Breaking through the Smokescreen of Fear
In my last post A Declaration Against Fear, I introduced the subject of fear by using excerpts from my own journal to share some of the ways in which God has been speaking to me about fear in my own life. This can be considered a continuation of that discussion. Anyone ever deal with feelings of being tremendously overwhelmed? Ever have those moments where you just sit down with your head in your hands bombarded by the items on your to-do list that have yet to done, reminders of how you don’t measure up and insecurities about the future? You ever have those days where the pressures of life seem to be too much for one person to bear? If so, then you can relate to what I was feeling, when God gave me the message that inspired this post.
I remember the things I was feeling, as I sat outside and began to pray, asking God to feel the peace that I knew was available, yet didn’t quite know how to attain. The feelings I felt of being overwhelmed and bombarded can be described as the emotional equivalent to drowning, desperately needing to come up for air and breathe in the truth of God’s love, concern and care for me in that moment. I remember praying God, I need you. I can’t overcome this without you.
As crazy as it sounds, it was in that moment that this scene from the movie Divergent played across the screen of my mind. I haven’t seen this movie in months and it was odd that I would think of it, but I believe God will use anything to get His point across. Watch below:
God used this illustration to speak a powerful truth to my heart. Anything in my life that makes my fear feel bigger than my faith, anything that makes me feel less than who God has said I am and anything that breathes hopelessness, is only a smokescreen attempting to keep me from seeing the reality of God’s truth and love in the moments I need it most. By the Merriam-Webster definition, a smokescreen is something designed to obscure, confuse and mislead. This is EXACTLY what fear does. Fear tries to paint a picture of our circumstances, in such a way that it will have us convinced that there is no way out and that we will drown under the pressure and weight of it all. But the voice of God’s spirit gently whispers, “This isn’t real.”
The feelings of inadequacy and not measuring up, the imaginations of worst case scenarios, the fears of stepping into the unknown, along with anything else that would discount the presence of God with us in our most challenging moments, is only a smokescreen designed to keep us from stepping into the future with the faith and confidence that God has already prepared the way and that He has already promised that He will never leave us or forsake us.
We begin to tap against the barricade set up by fear, as we begin to challenge the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word. We tap against the barricade every time we raise our voice to heaven and ask God to intervene on our behalf. We tap against the barricade every time we choose to worship our creator, instead of lament over our circumstances. And as we tap against that barricade, sometimes bit by bit and sometimes all at once, it begins to crumble and crash down. We are unleashed into freedom, where fear loses its power. We are unhindered and unstoppable.