Over the last couple of years, I’ve been working on battling the spirit of fear in my life. Besides the physical feeling of fear, I’ve also dealt with rebuking and replacing the negative voices in my head. The ones that kept me trapped and paralyzed about changing. I had to replace unhealthy messages with the voice of God. Part of that replacement process was breaking free of the bondage of fear that came with those voices.
The most significant breakthrough came when I immersed myself in a devotional named Breaking the Cycle of Fear (Click Here).
I discovered I gave too much power to my fears. When I labeled them as my fears, I took ownership of them. In reality, I allowed them to take ownership of me, to control me, and to drive me into dangerous habits and sin.
Let me distinguish between fear and wisdom. Wisdom is the knowledge that sticking a knife in a light socket is not wise. Wisdom to knowing that it’s not a good idea to let my children play near the street. Wisdom stops us from doing dumb things. The fear I’m talking about stops us from doing God things.
The walls of my bondage collapsed when I refused to acknowledge them any longer as ‘my’ fears. I now refuse to accept ownership of fear. Fear is a weapon the enemy uses to attack me and turn me away from God.
The fears that entrap us are lies intended to rob us of all God has for us and wants for us.
Fears still want to come on me. I can’t stop them from attacking. But I don’t have to let them in. The choice is mine.
The best thing about breaking this cycle is learning I don’t have to do it on my own. In fact, I can’t do it on my own.
The major part of my breakthrough came when I moved into a deeper, closer, more personal, and more intimate relationship with God. This gives me the strength and the power to withstand fear attacking me. The Holy Spirit helps me to recognize the fear and stop it before it can take root. I replaced the fear with new roots of God’s love for me.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NLT
Remember, fear is a work of the devil. 1 John 3:8b NLT tells us, the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.
5 Steps to Defeating Fear
The writer of Breaking the Cycle of Fear identified five helpful steps to defeating fear. I share them with you knowing they work for me.
- Identify the fear. Recognize fear is attacking.
- Name the fear out loud. Declaring so will bring my brain under my control. It won’t spin into imaginations of what the fear is trying to bring about.
- Ask myself: What do I know to be true right now? This helps me not to give the fear any power. I know the fear is an attack. The Word tells me Jesus has destroyed the works of the devil. And I know by God’s Word I am free from fear.
- Focus on my blessings. Many times it’s helpful to physically list the blessings I’m most aware of at that moment. Not just recite them. Write them out so I see them and can meditate on them.
- Name God’s truth. Use the power of his words. Psalm 34:4 and 1 John 3:8 are just two examples of his truth. In light of God’s word, fear is puny.
As a result of this breakthrough, God is alive to me in new ways. I walk in revitalized hope in him, sure of his protection and provision. I can look back and see all he’s brought me through, and I know he will do it again. I know he gives me all I need to walk in triumph.
Have you considered how fears or negative thoughts may be holding you back from achieving your dreams?
Let me encourage you to examine this area of life. Whatever your fear is—spiritual, professional, emotional, physical, or relational—know that it doesn’t have to control you. There is a way to be free from all fear.
I pray this blog encourages you to seek a closer, more intimate, and more powerful relationship with God.
Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, award winning author Henry McLaughlin takes his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice in a dark world. His writing explores these themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption.
Besides his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.