I grew up with a lot of fears and through Christ I have conquered many. I used to be afraid of the dark. When I was about 8 years old I didn't want to walk to the kitchen at bedtime to get a drink of water. My mother would always get it for me. I was afraid of walking down the dark hallway. One night she had fallen asleep on the chair and I wanted water so bad I went down the long hall to the kitchen. On the way, an ironing board behind a bedroom door along the hallway decided to fall forward which slammed the door closed while the ironing board hit the floor with a loud thud. Well, that was proof that my fear of the dark was validated! At least for 19 more years of my life.
I meditated on Scripture about fear during my first year of salvation in 1977, and got freedom from fear of the dark. Since then I don't need lights on all over the house and I can walk through the house in the dark without thinking something is going to eat me alive!
I used to have a fear of bugs. I was terrified at the sight of them. When I was small I saw my mother scream and run and I adopted the same posture with an added step. I'd get up on a piece of furniture and scream hysterically. Although I was getting B's in my 9th grade Science class, the fourth quarter was the time for a bug collection which was to be the basis for our grade for that quarter. I got the only F my report cards ever saw. I couldn't even think about looking at a bug collection.
Many years ago I asked the Lord for land with woods to find His peace and presence, and after 7 years of prayer while living on a busy street, He provided it in 1989. Living in the woods provides you with many opportunities to overcome a fear of bugs, but I don't think opportunity is what allows you to overcome. It's only the power of the Holy Spirit within applying Christ's victory on the cross to everyday life.
I wanted to renew my mind about bugs since it was absolutely ridiculous that I was so fearful about something so small and literally harmless. The world calls it a phobia. The definition of a phobia is "an irrational fear." There's no rhyme or reason to it. There isn't a bug in the world that is even the size of my hand, and yet my reaction appeared that it was the size of an airplane ready to land on me.
I thought about all the beautiful critters we were privileged to view in the woods and began considering bugs to be in the same category. There are some truly beautiful insects in this world and I let God show me more of His creation as I began to be able to stay nearby and look at bugs to find something beautiful about them. Over time I renewed my mind so much that I could actually pick them up. We had a bug jar at the house in Alabama (a state with many bug opportunities since there's not enough cold to kill them off easily). The bug jar was a rescue vehicle for any bugs that got inside the house. We put them back outside.
Roaches! I know you have had this bug flash across your mind -- you are wondering, aren't you? Well, I'm not that renewed yet. I still have a mental imprint about roaches, but I can say I'm not afraid of them. I can get them into a jar and put them outside instead of screaming and fleeing for my life. I'm talking about wood roaches, not the kind that multiply and plague homes.
It seems the more fears I am willing to face, the more God reveals to me. The victories and freedom as I leave them behind one by one is nothing less than incredible!
For those who have done what it takes to overcome a fear, you know the exhilaration of getting free. It's like standing on elevated rocks with a mountain breeze blowing on your face and through your hair as you look around at the scenery thinking, what a powerful and awesome God we have to create what can be seen in Nature. That power is also within us to not only change our own lives, but to change others, and even change the world for the better.
It's worth it to be free! It's worth it to take the time to face up to your fears and begin the process of evicting them from the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The workbook, "Biblical Foundations of Freedom" by Art Mathias has been a tremendous blessing to me as it has helped to bring out fears that I didn't even know existed. And shining The Light on them is the first step to victory. It has been so refreshing to be able to recognize fears and see how they've led to various health problems. I know I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but the rewards are so great and each battle is easier than the last as I unravel the web the devil has woven around my soul. I pray that each of you will be able to do the same.