A few years ago when my husband and I were flying home from a trip I kept hearing snippets of the latest news updates as we were walking through the airport regarding Ebola and the devastating potential of this deadly disease. Next, I noticed my social media lighting up with breaking news of yet another vicious attack on our Christian faith. Family Research Council reported, “A mayor in Houston issued an unprecedented legal demand that several key pastors turn over sermons, emails, and text messages, even communications with members of their congregations, under the threat of fines imprisonment or both. The pastors that have been targeted are pastors who have spoken out against Mayor Parker's LGBT special rights ordinance.” Wait, is this happening in America or China? Friends this is happening right here in the good ole US of A!
I heard a lady say we are living in constant fear; this is a world full of fear. It is true, as we approach the “last days” we will see many more horrific plagues, catastrophic acts of nature, evil being called good and good being called evil, and attacks on our most basic rights to believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In fact, Twitter blocked a campaign yesterday to protect the pastors called #HoustonWeHaveAProblem.
Fear’s close cousin is anxiety, and it is hard to separate fear and anxiety as these two emotions feed off each other. The definition of anxiety is “fear about what might happen.” Many refer to our present period as the “Age of Anxiety”. Every single one of us has our fears; none of us is exempt.
As followers of Christ, we are told not to live under a spirit of fear. 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” (NKJV). We have Almighty God looking over us, caring for us and guiding us. Did you know the opposite of fear is not courage; the opposite of fear is love.…“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). In the context, this verse means there will be no fear for us on Judgment day; our eternity is secure. But it is also an encouragement to keep accepting God’s love more and more because the more I grow in His love, the less fear I will experience. The Greek word for perfect here means complete or mature. When we live under a spirit of fear, it is God’s way of showing us we have not accepted enough of His love; we need to mature more in His love. We have not allowed His love to drive out our fears.
I know that is easier said than done; just two weeks ago we received some scary news that could affect our family for years to come. Below are the steps I kept going over and over from Psalm 3 when David was fleeing for his life from a hostile coup led by his beloved son. I encourage you to write down these five steps David revealed to us and practice them.
Rosa Parks said, “I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done, does away with fear.”
We deal with our fears by taking action. God has revealed the plan of action for us:
Psalm 3: 1-2 O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me.
So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”
1). Tell Abba Father everything. To do nothing cultivates a rich soil for fear and anxiety to harvest. Go straight to the Lord and tell Him everything. Cry it out before Him.
2). Let Abba Father tell you something.
It is easy during difficult times to think God is against us. Be careful even when listening to Christian friends; we speak into other’s lives when we have not prayed over or asked God’s will for others. We are so quick to offer our “opinions.” Be careful to listen to God before listening to others.
Be still and know that He is the Lord. When we are still and at rest with our Lord, we can hear His voice through the Bible or the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This means turning the TV noise off, putting your phone on silent and your computer on mute. Resist the temptation always to be focused on a screen; try focusing your eyes on Jesus by reading His Word or singing a praise song.
Visualize His Words to you, personalize His Word by putting your name in the verses, and memorize His Alive and Powerful Words! Zephaniah 3:17 NIV “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
3). Pick up Your Shield.
Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. When we are afraid, we need protection. Saying, “I trust You, Jesus” is my shield of protection. David knew that God alone was his shield of protection, and he professed with his mouth his confidence in the Lord. Say it out loud, I trust You, Jesus. You are my shield of protection.
4). Keep thanking Him for hearing and watching over you. Psalm 3:4-6 I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain .I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every sided.
Sleep does not come easily when we are faced with a difficulty; it will only come when I believe God is in control and loves me. If you find yourself lying awake worrying, thank the Lord that He has got “this” and is working good.
5). Fix your eyes on Jesus for Victory
Psalm 3:7a and 8 (NLT) Arise, O Lord, Rescue me, my God!
Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people.
This is our promise of victory to claim: 1 John 5:4 (NKJV) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid I will trust in You.
Psalm 73:23~ I belong to You; You hold my right hand.
As I accept His love; I learn to believe and trust Him, in fact, the Lord gave me an acronym for FEAR-Forsaking Everything Abba Reveals…From Genesis to Revelation God exhorts us to fear NOT but to trust Him.
Deborah Buckingham is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ who lives her life for Him, her family and her great America. She is an activist at heart and is always looking for opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God by sharing truth and love to any who cross her path. Her other passions include politics, health and fitness and hunting down great recipes to share with family and friends around the dinner table.
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