I am a chicken. Pretty much. I don't like roller coasters, or haunted houses or scary movies. (Yes, I did write a book about demons. I get the irony.) Its not that I don't appreciate a good thrill or that rush of adrenaline that makes us feel alive. But I don't like being scared. Edge of my seat suspense is one thing. Jumping out of my skin and needing a nightlight is totally different.
One time I let myself get talked into watching a scary movie. It was the Ring. To be fair I wasn't really that scared while watching the film. The residual effects however kept me up for a couple weeks. I still don't like looking at a snowy television screen and its been years.
Fear is a powerful weapon of the enemy. It can take the smallest thing to cripple us, to stop us dead in our tracks. (I mean, how many times have we huddled in a chair, clutching a rolled up newspaper, afraid to take a step, because the spider got away?) But there are far scarier things creeping in dark corners of our minds than even movies can conjure. The things that go bump in the night can't hold a candle to the things that go bump in our own thoughts.
We watch the news or read the headlines and our world is a scary place. We think about everything that can go wrong and start to wonder if it would be better to just stay in the safety of our blankets.
Lately this has been my life. I don't fear headlines or news stories. But the enemy has learned the buttons he can hit in my mind that will create a moment of panic. That thought of 'what if this happens?' In a hot second I can go from planning my day to worrying about devastating events that are my own imagination. I worry what could happen to my husband, what could happen to my kids, what if something happens to me.
I am about to embark on a trip overseas in a week and will be gone for ten days. I know this trip is a door God has opened, an opportunity He has presented. I know this. But I have spent the last month second guessing the decision to go. Not because I think God is trying to change my course but because the enemy has filled my mind with fear. There have been moments where it has been crippling.
Have you ever felt like that? Has fear and anxiety crept into your mind and threatened to stop you? Maybe it has tried to keep you from doing what God wants you to do. Maybe it has just tried to steal your joy and peace. It doesn't matter the endgame, what matters is we don't have to huddle in a chair waiting for it to pass. We can take charge. We can show fear who's boss.
Spoiler alert: fear is not the boss. In fact fear has only the power we allow it to have. After all we control our thoughts and emotions. We have the power over them through the Holy Spirit in our lives. We may not be able to stop fear from popping in for a visit but we can sure decide how long it gets to stay.
God's Word tells us that we can take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ Jesus. How? By using the same weapon Jesus used when the enemy came at Him, the Word of God.
When I fill my mind with God's Word than I have less room for the enemy to work to begin with, but I also have a ready arsenal when he pops by. When fear creeps into my mind and threatens my joy and peace and purpose I can speak the promises of God and take its power. Whether its rational or irrational I don't have to live in fear. I can live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.