Fear is a magnet, it attracts the very object it fears.
I was having my teeth cleaned one day when the topic of hiking came up. Ever since we adopted, Dixie, our very energetic dog, I have been spending more time hiking around the trails in Ringwood. My hygienist said she didn’t like hiking because she was afraid of snakes and would often see them while hiking. I didn’t think much more of our conversation, nor of the fear of snakes. Prior to having that conversation with the hygienist I had only seen a snake while hiking maybe three times in over twenty years. The very next time I went hiking after our conversation I saw a snake. Wow, what a coincidence! The next time I went hiking I saw a snake. Wow, what an incredible coincidence!! By the third time in a row since that conversation I saw a snake I realized it wasn’t a coincidence. This was something God was showing me in the spirit realm, a lesson about fear.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Right then and there in the middle of the trail, while looking back at the object of my fear, the black snake, I rebuked the enemy for his strategy of fear against me. I told the fear of snakes to leave me and never to return. And I thanked God for His protection and reminded myself that God’s perfect love expels all fear.
But I couldn’t help but be amazed at the power of fear. When I had that conversation with the hygienist I wasn’t aware of any fear coming over me. I had never feared snakes. How did her fear come upon me without me even being aware of it?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear is a spirit, meant to be fought in the spirit realm…
Fear is not from God…
I don’t understand the spirit realm or how this spirit of fear came upon me, but I believe the Lord used this as an example to teach me the power of fear. To show me the power of thoughts whether I am aware of them or not.
“What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.” Job 3:25
Consciously I wasn’t aware that I was afraid of snakes. If you had asked me any time following that conversation if I was afraid of snakes I would have said, “No.”
But why the three snakes the next three times hiking?
When I observe other areas in my life and in the lives of others I see this played out over and over.
The fear of illness brings illness.
The fear of being abandoned, or rejected brings behavior that causes one to be abandoned and rejected.
Believing I was no good I couldn’t receive compliments from my husband Mark. I rejected them and so he stopped giving them. This proved I was no good, “See, my husband doesn’t even think I am good.”
(Just for the record, since God has set me free I can receive and so appreciate the compliments Mark gives me. He has become my greatest encourager. Another example of what the enemy meant for harm, God intended for good!)
Fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
What you fix your eyes upon becomes your reality.
Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:1-6
The things Job feared came upon him. In much distress, Job cried out to the Lord for understanding, and God showed Job just how amazing and powerful He was. When Job saw the awesome power and sovereignty of God he was undone. He repented in dust and ashes. He thought he knew God, but he realized there was so much more about God that he hadn’t even considered.
Now, back to that day I was having intense revelation from the Holy Spirit concerning shame…
As the Holy Spirit was connecting the dots of how shame had influenced my thoughts, responses, and words, He also showed me that my belief, that I was no good, had affected me physically. I had been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, about ten years before. When I was first diagnosed I received the diagnosis, took the necessary medication, but believed that some day I would seek God’s healing.
That day as shame was exposed…the Holy Spirit brought revelation concerning my thyroid condition…
It began to be so clear…
Because I believed I was no good, I attacked myself with thoughts, with actions, and with words that were destructive. They brought damage to myself, emotionally and physically.
The Mayo Clinic defines Hashimoto’s disease…
“Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple.”
Though there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, it was in fact, good, my immune system believed my thyroid was bad, and therefore brought it under attack.
I was overwhelmed with all the Lord was showing me. I remember weeping as I tried to process all I had heard Him say to me that day. The power of His love and truth were washing over me, filling me with a newness I never experienced.
I was good!!! I really was good!!
Not because of anything I had done, but because of what Jesus had done for me!!
My cloak of shame was gone!
I was clothed in Christ’s robe of righteousness!
I am thankful it was so intense because there is an enemy that doesn’t want me to be free from fear and and from the prison of self. Not only that, I live in my flesh that has believed I was no good for all my life. My flesh has developed habits from that lie. Old familiar thoughts…Old familiar self-talk…Though the lie was confessed, my shame undone, the old fears are familiar and can taunt my mind.
I am learning to recognize when insecurity begins to rise up within me. What am I looking at that is stirring it up? Am I comparing? Am I jealous? Am I focusing on self? What does my self-talk sound like? If these are happening, if I’m going back into that prison of self, I remember what God showed me that day…
I am good, because through Jesus, God has made me good!!
“Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before Him covered with his love.” Ephesians 1:4
It’s not positive thinking, it is the truth of God!
It is wielding the sword of the Spirit!
When God’s word is spoken into a situation it is as a sword that fights off the lie of the enemy.
At the word of God, the enemy must flee!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” Hebrews 12:1-2
Faith fights fear!
Though I have been instantly healed from some things, Hashimoto’s disease has been a process. A process that has been teaching me how to fight fear with faith. As I have walked this journey my faith has been tested many times and each time I have been made aware of the lie, the fear, that has tested it. I am learning how to fight fear with faith and to believe for what I do not yet see.
God isn’t just concerned about the end product, but what you learn along the journey. With each life situation you have the option to respond in either the…
Fear of God…believe the truth…live in the spirit of power, love, and self discipline…receive the good God intends for you.
Or in the…
Fear of Satan…believe his lies…live in the spirit of fear…receive the harm Satan means for you.
Fear is a magnet, what are you attracting?