“God I can’t do this. I’m so sick and tired of fighting.”
“Yes you can Tesia. You can do all things through Me, I give you strength.”
“This isn’t fun anymore God.”
“Trust me. I will lead you. I will give you the words. Do you trust Me Tesia?”
“Yes Lord, I trust You.”
“You can do this. With Me.”
“God, my heart. It’s so.…..afraid.”
My heart is so afraid??? Of what? Surprised at this personal revelation, I asked God why. What do I have to fear? Pain? Lack of provision? People’s opinion? Or how about the deep seeded fears of failure, rejection, inadequacy, and being seen?
The war is waged until the battle is won.
I recently asked God how I will overcome my fear of rejection. His response? “By being rejected and realizing you are ok. More than ok.” Because in Christ, fear is a fraud. Apart from Him, I would be terrified.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” –Matthew 10:28
But my fear feels so real, and my feelings follow my faith. So what am I believing? Why is my heart so afraid? What is my heart afraid of? What is fear? Is it a feeling? A fact? A façade?
-a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the condition of being afraid
-a specific instance of such a feeling
-concern or anxiety
Whether the threat is real or imagined.
Fear is a feeling. A falsehood. An illusion. A deception of grandeur.
Imagine I am coming home late one night. I walk up the stairs into my dimly lit apartment, and I see a dark shadowy figure in the corner. Who’s there? What are they doing in my home? I’m gripped with fear and begin to back away. Jesus nudges me forward and says, “It’s ok. Don’t be afraid. I’m here. There is nothing to fear. I am with you.” Coaxing me forward, I don’t fully believe Him until He turns on the Light. The shadowy figure in the corner is revealed for what it truly is—a coat on a coat rack. An inanimate object with no power over me, except for the authority I gave it. I feel a fool for fearing and doubting Jesus. Doubting His goodness and His word. Doubting who He is, and who He says I am. Standing there in the Light, I see how silly my fear really was.
How did fear enter? Why does it keep coming back?
The war is waged until the battle is won.
The Enemy comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Doubt & Fear are the Devil’s debilitating dynamic duo. The Brains & Brawn (respectively) behind some of his most excellent heists. Doubt comes to pick the lock of my home, perpetually patronizing me with “Did God really say…?” until he gets a foothold. “Did God really say to start this blog? Did God really say to quit your job and trust He will provide for you? Did God really say He will never leave you nor forsake you?” Doubt is extremely deceptive. He doesn’t show up announcing his arrival, obvious and identifiable. Rather, he masquerades in my mind as my own voice. Whispering thoughts that speak directly to the lies I am more inclined to believe. “Is what I write relevant? Will I have the words? Do the words I have even matter? Don’t people already know the truth? What difference will my voice make? God I ask You to use me, but will You really?”
Once I begin to entertain the thoughts Doubt has proposed to my mind, he’s in. Fear plows through and ravishes my body, paralyzing me with anxiety, dread, and panic. I’m frozen. Doubt circles back with some devastating blows as I stand there motionless. “Did God really call you? Do you actually hear God? Do you even know Him? Did Jesus really save you?” Fear grips me even tighter while Doubt destroys all that I’ve built in my spiritual home. Hopelessness and Despair waltz in through the wide open door stealing my peace, joy, and freedom. In my unbelief I am cut off from God. Isolated. An operative immobilized; useless in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven.
Steal. Kill. Destroy. The Devil’s done it again. The only way out of infinitely spiraling down the rabbit hole into the Devil’s Wonderland of fear, is up. Faith in Jesus Christ.
I have nothing to fear if I truly believe the word of God and take Him at His word. If I believe He is the ultimate Healer, then there is no pain this heart cannot take. “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds” (Ps. 147:3). If I believe He is the ultimate Provider, then there is nothing I need that I will go without. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). If I believe His power is made perfect in my weakness, then not only will I NOT be afraid of inadequacy or failure, “but I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor.12:9).
If I believe God is:
-Omnipotent (having unlimited power; able to do anything)
-Omniscient (having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things)
-Omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time)
Then what on this earth do I have to fear?
Nothing. No Thing.
The war is waged until the battle is won.
I will be tempted by the exact same things until I stop falling for the exact same traps. Until I overcome in Christ. As long as I keep believing the same lies, they will keep calling my name. Alcohol no longer is a temptation for me. When it calls my name, which is rare these days, I laugh. The desire has died. I have overcome in Christ. That is no longer a battle I fight in my daily life.
Today I am tempted to believe I can’t and fall into exhaustion. I asked God if the rest of my life will seem like an endless struggle. I feel weak and tired of fighting. The battle feels impossible and relentless. He said, the war on “I can’t” will be waged until I believe “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Until I conquer in Christ, “I can’t” will be a consistent, unending battle. Even though I desire to exist in an ethereal flower field, I was born onto a spiritual battle field.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” –Mark Twain
Every new season will have a new set of doubts and fears. With new territory comes new giants. But fighting them will still be the same. By faith. The only antidote for Fear is Faith. Doubt goes directly for the heart of Faith. It cuts you off from Jesus Christ—the one true Source of freedom, life, hope, and salvation. Doubt is not an option for the believer. Saved by faith. Healed by faith. Called to action and courage by faith in God. Faith is something you have, are given more of, and is tested in your life. Faith can be grown and lost. You have to protect your faith. Feed your faith. Fight the good fight of faith. Grasp tightly to your faith in Jesus. He fuels you. He fills you. Apart from Him you can do nothing. No thing.
God is not going to remove me from the battle, He is going to teach me how to fight. How to fight and win. I am a warrior in boot camp. Getting stronger and being stretched farther beyond what I thought I was capable of. He is training me to send me back out. He frees me, saves me, heals me, trains me, and sends me back into the valley of the shadow of death to help set other captives free. He does all the work. The only requirement of me is faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
“We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” –Hebrews 10:39
While I am in the valley, I will fear NO evil, for You are with me (Ps. 23:4). Jesus is with me. That alone is reason enough not to fear. But on top of that, He commands me to fear not, as well as to be strong and courageous. God expects me to take action in my faith. Exercise my faith. To believe and trust in Him.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9
In the war on “I can’t,” today I say “I can.” I choose Jesus. I choose faith. I believe God is able and I speak in the daylight what was told to me in the dark. What was whispered in my ear, I proclaim from the rooftops (Matt. 10:27).
Yes God is real! Yes Jesus Christ paid the price for my sin and I now have access to the Father (Eph. 3:12)! Yes there is power in the name of Jesus and who the Son sets free is free indeed (Jn. 8:37)! Yes Jesus really is the chain breaker and I really am free from addiction, lust, self-loathing, constant guilt and condemnation, depression, isolation, and fear. I am free from fear! I am free from the power of sin and its grip on me (Rom. 6:7). I am enabled to obey God and love righteousness by the Holy Spirit at work within me! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Forget Fear. Choose Faith.
“‘Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” –Jeremiah 1:9-11