Are you a slave to fear? Does it affect your living and breathing and all you hold dear?
You’re not the only one. Know you’re not the only one. You aren’t alone. Fear is everywhere. It’s crept into the very fabric of our society. It makes decisions on our behalf. It walks with us, around us, in front of us and behind us.
Fear governs our actions. Infects our dreams. It’s there when we wake and when we go to sleep. It decides how we spend our time and what we think about. Fear influences how we see the world and how we view our future.
Fear is what is known as a schema. A schema is a cognitive framework that helps us to organise and interpret information. According to Wikipedia “Schemata influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge: people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit.” So simply put, schema are learnings that we acquire in life and then influence how we behave.
We also know that fear is spiritually charged. If we allow it to take root in our life it becomes a force we battle with. It can rear its head when we don’t expect it, or we can predict when we might feel it.
The thing about fear is, it’s not ours to keep. God didn’t give it to us. It’s not a gift. We’re not meant to be holding onto it. We need to let it go. But because fear is a learnt behaviour, it needs to be unlearnt and replaced by something new, something bigger and better.
Faith is the answer (and as I write this I know you know that). But how can we have faith if we accelerate towards fear? Let’s apply the brakes, slow down, stop, change gear and then accelerate towards faith.
• Stand up straight. And with all your strength I want you to shout out “I say NO to fear. Get lost.”
• Now stamp on it. Jump up and down on the fear. Luke 10: 19 says “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Fear is our enemy and we have the power to overcome it.
• Don’t put your faith in how you feel. If I concentrate on anxious thoughts and a tight feeling in my chest that I’ve often had, I feel fear. If instead, when my thoughts drift towards how I’m feeling, I bring them straight back in line with what God says. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I literally change my mind. I stop thinking about how I feel and put my faith in and focus my thoughts on what God says. That we’ve been given power, love and a sound mind.
• By choosing fear over faith we’re saying that God is a liar and we don’t believe He is who He says He is; and what the bible says about our future is a lie. Yes I know that’s punchy. But if you think about it, it’s true. By giving room to fear we aren’t walking lives of faith. We’re allowing fear to be bigger than God’s word and His promises to us, and that is a sin.
• So the most powerful thing we can do is to bring all that’s hidden into the light. Throughout the bible we see when God’s people repent and turn back to Him, He heals them.
• Find a friend or a leader you trust and name your fears. Get them out into the open, say sorry to God for believing them and, when you do that they can no longer have any hold over you. In James 5:16 it says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
The victory over death was won by Jesus on the cross. Jesus said “it is finished” and that means your fear.
I want to add that this is a process. We accumulate all sorts of stuff over the course of our lives (you just have to look inside my wardrobe to see that…) and it can take time. But if old fears surface, just repeat the steps above and trust that God is at work. If you find yourself going back over old ground, stop. Once something has been confessed and repented of, it can no longer have any hold on you. Have faith that it’s been dealt with.
So let’s get back on track and fill our thoughts with faith. God is raising you up to live a radical and exciting life that’s free from all of the rubbish and lies the enemy tries to pin on us. Love has won. The love that put Jesus on the cross and rose Him from death. That’s our focus. That’s our mandate. That’s our mission. Love.
“Light, space, zest— that’s GOD! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.” Psalm 27:1 MSG
Jane Kirby @rebelheartsrebelgirls
If you are suffering from anxiety, Jane has written a book, Be Free from Anxiety, over in our book section. Based on her journey.
This article was originally posted on @onelifeleaders