It’s one of the emotions we can taste. Its tendrils can creep and slither into our hearts unnoticed, or fear can rush in with a fury that steals our breath away. It is something that leaves us feeling powerless. What a lie!
We are powerful. Powerful because in us the fullness of Christ can dwell! A friend pointed out to me today that fear is not an unsustainable emotion. In order for fear to stick around it must be fed. How often do I feed the fear?
We feed fear by believing it, by dwelling on it, and hiding in it.
I am still learning to fight fear, to not feed it. I don’t have this figured out yet, but Paul and Silas are inspiring me:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” Acts 16:24-28 Read the full story here)
Paul and Silas were so intent on worshiping the Lord that they didn’t leave when the doors were flung open. I would have been out of there! Fear would have taken the Lord’s provision and fled. But the Jailer and his whole family were saved because Paul and Silas were not motivated by fear. They were so encompassed in worship in the middle of the most horrific circumstances that they were almost apart of another reality. The real reality.
Reality is what is. It is what’s really happened. The reality of the situation with Paul and Silas was that the Lord was in control and they were focused on Him. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same Lord that was there with Paul and Silas is with me and in control of my situations – if I let Him. How often does my fear prevent Him from working?
Fear is fed when I let it master me. Peter tells us that ‘we are a slave to whatever masters us’. Fear is a cruel master. I wonder how often my fear limits what the Lord wants to do in my life? If fear is mastering me, the Lord is not. He comes to the rescue of His own, but am I letting Him come? I can’t say yes to fear and yes to the Lord’s help and provision at the same time.
The only way I know to combat fear is to know more of the Lord. Fear and love cannot exist at the same time with any forward momentum. We begin to overcome fear when the Lord’s love tips the scale in our hearts.
Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4). I am So thankful for that! I must know the Lord in increasing measure to know more of His love. When we decrease, He increases and with His increase comes more power. I look at the battles I face now and I want to fear. I know I am not enough for them, but what I forget is that the more I surrender to the Lord, the more of Him that I get. The battle may get bigger but so does the Lord’s power! The bigger the Lord is to us, the smaller fear gets!
For me the battle of fear comes down to not just a head knowledge, but heart knowledge of who God is. It comes down to perspective, and love. John Piper says
“Our worship is the subjective echo of God’s objective worth. The immensity of His worth is reflected in the intensity of our worship.”
The Lord’s worth to Paul and Silas was reflected in the intensity of their worship while they were beaten and thrown in jail. What does my worship say about the Lord’s worth to me in light of what I fear?
Worship and unhealthy fear are not friends and like love they cannot co-exist, because our worship flows out of our love for the Lord. Lord let your love cast out fear!
What has the Lord shown you about fear? This blog is not complete – He is still writing this story in me, but I am so thankful and overwhelmed by the love I am experiencing along the way!
Dear readers – I’ve missed you! The Lord is doing a lot in my life right now and I’m sure some of it will sneak and peak into blogs here and there. The Art of Guarding Your Heart series will continue (Lord willing) in the near future!