“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
“Mrs. Reyes!” The dentist said sternly. “Are you in pain?!”
“No,” I answered, with tears streaming down both sides of my face.
“Then please stop moaning!”
Yes, I had been moaning. Incessantly. Since he first began working in my mouth with his drill. I was so overcome by fear over my first root canal that when I was later asked to get up to move to another room, I had to be helped because I almost passed out.
Could I have been struggling with the fear of the unknown? I don’t believe so. Had I not known anything about root canals, I may not have been so traumatized. My intense emotions were birthed from of all the horror stories I’d heard from people who had had root canals.
Excessive fear can be crippling. It steals our joy and robs us of our peace. Feelings of fear cause some to run rather than face what’s before them. It’s one of the enemy’s favorite tools to keep us from reaching our full potential. He uses it to paralyze us. This warfare begins in our minds and has a definite impact on our souls.
But how does fear enter our hearts and minds? Through seeing and hearing.
“Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.” 2 Peter 2:8 (NLT)
While Lot didn’t necessarily struggle with fear, his soul was tormented by the things he saw and heard. Our eyes and ears are the portals through which fear makes its entry. Consider the following scripture examples from both the old and new testaments (emphasis mine):
- “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance.” Exodus 20:18 (NIV)
- “When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:11 (NIV)
- “Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.” 1 Samuel 17:24 (NIV)
- “When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.” Matthew 14:26 (NIV)
- “When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.” Acts 5:5 (NIV)
If you read the verses in context, it’s interesting to note that there was no evidence of any fear until something disturbing was seen or heard. That’s why, when it’s up to us, it is imperative to vigilantly choose what we allow ourselves to see and hear. Dwelling on what we receive, good or bad, affects our beliefs. By keeping our eyes on Jesus, and building our faith through hearing His word, we can avoid becoming hostages of fear.
PRAYER: Prince of peace, I keep my mind fixed on you because I trust in you. Your words are life and truth and bring healing to my soul. Amen.