Only a Mountain

Fear…It’s something I’ve struggled with all my life. Over the past few years God has been working on me, slowly revealing just how much a slave to fear I have been. It has been an eye-opening, faith-stretching experience, as along the way He has also been teaching me to fight that fear. And there have been times when I truly felt God’s presence replacing the ever-crushing fingers of my persistent fears. And after experiencing that, I don’t want to go back to the bondage of fear again. As expressed by Justin Parks, “God is too good for me to limit my faith in him because of my fear.”

In my quest to vanquish my fears, the Lord has given me many helpful verses; one of my favorites is 2 Tim 1:7 which says,

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

This verse is very meaningful to me, especially because I have often felt so powerless in the face of the spirit of fear. And the thought that the God of the universe has given little old me the power to battle, and, yes, even defeat that fear was a revelation to me.

Maybe it’s because I have struggled with fear so much that it is such a burden for me when I see others in the same predicament.  I have tasted God’s goodness and seen His strength, and I believe that our God is too great and too good for us to waste the power He’s given us by cowering in fear. We have His strength; why don’t we use it? He didn’t give us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind just so we could lock it away in a box like Frodo and the ring. But what exactly is this ‘spirit of power, love, and a sound mind’? And more importantly, how do we use it?

It seems to me that the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (some translations say self-control) is basically the Holy Spirit within us. After all, it’s only through the Holy Spirit that we can have these things fully. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the power to overcome obstacles and trials, the ability to love unconditionally, the sound mind (or self-control) to resist temptation. And it is this same Holy Spirit that allows us to defeat the spirit of fear.

Okay, so it’s easy to say that the Holy Spirit helps us defeat fear, but how? We now have the weapon, but how do we wield it? I believe the answer lies not in strength, but in weakness. Not in trying to “power up” and muscle our way through, but in admitting that we aren’t strong enough to fight fear alone. (And in all honesty, we aren’t strong enough, so why don’t we go ahead and admit it?) See, it’s by coming to the realization that we are helpless on our own that we allow God to help us. The only way (that I’ve found) to successfully fight fear is to embrace the fact that I am too weak to handle it on my own, and then to cling to the truth that God is strong enough. When I submit my fears to Him, He is always faithful to remove the spirit of fear far from me and open the floodgates of his power into my life.

I believe this is what gives birth to that child-like faith that takes God at His word when He tells us, “if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.” (Matthew 21:21) The same power that can remove a mountain can also remove the spirit of fear.

This is only a mountain

You don’t have to find your way around it

Tell it to move, it’ll move

Tell it to fall, it’ll fall

This is only a moment

You don’t have to let your fear control it

Tell it to move, it’ll move

Tell it to fall, it’ll fall

~ Jason Castro, Only a Mountain

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Categories: Ponderizations | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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