When Fear Distorts Our Vision

I visited a woman this week with terrible eyesight.  She wears glasses so thick they resemble the bottoms of coke bottles.  These glasses give her some vision but everything she sees is blurry to her eyes.  In her physical world, life is distorted.

The same thing happens far too often in our spiritual worlds, too.  Perhaps we are joyfully going in a particular direction.  We have known Father’s provision and leading.  All is well.  Joy abounds.  Then one day, unexpectedly, a fearful thought enters our mind.  Maybe we tell ourselves, “I can’t do that,” or “Why did God lead me here when He knows I’m not able to do what He asks?” or “There are so many others more capable than me; has God brought me to this place just to look foolish?”  Negative thoughts can grow quickly from just one moment of fear.

We see this happening throughout the story of mankind.  Look at the Hebrew people when God led them out of their Egyptian captivity.  God provided for them day and night, guiding them to the land He promised would be their home.  What joyful anticipation they must have experienced; but then, a group of twelve men were sent to reconnaissance the land.  Two men came back reporting that there were some challenges to face, but they had God on their side so, “let’s go get our land!”  However, the other ten came back shaking in their sandals.  “There are giants in that land!  Hundreds!  They make us look like grasshoppers!  We can’t take the land!”  (Numbers 13:25-33)

The entire nation was infected with the fear of that report.  They were suddenly blinded to the promise from God that He, Himself, would lead them to take the land as their own.  Their spiritual vision was blurred by fear.  This distortion of vision made them afraid to move — they were paralyzed against doing as God told them to do.  Therefore, because of their fear, they never entered the land promised to them.  Forty years had to pass before another generation was given that privilege.

Fear comes to us all.  It’s a favorite tactic of Satan to keep us from doing what God says, and then to keep us from receiving God’s blessings that come from obedience to Him.  What then, can we do?  After all, we can’t help what we feel.  If fearful thoughts come — they just come, right?

The answer is found in the freedom of choice that God gives to each of us.  When fearful thoughts arrive, uninvited on our doorstep, it’s what we do with those thoughts that make all the difference.  Simply put, don’t open the door.  Don’t entertain the fearful thoughts.  Instead, we can follow the advice of David in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”   There it is; the wonderful and powerful answer.  When fear knocks on the door — turn immediately to God.  Call out to Him.  Take hold of His promises.  Fear has to leave.

Is there something in your life making you afraid today?  Have you spiritually lost focus because of the paralyzing power of fear?  Then, with God’s help, refocus.  Choose to look into His promises.  Hold them close and then — walk on with Jesus leading the way.  He’s bigger than any giant in the land where God may lead you.

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