Closing the door on fear
“Don’t worry or surrender to your fear. For you’ve believed in God, now trust and believe in me also.”27 “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous! 28 Remember what I’ve told you, that I must go away, but I promise to come back to you. So if you truly love me, you will be glad for me, since I’m returning to my Father, who is greater than I. 29 So when all of these things happen, you will still trust and cling to me. 30 I won’t speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this dark world is coming. But he has no power over me, for he has nothing to use against me. 31 I am doing exactly what the Father destined for me to accomplish, so that the world will discover how much I love my Father. Now come with me.”
John 14:1 (TPT)
John 14:27-31 (TPT)
Today’s reading begins and ends with one prolific command: “Do not surrender to fear.” By frequency, this is the number one commandment throughout the scriptures. Literally, hundreds of times (over 300) we are commanded not to give place to fear, and yet fear in some form or another is the number one mental health diagnosis given each year. Affecting the poor and the broken to the wealthiest and most affluent, fear does not discriminate. Whether it manifests itself as anxiety, worry, doubt, depression, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, or even insecurities, the root is fear. A fear of what may—or may not—come, fear of failure, not measuring up or being enough, fear of losing control, all “rational” in their own rights but devastating to our God-given destiny as we give them more and more authority in our lives.
Fear is an open line of communication from my heart to the voice of the enemy. As long as I leave this door open I have surrendered or given authority to the one whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and, destroy the very plans and purposes for which I was created.
Taking today’s devotional to a more personal level, I will confess to you that for too long fear has been a revolving door in my life. In fact, it’s one of the things that I have brought before the Lord in this 21-day fast with a declaration that I am tired of yielding to a spirit of fear in my own life.
I am ready to close the door on fear for good! I’m just glad that I am not left to my own determination because while it is resolute, it has failed me before. Instead I am encouraged in my faith as I read Jesus’ words in verses 27-31 speaking to my heart:
“Angel, you have access to my peace (the antidote for fear) but you have to show courage (a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and operate in less of your own strength and more of mine). Even when it looks like I’m not on the scene-cling to me! Don’t you dare surrender to fear, you can trust me! This is what I created you to do”.
Life Church, will you join me in taking back our God given authority to cast out all fear in our lives and step into the fullness of all that God has created us for? I want to be able to look back on 2018 with confidence knowing that every decision I made was free of the stronghold of fear.
Lord, I thank you that you recognize I have fears and encouraged and commanded me countless times to not surrender to them. While these fears may seem overwhelming to me in my own strength, I recognize Your graciousness in giving me a way to overcome them: You. Lord, I turn to you to close the door on fear in my life for good, shutting off that line of communication the enemy has held for too long. Thank you for allowing me refuge in Your strength and not my own. Here’s to a fearless life! In Jesus name, amen!