Fear

Fear – noun – 1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real [healthy] or imagined [irrational]; the feeling or condition of being afraid; 4. reverential awe, especially toward God. [bracketed terms added by me]

Stand In Your Love

When darkness tries to roll over my bones, When sorrow comes to steal the joy I own
When brokenness and pain is all I know, I won’t be shaken, no, I won’t be shaken

Chorus
‘Cause my fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love
My fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love
My fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love

Shame no longer has a place to hide and I am not a captive to the lies
I’m not afraid to leave my past behind. Oh, I won’t be shaken, no, I won’t be shaken

Chorus

There’s power that can break off every chain! There’s power that can empty out a grave!
There’s resurrection power that can save! There’s power in Your name, power in Your name

Chorus
My fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love
My fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love
My fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in Your love
Oh, when, when I’m standing in Your love
Oh, I am standing in Your love
Oh, I am standing on the rock
Oh, I am standing, standing in Your love

Stand In Your Love – Bethel Music – Ethan Hulse, Josh Baldwin, Marcus R. Harris, Rita E. Springer

Something happened last Thursday that caused me to experience an old fear. One that, in the past, would have sent me into a tailspin of medicating and acting out. It started Wednesday night after I was asleep. Lynn wasn’t asleep yet and my phone on the sideboard “made a noise” which Lynn heard. Thursday morning, as we were having our morning coffee and doing our Psalms devotional (Tim & Kathy Keller’s book … see books page) Lynn asked me if I’d gotten a text about 11:00 last night. I have a friend for whom I am an accountability partner. He generally texts me Wednesday night when he’s done with work and heading home. I checked my phone and he had not texted me.

Not desperate yet, but very concerned, I began to ask questions about the noise she’d heard. A reminder popped up and I asked if that was the sound. It wasn’t. I looked at all my notifications for my Bible app, Covenant Eyes, anything that I know I have a sound set up for. I couldn’t find a reason for an 11pm ‘noise.’  Lynn seemed to be satisfied and got up, got ready for work and headed out. I was by now determined. And desperate.

If you’re in the process of recovery and you’re working diligently on becoming honest, transparent and forthcoming with your wife, you know what a trigger is. In my past, I would use my phone secretly for illicit communications. I no longer hide my phone nor anything on it from Lynn. And although Lynn said no more about the mystery noise, I allowed a fear into my mind: “If you don’t find a legitimate explanation for that noise Lynn will think you’re hiding something. If she thinks you’re hiding something then you’re going to lose your marriage because you can’t be trusted!!” I called Verizon and asked their iPhone tech how to find something that came in at 11pm last night. She tried this and that and looked at notifications and … nothing. I was in a state. Fear had me by the heart trying to entice me back into the pit.

That’s when the new me took over and showed me the old me was gone.  I texted Lynn (I don’t call her at work) and asked her if we were okay. If she was okay. She said she was. Then I shared with her that I was under attack. That the minions of Satan were trying to drag me back. I told her that I was going to get away from my desk and go pray. True to her nature of Godly wisdom and grace there was no condemnation; she said she would pray for me.

God gave me peace from the fear and I finished my day. When Lynn got home we talked openly about it. As we were talking, my phone vibrated on the table.  She said, “That’s the sound it made last night.” I said, “That’s a vibration.” She said, “It just made a sound.” After several minutes of dancing around the difference between a vibration on a hard surface and a “programmed sound” we started to laugh – her laugh out of humor, mine out of relief. “Do you feel better now?” she asked. “Yes. Yes, I do. It’s solved.” And then we talked about my feelings during the day. Why I felt fear. What exactly was that fear? We drew closer, intimacy was nurtured and my fear proved irrational.

Lynn and I were fine. But God wasn’t through with His lesson on irrational fear. I believe I may be Spiritually hard of hearing. It’s probably lack of experience and skill in listening for His voice which makes me a tad deaf when He speaks.  Believing that to be the case, there is hope as it means it is treatable. He is, after all, the Great Physician.  I think I’m Spiritually hard of hearing because when my Father wants me to “get” something, it requires He send messages.  Plural.  To date, a minimum of two messages, from unrelated sources, with the same message. This time, He wanted me to get it and get it “real good.” He made sure I couldn’t miss it.

I am reading John Eldredge’s book “Wild at Heart” and Thursday night I got to where he talks about Spiritual warfare and that ‘real men’ realize it, recognize it and kick its butt. It is the biggest battle of our lives. Then this morning at Church God gave me the song above. Yes, we’ve sung it before but to have it brought back by the Worship Team this particular Sunday, that’s God. The sermon was on Godly humility – being malleable where He can mold me but where my substance itself, my identity in Jesus Christ, remains unchanged.  I align with His mindset in Philippians 2:5-8 and humble myself as He humbled Himself. And then, finally, the icing on top of God’s lesson of His Power over my irrational fear, our topic in our Grace class (The Grace Course from Freedom in Christ Ministries, Steve Goss, Rich Miller and Jude Graham; see books page) this morning was Courage; God’s Grace gives us a Spirit of Courage!

I sit here and write and I am humbled by my frailty and God’s unfailing love and grace. He showed me, showed me and showed me again that there is NOTHING in my life He cannot deal with. NOTHING He wouldn’t do for me. He’s already given me everything I need to be victorious. Not a thing withheld.  I “only” have to live in truth, His Truth, and fear must flee.

Fear for an addict is foundational. Trauma. Lies. Protecting our secret. There are innumerable ways fear has crept into our hearts. Satan is a lion and he’s always prowling, always looking to ruin, taint, molest, maul, hinder, destroy, twist and pervert. Here’s your assignment. Chase down all of these Scripture references – thirty-six of them. Breathe. PRAY. Ask God to open your heart to His truth in these Scriptures. And read. Slowly. Deliberately. Intentionally. And listen for His voice. It’s in there. And it’s more than you ever thought or imagined. He promised.

John 15:162 Cor. 1:22Zeph. 3:171 Sam. 16:17
Psalm 118:61 Thes. 2:4Isaiah 43:4Col. 2:10
Eph. 2:10Eph. 3:20Phil 2:132 Tim. 1:7
Joshua 1:9Romans 8:11Eph. 1:18-211 John 4:1
1 John 1:9Prov. 29:25Prov. 28:13Heb. 2:14-15
James 4:7Gen. 3:101 Cor. 15:54-57Psalm 34:1-4
Eph. 2:6Romans 12:2Heb. 13:5Psalm 27:1
Matt. 6:33, 34Isaiah 41:101 Peter 5:7-8Col. 2:15
Phil. 4:6-8Prov. 12:25Psalm 139:23-24Phil. 2:508