I went to a seminar last night on fear and learned some really amazing things. I would like to share one thing I learned, because I really think so many of us homeschool moms make choices out of fear.
Here is what I learned:
1. Fear is the opposit of faith, but it is actually similar to faith. You "believe" the fear, much the same way that you should rather believe God. Therefore, fear is an expression of faith. You have faith in the thing you fear, rather than in the Truth.
An example of this is fear in homeschooling (if your fear something else, just replace your fear with what I've written below):
You fear that you aren't able to do a good job homeschooling your kids. You allow this particular fear to speak lies to your mind - lies you are listening to, pondering. You begin to have "imaginations" of the future - all the horrid things that the fear tells you is going to happen. You entertain and give your attention to this fear/lie. You believe this fear. You have embraced this fear. You have begun to place your faith in this fear - rather than the Word of God, which tells you many things opposit to this fear, such as, "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you" and "For I know the plans I have for you (applies to your children as well), plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future." So basically, you are not believing God, but rather believing fear. Not good.
Now, you know that God has called you to homeschool, and you really don't feel good about not homeschooling, but you have opened the door and made a guest bedroom in your heart to this particular lie. It's become a regular part of your day, your thoughts, your actions, your feelings, how you respond and possibly has robbed you of all joy, peace and kindness to your kids. You are controlled to a certain extent by fear. However, you continue to homeschool, but with total fear and unbelief in your ability to do it. If the fear gets totally in control, you will give up homeschooling - then you will have lost control to fear.
How could you have avoided this scenario, and how do you get out of it once you are in the fear?
Well, first thing is - remember that fear is a lie. God tells us throughout His Word that we should not fear. He knows that fear is a controlling horrid thing, and he wants us to have faith rather than fear. When fear begins to whisper its dirty lie to you, think WDJD - What Did Jesus Do! How did Jesus rebuke the enemy? Through the Word of God. What Word does God give us about fear? Many. Here are some for you when you are being tempted with fear:
"I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." 2 Tim 1:7
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me." Psalm 23:4
"But whoever listens to me shall dwell in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." Proverbs 1:33
The entire chapter of Psalm 91 is a great chapter to memorize in your fight against fear.
The important thing is that you believe the Word, not fear. Put more faith in the Truth that you read in the Scripture than you do the lie that is projecting a terrible, hurtful, painful, ruined future for you. Do not put your faith in fear. Put your faith in God's Word. God loves and adores you, He wants to bless you - and He promises to do so. His only requirement is faith. We must believe God. We must believe the good things He has for us. Remember that Hebrews says the children of Israel that God so wanted to bless did not enter in to the promised land because of their unbelief. (Hebrews 3). What was it that they did not believe? They did not believe that God wanted to, and would bless them, protect them, fight their battles for them, give them good things and peace. They just didn't believe it - they listened to fear - "We're going to perish here in the desert!"
Paul scolded the Galations with these very words:
"I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?...Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard [faith]?"
Let's be filled with faith!
So what do you do if you have already believed fear? What do you do once fear is controlling your life?
Well, the first thing is REPENT! Yes, if you realize that fear is the opposite of faith - and you have embraced fear over faith in the God who saved you, then you must ask God to forgive you.
Remember that God tells us that if you repent, not only will He forgive us, He will cleanse us of all unrighteousness. So once you have repented, you must believe that you are also cleansed. Sometimes Jesus rebuked the enemy and told him to be gone. We can do the same to fear.
Then, I would spend time memorizing Scriptures that oppose the fear you entertained. If you aren't sure of any that oppose the particular fear that has gripped you, go to www.crosswalk.com and do a word search in their Bible Study Tools area. For example, if you fear disease - do a word search on "disease" and it will bring up Scriptures that you can memorize about protection from disease - such as Psalm 91.
Next, stand firm in the Truth. Whenever a fearful thought tries to take you captive, you take your thoughts captive to the Word of God instead. Speak outloud those Scriptures and stand firm against fear. Do not give ear to fear. Give ear only to the Word of God. Put your faith in God, not in fear. Believe God; don't believe the fear. God has good things for you. God has fully equipped you for every good work. You can do all things through Him. He has great plans for you and your children.