Most of us know all too well that fear and anxiety are real. But have we ever stopped to think why they would love to control us. It is all about our hearts. We are in a war and the battle is for our heart.
You see, our hearts are the seat of who we are, of our emotions. It is where and what we live from. If fear and anxiety can wrap their fingers around our hearts then we are simply existing, living far below the life God has for us. Jesus said that He came to give us life-abundant life (John 10:10). He came to set our hearts free to enter into the abundant and overflowing life that He has waiting for us to enter into.
Sometimes there is confusion around the issue of fear and anxiety. We wonder if we should feel concerned about things and if that is fear. Having situations in our lives where there is concern that leads us to take action to solve the problem is actually God-given. God cares and is concerned about things and we can be too. What we are talking about here is fear that results from lies that we believe from Satan. Because, really, all Satan can do to try to control us is to lie to us. That is the only weapon that he has. Fear results from us buying the lie. And we believe his lies because we do not yet know the truth in that area. Let’s look at some practical ways to overcome the lies of our enemy and the fear and anxiety that come with them:
1. Live in the Love of God. This may sound too simple, but according to God it is not! I John 4:16-18 tell us, “And we have known and believed the Love that God has for us. God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this:that we may have boldness in the day of judgement;because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
This has been one of the primary verses that God has used to both set me free and keep me free from fear and anxiety. Beloved, we cannot simply have a mental assent of the love of God, but a knowing that He loves us to the core of who we are. We have to know that He is love! This is what God is communicating in verse 16-that the way we know His love is through personal experience. So, how do we experience this love?
Jude 20-21 (Jude only has 1 chapter) tell us one way to keep ourselves in the love of God: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Praying in the Spirit (can be praying in our heavenly language, tongues, or prayers inspired by the Spirit) and looking for the mercy of the Lord. This means that our hearts are constantly in tune with Him and what He is saying and doing and that our affections are turned toward Him. This is what looking for His mercy means. It means looking for Him! It is hard to give into fear when we live like this because His Spirit is pouring forth further revelation of who God is and who we are!
2. Make sure our hearts are healed from wounds. Notice we are talking about our hearts again! Unhealed wounds and disappointments are targets for the enemy to lie to us and take us out with fear and anxiety. He is an enemy that does not play fair so he will try to kick us while we are weak and down. But Jesus, our healer, is always waiting to come and rescue His beloved! He is the Anointed One in Isaiah 61:1 that stands before us ready to bind up our broken hearts. He comes with His truth, His love, and His presence.
It is vital that when (not if) we face a difficult experience that causes us hurt or disappointment that we immediately take this to the Lord and open our hearts to Him so that He can mend us and close the door to lies and further bondage. We can have the kind of intimate relationship that king David did with the Lord where we, like David, can say, “Trust in Him at all times, you people: pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8). Jesus wants to be our everything-our lover, our healer, deliverer, and safe place. We need to allow Him into the deepest places of our hearts for Him to free us.
3. Have the revelation of how strong you are! Often, we have believed that just because we feel something means that defines us or that we have already sinned in that area. This is an area where I was trapped for years because I believed I was a weakling. The enemy was able to lie to me through painful life experiences that were, for years, left unhealed. I thought I was a victim because of what happened to me but then I realized that I am a victor through Jesus who loves me (Romans 8:37)! I also thought I was a victim of my own thoughts and emotions and that I had to go along with whatever I felt. That is a powerless place to live!
The only way that we will see ourselves as He does and as we truly are is when we see Him clearly. This is where spending time in His Word, living a life of worship and praise, being a part of a life-giving community of people who really know you, and encountering Him and His presence regularly are absolutely necessary. The Spirit of God breathes life on all of these things and helps us to live in continual and increasing revelation of Jesus.
These are just a few ways to keep our hearts free from fear and anxiety and live in the abundant life full of freedom, full of love that Jesus died and rose again to give us. There are more, but these are simply the ones that God has been speaking to me about in my own life and that I wanted to pass along to you. I am praying they are a blessing to you!