She sat behind the steering wheel of her car with her keys in one hand and her purse in the other. She pushed the door lock for what seemed the hundredth time and visually checked the other doors, before she leaned her head back onto the steering wheel where she sobbed. Deep sobs. Painful, fearful sobs. She squinted into the darkness, making sure she was safe. Her fear filled sobs turned into anger. “What is taking him so long? Why doesn’t he get here?” And the cycle repeated itself. Fearful sobs. Then burst of anger.
She waited in the car because she was too afraid to run from the car to the front door. It was a short distance, but her fear chained her inside. Frozen behind the steering wheel, she waited for her husband to get home from church so she could go inside. He was the youth pastor at a church 20 miles away. It was his job to lock the doors—after–that’s the operative word–after, everyone was gone.
Chained to FEAR
She had to be up early the next day, so she drove her car to church. And although she knew she had to prepare for her class the next day, she couldn’t make herself swing the door open and go inside. She could see the door of the house from her car. And in her mind she understood it was only a short walk to the door, but it didn’t feel like a short walk. Fear has a way of exaggerating things, so she waited. 15 minutes. 30 minutes. An hour…sometimes longer. Minute by fear filled minute, her heart pounded and her frustration grew.
Her husband hurried.
He knew how afraid she was. But it didn’t feel like he hurried or that he understood, so she vented her volcano of fear and anger at him. The fiery spew burned. It left hurtful blisters on their relationship. Like the smoldering lava from an erupting volcano destroys everything in its path, fear was destroying her and their marriage. It was a painful time for them both.
But let’s pause, I’ve painted an incomplete picture of her.
If you saw her at church or at school you would see a beautiful, kind, hard working woman. A woman that had committed her life to Christ at an early age. A woman that knew God’s Word. A powerful woman. A woman that knew how to pray. A woman that knew God’s Word and obeyed it. She was the real deal. A woman that lived her faith every where she went, except when FEAR wrapped its bony fingers around her mind and heart.
She struggled; sometimes gracefully like a butterfly inside the cocoon and sometimes like a chained, wounded animal. She prayed. She cried. She quoted scripture, but fear tormented her. Sometimes she had victory over the fear and sometimes FEAR had victory over her.
The young couple loved God and they loved people.
They had a passion to impact the lives of people and to start a new work in a large city nearby; not because it was large, but God was leading them. They walked through the process of church government and into the door God had opened to plant a church in a small store front building.
They worked together. They were both gifted people, incredibly gifted. They both had a heart to give and serve and reach hurting people. They loved God, but they struggled. Where do we get the idea that believers are exempt from struggle. There will be times when we fight fear, fight unbelief, fight anger and even addictions. Yes, we are in a battle. Satan, God’s enemy, is not a fairy-tale played out on the big screen. It is a reality. But, God has provided everything we need to win the battle. This young woman’s battle was fear. What is your battle? God wants you to win! Ask God to help you. Turn to Him!
But there are some important thing to remember about this battle we are in:
Know your enemy
- Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,…
Fight with the right weapons.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 We use God’s mighty weapons,…
Use the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.
Speak the Word of God aloud.
Put your armor on
- Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able…
Keep fighting until you win.
It’s not a game of win a few lose a few. You fight until you win!
- 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,
Put your HOPE in God.
Never loose sight of the reality, we are not without hope even when we are right in the middle of a raging battle. As a believer, our hope is in Jesus. He is absolutely trustworthy! Get your eyes on Jesus! Get your eyes on Jesus. Look to His Word. Read it, especially in a storm. Declare it with your mouth. Pray the promise.
The Bible says we are in a war and that our enemy is not people, but powers and principalities. And the weapon he used against this young couple was fear. Satan has lots of swords: sickness, poverty, jealousy, anger, rebellion. My list only begins to expose the weapons in his arsenal. The reality that “no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper” is a the truth that trumps and defeats every weapon hell possesses. Isaiah 54:17 The NIV says “no weapon forged against you will prevail.” This is a great verse to memorize.
Back to the Story
An evangelist friend preached the first revival for the emerging church. He preached the Word of God powerfully. The minister didn’t have a clue how bad things were. It was unbelievable to think that this strong, confident woman was fighting a raging battle with a brutal giant named FEAR. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he asked the young minister’s wife to come to the altar. He began to pray with the lady. Then he began to declare God’s word over her.”I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” He repeated the verse. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
The power of his declaration reached deeper than mere words spoken by a skillful speaker. The declaration of God’s Word is “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” Fear had to bow! Fear had to go! God’s Word severed the chains that held her captive.
The words, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” penetrated the prison of FEAR that held her captive and like the doors of Peter’s cell swung open, so did the door of her prison. She was totally set free of fear. And like a butterfly bursts from it’s cocoon, she was free. She was a new person. And she has impacted my life more than I could ever express. She is my pastor’s wife. Thank you Esther Wilder for being the Fierce Woman of Faith that will never be content until everyone you know is free of every chain!
Jesus still breaks chains!
Sometimes, the enemy comes and tries to steal her peace, but she refuses to allow him to make her a slave. She is free because Jesus set her free. Freedom is a good thing. You can be free of fear. You don’t have to be chained to fear. It’s a prison and Jesus came to release you from prison.
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”