Song of Solomon 2:15 – Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. (NIV)
Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (NIV)
I have mobility issues, and getting up and down the two front steps outside my townhouse is a challenge. Recently, I realized that every time when I planned to go out, I was getting anxious ahead of time about getting up that second step. I asked myself, "What is going on here?"
Frustrated, I said to the Lord, "I don't want this; it is messing up my life! Please, dissolve it!"
I felt a subtle shift inside me. I thought about the step again — and the fear was gone.
Soon, I discovered other things which I did not realize were related to the spirit of fear. Like the little foxes in today's Scripture, they nibble away, undermining our lives, so subtly that we do not know that it is happening.
I realized that one of them was the fear of confrontation. Coming from a background of family conflict fuelled by alcohol, I have had great difficulty with conflict. Understanding the basis of it didn't help. I toughed it out as best I could.
I now understand that I was angry when I had to tell someone, "I don't agree" or "This action is not helpful", and that the anger was rooted in fear.
Now, I am learning to deal with conflict without anger, and I try to make sure that whatever I do is rooted in love. I have to examine myself carefully because mixed motives creep in: "Ha! Now, I can get even over … ." When I find a bad motive, I ask the Lord to dissolve it.
Amazingly enough, my experiences with conflict are starting to change. Others respond in a level, reasonable manner, and may even consider my point of view.
As for the tricky step into my house, I check within. Is that spirit of fear lurking about? All has been well except once, when I felt a sense of unease. Indeed, that day I was especially stiff and had a little trouble. My deeper self was not fearful; it was telling me, You need extra caution today.
So now, I am learning the difference between fear and wise caution.
I know that when the Lord has acted in our lives, the unwanted behaviour can creep back in. I am vigilant, as I don't want the spirit of fear back!
So, what can we all learn from this? The Lord wants us to grow in self-awareness and in faith. He will help us to do that if we are willing to work with Him.
If you have a fear or other behaviour that you don't want in your life, talk to Him about it. Your experience may be different than mine, but I know that He listens and cares. He can help in whatever way is best for you. Why not ask Him now?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I have a behaviour in my life which I know does not honour You. I ask You now to remove it or show me how to do so. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "There Is Power In The Blood" (Lyrics)