Friday, June 19, 2020

Devotionals from the Heart: How to have freedom from fear

Freedom from Fear
A devotional by Alexis Newlin

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have reviewed the spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry, Abba! Father!”
–Romans 8:15 (ESV)

Let me tell you about something I seriously hate: FEAR. It is by far the worst thing that is out there in this world. It’s running thick in this season in many people around us. It is the very enemy of our souls. Once it attaches itself to you, its bondage can be very difficult to break.

This is my story:

I spent the majority of my life bound up in fear. My mom was a believer but a worrier, and she often expressed her worries to us. She had many worries, mostly financial. There were many times we were facing homelessness, not having enough food, having the lights turned off. It was a high stress environment. Because of our family’s lack in my childhood, I vowed to never struggle financially as my mother did. I would never require help from others and I would do everything myself. I set out to be financially independent.

Everything I did in my life was based upon this fear:
that I would not be able to take care of myself and have no one to depend on. There’s a lot of pride in this belief that it is up to me to provide for myself. I was a believer, but my actions stated that I did not believe or trust that God would take care of me.

With my way, I thought I was being safe. I thought I was free.

In reality, I was deceived. I had become a slave to my fear.

And sadly, like fear does, it flows into other things: fear of love, fear of losing loved ones, fear of losing control, fear of sickness, fears about what others think, etc. In my mind, if I didn’t have any of the above fears happen, I’d be okay. Life would be good.

Then my biggest fear happened: I lost my mother.

I ran to God, but I also started building a wall. I closed myself inside it. I vowed to not let anyone in for the fear of the pain of losing someone again.

The beautiful thing about God is, that once we are His children, He’ll only let you live in bondage for so long before He comes in and starts shaking things.

That’s exactly what He did to me. He brought a friend to kick a hole in my wall. Then another. And another. I started to venture out, to see what life could be like outside the walls of my self-protection. When scary things happened I would run back inside. Eventually, I would stay outside my walls longer and longer. I’d let more people in, start new friendships, try new things, find new adventures.

My walls were still there until one day, after I had another world rocking moment, God knocked my walls down. I felt exposed, vulnerable. God said, “It’s time to learn how to live free.”

My life has never been the same.

It hasn’t been easy. I still deal with fear daily. I just choose not to live by it. It no longer rules over my life. In fact, I do many things that I fear. But, I am doing them with God. He’s always there. He always will be. He loves me and as soon as I cry out to Him, He’s right there.

Once that truth is realized, there is so much freedom. We are not meant to live in fear. It is bondage. It’s a spirit of slavery and we are NOT slaves. We’re meant to be free, just like God says in the following verses from His Word (The Holy Bible):

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have reviewed the spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry, Abba! Father!”
–Romans 8:15 (ESV)

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

In this current season where fear is running rampant and we’re questioning our mortality, remember this: God is bigger. He is bigger than our fears. Bigger than any virus. Bigger than our “what ifs.”

Run to Him. Trust that He cares for you. Choose to live in that freedom.

Author Bio:

Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. 

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and launched her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

Connect with Alexis:

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