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Speaking Against The Spirit Of Fear

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15).

We all have fears. Are yours excessive?

Every follower of Jesus will struggle with fear. From a Kingdom perspective, fear can be a good thing, as it indicates strongholds from which Jesus can deliver.

Part of the job description of Jesus in Luke 4:18 is: “…to proclaim release to the captives.”

Which description below indicates your fears?

1.  Something specific, like having anxiety about flying in an airplane. 

2.  A vague feeling of apprehension – you get up in the morning and it’s there. 

3.  Debilitating and excessive anxiety.  

4.  Variations of all these descriptions.

Back to scripture. Meditate for a moment on the following verses:

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).

Cast all your anxiety on God, because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).

There are two extremes to avoid when considering your fear – feeling guilty over a lack of faith or taking medication as the only solution.

A blog isn’t the best venue for complex therapy on a difficult topic. But one simple point is clear from scripture, and becoming more documented by quantitative scientific study, 

that learning to rejoice, and speaking positive words, can rewire the brain to withstand fear.

One Harvard researcher writes the following about verbal repetition in helping patients to overcome smoking. He describes this therapy in a class that he once taught: 

Repeat after me: “As your physician, the most important thing I can tell you today is that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health.” This is the best option we have for helping people quit smoking: “In a clear, strong, and personalized manner, urge every tobacco user to quit.” Perhaps a bit stunned that their medical school professor was using kindergarten-style teaching, most of the students merely parroted the phrases back to me… Over a decade has passed between my teaching that class and writing this book, yet the phrases that I just quoted are still the “gold standard” for helping people quit smoking. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up. Repetition is king when it comes to forming habits.

What science is now discovering, was written a long time ago in the Bible. Read the following:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4).

Speak to yourself with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks! (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Note that in Ephesians 5:19, “speak to yourself” is often translated “speak to one another” but there is better evidence that the best translation is “speak to yourself.” 

So, the next time you are mumbling to yourself, and someone asks you what you are doing, say simply, “Being obedient to scripture, the Holy Spirit and following the advice of the Apostle Paul.”

That response should shut them up and keep them from suspecting your sanity.

Let’s consider what you should be speaking or mumbling to yourself. Throughout today, whenever you feel any of the above four types of anxiety – stop thinking about the anxiety – and say:

Father, I cast this anxiety on You. I rejoice in the power of Jesus to give me joy.

Say it again:

Father, I cast this anxiety on You. I rejoice in the power of Jesus to give me joy.

Say it again and again. Speak it to yourself over and over. Don’t worry about what others think when they hear you mumbling.

You have permission from the Bible, science, the Apostle Paul, and Pastor Grant to “speak to yourself” back to joy.