So much of my life has been spent in fear and/or influenced by fear. Fear of danger (and for too many years as a child, there was good reason for that fear). Fear of rejection. Fear of shame. Fear of failure. Fear of the possibility of being alone, and later the fear that comes from actually being alone. And so on and so on.
I’ve written about it a lot in various blog posts (see side-bar for category “Fear Not). And while I’m not immune to fear -no one is- it has lost it’s stranglehold on me.
If you have been following with me through this current blog series, you know that in my last post I mentioned a feeling that the season of wobbliness and soul fatigue I’d been in was ending. My Bible reading plan currently has me wrapping up Deuteronomy, and imagery is forming in my spirit about venturing into lands of milk and honey.
But just like the 10 spies who saw giants in the land and counseled Moses not to go in to possess what God had promised, you and I can’t take possession of the things God has promised us if we are bound by fear.
And so before my writings take on the shape and colors of new things God is whispering to my heart, I would like to share (reblog) another excellent post entitled “Becoming Fearless” by Jennifer Arimborgo, Feeding On Jesus.
I have spoken a little about my past in other posts (under the Fear Not category). Perhaps not in great detail, but I have not kept silent out of shame. I know full well that my past does not define me, neither shall I allow it dictate the course of my life – present nor future. This non-negotiable fact is born out of the revelation of my true identity, and I bless God for walking me through the difficult journey from victim – to survivor – to victor!
That is not to say that I don’t still face challenges today that are a result (direct or indirect) of my past. I do, but there has been so much healing and transformation during the last 20 years, that most days I give no thought to either my childhood or the abuse of my marriage.
But there are days …. or more accurately, there are nights. Last night was one.
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had nightmares. As a very small child, I had recurring dreams of a stick-figured man who hovered over me at night, of hands that reached through walls and from under the bed to grab me, of knives that pointed at me throughout the night, threatening the safety of my bed. Even while those dreams provided a form of protection, they terrified me and influenced me deeply for decades.
Other childhood dreams mystified and thrilled me. In my favorite dream, I would head over to the side yard of the house, reach my hands up like Superman and start kicking like a swimmer .. and in no time at all, I would have lift off! Once off the ground, my arms would reach out to the side, and my continued kicking would propel me higher and higher – up over the house, soaring high over neighboring streets, daringly maneuvering in between power lines and tree branches and an occasional airplane. I found freedom in those dreams.
As I grew older, other dreams emerged. These dreams seem to be some sort of ‘cloaked remembrance’, a strange mixture of past and present. Besides the content of these dreams, what sets them apart is the feeling that comes with them. I imagine it is similar to a drug induced state, and it is sometimes a challenge for me to wake from them. But about 20 years ago while living in California, I met a wonderful woman who had a similar past, and her testimony of transformation had a huge impact on my life. As she prayed for and discipled me, greater breakthrough came, and eventually those dreams stopped. For a season. About 12 years ago, they started again.
I remember calling my Pastor one morning after a particularly brutal night. I sobbed as I told him how completely violated I felt, victimized all over again as these dreams come upon me when I am asleep and completely without the ability to protect or defend myself. I shall be forever grateful for his quick but loving correction.
Then he proceeded to teach me that I am not without defense, even when I am asleep.
And that, my dear reader, is the purpose for my writing this post. There is no life (no life-giving impact) in simply telling you about a strange dream or new spiritual attack I experienced last night. But there can be life-giving impact by sharing with you, as I believe I have been instructed by the Lord to do, the breakthrough I have experienced by learning how to sleep under cover.
Or more accurately, by learning how to sleep under the covering!
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:6-8)
So for the next post or two, I will be sharing with you what my Pastor shared with me, and how implementing these practices has trained me up to be a mighty warrior of God and has given me greater victory over all the attacks of the enemy-of-my-soul … even in the wee hours of the night. I hope you will join me, and be blessed by it.
One of the more recent additions to my ever-growing audio/video message library is entitled “Who Cares, Living Free From the Weight of Worry” by Jeremy Pearsons of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Jeremy does a fabulous job in bring home the simple yet profound truth that once we really know how deeply and completely we are loved by God, fear looses it’s power over us!
Somewhere within the message series, Jeremy Pearsons makes an observation in reference to Romans 8:31 that really struck a chord with me. To the best of my recollection it goes like this:
“If God is for us, who can be against us! And if God is against us, who can be for us?” ~Jeremy Pearsons
“So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them.” (Romans 8:31-33)
Think about that. I mean, if you and I truly believe that God is for us (as in deeply loves and cares for us) – then what does that say for every person, circumstance or power that is against us?
Said a little differently, if God is forme – then by contrast it also means that God is against everything that isn’t for me! And if God is against something or someone … brother, that’s just BAD news!!!!!
Many years ago, I learned a little chorus. I don’t know the name of the song, nor the author … I suspect that it might be a snippet from a Jewish or Messianic psalm. In any case, I have never forgotten it and if often brings me comfort on challenging days.
“This I know, my God is for me This I know
This I know, my God is on my side My God is for me This I know.”
I encourage you to take some time to meditate on the love of God for you. Search the Word for His promises to you, feed your spirit! Keep your focus on the love of God vs whatever challenges are facing you today. You are His beloved, and He does and will continue to care for (watch over, protect, attend to, teach/train, protect, defend,) you!
According to Hebrews 2:14-15, Christ has ‘render the devil powerless’ and made free those were all their lives held captive to him through fear. You and I have been set free from fear!
So like I said in an earlier post, ‘me and Fear have had a ‘break up”. I’m not taking his calls anymore, and when Fear knocks on mydoor … I don’t answer, and fear not! And if Fear won’t leave on his own accord, Imake an introduction!!
“Jesus, may I introduce you to Fe…… ” (insert sound of running feet) Hmmm … where did he go?”
Works every time!
PS – if you happen to know the origin of the song/chorus, please do tell!