Just a few weeks ago, I was out taking my early morning walk when some ladies in my neighborhood yelled, “Be careful, Terri, there’s a skunk up there!” So, I changed my route to avoid this skunk that I couldn’t even see in the dark! This went on for several mornings. One day, I got tired of not getting to take my normal route, so I thought, “I’m just gonna go see for myself, take a chance and go the route I want to go.” I didn’t want to allow this skunk to ruin my path. So, I got closer and closer to where they said the skunk was…. and sure enough, I saw an oval-shaped thing in the grass with a white stripe all the way down the center. My heart was beating so fast! I was praying really hard – commanding him to stay away from me! I was walking as fast as I could, and I was prepared to spray him back with my tear gas!
I saw the ladies ahead and I warned them, “You’re right. The skunk’s up there today.” Later that morning, I was taking my daughter to school and as I drove out of our neighborhood, I looked in the same spot that skunk was in earlier – and there it was….an oval-shaped thing with a white stripe down the center just laying in the grass. It was a football! Yes, I was scared of a football! It dawned on me, “All this time – we thought that football was a skunk!” I was allowing a football to scare me and stop me from taking the path I want to take!
It’s been said that F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real! That’s how Satan works! He presents thoughts and ideas in our head that completely PARALYZE us from going forward…when all along – it’s False Evidence Appearing Real.
The interesting thing is that I would still think that football is a skunk to this day and I would still be avoiding my favorite path and settling for a small path if I hadn’t seen that area “IN THE LIGHT”. It was only because the sun came up (the light was on) that I was able to see that I had fallen for a lie.
It’s the same with the Word of God. The more you read the Word for yourself and you let it get down on the inside of you – a LIGHT GOES OFF and you begin to see things you didn’t see in the dark. You begin to see that you don’t need to be afraid. You have nothing to fear!
Satan works through fear just like God works through faith! It takes fear to activate Satan’s power in your life just like it takes faith to activate God’s power in your life. The scripture that has brought such peace and conﬁ dence to me when I am facing fears (screaming in my head) is found in these seven little words: “Fear not! There is nothing to fear!” – Isaiah 41:10
Whatever you are going through today – no matter how small or how big it is: Fear not! There is nothing to fear! That’s easy to memorize! I have this hanging in my ofﬁ ce and I just glance over at it every time fear tries to stop me from going forward!
As I’m entering this new phase in my life of speaking more and more to live audiences and ministering alongside my Dad on the TV broadcast, I can’t tell you how many times I have to “build myself up” to overcome fear and just do it! Some people think, “Oh, it just comes natural to her!” Ha! I stand in the dressing room confessing over and over, “Fear not, Terri. There is nothing to fear!”
Why should we fear not? The very next part of that verse says, “For God is with you!” Don’t you just feel safer knowing somebody is there with you? When I was a little girl, I would sneak out of my bed and creep into my sister’s bed and sleep with her. I just liked knowing someone was there.
No matter how alone you may feel in your life, you’re not alone. God is with you. No matter how alone you may feel in never having enough money? Fear the opinions of others? Fear being a nobody? Fear that you’ve wasted too many years for God to use you now?
Wouldn’t it be sad to get to heaven and see what all you could have been, what all you could have done, and what all you could have had – but you let fear stop you? Don’t let “false evidence appearing real” stop you from God’s plan for your life!
Henry Ford said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to ﬁnd he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
I never realized until I began really studying God’s Word for myself that the biggest struggles I’ve faced in my life have all been rooted in fear. Insecurity, low self-esteem, a poor self-image, rejection – they are all rooted in fear. FEAR does not come from God. So, how do you confront your fears? You ﬁght fear with a plan!
Plan 1: Build your conﬁdence in God’s love for you!
Why? Because God’s love will drive fear out of your life! There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… (1 John 4:18 NIV)
In other words, the more you get to know God, the more conﬁdent you become in His love for you. The more conﬁdent you become, the less fear you have. It’s like when you ﬁ rst start dating someone, you’re not conﬁ dent in their love for you…yet. It takes time to build that conﬁdence. When you ﬁist go on a date, you’re not going to give someone your heart – you don’t even know them. You spend time with them. You communicate with them (that’s sending and receiving messages). When you’re convinced they love you and you love them…..you have conﬁdence in them.
It’s the same with God. The closer you get to Him, the more conﬁdent you become in His promises to you that He will never leave you nor forsake you, He will never let you down, He will always provide for you. That conﬁdence is developed the more you receive His love for you.
Plan 2: Build your faith!
Fear and faith are two opposite forces. You are either full of faith or full of fear. Fear is the result of listening to Satan’s lies MORE THAN God’s truth. If you are full of fear, that reveals whose voice is the loudest to you.
In order for anything to live, it has to be fed. If you ﬁnd a stray dog and you give him a bowl of water and some dog food, he’ll be back back tomorrow. If you feed into the fears that Satan has planted in your mind (by thinking about them, talking about them, worrying about them), they’ll stay. You have to starve what you want to die and feed what you want to live.
Lester Sumrall said, “Starve your doubts and feed your faith.”
How does faith come? Romans 12:2 says, “Faith comes by hearing the Word…” You’ve got to start hearing God’s Word more than you’re hearing Satan’s lies which means one Sunday morning message is not enough. I’m speaking from experience. Listening to the Word has to become a part of your daily routine if you truly want to overcome fear and step out and do what God wants you to do!
What you don’t know can hurt you! The Bible says, “People are destroyed for a lack of knowledge!” Get on a quest to learn God’s Word for yourself. Start with one book and determine to read it this month. Highlight it. Meditate on it. Don’t try to hurry through it just to check it off and move on to another one. Study it.
Satan is a liar, and he works through fear! God’s Word says, “Fear not! There is nothing to fear!” Nothing means nothing! You have to educate yourself in the Word. Build your knowledge of God’s promises to you. Nobody can make you do it!
Plan 3: Build yourself up in the Holy Spirit
Jude 20 says, “Build yourselves up on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is a gift God has given you to build you up, strengthen you, comfort you, guide you and help you. All you have to do is use the language He gives you. Make a plan to spend some time every day praying in your heavenly language! No, it doesn’t have to be for 1 hour a day in your prayer closet at 4:00 a.m. Commit to ﬁve minutes a day and watch what happens to you inside! It will do wonders for your spirit! It will give you the strength to confront those fears that are intimidating you!
No, it doesn’t make sense to our minds. It seems strange to pray in your heavenly language and believe that courage will come! I’m telling you from ﬁrst-hand experience, it works! Every time Satan tries to torment me with fear, I just go in another room and walk around praying in my heavenly language until that peace comes . . . and then I have to make myself just do what I know God’s telling me to do (regardless of how I feel!).
Remember, consistency is the key to change in every area of life. As you develop the habit of daily time with the Holy Spirit, you will gain strength, courage and wisdom little by little.
Plan 4: Build up your courage!
How? Speak courage over yourself. Some things will never change in your life until you begin speaking the Word over them! I have battled with fear in many areas of my life, but I have overcome many fears and this is how! Speak the Word! Speak the Word! Speak the Word! Yes, the bible says that you can have what you say, but you will not have what you say if you don’t SAY anything! You have to speak it out! I have listed 5 excellent scriptures for you to start confessing today. These are powerful verses that address fear and they are the very ones that I speak over myself daily!
Scriptures to confess over yourself:
I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; they rod and thy staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1
Fear not! There is nothing to fear, for I am with you… – Isaiah 41:10
Someone once said, “What you repeatedly hear, you will eventually believe”. And you believe your own voice more than anyone’s. As you begin consistently speaking faith-ﬁlled words over your life, fear has no choice but to leave!
Plan 5: Do it – no matter how you feel!
You can’t wait for the fear to go away – you just have to do what you know God’s telling you to do! And you have to trust that God is right there with you holding your hand. You can do whatever God tells you to do. Starve your fears and feed your faith consistently. Determine that you will not allow fear to stop God’s plan for your life! Fear not! There’s nothing to fear!