I’m pulling out the chains and opening up the dungeon door.
Fear, this stalking enemy, must be stopped. Contained. Rendered useless. Left to prowl, he will rob me of the joy that is mine – mine for this day.
Paul reminds us that there’s another way.
Fear is a battle fought in the most private, personal recesses of the soul. It’s a battle where my soul is shaped, shaped by the the pure magnitude of God’s strength, expanse and love. Here, my weapons must be exchanged for God’s.
For though we live in this world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to 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. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Never before in my life have I had such a desperate need to “take captive every thought.” My thoughts have the power to cripple me. But, what is my mounting imagination against the power and Presence of God? Will my thoughts of fear be given free reign? Will they be allowed to engulf?
Or will each fear be made captive, forced to submit to the Author of life, the Master of Life Abundant? There’s no magic formula. No 3-step plan. Making fear captive is a journey that is more personal, rugged and potentially spectacular than most I’ve been on. It requires taking my eyes off the seen and choosing to gaze and gasp at the unseen through the darkest night of my life.
For me it begins with the vertical ascent described in Psalm 43:3.
Send forth your light and your truth ((expose the lies behind those fears)), let them guide me ((redirect my thinking)), let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.
Take the time to read the whole of Psalm 43. It speaks of our enemies, our stronghold, our mourning, our joy, our distress, our hope. This psalm captures, in one place, the range of my emotions in most of the hours of my days and all the hours of my nights. Where does this take place? Up on a peak where perspective becomes crisp and clear in the mountain air. Fear loses its grip.
Psalm 46:4 reminds us that in this place where God dwells, there is a river that makes glad.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
The River. It’s source is the One who declares “I AM WHO I AM.” (Genesis 3:14 HCSB – Holman Christian Standard Bible)
We are invited to dive. Splash. Soak. Float.
Ezekiel was given the image of The River through the vision in Ezekiel 47:1-12.
Don’t miss a single word, especially its parting shot in verse 12:
Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.
What thought (or fear) in your life needs to be made captive?
Hike it up the mountain.
Swim it down the river