It was an ordinary cold and snowy winter night in Bozeman, Montana when I jumped in the car to drive across town. I was going to stay at my friend’s house and watch their dogs while they were out of town. I pulled up to the driveway and I saw something I didn’t expect: a person kneeling in front of the garage fiddling with something, though it was unclear what it was. The man was probably no older that 18 years of age. I rolled down the window to ask him what he was doing, but as soon as he saw my car pull in, he scampered off and into the trees across the street.
My heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. Fear took it’s paralyzing grip and I could hardly move a muscle. Who was that? What was he up to? Was he going to try to break in? Why wouldn’t he come up to the car and explain what he was doing?
I tried to shake the experience out of my head, but it remained there, etched in my consciousness. I kept playing the image of the unidentified man over in my head. Thankfully, nothing bad happened, but I still felt… scared. I sat in my bed awake that night with the two dogs next to me, my insides still shaking. I was hoping they could serve as my ‘guard dogs,’ but seeing as how they were no bigger than stuffed animals and they were buried under the covers, my hope quickly fizzled. With every sound the house made, I jumped, thinking it was something or someone.
Fear, no matter what the cause or culprit, is no way to live. It’s debilitating. Paralyzing. Unsettling and downright unpleasant. So the question is, how do we loosen it’s grip once it’s gotten ahold of us?
I didn’t know all the answer that night, but what I did know was this: the only kind of fear we are instructed to have in the Bible is of a holy kind – fear of God. So that meant any other kind of fear–the kind I was feeling–was not from God. I took out my Bible right then and there and wrote out the following verses in my journal and then personalized them to my situation:
“The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).
God, thank you that you are my helper. I will NOT fear. What shall man do to me?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Thank you Lord, that you have given me a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. I receive those gifts from you right now in Jesus name and I renounce all fear!
“My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Thank you Lord that you have given me peace. I feel your peace right now and am allowing it to enter my being from head to toe. I am filled with your peace and have no room for fear. I will not let my heart be troubled. I will not let myself stay afraid, but I will swim in the sea of your peace that you have laid out before me this moment…
After meditating on these verses of Truth a few times over, I realized that God’s peace completely replaced my fear. I slept soundly that night and the fear has not returned since!
God never promised we wouldn’t experience negative emotions like fear, but He does promise to pull us through. He gives us His Word as a powerful tool and it’s effective if we give it a chance. That means reading it, studying it, meditating on it, living, breathing, and speaking it until it transfers from our head to our hearts.
What are you facing today? Is it fear? Anxiety? Worry? Confusion? Despair? None of those things are a part of the perfect will of God for you or for me. Take out the Word of God–right now–and start declaring God’s Truth over your life and your circumstances. Keep saying it until you see it and believe it.
God Himself says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10).
Be still and know, yes, but we also gotta let Him be God. It changes everything.