How do you keep fear out?

Shut the Door

Shut the door.

I know first hand what happens when you leave the door open.

I was running late, which I do more often than I should. I had to load the car, feed the dog, put my shoes on (Yes, I was barefooted which makes this story even worse.), and then I would be ready to go. I was in a hurry to get gone, so I left the front door open as I loaded the car.

I didn’t know that someone’s pet was on the loose or I never would have left it open. As I lowered my heavy box into and all the way to the back of the trunk,  a little dog scampered over to check me out, barking and wagging his tail. The frisky visitor frightened a skink in the flowerbed. The skink both frightened and intrigued my visitor, so the chase was on with the skink running and the dog chasing. Any other day I would have enjoyed watching the pursuit, but I was in a hurry—no time to stop.

 

Then suddenly this chase took an unexpected turn—

inside my house they went. The skink was running for his life and the dog was chasing it because that’s what dogs do. I followed the dog, as he ran through the house barking wildly at the skink. My dog was on the back porch was really upset; he was going mad out there. He seemed to be saying, “What’s that dog doing in my house? You don’t let me in there!” Any other day it would have been hilarious, but not as late as I was. I wasn’t laughing. I was too out of breathe chasing the dog, chasing the skink, running for his life to laugh. It was the perfect plot for a Dr. Seus book.
 
It took me a few minutes to get the dog out, but where was the skink? I searched everywhere, but the fat, purple monster alluded me. I grabbed another box and shut the door behind me, that’s right, now that the skink was inside my house.
 
I loaded another  box in the car, came back inside to looked for the skink again. No luck so I loaded the next box.I searched every room in the house again. I  carefully  looked for the skink, carefully because I didn’t want that thing to jump on me.
 
Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done with it if I had found it. I couldn’t leave it in the house, but I had to leave it. Wayne would just have to find it when he got home from work! Sorry baby, it comes with being married to  me…didn’t you know “Skink Chasing” was one of the requirements on your marriage license?
Shut the Door

But I learned something,

something I already knew, but I didn’t practice that day…shut the door!
 
You never know what might be in the yard. Skinks are definitely not on my invitation lists for house guests.
 

Why did I leave the door open?

Convenience. Apathy. What could it hurt?
I never dreamed that anything would go inside in the few minutes it would take me to load the car! It had never been a problem before.

But do we give the same diligence to our heart?


Proverbs 4:23 NIV Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Let’s look at the Good News Translation “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

Wayne’s Cajun costumed character used to ask the kids in Children’s Church, “How many doors be here? To their answer of two, he would reply. “No, there be three doors in this room. There be the front door, the back door and Isadore.”

You have three doors.

You can’t afford to miss a door or live as if there were no doors to your heart. Your senses are doors  that shape your heart and beliefs. 

  1. Eyes. What you see is a door to your heart.
  2. Ears.  What you ear is a door to your heart.
  3. How you process the data you receive affects your heart.

You want to give beautiful things access to your heart. They bring the light of happiness inside. Laughter, music, good conversation and reading wonderful books shape your beliefs.. But don’t forget that your thoughts or how you process that data is your third door.

It matters!

It is dangerous to think that what you see, hear and process does not affect you…it does. So be careful.


 
When you don’t shut the door to the wrong influences your give fear access to your life. As innocent as Halloween may appear it can give fear an access. Don’t let the fun numb the wisdom of watchfulness. I’m not against fun costumes or even the candy treats, yet there is a foul spirit of fear from hell that is always looking for opportunities to deceive people. Be alert. Be watchful.

Fear can grip you.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about fear…you’ve felt it, but just incase life has numbed you I want to remind you.

Fear is a heavy weight

Proverbs 12:25 NIV Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

I love Zach Williams “Fear is a Liar” song.

(Here’s the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1srs1YoTVzs Zach) 

Fear is a haughty, loud liar that backs you into a corner and immobilizes you. Fear loves to smash dreams then it points back with accusations that blame and shame you when those dreams don’t happen. Fear sucks the life out of your faith, steals your hope and destroys your influence.

Fear is a greedy thief.

Fear will vandalize your heart and carry off everything precious including your health, if you allow it.


You don’t want a skink or a snake in your house, so why would you allow a predator that will take more than either of them inside your house?

You don’t need a fancier door;

or a stronger door;

 a bigger door–

you just need to shut the door you have!

Pay attention.

There are reasons that God’s people have so much fear in their lives; one of which they simply don’t shut the door.


Ephesians 4:27 NIV
and do not give the devil a foothold.

I think the International Standard Version makes this verse even clearer.
and do not give the devil an opportunity to work.

Romans 8:15 NIV The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

That’s important. God’s Spirit doesn’t make you a slave; instead His gift of salvation makes you a child of the King of kings.

Let’s look at that verse in the BSB

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!””

God doesn’t want a single one of his children in slavery to fear. yet I see so much fear even in believers.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery.

Jesus set you free so you can live free…

but you can return to fear. encumbered, hindered, bound by a yoke of slavery. You don’t have to return to fear… you can choose differently.


Proverbs 4:23 says guard your heart, but Phil 4:7 shares one more layer of protection 


Phil 4:7 BSB And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Not just any peace…it’s God peace.

Phil 4:7 CEV says “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.”

Don’t miss this…Peace gets to control what you allow the doors of your senses. It get to control what you think about. God peace gets the remote control to your thoughts, your TV,  your Netflix selections.

Listen when He says, “Don’t watch that.” Then don’t watch it. Don’t take part in a conversation, when you hear Him say “Shhhh!”

It’s not a diet…It’s a way of life.

Sometimes when we discover a truth we do it for a little while and then go back to life as normal…sorta like we do with diets. Shutting the door on fear must be a way of life. Even as I was studying this subject I had a thought grip my mind and I had to shake it off. 

Know for certain that you do NOT have to be consumed or beat down by fear. God wants you to walk and live in peace. But you have a role to play in whether you have peace or fear. So shut the door…”Fear, It’s your turn to hear…cause you’re not gonna stay here! You have to go in Jesus Holy name.”

 

 

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