It was bedtime. The moonlight cast a shadow of the bare tree limbs on the window pane. The wind caused the shadow to move ever so slightly. It seems logical now, but for a little girl in a dark room, it was a mystery in the making. I was just a child and the last thing I wanted was to be in my own scary movie that night. But I was convinced that the Boogeyman was hiding outside that window, waiting for the opportune moment to strike.
Oh, the mind. Things are not always as they seem. There is something about the way you perceive a scene, a conversation, or an event that can drive you to a place of fear, all because of the working of the mind. And that place is not a fun place. Fear affects people in different ways. It can make you hyperventilate or barely breathe. It can make you run or cause you to freeze in your tracks. One negative thought allowed to run a fearful course can lead to depression or suicide. It can even prompt people to commit immoral or violent acts. That is why it is so important to stop it before it gets a grip on you.
It is not okay to live in fear. As a person of faith who has faced medical issues and negative reports, I have learned that fear will present you with opportunities to welcome it into your life. Sometimes it can be so subtle that you don’t initially recognize it. So to protect myself from its grip, I read the Word of God. It reminds me of the position I have taken as a believer in Jesus and that faith and fear can’t coexist. It’s my choice. And I choose Jesus. I choose everything he offers to me. I choose love. I choose joy. I choose peace. I choose healing.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Choosing is not a one-time event. Choosing happens daily, sometimes multiple times a day. How often depends on how active the spirit of fear is in your life. The enemy is constantly looking for ways to take out the people of God. He roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. His tactics include everything from accidents and mishaps to crime and violence and sickness and disease. Yes, the devil desires to use deadly force against us. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And guess what? He doesn’t play fair. He’s not above using our own minds to attack us.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. -Matthew 11:12
God tells us that the kingdom of heaven advances as we — yes, I said we — take it by force. It doesn’t sound like we need to retreat and try to get away. It doesn’t sound like we need to sit back and expect things will just turn out okay. No, instead we must use the weapons of warfare found in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. We can’t afford to let our thoughts run wild. Put on the armor of God. Take up the sword of the Spirit and prepare to stand your ground. There is no room for fear, only the shield of faith. When you have done all you can, stand.
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Cassandra Woods is an inspirational writer and speaker who has seen God’s word become real in her own life. She finds great joy in sharing God’s love with other women and encouraging them to develop an intimate relationship with God. Cassandra is married to Christopher and is the mother of a teenager and three young adults. To read more about her, click here.