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False Evidence Appearing Real

(From a devotional by Linda Godsey)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power
and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Did you know that behind every fear there is a lie? I once heard someone say that the letters of the word fear stand for False Evidence Appearing Real. In other words, fear comes from believing lies.

Some fears are rational, God-given natural responses—like when your physical or psychological safety is threatened. These kinds of fears keep you safe and alert to danger. They are sensible, cautious fears. By contrast, irrational fears have no reason or basis, and the Enemy uses them to establish strongholds in your mind. A lot of spiritual bondage is rooted in irrational fear. The Enemy lies to you about who you are, who God is and what others think about you. A divine unwrapping of these lies is necessary to experience true freedom.

Refuse to believe the Enemy’s lies. But how do we resist the Devil’s lies? According to James 4:7, we simply have to “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.” Ask yourself, “What does God’s Word say about this issue that I’m fearful about? What is God’s truth?” To experience freedom from fear, you must first learn to see through the filter of God’s perspective rather than through your own human limitations or the Devil’s lies.

Years ago, God showed me that the areas where I struggle with fear are the places where I don’t know and experience His love. According to God’s Word, He has my best interests at heart … He has my back! Scripture tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). That is one of the most tender scriptures in the Bible, and it’s God’s heart for you and me.

Fear is a thief. It erodes our faith, plunders our hope,
steals our freedom and takes away our joy of living the
abundant life in Christ. (Neil Anderson, Freedom from Fear)

The apostle Paul tells us not to be ignorant of the Enemy’s devices. Regularly ask the Lord to identify your fears. What events have taken place in your life that have opened the door to that fear? What lies have you believed?

Ask the Lord for a “divine exchange”—a replacement of your fear with God’s love. As you earnestly seek the Lord for your freedom, He will hear and deliver you from all your fears.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
(Psalm 34:4)



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