Even strong Christians feel what you feel. Just because you feel anxious doesn’t mean you are actually weak. It doesn't mean you don't have faith. It means that the enemy has planted a thought that has turned into an emotion that makes you feel weak.
Fear is not the absence of faith but an attack on our faith. If we tolerate fear, it can lead to us putting our faith into the wrong thing. If we quickly deal with the attack of fear, recognize the lie and return to the truth (primarily what Jesus accomplished on the cross and who we are in Him), we are using our faith to overcome the fear.
I find this concept so important because without it we feel shame and condemnation for feeling fear. We feel weak under the attack and more likely to run and hide. Instead we need to recognize the fear as a fiery dart of the enemy and quickly extinguish it in brave, confident, warrior fashion.
Bill Johnson of Bethel Church has a son Brian that is co-founder of Bethel Music. His music has been enjoyed by millions around the world. He grew up in a strong Christian home. He loved God. He was walking out His calling and ministering for and with God. And yet he got panic attacks. He had depression. He knew the Word and knew how to pray and to praise, and yet he still struggled. So just because you are struggling doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith, it doesn’t mean you aren’t spiritual enough. Those are lies from the enemy.
But Brian didn't stay in his depression and just accept the panic attacks as something he must endure because he's only human and living in a fallen world. He found breakthrough and freedom, and you can too by recognizing it as an attack and rising up to the challenge.
Daily surrender is one of the things Brian says he needed to do to overcome. I know I have the great intent of being totally surrendered. I know it is what is best for me. I know in my head that God knows best and can be trusted but sometimes my heart forgets. My heart starts to fear. My heart starts to try to figure out a way to make things better on my own. My heart starts to feel forgotten by God. My heart wants to hurry the answers along. My heart wants to skip the process and go right to the results.
A daily intentional, specific surrender can keep us abiding in Christ where stress, worry and fear have no place. Try each morning to not just have a general thought that you will live surrendered but instead spend a couple of minutes actually surrendering. Tell God something like this...
"Father, I come to you as a living sacrifice and I present myself to you right now.
Receive my life, receive my spirit, soul and body.
Heal, restore, make whole,
Empower, envision, equip;
Draw me into an intimate relationship with You, Father.
I believe that as I surrender to You,
You meet me right where I'm at.
As I surrender my life, give me Your abundant life;
As I surrender my hurts and pains, bring healing and restoration;
As I surrender my past, give me revelation of my future.
Open up the eyes of my heart to know my true identity as Your child,
Called to the kingdom for such a time as this.
I take my seat with Christ in authority and power in the heavenly realms;
To manifest Your kingdom
On earth, as it is in heaven,
Manifesting the light of Your glory.
Today, I gladly and humbly surrender to you
And allow you to do what you want to do in my life.
Direct my life in the way it should go,
Let times of refreshing come from Your very Presence.
Let Your Presence rest on me."
Can I just point out to you that humbleness and surrender don't make you weak? It doesn't mean you sit back and wait on God to move either and that you are at the mercy of everything that comes along because it must be God's will. It's only when you truly surrender that you are able to take your seat of authority with Christ. It's only in surrender that God can fight for you. And that fear that is attacking your faith...it weakens as you daily surrender. It's overcome quicker and quicker each time as you are strengthened through surrender.
Faith doesn't exempt us from having feelings but it does deliver us from all our troubles. The feelings themselves are just feelings not truth. Daily surrender puts the focus back on truth... and the truth will set you free.
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