Fearless? I was far from it as I looked down at the little square gift in my hands.
Does this little box have a diamond in it or is it something else?
It was my birthday—two days before Christmas. My boyfriend had asked my parents for their permission to marry me, but I didn’t know when he would propose.
If this is the ring—I’m engaged! But, why did he do it this way?
I was afraid that this would be my engagement—and I had dreamed of a completely different story.
Stuck in the moment, I was more fearful of the unknown rather than embracing the present—a gift wrapped with love.
When facing an unknown future, the same can be true for all of us. We are bombarded by fear or anxiety—and it all relates to one thing: focus.
We dream and have hope for a future that is bright and beautiful and we imagine how things should be, or could be. Then, almost naturally we tend to focus on our past experiences that resulted in disappointment rather than the joy that is set before us.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Over the years, God has shown His great love for me by giving me some very specific insights about myself, the world we live in, and the enemy—the devil. In the process He has equipped me so that I will not have a spirit of fear.
1. Check Your Focus.
Are you focusing on the unknown or the One who knows everything? I don’t know about you, but I wrestle often with the unknown and specifically wanting to know how something is going to happen. All.the. time!
It’s challenging at times to have faith, and it manifests itself most when I can’t see how something is going to work itself out. But God, continues to remind me that “the how” is where we find adventure in life.
He gives me promises in His Word to guide me and lead me. God is always with me and furthermore He will never leave me, nor forsake me.
How can you know this?
It’s in His Word. This is where you can find a firm foundation of what is true and what is not true. It’s in His Word alone, that you can stand confident.
We live in a world that is confusing and muddied. Things often appear to be truth, but are deceptive and misleading. His Word is the living Word of God.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” —2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
You can let go of “the how” by continuing to transform your mind with His Word. By doing this—your mind is becoming more like Christ and less like the world.
And there is several benefits to reading that Bible that will inspire you to read it every day. Read more in 10 Benefits to Reading the Bible.
2. Be Fearless By Resisting the Devil.
The voice of the enemy always accuses and is condemning. In a culture that propagates fear and negativity, you can rely on the Bible for truth. It tells you that you have an enemy—the devil who is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. He is the Father of Lies and he loves to speak lies into your ears.
How to Recognize the Truth From a Lie
The voice of the enemy always accuses and is condemning. In my experience, lies that the enemy speaks to me generally seem to “pop into my head” when I’m thinking about something. His tactics usually attack my identity, God’s identity, my relationships, or my resources. It could sound like:
“Why would you want to do that?”
Attacking your identity may have similar themes:
“You’re not smart enough.”
“You’re too weak.”
How to Actively Resist the Devil
The apostle Paul gives first level practical tools to combat these lies.
In Ephesians he tells us to take up the armor of God. You can do this by specifically praying Ephesians 6:10-18 over yourself.
He encourages a renewing of the mind in Romans 12:2.
You can do this by replacing those lies with the truth by practicing biblical self talk, reading, meditating and memorizing God’s Word.
If you resist the devil and his lies—he will flee from you (James 4:7). To learn more about biblical self talk, read my post Are You Flourishing in the Strength of a Renewed Mind?
Stop to assess your emotions.
Use the acronym H.A.L.T. to ask yourself a few questions. These will help to determine if there are factors that are contributing to your fear that explain it and help you to regain focus.
H – Are you hungry?
A – Are you angry?
L – Do you feel lonely?
T – Are you tired?
4. Take a Fear Timeout.
Sometimes when you feel fearful or anxious, it’s a symptom that you need a break—or that you need more rest.
In fact, rest is one of those things that can actually help you eliminate your need to “practice” self–care. It’s one of two tips for self care that I talk about pretty regularly.
I know, it’s hard to take breaks or even think about resting because of all.the.things. you are responsible for. Plus, everyone is busy—life is busy. Culture doesn’t regularly take breaks unless forced to do so and many Americans don’t even take their paid vacations!
Although, it would be better if you took breaks before this happens, when you do feel this way, recognize it for what it is. Breaks can be vacations or 15 minutes!
5. Look at the Big Picture.
Are you taking into account ALL the information with a sound mind?
Zig Ziglar used to say, fear is nothing more than false evidence appearing real.
Sometimes the gift of peace is in not knowing all the details. Other times we know what is real, but we allow fear to distract us from a clear vision.
The picture above is the view I had yesterday. I can’t see more than a few feet. The fog is thick and it appears to be a very tangible wall.
I know differently though. I know that beyond those trees is our beloved lake.There are days when you can feel like you’re in a fog. Although you know God gives you hope for a future, these foggy times won’t let you see what is coming. You have a choice.
Get frustrated, get anxious, or you can turn to the One who tells you the truth—what is real.
He leads you besides quiet waters, restores your soul and gives you His Word—a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.
Even though you can not see at times, you can choose to walk by faith. He is with you and He is your Rock. You will not be shaken. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)
You will face many unknowns in your life. Unknowns never go away, but what makes or breaks you is how you respond to it.
Face your fears with confidence and stand fearless by acknowledging your fear and claiming what is true.
Are you facing something right now that is unknown?
Do you feel like you’ve lost yourself in motherhood and long to find yourself again? Are you afraid that your husband will experience job loss? Or are you constantly battling fear and feel like fear won’t go away?
No matter your circumstance—be strong and courageous.
Stand fearless in the face of the unknown.
God is with you wherever you are.
He’s not confined to a box. He has so much more for you than you can even imagine.
The Square Box
My boyfriend did give me a ring and we will be celebrating our anniversary this May. The ring—wasn’t in the square gift box that he gave me on my birthday. Instead, he planned an engagement story that I love to tell. But, that’s another story…for another time.
How is your focus? What is something that you are focusing on today, that you can bring before God in prayer?