By Rebecca Holloway
We were almost asleep the other night when Zach appeared in our room. He was crying uncontrollably. Stewart tried to find out the source of the sobbing. Zach sniffled, “I’m afraid of robbers!” We asked if he had watched or read something about that, but he just wasn’t sure. My guess is that he had gone to sleep and had a nightmare that woke him up. He wound up coming into our room another time, still scared and wailing. Stewart finally had to distract him with a book to get him to go to sleep.
For the rest of the night – which happened to be a Saturday night in which the preacher and his wife needed to sleep – we both kept thinking we heard Zach coming. If we didn’t think we heard him, we were wondering if he was asleep or if he was still crying.
One thing I have learned about fear in my life is that fear begats more fear. That is the enemy’s favorite tactic against us who believe in Christ. He sends us down roads in our minds that we have no business being on. One fear leads to another fear, which leads to actions we would never take in normal circumstances. Reactions that are totally unlike us. And the next thing we know, we are swallowed up in things that are completely untrue as we know it at that moment. We have gone places in our thoughts that don’t really even exist. Once we do that, we are paralyzed and unable to go down the roads God wants us to go down. We lose sleep. We lose our focus. Sometimes, we may feel like we’re losing our minds.
I attended a conference with our college students in January, and one of the preachers made this statement. It has stuck with me ever since:
Fear is faith in the enemy.
Just think about that for a second. It makes total sense when you do. If you’re not trusting in God, then whom are you trusting? If you live in constant fear all the time, then that is not from God. As you may have heard, God said “Do not fear” 365 times in the Bible. In 1 John, John says that, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 NIV) John proclaims just verses before that that “God IS love.” God is not fear. Yes, He does want us to have a healthy reverence for Him because He is the King of the Universe. But through Christ’s work on the cross, we don’t have to live in fear because Jesus has defeated it! He defeated the enemy – therefore, He has defeated fear! What a great thought!
How do we combat fear? The best way I have found is through repeating scripture over and over again to myself. The enemy cannot stand up against that! One of my favorites when I am afraid is Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” That’s an easy one to remember. As I mentioned as we began this year, “FEAR NOT” was my watchword for the year. Isaiah 41:10 remains posted on my bedside table. I have looked at it often in the past couple of months.
God wants you to have faith in Him. Not in a liar and the father of all lies (John 8:44). He does not want you in torment. He wants you living fearless and victorious! So when fear comes, fight back with faith. Jesus has defeated the enemy for you. Live like it!