Dear Esther
If you are having a challenging day or burdened with some personal problems, then you can be sure others are too. Write to Esther and she will have some good sound biblical advice and answers for you. You will be helping others by sharing your need or concern. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).


You can email your question to Esther at:
dearesther7@yahoo.com

    



August 3, 2015

Dear Esther,

Just some Christian conversation this morning...What do you think?

Almost every morning I am tempted by fear. Anxiety was a generational curse. My mother raised me to fear life. She feared EVERYTHING. I realize this now, as an adult Christian. It caused a lot of heartache to say the least.

But I wonder... is fear really Satan, or could it be an angel who has come, to in fact, say…fear not: To reveal to us God’s presence. To remind us of the words that are hidden in our hearts...God’s Scripture.

This morning while washing dishes, negative thoughts came to mind...What if this or that does or doesn’t happen. Temptations of feeling the need to be a people pleaser (especially since I’ve gotten help from organizations and people I hardly know, and they are waiting to see what I do next). And the temptation of wondering how the people I had to leave behind feel...my lost family, whom rejected me, including two adult children.

I even fear relaxation...am I being lazy, is this taking advantage of someone at the moment? One time, I lived in my mother’s basement after a separation, In deep depression. I was eating the Word of God night and day. It was my only hope. I remember how I had to fight Satan off daily to receive from God what I needed. I was so persecuted and judged.

I was seeking the Kingdom, even though I was already saved, I was in a hopeless state. Much humility I have endured. The Lord reminds me though, that It was my tough life that lead me closer to Him. Should we be thankful for our enemies thrusting us up to heaven? Maybe we wouldn't have became children of God without them?

It is so easy to become a sheep without a shepherd. Godly knowledge is not for the faint hearted. Needless to say...in my Christian walk...God helped me to be very brave. I have endured much...oh my goodness! It’s a wonder I’m alive...so many people have tried to kill me, and they don’t even know it. I’m sure a lot of Christians can relate.

The pruning process can be very painful. I struggled greatly on how to walk in the Spirit here in this fallen world. I just wanted to desperately go to my heavenly home. God keeps saying...my grace is sufficient for you.

It is so helpful to remind myself of idolatry. When we place God first...perfect love casts out all fear.

What a wonderful Savior we serve!

Sincerely,

Paula


Dear Paula,

You sound like a very interesting and intelligent believer. You have stood up to the wiles of the devil many times over and have greatly grown through all of it. You ask me what I think about your missive; I think you are a perfect example of someone that the devil has tried to ruin and terrorize but glory to God, all it did is strengthen your relationship with the Lord. No, I don’t think fear is from an angel other than the fallen angel—Lucifer, the devil.

He is an expert in the business of spiritual warfare and his first line of defense is to terrify and immobilize people so they think they have no hope in God or better yet, that there is no God. He wants to destroy every man, woman and child and he does so by intimidation. He uses people to do his bidding and as you know from personal experience he has a lot of accomplices. Most of the time his helpers are oblivious to how they are being used by him.

“He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44b).

What you describe about your mother is not unusual. Fear and anxiety can definitely cause a person’s quality of life to suffer if left unchecked. With God’s help, it is better to consciously work to let go of the past and do as Scripture teaches:

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13b-14).

I don’t know of anyone who has not been in some way affected at one time or another by fear. Especially today, when we see this hate-infested world heading full speed ahead on a collision course with God Almighty. But as believers, we have the steady grace of God to push us forward and pull us above fear so we don’t allow it to gain control of our lives.

We should always remember, we are living in a spiritual battlefield and the enemy is relentless. That is why we must do as these verses teach:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Paula, what you have shared is not uncommon. So many people are raised with fearful parents who mean well but cannot seem to keep their own anxieties from negatively impacting their children. Although you are still struggling with anxiety issues to some degree, what you have shared is certainly proof of the Savior’s never-ending love and compassion for His creation.

It sounds like you have been through a great deal and instead of falling away from the Living God, your trials and tribulations drew you closer to Him and you are a mature believer. Now that is God’s love in action.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

The Bible has much to say on worry and anxiety. You already know by staying in the Word you have been able to work through chronic fear on a daily basis. In the book of Matthew, Jesus instructed us not to worry about tomorrow, about food, clothing, etc.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin” (Matthew 6:25-26, 28).

Jesus also said we should live life one day at a time and not borrow trouble thinking about what could be, or what if...

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

And the apostle Paul’s encouragement to the believers at Philippi is also meant for us today. We should not be anxious, but pray. Prayer strengthens us as we communicate with our Heavenly Father, which also keeps our flesh nature from getting out of control. We must be alert and vigilant because the devil is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

By casting our anxieties on the Lord, we can navigate through our daily lives while the Holy Spirit carries us forward strengthening us. By allowing Him to renew our minds as taught in Romans 12:2, God’s mighty hand will “lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6-7). An important aspect of discovering the secret to tranquility can be found in the Psalm 37:3-7:

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.”

When we put all this wonderful Scripture to work in our lives our fears and anxieties will no longer debilitate us. Paula, next time negative thoughts come to your mind, stand on God’s Word immediately. You know negative thoughts never come from God. We can be our own worst enemies, but the devil does not need our help!

You have made amazing progress by calling out to God and surrendering to His grace. Choose right now not to let any more negative thoughts hold you captive. Refuse to give into disparaging thoughts. Let God’s Scriptures saturate your mind so much that there will be not be any room for anything but His voice. It is vital that you place ALL your trust in Him regardless of your outer circumstances.

You know all too well that this life is comprised of an overwhelming abundance of deceptive strongholds controlled by Satan himself. But in Christ you are free and do not have to allow the dark forces to infiltrate your mind and play with your life like you are some sort of wobbly rag doll. You are an heir of God (Galatians 4:7); hold on to that promise and stand tall.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Stand tall and claim your freedom in Christ. Make the most of your days left here in this broken world and reach others for Christ while there is still time. You have so much to offer others because of your life experiences and spiritual maturity. Don’t underestimate what a blessing you can be to those who are hurting and need a compassionate, understanding friend.

So there you have it Paula; my thoughts and also my best wishes for you. And yes, God’s grace is sufficient as you say, and as you have learned that firsthand. In these very dark days it is imperative to stay wide awake and do whatever we can to further the gospel. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart with me and our readers. The Body of Christ is blessed to have you as a dedicated and faithful servant. Never hesitate to write and let me know how you are doing.

In God’s love,

Esther

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).