Monday, August 30, 2010

Fear Not: Part 3

Climbing Sillouette-1
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In the previous post, Tearing Down the Walls, I mentioned I struggle with the fear of pain. Now I want to ask you, "What are you afraid of"?
We all have unique God given personalities and gifts. All three of my girls have been woven with different and distinct personalities. While each of their personalities is special to me, I have also observed with each personality there is a weakness. Satan knows our weakness! Fear distorts the natural personality traits God has given you and turns them into idols or strongholds! The wall I built around my heart to keep pain out actually was the stronghold that kept God's love from entering in.
Fear becomes a STRONGHOLD when it begins to control our actions. What is a stronghold? It is a fortress or castle. It is anything that set’s itself up against its opponent. In the ancient times a stronghold was the LAST line of defense. So if Fear is a stronghold in our life it is literally putting up a wall or a fortress against Faith. Fear also sets itself up against our dependence on God for deliverance.
According to 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5, A stronghold of fear sets itself up against the knowledge of God. But, the Word of God has the power to demolish strongholds.
Let me ask you a serious question, do you want your strongholds demolished or would you rather have them diminished? Let me explain, a stronghold can become such a fortress in our life that the thought of it being demolished is terrifying. It is then that our stronghold has become our IDENTITY!
Some examples, A man who is afraid of failure at work becomes a work-a-holic. He works hard at his job and in return becomes really good at what he does. His work becomes his identity. God created man to work as for the Lord but Satan distorts this by instilling the fear of failure into the man. Work becomes the place the man retreats to when Satan brings those fears to the service instead of retreating to Almighty God.
Women are all about relationships and spending time with other women. God created us to be in relationship but Satan distorts this when we put our trust, faith and self worth in our relationships instead of in God. It is when we retreat to our friendships to get our emotional needs met INSTEAD of retreating to Almighty God that Satan has distorted what God created for good and turned our relationships into a powerful stronghold. Our relationships; what groups we belong to, what supper clubs or Bible studies we attend become part of our identity. Now, let me clarify, God created us to be in relationship with other women but He never intended for us to get all our emotional needs met by anyone other then Him. He desires to meet our emotional needs. He alone can fill our emotional cup.
Some of us have a fear of rejection but we would tend to think of ourselves as independent or maybe we tend to think of ourselves as trendsetters. We mask our fear of rejection by buying the latest fashions and keeping up appearances. We want and desire nice things so that people will admire us and accept us. In turn, these behaviors protects us from feeling rejected. We become known by others as trendy, hip or self confident but in reality we are so afraid of feeling the pain of rejection that we keep everyone at arms length and put all our attention on how we look or what image we want to portray. God has given each of us unique personalities. He has given most women the desire to be beautiful. He has given us desires to be beautiful for our husbands. But our appearance becomes our idol when our focus and self worth are entirely placed on how we look. It is then that fear distorts what God created for good and turns our appearance into our idol or stronghold.
Some of us have a fear of being alone, this one is a big one for women. What we fear is the feeling of loneliness but we tend to refer to ourselves as people pleasers, extroverts and socialites. Those who fear being alone can also have a tendency to be very controlling. They hold on tightly to those they love in fear of losing them. They develop behaviors that keep them from feeling alone or lonely. This one in particular is a tough one for me.
God wants to be our stronghold. The place we retreat to when life throws us a curve ball. He wants us searching in His is holy Word for encouragement and us finding rest and peace in Him and Him alone.
The Word of God helps us to identify strongholds. We are in a war for our mind and heart. We must fight this war with our weapon, the Word of God. When we identify our stronghold we must confess it and allow the Lord to heal us.
God doesn’t want us living in the past, he wants to FREE US FROM OUR PAST!!! Christ died to set us free. If Jesus sets us free we are free indeed. Listen, I know firsthand how hard it is to take this first step. We might be afraid of the pain we will feel if we go back. But Godly sorrow always leads to repentance and freedom!

1 comment: said...

Wonderful post! We all have fears - and I was plagued with many!! I found as I continued to seek God each day in His Word - to draw near hungering for intimacy and to know Him as He is -He started removing those fears and replacing them with truth.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

I clung to the promise of that verse as I committed my time to God each day seeking His face. And He was faithful. The freedom I feel is tremendous.

I'm a work in progress - but once I truly started to seek I started to see some real progress!! How great our God is!!