I received an email from someone who expressed to me a way in which he was deceived, and this deception prevented him from becoming free from fear. It prompted me to share these thoughts with you. Here is an excerpt from that email:
“i pursue freedom from fear, and i may desire the freedom from fear more than Jesus, so that is the reason i cannot be free from fear, but if i desire and seek Christ, the freedom will come. It is strange but “freedom”can be our idol.”
Have you battled fear for a long time and wondered why you are still fearful? You pray and think you are doing all the right things, but fear still hangs on like a vice grip.
Here is a question that you need to take time to really think about and be honest with yourself. Do you desire freedom from fear more than you desire Jesus?
That’s a heavy question isn’t it? Think about it. What is your desire? Do you realize that your desire for freedom from fear (or any other thing) can become an idol? Why? Because that is the thing you are seeking after. You are seeking freedom instead of Jesus.
Perhaps you have read all the books on anxiety and fear. You’ve ordered all the tapes and listened and watched videos about overcoming panic attacks. You’ve tried all the worldly advise in your pursuit of freedom. You’ve gone to counselors, psychologists, and even Christian counselors, but still you are plagued with fear that annoys and distracts you, and it keeps you from living a full life. How many times I’ve heard people say, “I just want my life back!”
What could be holding you back?
(Jas 4:2b) …You do not have because you do not ask.
I think most of us have asked. We have prayed and prayed to be healed. I know I prayed many times that God would take away the fears that I dealt with on a daily basis and give me the peace that passed understanding. Sometimes, I felt peace for a little while, but then the fear would strike again. What was wrong?
Why didn’t I get healed the first time I asked God to heal me? There are a couple of reason that I can think of.
We must realize that the roots of anxiety and worry is sin. I know that’s a hard pill to swallow. But, let’s look at the Bible.
(Php 4:6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
(Mat 6:34) “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Read Matthew 6:25-34 and you will see Jesus’ own Words as He talks about worry. He commands over and over that we are not to worry.
(Jas 4:3a) You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,…
Could that be the answer? Did I have wrong motives? Maybe so. Yes, I wanted to be healed and immediately. But, those thoughts were from my point of view. My motives were to be healed so that I didn’t have to feel so rotten. I wanted to get back out there in the world and pursue my career. I wanted friends again, and a car, and money. I wanted to “get my life back.” It was all about ME! That way MY will.
At some point I realized that it wasn’t about ME anymore. I wanted what God wanted for me. Are you willing to continue to suffer with panic attacks and fear if that is God’s will for you? Are you willing to say to God, “Okay, if this is the way you want me, then I will submit to your will?”
When we get to the point where we no longer fight panic in our own strength and turn to God and surrender fully to Him, then He will fight our battle for us.
When we suffer, whatever it is, God is in it if we are Christians. He is right there beside us to hold our hand if we let Him. He will get us through it, but in the meantime He wants to teach us true dependence on Him. Did you get that? We need to learn to lean on Him and not trust in ourselves anymore, or any other person in our life.
Oh, if we could only desire Jesus Christ as much as we desire to be healed. Will you take that step? Instead of reading books on how to overcomer panic attacks, how about if you read and really study the Bible? Yes, you will find the answers there.
Is your desire to be free from panic attacks, or is your desire to seek and know God?
(Psa 42:1b) …As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.
What a beautiful picture of how we should want Jesus.
When we die to self and seek after Jesus, God will bless us in ways we never thought possible.