Laying awake in bed, I was sure that I heard an intruder in my home. I froze, not even breathing, so I could listen intently for the sound that I thought I heard. There was no one trying to break into my home that night…or any other night for that matter.
You see, this particular fear of mine, that may seem silly to some of you, is one that has developed over time, and sneaks up on me when I truly don’t want it to. My husband works in the medical field, and routinely works overnight. Generally, there are 1-2 nights per week, that I sleep alone. Most of the time, I don’t mind. I have two young children that go to bed early, so I have the evenings to unwind, or get some things done if I need to.
But occasionally, the devil preys on my situation, and if I let it, fear overcomes me.
Can you think of a particular fear, or worry, that troubles you? It’s probably not the same as mine, but maybe you are scared to approach new people, in fear that you will be rejected. Maybe you worry that you fall short as a mother because you cannot breastfeed. Or maybe you are fearful to have people into your home, because you are scared of what they may think of your cooking or decor.
Whatever it may be, we all fear something.
While I’m confident that the devil is the one filling my head with false noises on the nights that I’m alone, I’ve realized that the Lord has been using these instances to teach me how to fight these thoughts. The reason that I know this, is because he has given me victory. There have been nights where I was so scared that I called my husband, but there have also been nights where the moment I sensed fear creeping up on me, I was able to go the Lord and admonish it.
My prayer is that by taking you through what I do to fight fear and reminding you of spiritual truths, you can do the same.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Call on the Lord
While it’s not natural, our first response to fear should be to call on the Lord.
What is interesting about my particular fear of someone breaking in, is that I do not fear it when my husband is home. When he is lying next to me at night, I don’t have those thoughts. This is partially because I am confident that my husband will protect me. If there ever happened to be a break in, my husband would be able to deal with it. I trust him completely, I know his strength, and I know that he loves me.
Isn’t this a great picture of how our father feels about us? He will protect us. We can be confident in that.
“The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in. From this time forth and forever.” Psalms 121:7-8Because I know this about my father, the first thing that I do (or should do) when I sense thoughts of an intrusion coming is to call on Him.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10If I run to Him, he will keep me safe. That should be our initial reaction to our fears. We need to train ourselves to stop what we are doing, or pause our train of thought, and go to Christ.
Turn off the noise
The second way I fight this fear, is to turn off the noise of Satan’s voice and listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice instead.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7When I’m afraid in the night, I turn off my fan, sit up in bed, and listen intently. When I do not hear evidence of an intruder, my fear can subside.
Likewise, we need to admonish the voice of Satan and the noise is he creating in our heads, and listen for the Lord, the truth. I verbally tell Satan that he is not welcome here and that the Lord is my protector. I ask my heavenly father to aid me and silence the devil.
“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Turn on the light
Sometimes, if I’m feeing particularly brave, I will turn on the lights and take a look around my house. While this takes a lot of courage at the time (sometimes even being armed with a heavy object), its extremely relieving when I see that there really is no one in my home. With the lights on, I can see clearly that there is nothing to be afraid of.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5When it’s nighttime, and my house is dark, it’s easy to imagine that something bad will happen. By turning on the light, and looking around at what is actually going on in my home, I will see the truth of the matter.
“I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.” Ecclesiastes 2:13One way that you can shed light on your fear is by consulting someone whom you trust that can help you reveal the truth. This can help us to see that sometimes, our fears are irrational.
Another way to shed light on fear is to go to God’s Word. There have been instances where I have actually turned on the light in my bedroom (even at 3:00 a.m.), opened my Bible, and read and prayed over Scripture.
It’s amazing how a biblical perspective can make us realize that a lot of our fears are irrational. If we read the Word, are reminded truths about our Father, we will be able to walk into the light and away from our fear.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
Warning and Hope
I have come to realize that Satan preys on us when we are vulnerable. When the lights are turned off, the noises from this world are loud, and we feel alone.
Be watchful for these times. Satan uses our insecurity and our weaknesses to attack us.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9Know that you are not alone in your fears. Turn on the light, seek outside counsel, and go to God’s Word. God is your protector and will come to your rescue against Satan.
“The Lord is my LIGHT and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1