Fear does not only occupy our minds and hearts, it overpowers us, controls us, it holds us back and it cripples us… But the worst part of all of that is – we allow it. The reality is, that we are faced with fearful situations all the time. We all have a fight or flight reaction, an instinct that kicks in in situations we face. It is the way our minds work, good news is that there is a way we can learn control to this. (I will go into more detail about this later.)
A fear or phobia for something that we are aware of (like my fear for snakes) is something we can learn to deal with, we can face it straight up and overcome it that way. We wire our minds to not go into the fight or flight reaction. But what about the things that we do not even know that we are afraid of? What about those situations which we do not even dare to think about? A situation which we are not able to control, foresee, prepare for or predict. How will we ever know how we will react until faced with these situations? Can we actually really prepare? Yes. We can only do so by spending time with God, in the Word and use this in our everyday life and then when faced with extreme situations we are ready and equipped with the Holy Spirit. When we are faced with situations beyond our control, and beyond what we think we are capable of, we do not have to fear – the Holy Spirit has been there before, He knows what to do and how to react in any situation.
Our minds are so carefully and wonderfully made by our Father. He also gave us the ability to choose. Let’s take a taxi for example. The first time a taxi cuts in front of you in the traffic, you choose to react a certain way – you get a fright, you maybe lose your temper and say something you are not proud of, because how dare he, what about your life, your safety, etc. The next time this happens you react the same way. In your mind you are forming a little pathway (a little two track dirt road). Every time you react that same way when a taxi cuts in front of you, you go on that pathway again, making it a proper dirt road, and later even making it a tar road to the point where it can be a highway in your mind. The more you use it, the better the quality of the road and the more accessible and quicker it becomes. If you then use the train or move to a small town or farm, where the traffic is better and no more taxis, you will then not use this road in your mind that often. If you do not use the path anymore it will deteriorate and new better pathways will form. A taxi free world is something we all dream of, but it is not very likely to happen. What we can do, is condition our minds, put a barricade on that road in your mind to stop you from using it, making a conscious decision to rather bless the people in the taxi and that way you create a different pathway in your mind. We can also apply the same principal to fear.
In II Kings 6 from verse 8 to 22, we read about when the king of Syria sent horses and chariots and a great army to get Elisha. That night the army surrounded the city where Elisha was. When Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, woke up early and went outside, he saw the army. He was terrified for his life and in absolute fear asked Elisha what to do. Verse 16 and 17 (NKJV):
“So he (Elisha) answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Those who are with us are more than those who are with them!! In a fearful moment, this is what Elisha’s first response was, he knew and trusted God so much that he didn’t have a second of doubt in his mind. He could have also said this:
Rom 8:31 (NKJV)
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
He did not hesitate for a second, he calmed his servant and then immediately prayed. It was not a prayer of fear or uncertainty, he was confident and only wanted his servant to see what he saw. The pathway in his mind for situations like that was a highway straight to God.
A few years ago, staying alone in a one bed room apartment, I woke up one night, ‘hearing’ someone in my apartment. I was lying in my bed frozen in horror, scared for my life. My first instinct was – what do I have to protect myself, who can I call to come and help me. After weighing all the options, which were a blunt pair of scissors that I ruled out anyway, I got out of my bed, and stood shaking behind the door, hopeful that I could try to block the door should someone try to open it. In that moment of fear I realised, I have nothing and no one… BUT I do have God! I realised that He is with me, I am not alone, and I do not need any weapon or anything else. I have God! That gave me the courage to open the bedroom door, and checked the apartment for intruders. There was no one. I was relieved, but still very shaky. I got back in bed, not thinking that I will sleep again, still afraid. I started to pray. God then showed me something that I till today can see as clear as day – angels. Big, tall, beautiful angels, standing in rows around my bed, towering over me. Behind them, the next row, and the next. Filling up my room, outside my bedroom door, in the bathroom, the lounge, the kitchen, on the balconies, in front of the front door, all the way down the steps, all the way to my car and around it. It was amazing!! I fell asleep after that.
My first reaction was, what can I do in this situation, instead of going to God first. As soon as I turned to God I was able to get to the point where I was able to face the situation and overcome the fear. Is that not how many of us react? We turn to ourselves first, or even others, looking to a family member or friend to help us. Elisha turned to God immediately, if you continue to read II Kings 6 you will see that God blinded the army, no harm came to Elisha.
Let’s have the faith and trust in God that Elisha had and instead of having a fight or flight reaction we have a God, Jesus and Holy Spirit reaction, creating all the pathways in our mind to lead to God. He knows your situation, He has been there before and He will lead you through the seas and let Him be in control.
II Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (NLT)
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” (AMP)