Five Keys to Uproot Fear

To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do, you will sink and drown. Instead you relax and float. ~ Alan Watts

Faith grows. Jesus taught that, when He compared faith to a seed. As it grows, faith gets stronger, too. I’m sure you’ll agree that a sapling is not as strong as a 100-year oak. When those acorns and maple seeds sprout in my yard, I have no problem pulling them out. But if I let them grow, they will get to the point where I need some muscle and power tools to root them out or cut them down.

The same is true of false, fearful thoughts. If you let them take root, they are much harder to dig out. Ingrained fears are those you didn’t deal with when they first sprouted. The more you let fear control you, the less control you have over your life. If you’ve ever seen ivy climb a building, you know it’s got a good grip on the bricks and mortar underneath. Given enough time, it can destroy the structure. If you’ve ever tried to pull the ivy down and get rid of it, you know it’s a big job. Both the tendrils and roots are firmly established and hard to eradicate.

In the southern US, there’s a vine called Kudzu that can kill anything in its path and take over acreage quickly. Its rapid growth rate deprives other vegetation of light, moisture and nutrients. It’s invasive, pervasive and persistent, just like fear.

Fear is sneaky. Satan starts with little things – fear of snakes, perhaps, or fear of flying or speaking in public. If he can get you to fear one thing, he can make it spread, just like tendrils, to other areas of your life.

Fear is also limiting. It stops you from saying or doing what you know you should or want to do. Quite often, the devil uses other people to keep you in fear. “What will ‘they’ think?” you ask yourself. Then you step back mentally–and sometimes physically–from the perceived threat. You forget God’s tender care and encouragement to face your fears and overcome them. You forget His promises of strength, power, soundness courage and victory.

Fear is satan’s No. 1 tool and it’s strong enough to stop you in your tracks. Fear entwines you in defeat, dependence and despondency. It is a noxious mental and spiritual weed. It will invade, smother and kill your faith just like that Kudzu vine.

God wants His people free from fear! Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness (Is. 41:10).

To get the benefit and blessing of His strength, help and upholding, you’ll need to get rid of fear—every fear. Here are five keys that will help you uproot your fears and strengthen your faith.

Incline – My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes, keep them in the midst of thine heart (Prov. 4:20-21). Incline means to be favorably disposed or willing. It is also an upward slope. The more time you spend in God’s Word, the more your faith will grow. Incline your thoughts toward His wisdom so that you ‘fear not, believe only’.

Decline – casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, (2 Cor. 10:5) Decline means to refuse. It also means a gradual and continuous loss of strength. A person in declining health is getting weaker. Send your fears into a decline by refusing to give them any place in your thinking.

Align – Watch ye; stand fast in the faith; acquit yourselves like men; be strong (I Cor. 16:33) To align means to put things in place or position, to straighten or give support to. Align yourself with what God has said about you, what He promised you, and the power He has given you. As you agree with His Word about yourself and your circumstances, fear will be rooted out of your thoughts and words.

Recline – For we who have believed do enter into rest … Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall according to the same example of unbelief (Heb. 4:3, 11) When you’re reclined, you’re laid back and resting, not worried, stressed out fearful. As you incline yourself toward His promises, decline thoughts of fear or unbelief, and align yourself with His Word, you enter into the rest of God.

Rejoice – Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, “Rejoice!” … Fret not about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4, 6-7). If you are resting (reclining) in God and fully trusting His promises, there’s no need to fear. God said that you can have confidence that that He always hears you, AND gives you the petitions that [you] desired. Replace fear with thanks and praise, rejoicing in His goodness.

Fear is a pervasive, invasive mental weed. Put fear, worry, tension and stress on your personal list of noxious thoughts. Fear is also faith’s greatest enemy, but it can be eradicated and wiped out with determined consistent effort. If you will incline, decline, align and recline, you will soon be able to say, “Everything in my life is absolutely fine!”

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