March 22, 2012
Fear is a powerful emotion and is often difficult to control. It can freeze us in our tracks and make it hard to protect ourselves. It attacks our ability to trust and compromises our ability to relax in relationships. It takes over our thought and decision-making processes, interfering with our ability to focus and learn. And those are just some of the effects of the fears we know about.
We often repress intense fears. We push them down and cover them up with other emotions like anger, depression, and anxiety. We overcompensate with pride, arrogance, and a laid-back attitude. If we grow up with unrecognized fear as a major organizer of our emotional life, we can have difficulty developing trusting relationships. Even when we do connect with people, we have trouble being natural or genuine with them. Sometimes we let them in partially, but build a hard-to-see inner wall, which is difficult for them to get through.
Satan wants us to be afraid of people. He doesn’t want us to be vulnerable in relationships. Instead he wants us to cover up and react in ways that pull us away from relationships for self-preservation. As we practice these responses over and over in those first 15 years of life, we get very good at them. Then when it’s time to start to really open up to God in deep and meaningful ways, those repressed and intense fears put us on guard so we resist giving ourselves to God.
You see, we don’t want to be hurt again, so we find other ways to cover up. We distance ourselves from dependence on God by being aloof to Him, being angry for what He hasn’t given us or our loved ones, feeling bitter about His “unfairness”, blaming Him for all the mistakes we made, and many other behaviors as well. It’s just where Satan wants us! In fact, it’s part of Satan’s battle strategy. We get sucked right into it, hook, line, and sinker.
Are you plagued with fear? Today’s scripture makes it clear that God is telling us we can triumph over fear. He has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. He also tells us in 1 John 4:18 that perfect love drives away fear. God’s love is perfect, and He loves you. As you grasp hold of that truth, you will be able to trust Him more. When you begin to understand how much He loves you, the power of the things you fear will melt in comparison to the omnipotence of God. It’s like fear melting away when a loving parent comes into your darkened room during a thunderstorm to hold you and give you security.
Today, talk to God about everything. Believe that He loves you … and thank Him for His love. Recognize that His strength is stronger than any fear. Only then will you be able to walk in peace, not fear. Remember that this is not a one-time event. We need to give all our cares and fears to Him daily, and commit to trusting in His love. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, thank You for loving me. Thank You for giving me a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. And please direct me to be a better steward of these gifts. Help me to trust You more and to accept Your perfect love. I know that only then can I overcome fear. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One sent to forgive my sins and remove my fear, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6