The fear of man is a real issue many have to overcome. Sometimes the best way to defeat it is to simply surrender to it, hold your palms up, and tell the Lord that you are willing to be rejected and look like a fool for His sake. When the fear of foolishness is broken, we can be worthy of being used by Him.
FEAR NO MAN
During our online JOURNEY class, we spend a few days talking about teaching our children to not only see but love those around them. It never ceases to amaze me how many parents say, “Oh, I can’t do that.” And their reasons always include some sort of fear. Fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of getting it wrong, fear of looking foolish, etc. Instead of empowering our children to love others, we let fear lead and indirectly pass that fear down to our children. God doesn’t push us to the point of it hurting us, but there is always an invitation to go deeper.
What if we dealt with the fear in our lives? The fear that we were introduced to and taught, and allowed God to parent us through our children by stepping out of our comfort zone to see and love others? The world around you needs what you carry. Do not let the fear of _____ hinder you from teaching and empowering your children to love others.
One night, Ellie had a really bad nightmare, and we dealt with it, but the following night she was afraid to go to sleep, fearing that the nightmare would come back. I asked if she wanted the nightmare, and she said, “NO!” Then I asked her who had authority over her mind. She does! I helped her walk in it and tell the nightmare it was not welcome in Jesus’ name, and we welcomed the Holy Spirit to come and play with her while she slept, which is exactly what happened! I am all for comforting a scared child, as that is part of our job as parents. But sometimes, we are actually encouraging the fear by comforting them instead of teaching them to use their authority and get rid of the junk.
We all experience a flash of fear from time to time, but when fear controls our thoughts, choices, and emotions, it is time to address it head-on. If fear is something that has too big of a voice in your life, after it and deal with it on this side of heaven. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a clear mind. So, let’s go after this together.
Testimony from a mom taking our online JOURNEY class: “Fear was one thing that had clouded my chalkboard for a long time. I asked God if fear was present in my life, and He said yes. I then asked Him who I needed to forgive for the event. He showed me this: It was Chinese New Year, and all the families got together and spent the night playing and chatting. All the kids were playing upstairs. And my older cousins told my brother and me (we were the youngest) ghost stories. I was so scared. I was so afraid that I couldn’t sleep alone or with the lights off for a long time. I became fearful of mirrors (part of the story). As God showed me this, I commanded the fear to leave and saw myself closing that door. I also asked Jesus to come and seal the door with His blood. I saw Him wiping the door with a brush soaked in His blood. He went over the sides and the door disappeared. And then I saw my heart, red (blameless and without any scars) and pumping lively! I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me and replace the spirit of fear with His joy, peace, and comfort. I feel so light and joyful. Praise God for this healing!”
Fear is a tool the enemy uses to paralyze us and stop us from moving forward. Fear always comes with a LIE. Lies are not true and are almost always in the tune of God being powerless, small, or absent. We are created to crave God, but FEAR is the number one thing stopping us. We fear that if we surrender entirely to Him, He will send us to a remote area, take our children away, or require something of us we don’t feel equipped to do. Would it shock you to know that the same fear tactic the enemy uses on you, he uses on your neighbors? What if the fear you are fearing is just a LIE to get YOU to partner with the shore so that you never go after the GOODNESS of God? To fear God in the above way reveals that we do not really know our Father. The fear reduces you to being powerless, which is the whole point. To know Him is to trust Him, and to trust Him is to experience His radical goodness. Draw a line in the sand and tell fear it is time to GO!
When I was in my early 20s, I was roommates with a gal who was younger than me but more mature in every way. I would describe her as having Jesus in one hand and my hand in the other, and she would constantly introduce us in new ways. I learned so much from her. One day I had an appointment to get my car worked on, and she agreed to pick me up. I got my car checked in and was waiting outside for her. She was late – like really late. I wandered the sidewalk for over 30 minutes, growing more and more agitated. When she finally appeared, she found me in my car, speeding off without having the work done. I was mad. VERY mad. I punished her with the silent treatment and refused to talk to her. Over the years, I felt bad for how I treated her and gained some maturity in realizing that it was pretty lame of me to be so upset when she was going out of her way to help me. The memory always told the story of my bad behavior and being so rude, but I heard God say, “Ask Me to show you what I saw,” and I saw this picture in my mind of a little girl shaking; she was so scared by being left alone at night outside. She was surrounded by fear and intimidation as she was utterly unprotected and vulnerable. I realized at that moment my reaction to her had little to do with a friend who was late to pick me up and more about it triggering my memory of being vulnerable, alone, and left behind. My strong reaction was not about being impatient but about trying to feel protected and safe again. Over the years, I have learned about these splinters in our hearts that cause big reactions when touched. God does not want us to manage them but be FREE from them.
How about you? Do you have a memory that pops up often in your mind that tells the story of how ‘bad’ or wrong you behaved? Ask Jesus to show you what He sees.
Many of you are feeling waves, and I want to validate that it is okay to be processing this season in waves. Many of us have to wade through the wave of fear, anxiety, and worry. I am used to feeling something, processing it, and having a breakthrough. It is odd to have the wave come, walk in peace, and then have it come again when I least expect it. I reached out to my team and asked how they were doing. One mom said, “If you were to ask me last night, I would have said AWESOME, but this morning I am a mess.” How many can relate? One minute you feel like Mother of the Year, and the next wave, you feel like a massive failure. One minute you have the faith of a haystack, and the next, you can’t seem to find the mustard seed. One minute you feel energized and confident, and the next, you feel so defeated. This is OKAY, but what you do with it is significant. You either use those waves to make you stronger or let them pulverize you.
Each time the wave comes, may I encourage you to pause and process your heart by asking yourself: #1. Is this wave in my mind, body, or spirit?
**Our MINDS are dealing with many facts which aren’t always true.
**Our BODY has had to switch gears significantly from busyness to rest (which can be extremely challenging physically). Others are worn out from having the busyness of children 24/7.
**Our SPIRITS are experiencing so much right now, and not all of it is the right Kingdom.
#2. What does my mind/body/spirit need right now? Each time you STOP and process your heart and meet the need, your CAPACITY to handle the situation increases. The next time the wave comes, you will be STRONGER. Enjoy the peace, process the weight, and allow this to increase your capacity to become stronger in the midst of hardship.
Can we unpack this comment?
“We are both really aware that we often don’t follow the Spirit’s prompting to pray for people out of fear of looking silly or being rejected.”
This is the number one response I get from parents when we talk about praying for others. Who taught you that loving others means you will look silly? Who taught you that covering someone else’s needs means you will be rejected? Who taught you that releasing heaven’s authority and power over someone’s pain and suffering means you will look foolish? Who taught you that it is better to leave someone in their suffering than to take a risk? Who taught you that it was all about you? Jesus gave everything so that WE could be the answer and solution to the hurting world around us. Who taught you that the risk of showing Jesus’ love to someone wasn’t worth it? The devil himself taught you because he is intimidated, nervous and afraid when believers do the greater works Jesus talked about. The enemy hates it when believers walk in authority and release love. The question is, then, why would you want to listen to him?
I teach a lesson to parents on being spiritually clean. 9/10 adults say they were introduced to a demonic spirit of fear through the TV shows their parents allowed in the home. Even if children didn’t ‘see’ the show, they felt the atmosphere down the hallway and came under the spirit of fear in their bedroom, which is still affecting them today. What you allow in your home today will reap a harvest down the road. It isn’t a matter of if you can handle it or not; it is a matter of whether it is in line with righteousness. If not, it will not produce the fruit of the Kingdom. We can’t feed our children with horror, fear, watching murder, violence, swearing, and unhealthy relationships and foresee it to reap a harvest of righteousness, peace, and joy.