One of the biggest issues facing the body of Christ today is FEAR! We always try to discuss topics the Lord is directly working with us on, and fear happened to be one that we have recently had to face together and work through. Fear is probably one of the most detrimental attacks on the body of Christ and the Church because it is the one tactic the enemy knows will hinder us from being effective for the Kingdom of God. So many people walk under an umbrella of fear and don’t even realize it. It’s deceptive, manipulative and completely debilitating. It’s outright paralyzing and in no time at all, can hinder and even ruin your marriage, your relationships, business, dreams and the plan of God on your life.
Because our blog reflects friendship, we feel that God is asking us to relate these topics to friendship since that is our personal experience, however fear also manifests itself in many other walks of life, as well. Fear is the root of so many issues we all deal with or know someone closely who may struggle with including depression, anxiety, abandonment, rejection, isolation, people-pleasing, enabling –the list goes on, but each stronghold derives from a root of fear.
Now try analyzing your close relationships-your marriage, your best friend…Truly look at the last argument you had and ask God to show you if there was a root of fear in either or both of you that if handled properly might have changed the outcome. Look at each argument or disagreement and see if you notice a pattern. That’s exactly what happened with my sister and I. We were going along fine, had our disagreements here and there, but thought overall we were good. We are very close and both always wanted to just make the other happy, but didn’t realize it was not only at our own expense, but also at the expense of the one we were trying to protect – each other.
I (Michelle) grew up very insecure. My real father walked out on me as a child and I struggled with abandonment issues most of my life leading up to eating disorders and antidepressants in my early adult life. I struggled in relationships and often isolated myself. When my sister came into my life, I held on for dear life in fear I would lose her, too. This all rooted from a fear of abandonment and rejection. On the flip side, my sister who dealt with the same root fear of rejection handled it much differently. She became a people-pleaser and always made sure to answer with whatever the other person wanted to hear, even if it meant sacrificing her own wants and needs time after time. Are you beginning to see the inevitable struggle we were so blind to? Our fear, though rooted the same, manifested in ways that completely fed each other. I clung to her for fear she’d leave. She pleased me for fear I’d leave her. Our fears were so disguised in manipulation that we didn’t even realize how unhealthy it was until God brought it to light! We also realized this wasn’t just happening in our friendship, but we had been experiencing this in our marriages and our families, as well. God wanted to free us from a bondage we were so oblivious to because He has a plan to change the world through us, just like He has a plan to change the world through YOU!! But if you are walking in fear, you are handing that plan right over to the enemy! So, what are you going to do about it?
My sister and I immediately made the decision to put the work in. James 4:7 says Faith without works is dead! We may have lost and hindered other relationships in our lives due to our fears, but we made vows and a commitment long ago that we were sticking our life out through hell or high water and we knew were treading that hell, but we were doing it together! This is where covenant manifests so much stronger than fear! WE NEED COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS!! We KNEW that our biggest fear of losing each other was actually a counterfeit from the enemy-it was a lie! Once we realized his lies and knew we were in this together for the long haul, we were able to face these fears hand in hand and create that safe place for the other to grow and even to mess up! We prayed like we never prayed before, we had the hard talks that left us both in tears, we screamed, we fought, you name it! BUT we held onto our God and we never let go of each other and we are walking out of those fears and into the FREE destiny the Lord has called us to! Decades of pain and loss have resulted in finally becoming free, thanks to this loyal covenant sister and the heart of God dwelling in us. This brought us closer than we’ve ever been and free to finally be us! But not only that, we are now free to truly live the lives God has called us to and that right now is expanding our blog, strengthening our Show and delving into the next adventure God has for my sister and I. We may have had to walk through the fire, but we came out not smelling of smoke!
The opposite of fear is faith and the two can’t dwell together, so you must operate in one or the other. Hebrews 11:1 says, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And how do we practice faith? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:17. Sharpen yourself in your Word DAILY!!A few things to do when dealing with fear:
- Worship!! It’s as simple as that! Most times, when you don’t feel like it and all hell is coming your way-you will find your strength, peace and even joy though worship! Like David the Psalmist says in:
A. Psalm 118:4-6, “Let those now who reverently and worshipfully fear the Lord say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever. 5) Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place.” David worshipped BEFORE He called upon the Lord! That definitely takes self-sacrifice!
- Ask God to reveal the fear to you and call it out! Speak to it! YOU Have authority over that fear!
A . Romans 8:37 – We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus
- Develop a strategy to combat it! If you don’t face it, it will grow branches in every other area of your life! You have to put the work in. Write down scriptures pertaining to your fear and hang them on your mirror, refrigerator, everywhere you go!
A. Habakkuk 2:2 – And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”
- Be Vigilant! Don’t become too comfortable that you killed that fear that you become laxed in your faith walk. Remember there will always be giants! God never promised us an easy life, BUT He promised us that He would never leave us nor forsake us.
A. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:” Notice it does say the enemy seeks whom he MAY devour! That means he does not have the power to overtake you unless you give it to him. He is seeking because he can’t claim full control – we don’t belong to him!
- Shift your focus and Walk Free! Our fear of rejection is constantly worrying what others might think. We need to shift our focus from our own imperfections and focus on helping others. Loving others and their imperfections will help us to overcome our own.
- Mark 12:30-31 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””
We are not saying fear won’t come back or it will go away completely. BUT, if you are focusing more on what God thinks about you and sharpening yourselves in His Word daily, although the fear might not change, YOU WILL! Don’t be too hard on yourself! Take it one step at a time and find that covenant friend to walk this out with you! Ask God to bring you someone who will not only hold you accountable, but also walk through the trials with you! It made all the difference for us!