My first memory of fear occurred when I was five. It was my birthday party and I was having a wonderful time with my friends. And then I saw him. Through my five year old lenses, I saw not a man, but a huge bear, walking up the hill to my house. My glee drained from my body and fear washed over me. I ran to the bathroom and hid behind the door. I had no reason to fear this man at the time but that would soon change.
We all have experienced fear to one dimension or another. For you, it may have been the time you had to stand before the class and complete a math problem. Or maybe you had to take a risk with making a big decision. You stepped out as an entrepreneur and hit a dry patch. Now you are wondering how you will sustain your family financially during startup. For someone else, your memory of fear was the first time you experienced domestic violence. It could be that you were a child watching it through the cracks of a door or as the adult being physically or emotionally abused.
In dealing with fear, we begin by acknowledging that it is a real emotion and then take action. We cannot allow ourselves to bury the feeling without dealing with it.
My most recent experience with fear came when my husband and I switched the focus of our Facebook live talks. When we started, the focus was geared towards the themes he wrote about in his book, Marriage: A Loveseat For Two. Now that my book, Mended, Yet Broken had been released, I was now taking the lead during our weekly talks.
I would be fine all week, but when Friday came around, I felt like I was having a panic attack. I didn’t realize what was happening at first. I felt confused and frustrated. After a couple of weeks I started to recognize what was going on. I feared not knowing what the exposure of my very vulnerable story would lead to. I wasn’t sure of the outcome. I just knew I needed to be a voice for those who were not yet strong enough to speak for themselves but fear had me second guessing myself.
Here are the principles I applied to confront this most recent encounter, as well as other occasions of fear and doubt prior to this.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV says, “For God gave us not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
The spirit of fear is not from God.
We acknowledge that we do have an emotion called fear. But when that emotion starts to negatively influence how we think, feel and act, we should pay attention. When this emotion seeks to take us outside the parameters of God’s will and word, we are at the point where we must take action against the spirit of fear. Fear should not rule our lives.
From this scripture, here are three ways to confront and overcome fear:
1. Recognize and walk in your authority over fear...you have POWER from God!
2. Recognize the power of LOVE. Perfect love casts out all fear. Lay down fear as you walk in the love of God.
3. Recognize that keeping your mind renewed in the word will help you control your reaction to fear. Knowing the word will remind us of what God has said about our identity, which will cause us to have the God response to fear. We will be calm and not flustered by fear when our minds are renewed in the word.
In our upcoming post, we will go a bit deeper into these three responses to fear.
Stay tuned for part two!
Till then, be blessed!