(An 8 Minute Read)
When you think about tomorrow or about your future do you find hope or fear and dread attached?
Many of us have had difficult pasts. We’ve had various struggles and trials and those have become our point of reference into our future. Yet others, through their struggles, are able to look to God and His promises and believe and hope for something better for their future. It all depends on which voice we listen to. Are we listening to a spirit of Fear or the Spirit of God?
To really dive into this subject of fear of the future, and dread, it’s helpful to go back to the source. Lots of times when we look back at our own personal history and maybe even our family history we can find one or more door points. A door point is a situation or event where the enemy had the opportunity to come in and join our thinking so that our ability to process it would be warped by his perspective rather than God’s.
An example could be an automotive accident. Perhaps an injury occurred and the recovery process was long and difficult. Obviously, no one would want that kind of thing to happen again but if a spirit of fear comes to that person and they agree with it in that vulnerable time, it can train them to project and dread possible similar situations in the future. They may spend the rest of their life dreading accidents and injury and can go into avoidance where they may not even be interested in driving anymore. This is how a spirit of fear can train us to keep us in bondage.
It can come in other ways as well – it might be a generational iniquity; a trained way of thinking that has followed the family line. It may come in the name of self-protection or self-preservation and project all kinds of unpleasant things into a person’s future. Another angle it can come in is through mistakes or failure. It may project the mistakes of our past into our future and rob us of the hope for tomorrow. Fear is just that – the absence of faith or hope.
Fear and dread will cause us to get hyper-focused on the potential problems or evils of tomorrow so that we cannot properly deal with the things in today. That’s why the Word says:
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34 KJV
It is essential for our health and spiritual welfare to remain present in today. We need to take on each challenge, choice, activity, one at a time, step by step, trusting God for the leading and guidance for the next and the next step. The enemy would love to tempt us to have it all figured out. He’ll bring in the need to know so that we can plan our lives in advance and not even have to trust God. It’s actually a form of rebellion and divination and can lead a person down a path of pursuing false prophecies and false words or leaning on philosophies or their own understanding in order to maintain some sort of control in their life. A driving need to control comes out of fear.
If we allow ourselves to remain in a constant state of alertness in dread or anxiety about future situations, provision, failures etc. our body will continually release various stress hormones in low levels that over time can break down our immune system and other body functions. So although it causes us to believe that we are protecting ourselves and that our excessive awareness is for our own safety, it is actually wearing us down and causing destruction from the inside out. Is that really something we want? Perhaps it’s time to make Fear our enemy and recognize him for the liar that he is.
So how can we practically defeat Fear in our lives? Many of us would love to have an A+B=C approach – if I do this and this then this will happen and fear will be defeated. Some would try to just continually take authority over it and cast out a spirit of fear, yet they will find, over time that they are getting weary, worn out and defeated in an unending battle. Others will ask God over and over again to deliver them from fear, yet be frustrated by little to no results.
Overcoming fear, or anything else, is not just about a positive confession or declaration of what we want. It’s about a heart issue. Who do we choose to really believe today? Who are we lining our hearts up with in faith? Did you know fear is a kind of faith too? It’s putting faith in and believing the negative things that the enemy would want to project into our future. It can actually be considered anti-Christ because it tears down a person’s belief in God’s truth and establishes a belief in the enemy’s lies. It will take every negative experience from our past and try to perpetuate them into our future. We need to make every day a new opportunity for God to meet us, not for bad things to happen to us! We need to know and recognize the voice of our shepherd and learn how to follow His voice and to turn away from lies.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:2-5 KJV
This is where we will find a firm foundation and straight paths. Fear will cause us to be wish-washed all over the place and will bring confusion and frustration. The Word says that a double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways. To be double-minded is to keep one foot in God’s kingdom and one in the enemy’s going back and forth between fear and faith but not taking a firm stand or position in who we are actually choosing to believe and serve.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8 KJV
So how do we know that the voice of fear projecting bad things into our future is a lie? After all, it could happen, right? It may, but it also may not. So why are we wasting all of our time worrying about something that might never happen? One interesting thing to note about fear is that if we’ve worked ourselves up in fear, anxiety, and stress about an issue we’ll be far less capable of coping with a negative situation if it arises than if we had opted to remain in peace and not worry in advance. If a person is already in a state of stress when an adverse situation arises their stress and adrenaline hormones will spike into a fight or flight scenario and they may find themselves in a place of panic or even shut down.
If however, a person has rooted and grounded themselves in relationship and trust with God, where they can take each step by faith, when an adverse situation comes up, they do not have to respond to it in fear’s fight or flight mechanism even if all of the feelings and temptations are roaring around them. Instead, they trust God that He will help them through and give them the strength and wisdom they need to overcome. It all comes down to where our source is or, may we say, who we are submitting ourselves to.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 KJV
This prayer in Ephesians 3 needs to be the cry and desire of every believer’s heart. Because if these things abound in our hearts, we will not fail:
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 KJV
If we seek to and have a desire to live after faith, if we seek to be grounded in love, if we really have a desire to understand the wholeness of who God is and His heart and will towards us, and if we pursue that with all of our hearts, we will be filled with the fullness of God and fear or any other evil thing will have no space left!
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 KJV
There is a time to cast down and overcome fear, but it may not just be a onetime event, it may be a journey of recognizing the trained pathways of thought in fear and overriding them with the truth that is becoming our new reality. We can’t get ourselves all wrapped up in the awareness of fear or any other evil thing in our lives. Our number one priority needs to be to seek God and line our hearts up with His. Out of the strength we receive in that relationship, we will have a firm footing to stand on to recognize and resist the enemy when he comes to tempt us. We will have a solid rock of truth that will support us.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24-25 KJV
Here’s where we need to have patience with ourselves and walk according to God’s grace and mercy. For many of us, fearful patterns of thoughts, fearful projections into our future and dread are so normal; we don’t really know anything else. If we live according to the law, according to black and white thinking, “Because I have fear, therefore I am a sinner and unacceptable.” We will be drawn back in fear, guilt, and shame. But if we can live according to the Spirit of God in which there is no condemnation but rather the Spirit of Adoption where we can cry Abba, Father, we can walk forward into our identity as children of God. We can ask our Heavenly Father to join us by His Spirit to help us grow up and out of these old, unfruitful ways of thinking.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 KJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 KJV
The amazing thing about the New Covenant in Jesus Christ is that we can now grow up into our identity as children of God and have our hearts and minds renewed by His truth and His Word. The things of sin that we have been and are currently in bondage to don’t have to be our masters anymore because we now have an advocate and the opportunity to repent and move forward, by faith, into freedom and newness of life. It’s not a happening, or a onetime event but a mindset, a pattern of life where we continually come to our Father and take His hand and believe His Word and walk with patience in the learning curve as we’re growing up in Him.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 KJV
The Be in Health® Team