Fear’s Bondage

Psalm 121:1-2 “A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”

My childhood home has an unfinished basement that, to me, harbored all sorts of ghosts and goblins, demons and monsters. There was a light string to a solitary light in the middle of the room and if you went down by night, you had to travel in the dark to find the string. Relief came when you found it and pulled it; then light streamed into the corners and the monsters fled.

But, when you could not find the string and panic set in, you began to feel the goblins drawing closer and at any moment, you would be taken captive. Even when you stepped down the stairs, you were aware that the monster under the stairs might just grab your foot and pull you into his clutches.

A child’s mind and imagination can be a most beautiful thing; but when fear comes, it can literally permeate all thought and hold you captive till the fears subside. Real or imagined, our enemy, the devil plays upon our fears. Whether it is a hideous monster that Hollywood has put forth, or something a book has conjured up in our minds, we must, by faith bring light into the darkest of corners to dispel the fear – for it is not of God.

Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

I have grown to love that word “Abba”. It literally means ‘Daddy’, ‘Papa’ or any affectionate term we might use for a loving Dad and Father. In prayer, I have come to call the Heavenly Father, “Daddy”. Not in any irreverence, but in a passionate loving manner that opens my heart fully in love and trust.

Many, who’s example of ‘father’ has been anything but loving, caring, nurturing and protective; have projected their fears to those of the Heavenly Father and found themselves unable to open to Him their heart fully and totally. For some, they are memories of anger or swift punishment. Others, it is perverse violation and abuse. Still others it is of abandonment or absence.

The hurdle for those to overcome that image and memory, is to allow God, their loving Heavenly Father, to put those things under the blood of His Son Jesus and come to Him. Those steps are painful, slow in coming and may take a lifetime to rectify; but they CAN be restored! You see:

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

If, at salvation, we received power – we received the power to overcome fear; for it is not of God. There is an agent far more powerful than fear – love.

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

God tells us to return to a childlike love, a trusting love; one without any preconceived notions of mistrust and fear. Prayer is our weapon. God’s Word is our weapon. Faith is our shield and love conquers all. Satan will always cast doubt on anything God has given to us as weapons against the devil’s power.

Abuse comes in all forms: verbal, mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse places both the victim and the abuser are in bondage. We rally to the side of the victim for what they have suffered. It is our nature to do so. But, we who name the name of Jesus Christ, must have the unconditional, agape love for those in bondage who abuse others.

Fear will keep the victim in silence and keeps the abuser in domination for fear of discovery. Both need help. Both need healing. Both need Christ. You see; fear takes no side – it is an equal opportunity destroyer. To cry out for help takes great courage – on both parts. It is only God who can heal wholly and totally and fully restore both to a right relationship.

When the torment suffered becomes so great and reaches a limit of such intolerance that we must do something, such desperate prayers have been prayed for God to remove them from this hell on earth.

What happens next often harderns some as they wish to be utterly transported away from the valley they’re in. But sometimes, God walks us through the valley to the door to freedom to establish a trust and form a lasting relationship with us. Just as a parent would gather that child in their arms to carry them to safety, God takes our hand and walks with us though the storm may still rage around us.

It is His perfect love that will cast out the fear. It is our love that needs to be perfected. We must allow God to love others through us. Some we see as unlovable, or deserving of punishment.

As God is the perfect Judge, we must set aside our imperfect judgment to give way for His. Until fear can be transformed into love, we run the risk of perverting His judgment by clinging to vengeance and justice where His love and His mercy should prevail. If you find yourself in the bondage of fear – be courageous and step out; taking God’s hand to get the help you need.

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