Have you ever driven down the highway and noticed that your "check engine" light was on? Even if there was no strange engine noise or visible smoke, you knew the warning light meant something was wrong - and most likely you immediately took the car to your mechanic. Why? Because you knew that the warning light was connected to the engine. Even though you could not see the problem inside the car, you could see the warning message.
A similar connection occurs between fear and faith. We may think that our life is running fine, but then the red light of fear begins flashing. That fear signals that it is time to check our engines of faith. Most fears are based on the "what if's" we generate in our minds, which are often rooted in a distrust of God.
Jesus warned against fear and worry saying, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? ... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:25, 34).
Many people try to escape their fears through activity, relationships, alcohol or drugs. These are temporary at best, and only compound the problem. The source of the fear remains. The antidote to fear is in the promises of God, not in escapism.
If we do not learn how to master our fears, our fears will master us. In order to conquer our fears, we must do two things: pray our fears out and pray faith, the very power of God, in.
When we cry out to God, He will listen to us. God loves to hear the cries of His children who seek to grow in faith. The psalmist declared, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4). When we realize our own inadequacies and our total dependence on God, we take a first step in overcoming our fears. We can be confident that a prayer for faith is one that will be answered.
God will help us when we acknowledge our fears in prayer. He wants us to share with Him the cause of our concerns. Even when we don't know the source of our anxiety, the Holy Spirit will work on our behalf when we seek His help. We may fool the people around us with a brave face, but our masks never fool God. He knows what is in our hearts, and He wants us to confess those fears to Him.
Once you have confessed your fears, begin praying faith in. Turn to the Word of God and incorporate His promises into your prayers. Draw strength from God's promises as Abraham did: "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised" (Romans 4:20,21).
Pray for God's power in your life. Part of the reason for Jesus' time here on earth was to demonstrate His power. He showed us that God's Messiah has power to redeem us from our sins, to heal diseases, and to still whatever storms we face in life. God wants to show us that power today. He waits until we run out of human solutions before manifesting His power to His children. When we try to draw on our own strength, peace, and sufficiency instead of God's, we end up in the stormy waters. Only the power of God that sustains the universe can sustain us in every circumstance we face.
Are you trying to escape your fear or conquer it through human methods? Or do you seek the power of God, the only One who gives victory over anxiety? Spend time in prayer today, sending fear out and faith in, and drawing upon the power of God.