Archive for August, 2013

August 17, 2013

Fear Is The Enemy

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 12.50.08 PMOur health is not only affected by what we eat and drink, what we’re exposed to, and the DNA we may have inherited from our parents, but it is also very much affected by what we think, and in particular what we fear. Fear is like a web of invisible chains on our mind and our heart. It causes certain chemicals to be released that contribute to disease. However, I want to talk to you today about the root of fear.

I went to Russia on a couple of mission trips and during my time there, I wrote these words in great big letters in the front cover of my Bible: “KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST!” The Lord also made the verse Joshua 1:9 really jump out at me, and has continually used that verse up until today. This verse says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This verse really jumped out at me then, because I had been terrified of making this trip, flying over an ocean, and going into a country where my rights could be snatched away at any time. It means as much to me today as it did then, but my understanding of it has grown deeper, as has the knowledge of who I am in Christ.

As a single mom, I have been fearful of many things. First I was afraid to get divorced, but more afraid of losing my mind if I didn’t. I was afraid of what people would think of me after the divorce. I didn’t even believe in divorce! I was fearful of how the bills would be paid in a big way, because I had gone from career woman to stay at home mom and had not done anything but freelance for four years. Back when I had fibromyalgia, I was afraid I’d be a walking zombie the rest of my life, because all the life had literally been sucked out of me. When I had the house fire, I was afraid of being called stupid for hiring a man who I now believe is responsible for burning it down.  I was also afraid of condemnation and humiliation. I was first in my class in high school, and went to college on scholarships, moved far away and got a cool job doing cool things. Then I moved home and it seemed as if my life disintegrated in front of family and friends. My belief in myself and hope for a happier future evaporated after the failed marriage and the house fire. I was simply surviving, simply existing.

My confidence was completely gone. Somehow, I had crossed over into thinking that truly, I was nothing special. In fact I was a failure. After the house fire, I would fall in bed completely exhausted from the day of trying to figure out how to put my life back together, then I’d wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air as if I’d been held under water. I was working just as hard in my sleep trying to figure out how to survive as I was during the day and I was exhausted. I had no hope. I felt like the universe had spit me out as rejected, and that somehow I must’ve done something bad to bring this on me. Perhaps I had been too proud? Too confident earlier?

Shame and condemnation ruled the thoughts in my head. I gained even more weight. I didn’t know how to pray at this point. Sometimes I would just sit in God’s presence and cry, not saying a word.  How had I gone to feeling like I was one of His favorites, to feeling so ashamed and burdened? I had begun to think the circumstances in my life were indications of how much He loved me. Instead of seeing that these attacks were from the enemy of my soul, I had attributed them to my Father! That’s why I couldn’t really pray for help, because I thought I was being punished by my Father. Had I realized I was being attacked by the enemy of my soul, I could have risen up in indignation, called on my Father, and given the enemy a black eye!!! Yeah!!!!

Then I began to get more of a glimpse of the true nature of God. I had so many misconceptions of Him. I was giving him human traits from people I knew on earth. I was equating weaknesses in my own parents with Him. I also thought of Him as passive and generally disapproving. But the more I began to see the TRUE nature of God, the more I understood that he is the hero on the white horse, not the task master. I began to understand that my Father BANKRUPTED Heaven when Jesus died on the cross for us. I have since been told that if I had been kidnapped, and the ransom had been $10,000, that Jesus paid ONE BILLION for me, because he declared my value much more than my enemy had, and he paid over and above my ransom. Isn’t that an awesome illustration?

What was the first thing Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden after they disobeyed? It was FEAR. But let’s back up just a moment. How did the enemy get them to consider disobeying God in the first place? He got them to question God’s character! He told them that God was keeping the best for Himself, and that it was out of selfishness that He had advised them not to eat from that particular tree. That tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They already had much knowledge of good, they had seen the Father face to face, had been created in His Image, they even resembled Him. When they were confused and deceived by the enemy, all they received new was the Knowledge of Evil, and with that came fear.

So, I believe that much of the stress we experience in this world, is due to our mistaken idea about the true character of our Heavenly Father and how he truly feels about us. Think of a cancer diagnosis. The first thing you experience is fear, right? If you KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God really loved you, and was not mad at you, and that this in no way came from Him, couldn’t you pray with a little more boldness for healing? But if you feel somehow whispered in the back of your mind, and deep in your heart, that you must’ve failed somehow and that God was punishing you, how do you pray for healing and truly expect to be healed? (I have been miraculously healed of fibromyalgia, so it still happens today!)

We all say we know God loves us, but do we BELIEVE it in our hearts? I know I didn’t for a long time. It kept me in bondage to an eating addiction to comfort my broken heart, it kept me in isolation because I began to expect to be rejected, it kept me in a sea of condemnation and confusion and chaos, and here’s a big one, trying to EARN my approval from God. Oh Lord, was I a workaholic, and still struggle with this. God is not mad at us. Earlier in the same chapter of Joshua 1, it talks about how God GAVE the Israelites houses that they did not build, vineyards that they did not plant. He GAVE it to them and did not require them to toil at all for these things. The earlier generation had not been allowed to experience this, and had wandered for forty years in the desert. And why was this? They did not believe God. They agreed with the enemy, and WERE AFRAID! After all the miracles they had seen, including the parting of the Red Sea, they were afraid to go TAKE what the Lord had already declared was theirs.

So I believe fear in His children, breaks the heart of God. Because when we are fearful, we are literally choosing to stand on the side of the enemy and agree with him in saying, “You’re right, He doesn’t really love me.” and to say this, after He gave the best that heaven had to offer in the person of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine your child, choosing to believe a drug dealer had their best interests at heart, rather than you? I think if we can conquer fear, we can conquer the world and everything in it. But we cannot conquer fear, until we can clearly see the true nature and character of our Father.

I do not feel that I have written this anywhere near as eloquently as I had hoped. But if you could imagine God the way He is described in Psalm 18 the next time you feel alone and desperate, I will have accomplished giving the devil a black eye today:

Psalm 18: 6–19:

“In my distress, I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before Him into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostril; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. he made darkness his covering, his canopy around Him – the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightening. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightening and routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

This Psalm was written by David prior to what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Our enemy is no longer powerful, but has BEEN DEFEATED!!! We are no longer powerless but powerful because the Holy Spirit of God lives on the inside of us! Ask God, as I have to do often, to help me focus more on His love for me and it’s abundance, rather than on how often I fail in my efforts at loving Him as He deserves.  What could you accomplish, knowing that the God of the universe was putting His every resource at your disposal? Who would you be afraid of if you truly understood who you were in Christ? So kick fear in the teeth today, and declare the victory that has already been GIVEN to you. You can’t defend property or territory or possessions that you don’t realize is yours, so figure out what’s yours in the Lord and when the enemy tries to claim it as his, rise up!! You have EVERYTHING you need in Christ, once you realize that you are his Beloved, precious in His eyes. His death assured you that you’d never have to wear the garment of condemnation again. He paid it ALL. Now step into your rightful place! Be BOLD AND COURAGEOUS and believe God for your health, your family and your future. Believe God and His report, not the report of the enemy of your soul.

In closing, here is another verse from Joshua 24: 15, “…, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” You serve the one you AGREE WITH, so agree with God. He has a plan and a purpose for your life, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) You can do it!

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