The flash of the television kept me company while I shut my eyes, certain I wouldn’t sleep. The thump outside the window confirmed my concerns.
Without moving a muscle, I sliced through the night with my eyes. While my eyes darted from one window to the next, my ears stood at attention waiting for another clue.
Thump. There it was again.
After a few minutes of this, I made the only acceptable assumption: A team of ninja warriors had surrounded the house. They each stood in their spot on my roof waiting for the trumpet sound, at which time they’d fly through every window in the house in unison . . .
I don’t know what would happen next, I never got that far.
Instead, I started forming a plan. If I move to the couch I’ll be better prepared,I reasoned. From there I could escape easier and secure the rest of the family. Yes, the couch was the better option. Of course, it wasn’t the best sleep option. But who’s trying to sleep when a team of ninjas is perched outside the window? No. Sleep must wait for a different night.
As I raised up to move my stakeout to the living room, a thought interrupted my mind’s attempt at strategy: Make your decision in faith, not fear.
Fear forced my feet to the floor and marched me to the sofa, where sleep would surely allude me. Faith beckoned me to shut my eyes and rest in the grip of my God, who never sleeps.
As silly as my story sounds, we do this all the time, don’t we? Fear carries us down a waterfall of destructive thoughts. And the actions that follow our assumptions drown us. Fears consume us, direct us and destroy us. They render us useless and sometimes even hopeless.
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7
The fear we encounter at every turn is not from God.
And when we make decisions out of fear, we surrender the power, love and sound judgment provided by the same Spirit that produces love, joy, peace and faith. But how exactly do we move from fear to faith? In my experience (and believe me, I’ve had a lot of practice at this), I’ve found these three steps to be game changers:
#1 State your fear out loud. Something about saying it out loud gets to the heart of the matter. God knows our deepest thoughts and understands our hearts. When I speak openly and honestly with God, He often reveals a truth about my fear I had missed. I also find freedom in speaking it aloud. Sometimes our fears breed in silence. Speaking them out loud can stop their growth.
#2 Stack your fear against God’s promise. After I state my concern out loud, I look for God’s answer in His Word. There is no issue of my heart God has not addressed. His Word is living and active today and supplies every need. The problem is that we often search for our solutions somewhere else. We look to a friend or spouse or sibling. We search the Internet or pick up a good book. But God’s promise is the only once-and-for-all solution. He gives peace. He brings assurance. He is faithful.
#3 Step in faith. To act in faith, we must act. In her book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream, Holley Gerth writes, “If we make the wrong decision, there is grace and God is able to redirect as well as redeem. What’s more dangerous is doing nothing at all.” We will not be freed from fear until we replace it with faith. Take that step!
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