Posts Tagged ‘phobias’

 

PIC006

Up to this point we have seen that Paul, in our example of someone who had the fear of crossing bridges, did not know what was happening to him and his problems kept getting worse.

We looked at two things he had to understand in order to be an overcomer of these fears.

1.  His fear was real.

2.  His fear was wrong and sinful.

Now we are going to look at some other points:

3. His fear was not of bridges; it was a fear that had become associated with bridges.

It is very important to understand this. He needed to recognize that the bridges did not cause his fear.  There is no reason to be afraid of bridges.  Kim, the person in our example that is afraid of cars, needs to recognize that the cars themselves are not her problem.  The car does not cause the fear.

My first panic attack occurred at work.  It was the most horrible experience I had ever had up to that point in my life.  I was terrified and thought for sure I would die. I was convinced it was my heart. But I didn’t die.  I went to the doctor and he said I’d most likely been overdoing it and to take a couple of days off and rest.  He also gave me some tranquilizers if I remember correctly.  I followed his instructions.  But, at the end of those days off I had to go back and face the same place where I had that traumatic experience.  As I think back that was a VERY stressful period in my life and it is no wonder my body said, “enough.”  Physically, I was out of shape.  I didn’t eat right or exercise.  I drank and smoked, and partied all I could.  I was emotionally upset a lot with relationships and work stress.  And, I was spiritually bankrupt, as I didn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is no wonder I had that first frightful panic attack.

A little time passed and I had another attack at work.  I didn’t know what I was having were panic attacks, I simply called them “spells.” I don’t think the doctors even knew what they were back then. I was completely in the dark. I went into a downward spiral.  I truly became afraid of my office.  I didn’t want to go and as I got more tired and stressed out I began to miss days, I showed up late, and tried to find peace in more drink.  It didn’t work.  Soon, I had a panic attack in the grocery store.  Another place to fear.

Next, it happened in the bank as I waited in line.  Lines became an issue with me. My point is my world became smaller and smaller.  I quit my job.  I fell out of society and stayed at home all I could.  I got other people to do the necessary things for me and I hid out in my “safe place.”  I had Agoraphobia. It didn’t have a life anymore, I only existed! I felt hopeless.  

I get many emails from people just like I was.  They feel hopeless and helpless.  They don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you can identify with me too. The good news is that I did become an overcomer and I believe you all can if you just realize what is going on and learn how to deal with it. 

4. Paul’s real fear was of the experiences.  (The cause of fear)

The bridges were not the cause of Paul’s fear.  The car is not the cause of Kim’s fear.  And, all those places: the store, my office, the bank, the post office, and so many more were not the cause of my fear.  Once I found that out, it did help me.  I was experiencing fear of fear.  I was afraid of those awful feelings I had experienced in those places.  It took me a long time to see that, but when I did it was a real eye-opener.

Fear of fear is dreading to go somewhere or do something because some time before when we went to that particular type of place or did that particular thing we had a bad experience and were terrified with the emotions and symptoms that flooded us. That was fear and we wanted to escape.  Now we fear having that same fear again so we avoid those situations.  That is fear of fear.  We are not afraid of the place really, but of the feelings of fear we got there.   

So, bridges, cars, the workplace, grocery stores, banks, the post office, or doctor’s office, don’t produce these experiences. I hope you can see this.  It is so important. We know logically that cars and bridges don’t produce panic attacks.  We know that. We’ve all been over many bridges and we’ve all been in many cars.  They are not the culprits. 

Romans 8:15 (NIV) “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

We don’t have to live as a slave to fear.  We can change. 

5. The key to becoming an overcomer.

It is our own thoughts that produce panic attacks.  We have had panic attacks, we produce them ourselves by the bad thought habits we have picked up, and that means that we can stop producing them by a change in our thought habits.  Isn’t that wonderful?  There is hope after all.

Psalm 34:4 (KJV) “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”

God wants to deliver us from all our fears.  Isn’t that wonderful?  That is His will for us.

6. There is not some mysterious thing going on.

It is really very simple.  Our thoughts effect how we feel.  We think ahead about going to the store, riding in a car, or crossing a bridge and because we associate our former bad feelings with these things we blame them and think it will happen again.  But, in reality we are anticipating anxiety.  We are looking for it. We set ourselves up for it.

We develop or produce it by worry.  Our minds center on what we think might happen.  We get vivid mental pictures of what might happen when we cross the bridge, drive the car, and shop in a store.  These pictures take on the “what if,” scenarios. We worry about “what if,” I get shaky, “what if” I pass out, “what if” my heart beats too fast, and everything else we can imagine.  When we do this our bodies react as though these things were happening right then and releases adrenaline, which in turn brings about the symptoms we are so afraid of. Sometimes we say, “it just came over me, out of the blue.”  But, it didn’t just come over us out of the blue because we allowed our thoughts to get control and take advantage of us.  The answer is to work on the way we think. 

II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

It is possible for us to be in control of our thoughts.  If it weren’t God would not have said so. 

Dear God, I lift up those who are reading this now.  Lord help them to see that there is a way out of the bondage of fear.  Help them realize that you are the answer.  Lord, please set them free.  Your Word says you came to set the captive free, and I pray that for any here who are slaves to fear.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Thy will be done.  Amen.

Next time we will dig a bit further into this subject.  Stay tuned! 

Check out my blog at www.hatchcreek.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

Mourning Dove

March2008 008

In my last post we looked at different kinds of fears.  We saw that they were the fear of man, the fear of death, and the fear of the future.  A lot of our fears fall under these groupings.  These are all sinful fears. 

Today I want to address some good kinds of fears.  Yes, there are good fears!  Our goals should not be to eliminate all fear but to distinguish between what are the good kinds and what are the sinful ones.  After all, God made us with the ability to fear. 

Natural Fear:

Proverbs 22:3 NASB The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

This shows that man sees the danger ahead and takes steps to avoid it.

The fear of falling off a cliff, for example, is a natural kind of fear.  It is healthy to prevent us from taking that next step when we come up to the edge of the cliff.  Also, the fear of a wild animal is a natural good kind of fear.  It helps our bodies rev up so that we can run and escape. 

However, when we have  a panic attack our bodies go into this kind of fear when there is no real danger. This is not healthy. There could be many reasons why this happens the first time.  I’ve talked about that in a previous message where we talked about the physical side of panic disorder.  The problem is that our bodies get sensitized when we continue to have panic attacks and it is easy for us to slip into this kind of fear at the drop of a hat.  The way out of having panic attacks is to make more time between the attacks, by not pushing ourselves, resting, and let our bodies readjust.

Isaiah 7:25 NASB As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns;

This is saying one would fear the briars and thorns as they will cut and scrape you and be painful.  That is natural fear.

Wayne Mack says in his book, The Fear Factor, “The problem is, our sinful nature takes this good, helpful emotion and twists, perverts and distorts it.  As a result, it’s no longer productive but paralyzing, no longer natural but sinful.”

Holy Fear:

Proverbs 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 14:27 NASB The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Psalms 31:19 NASB How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!

Again I would like to quote from Wayne Mack because this is so good.  Here he shows the differences.

“Holy fear and sinful fear are opposites.  Sinful fear destroys; holy fear enlivens.  Sinful fear is a terrible affliction; holy fear is a great benefit.  Sinful fear shortens our days; holy fear lengthens them.  Sinful fear is a source of misery; holy fear is a spring of joy.  Sinful fear leads men astray; holy fear puts men on the right path.  They only way to overcome sinful fear is to replace it with holy fear.”

There you go.  We are back to “put-offs,” and “put-ons.”  We have to put off the bad fear and put on the good kind of fear. 

You may ask, what is this holy fear you are talking about?  It is the fear of God.  There are many scriptures that talk about the fear of God.   

Results of Holy Fear:

1.  It produces a fear of sin.

Philippians 2:12 NASB So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means that it is a serious business.  We shouldn’t take it for granted.  We need to keep studying the Word and learn how we can obey what God says.  We should not take sin lightly.  We recognize it for what it is and repent and get right with God.

2.  It produces a fear of God’s Word.

Proverbs 16:6 NASB  And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

The only way we can know God and know what he expects of us is to read and study the Bible.  As we do we will realize many things that God wants us to change or do in our lives.  We obey out of high respect and honor to God.  He first loved us, and now we love Him.  We should have a heart attitude of pleasing Him.  When we do this we will not fall into sin.

3. It produces knowledge and wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7  NASB “The fear of he Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” 

Proverbs 15:33  NASB “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom.

True wisdom and knowledge are found in the Word of God.  We learn what the Bible says and then wisdom gives us the ability to apply it to our lives.

Psalms 119:11 NASB Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

That is wisdom.

4.  It produces joy and contentment.

Proverbs 15:16 NASB  Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Isn’t that the truth?  I’d much rather have little of this world’s wealth then be rich and have all the problems that it entails.  People talk about winning the lottery and they’d be happy.  I don’t think so.

As you can see the Bible is where we need to turn to discover how to live our lives in a healthy and blessed way. 

The Fear Factor: What Satan Doesn’t Want You to Know by Wayne and Joshua Mack can be found here:

www.mackministeries.org

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: