Are you scared of shadow and light? My cat is…I am totally not kidding. I watched a normally calm, snuggly cat have an all out tizzy over light. Which made me recall a time, not so long ago that I watched him freak out, in the same way, over shadows. This made me ask myself, “What I am afraid of?” and ponder whether those things are worth the energy it takes to fear them. Short answer – nope.
My morning routine with our furbaby, Reiman, consists of giving him medication, disguised in a treat, then feeding a bit of wet food to wash it down. This past Sunday, I was finished with the medicating and reached to open the fridge for his wet food. As I opened the door it caused sunlight to reflect off the door and swoop across the kitchen. This absolutely TERRIFIED him. He took off like a shot out of the kitchen and it took me a few minutes to find him. Once I found him, Reiman would not return to the kitchen (to enjoy his favorite food) with any amount of coaxing. In fact, he kept hiding under the coffee table, a place where he rarely goes, save for pending trips to the vet and now, when light terrifies him.
He is still acting scared in the kitchen and we are struggling to get back to our normal routine. I was reminded that this happened once before, although not to this degree, on a morning when it was dark in the kitchen and I had turned on a small light in order to prep his medication. The small light caused big shadows on the walls and he took off out of the kitchen that morning as well. While the first time wasn’t as terrifying as the second, it seemed to lay a foundation of fear in him that allowed the light incident to fully terrify and continue to terrorize him.
All of these fear based antics with Reiman made me consider my fears and I boldly ask you to consider your fear, as well. What are the lights and shadows you are afraid of? If you stop to ponder that question, I hope you come to the conclusion that what you fear is merely light and shadow. Or, at least in the Kingdom of God, what you fear has no bearing because it cannot hold a candle to our Great and Mighty God. God tells us so often in His Word, “Do not be afraid.” I don’t believe He would repeat Himself without reason. One of my favorite verses about fear is from Joshua:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
Fear is one of the most powerful, if not THE most powerful weapon, the enemy of your soul has in his arsenal. Fear can paralyze you. It can keep you spinning in a futile circle, terrified to move forward and afraid to take a step back. Fear can ruin, or at least frustrate, your closest relationships. Fear can prevent you from walking into the calling and use of the God-given gifts you have been given. Fear can make you hold your breath and never exhale into the peace that God has for you. Fear is a powerful weapon, and while it can be terrifying, the good news is that you can fight it. You can overcome fear and walk in a fearless manner worthy of your God and King. This is not possible on your own, but with God all things are possible.
Fighting fear begins with identifying what you fear. That may seem simplistic, but it is a vital part of the process. Often, you can readily identify it as it may physically manifest with sweaty palms, heart racing, etc. But for the most base and foundational fears you may need to sit in quiet with God to allow Him to point them out to you. Remember there is no condemnation from God, He doesn’t judge you for what you fear. He isn’t watching you from a grand throne shaking His head in embarrassment of your fear and wishing you were different. Nope! God is in love with you. He designed you to always seek Him as your shelter and refuge. He desires that you walk in full freedom from fear with Him and relishes any opportunity you will take to allow Him to help you overcome your fear. Remember this Word to give you courage:
God is our refuge and strength…therefore we will not fear. – Psalm 46:1a, 2a
I like to restate that verse, personalizing it for even more encouragement:
God is my refuge and strength…therefore I will not fear. – Psalm 46:1a, 2a (my edits)
So, what do you fear? Do a few things quickly jump to mind? Good! Write them down, then spend quiet time with Holy Spirit to identify where that fear is based. Ask the Holy Spirit, point blank direct, “Where does this fear stem from?” Then, listen. Then, act. Walk out that fear with God and ask for deliverance from it. You may have had an experience that gave your heart a foundation for that fear. Or, you might have unforgiveness that allows that fear to reign in your life. Whatever it is, you must spend time with God to root out the base reason for that fear then allow Him to heal old wounds that are keeping that fear in your heart.
If you get stuck on the above direction and can’t pick out/sense a fear, don’t fret. Start with one of the fears that I believe is one of biggest fears we all struggle with: Fear of man. Let’s look at fear of man in Kingdom Light.
Fear of man can be an absolutely paralyzing fear. It may manifest in every single action of your life, controlling what you do, or what you don’t do. Depending on what others think of you for your self worth puts power in their hands. If you struggle with this type of fear, I challenge you to get to know who you are in God. The sole source of your worth and value is what God thinks of you. If you are basing your value on what anyone else, including your spouse, family or children think of you, you are betting on the wrong horse and you will lose.
I struggled to survive this fear for many, many, many years. I based my worth on what others thought of me and how well I performed my duties in life at home and at work. It was exhausting. It was exhausting because I could NEVER measure up to what I thought I should be in their eyes. I projected what I thought they were thinking onto them and it caused issues in my relationships.
Bottom line is this: I was looking to others for approval and love while ignoring my heavenly Father. That put everyone in front of God and was, in essence, idol worship. You may think calling it idol worship is going too far but I will stand firm behind that declaration. Here is why: anything you place in front of God to determine your worth is putting God in second place, or third, or fourth, etc. That is not where He commands us to keep Him – He is to be first in our lives, period.
It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I really understood how much God loves me, how much He values me and how much He sacrificed to make me whole. Once I understood that in my heart, not just my mind, my world changed forever. I was able to change jobs from being a work-centered, stressed out, 65 hour a week working, top financial officer to a fun loving, 40 hour a week position that had me answering phones and cleaning floors. I was able to make that change because I understood that it is not what I do or don’t do, or earn or don’t earn that determines my worth, rather it is my firm and unchangeable position as a Child of God that determines my worth.
This was not an overnight transformation. It took years of searching and seeking and finally sitting to download that information. I still struggle with my worth on some dark days, but now I more readily recognize it and quickly realign myself with God’s view of me. That rights my ship, quick! If you struggle with who you are in Christ, look to His Word. There are a plethora of verses that tell us how God feels about us (gee, it is almost like He knew we would need to know how He feels about us). Find those verses and focus on them. Soak them into your heart, mind and spirit and your life will be forever transformed. One such resource is this list from Joyce Meyer Ministries – Knowing Who I Am in Christ.
Do not conform anymore to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. – Romans 12:2a
Allow those verses to renew your mind. Nothing could be more counter cultural than securing your worth in Christ. Knowing who you are in Christ is knowing you as you were made to be. If you start the practice of learning who you are in Christ, your heart can’t help but be transformed. Your ship will be righted to follow the one and only true Captain, worthy of following. You will know that God’s opinion of you is the Only One that Matters and fear will drip from you like ice cream on a hot day.
Let me leave you with a secret as you start this journey:
God Loves You.
Nothing you do can make make God love you more.
Nothing you do/have done can make God love you less.
Learn to know who you are in Christ and the shadow and light will be cast off as what they are, less than nothing, in God’s Kingdom. Blessings to you as you embark on a walk that will take you to from fearful to FEARLESS!
Love and Blessings,