felt the urge to fuel my fear and read about the latest murder, I pushed it aside and moved on to something else.
I would redirect my mind to the things we are encouraged to think about.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
I’m not saying we should live in a hole and be disconnected from the world. I believe we are called to pray against terrorism, pray for people that are suffering, and pray for God to intervene in the world’s mess. But it’s kind of like the “in the world and not of it” paradox. We can be aware of what is going on in the world without letting it infect us with fear and insecurity. We pray - and then we refuse to meditate and speculate on what could befall us.
Gary Paltridge, a great friend that ministers in Livermore, CA, said something in regards to the news that has stuck with me.
“Fear will always lead you away from God - turn off your enemy and hang out with God.”
And this is a great segue into my first step at kicking fear to the curb.
First, an ex-addict has to cut off the pusher.
You can’t hang around with the dealer if you’re trying to get off the drug.
This means no more spending an hour clicking through news pages. For some of you it means turning off the constant stream of CNN that flows into your home, into your ears, and not always over your children’s heads. It’s like a big horn blaring into our homes through the TV or computer… BE AFRAID! GOD WON’T TAKE CARE OF YOU! HE CAN’T BE TRUSTED! BE AFRAID!
It’s time to turn off the fear.
If there is something big that you absolutely need to know, you will hear about it or see it on Facebook, Instagram, etc. All the other stuff that makes you fear for your home and your kids, or that makes you think about being killed or blown up at the mall – you can’t let it in.
Second, we need to get the Word inside of us.
Our weapons of warfare seem strange in this age of pipe bombs and explosive vests. One of our biggest weapons, and one of the most feared by the enemy, is the Word of God.
Speak it out. Yell it out. Pray it. Meditate on it. Get it inside of you until you truly believe everything it has to say about you. And God. And this life. The Word is your sword.
I came across this great article from a woman who once lived in fear. She began to soak in scriptures about fear and anxiety, and it changed her. It renewed her mind and she was set free. These are the verses that I have begun using on this journey of rehabilitation. I read through them, I memorize them, I study them.
Here are some of my favorites:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
I prayed to YHWH, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
Do not be anxious… but with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God (a peace that doesn’t make sense given the circumstances) will guard your heart and your MIND. Philippians 4:6-7 (paraphrased)
Third, we have to walk in our authority.
In all honestly, fear can serve a healthy function. A small dose of fright keeps a child from running into the street. Fear may keep a teenager from trying drugs, or prohibit someone from getting too close to a dangerous person.
I am not talking about that kind of healthy fear. I’m talking about the fear that obliterates faith. The fear that controls us, and causes us to try to control the world around us. Hysteria is not from God. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear” (2 Tim. 1:7). *
There is a spirit (a demon) of fear, and it will try to convince you that you need it as a constant companion to stay safe.
When you feel afraid, rebuke fear.
There is a war going on in the spiritual realm, and we have a very real enemy. Satan would like to keep us living a stunted and powerless life, steeped in fear and doubt and despair. But we have been given power and authority in the name of Jesus. We don’t have to cohabitate with fear. We can evict it and command it to stay out. It may take days or even weeks to create the habit - but if we are consistent in our stance of not letting fear in, pretty soon it will stop hanging out on the stoop trying to get in.
Sometimes it’s as simple as saying, “Spirit of fear, leave in the name of Jesus”.
Take authority over your mind and your LIFE. Tell the devil he can’t control it anymore.
So, that’s my plan. If you can relate to any of my fears, please join me! Take these steps and together we will get off of the sidelines and start truly living by Faith and running the race that has been set before us.
1. Turn off the fear.
2. Fill up with the Word.
3. Walk in your authority.
For now I’ll leave you with this verse; I encourage you to print it out and put it up somewhere. Speak it out. Believe it. Live it.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4