On the eve of a new year, I am hopeful and “setting my face like flint” – I want to grow in my faith, in my obedience to Christ, in my health, in my relationships this year. Discipline is needed so I will take action - consistent, purposeful, targeted action. My team-building efforts earlier this past year have been a good start toward successful goal-setting. I began a series of partnerships in key areas to move forward with accountability. I began seeing a counselor, to process faith-based renewal of my mind in the context of recent relationship issues. I began working out with a great health trainer at a local gym to build up my physical strength and endurance. I began seeing a naturopath so I can make forward motion in internal health. And now I have an addition to my daily devotion time to target a key area in my broken soul: fear. Although I’ve known for some time that “God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7 - Some translations use self-discipline or self-control, instead of sound mind), I have not renewed my mind in this area and have allowed the fear to be a block that I walk away from instead of challenging it.
But a recent online interview with Susie Larson, an author, speaker and radio host I just found out about, has added some spiritual weaponry to my arsenal. Susie’s common sense and God-honoring perspectives on a variety of issues has “spurred me on” (Heb.10:24) in my faith and given me the opportunity to see one of the enemy’s tactics against me. She said the enemy threatens us in the area that we are the most threat to him. She also pointed out that the enemy is a liar, but if we believe the lies, it hinders us as if it were true. The Holy Spirit expanded on what she said and gave me a picture of a door that God wanted me to walk through. The enemy threw up a curtain of fear in front of the door, trying to get me to (once again) back away from the door, retreating supposedly back to the “safety” of non-confrontation. Not to stand up to and face the fear means I miss what’s behind the door I am supposed to walk through. That’s not safety. That’s living stunted, unfruitful, unproductive.
Today, I choose to despise the fear, like Jesus “despised the shame of the cross”, “because of the joy set before Him” (Heb 12:2). I will rely on the Holy Spirit to help me tear down the curtains of fear that try to block my view and access to the doors I am supposed to walk through with love, power and a sound mind. I will not allow old behavior patterns to determine my new life. “I am a new creation” ( 2 Cor. 5:17) and I will walk fearlessly!