There are times when I have to admit, I sit and let fear overwhelm me. It seems that even if you begin to entertain a fearful idea, it can take on a life of its own! I was lying in bed last night, unable to sleep and I began to think about the past year. My thoughts actually started off very pure and righteous. I was pondering on the faithfulness of God. He brought our family through some really difficult times in the past year and I was marveling at His hand in our lives. Then my mind took a turn and I began to imagine that things could possibly get worse! My thoughts began to spiral and I was amazed at how fast that turn began! Fear began to grip my soul, pulling me towards its blackness so quickly it almost took my breath away! I finally did what I tell my clients to do, “take every thought captive” and stopped the spiral of fear. I prayed…I took a deep breath and released it all over to God. Then like any good therapist I began to dissect what had just happened to me.
Why is it that fear can have such power over us? There are people constantly living their lives in fear; often a fear that incapacitates them and defies logic. Then there are those like me who for the most part do well on a daily basis, are able to minister to others, and yet in their quiet moments can fall victim to fear. My mother is my mentor and I strive to live out my faith the way she does. She is at the point in her Christian maturity where she automatically just gives it over to the Lord. She often reminds me that “God is in control.” I see the peace on her face and it gives me great strength and hope. I am working on training my mind to go quickly to the Lord in scripture, but it is hard.
I am not one to give Satan the credit for everything, but I truly believe he is a great opportunist. He likes to piggyback on our times of trouble when we are most vulnerable. Also, I believe his greatest weapons on this earth are Fear and Deceit. If he can keep us locked in fear through the lies he tells us, we are more vulnerable. I see how people live in that fear and deceit; it robs them of their joy in life. It robs them of their sense of purpose and of feeling God’s hand on their lives. I remind them that even though they don’t “feel” His leading, He IS leading.
So what can we do to break out of this spiral of fear? How can we reclaim the freedom God has gifted us with here on earth?
- Prayer – the spiral of fear is broken by praying, out loud if possible, and releasing all of the fear to the Lord. Give it all to Him, He can handle it. Believe me, He heard all my crazy fears last night and held them for me.
- Scripture – Read scripture out loud. Memorize scripture and ponder it in your heart. There is great power in the Bible. Remember, these are not just words on a page, but the living, breathing Word of God!
- Take every thought captive – God is the ultimate Cognitive Therapist…and the first! By taking those negative, fearful thoughts and coming up with a positive, believable, and what I call “fighting dialogue” to combat those thoughts, they will dissipate and dissolve!
- Seek wise counsel – Whether this means making an appointment with a therapist, pastor, or Godly mentor you don’t have to deal with this alone. God has provided the Body of Christ for our help and healing.
Tonight let’s sleep in peace. I am claiming Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”