“Corrie,” he began gently. “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?”
“Why, just before we get on the train,” she replied.
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of him, Corrie. [When the time comes for you to suffer], you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”
Corrie ten Boom
‘The Hiding Place’
Leslie’s next session was about overcoming fear.
Fear is very interesting when you think about it. It somehow works its way into our brain, proceeds to take over, and paralyzes us. It controls our thinking and causes us to make very stupid and foolish choices. Whether we are in fear of something or not can make or break us. Whether we are afraid or not can bring people to Jesus or it can push us away. Whether we are fearful or not can choose which life we take.
That is the power of fear.
No wonder the enemy uses it.
Leslie gave three keys that helped her to help you overcome fear.
- Put on the armor of God.
- Tune out the what ifs.
- Forsake the ‘wisdom’ of fear.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.”
That is from the story of Nehemiah when he was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Israel’s enemies were trying to keep them from protecting the city that they loved to raid. But instead of becoming afraid and quitting, this was Nehemiah’s response.
But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.” And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
How many of us spend all of our time thinking about the ‘what ifs’? Us women are prone to it. If we worry, well, we’re just planning for anything, right? But when we worry, we aren’t fully trusting in Christ. Worry is defined as giving way to anxiety or unease; allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. God gives us promises to help us through life. Leslie said that when she is struggling with worries, she will find a verse in the Bible that covers that worry and then memorize it. Whenever the worry comes up in her mind again, she recites the verse and prays. There are thousands of promises in the Bible, but some of them are:
- Everything that the Devil tries to use for evil, God can turn into good and use it for his purposes. Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28
- God will never gives us trials that we will not be able to face. 1 Corinthians 10:13
- Even when we go through difficult times (death, divorce, anything difficult), we can succeed when we put our trust in Him. Psalms 23:3
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom
Have you ever read Joshua 1:9? What is the first sentence of the verse? ‘Have I not commanded you?’ Then it goes on to command us to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or discouraged.
It commands us!!
It commands us not to be afraid! How many times have we disobeyed that command? I know that I can’t even count how many times!
The funny thing is that I have known this verse for a while too. I can recite it right now! But did I ever think about it? Did I ever meditate on it to find God’s promises to me? Did I ever look for ways to apply it to my life? No. No, no, no, no, and no. I didn’t do any of those things.
Next time you memorize a verse, dig down deep. Yes, go look through all those cross-references. Learn what it really means.
I don’t want to get to Heaven and have God ask me why I did something.
“Well, I didn’t think it was wrong.” I’d answer.
“Didn’t you read this verse?” God would ask.
“Yeah!” And then I would recite it for Him. And then I would think about it. “Um, whoops. Sorry.”
Think about it.