You know that feeling like you’ve been kicked in the gut? It’s a sudden, horrible fear that sucks the life out of you and then hangs its ugly cloud over your life. Think:
- A letter arrives with a notice that the IRS is auditing your tax return.
- Your doctor calls and wants you to come in and discuss your latest test results.
- You find pornography on your grandson’s iPhone when you borrow it to make a phone call.
- The phone rings and your daughter tells you she has cancer.
- You discover your identity has been stolen and your bank account is empty.
I had something happen recently that totally sucker punched me and overshadowed my life with feelings of doom and gloom.
Psalm 64:1 calls this feeling “the dread of the enemy.”
Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Now, when this feeling of dread first hits you, you aren’t quite sure how to handle it. You know you need to pray, and you do.
BUT you still feel that you need more of a solid grip on this gray cloud that you’re waking up to every morning.
The dread of the enemy
When I read that phrase, “dread of the enemy,” it lit up like a light bulb and I KNEW what I was dealing with. I was dealing with dread, an emotional state of being, and it was being handed to me by the enemy of my soul.
Dread is NOT the emotional state of being of joy—that joy of the Lord that gives us strength. In fact, dread is the opposite of joy.
So I knew I needed God to preserve my life from this dread, or else the dread would dictate my life and not Jesus.
Of course, that meant rebuking the enemy who was serving up this platter of dread. I could do that.
BUT it ALSO meant that I had to mentally and emotionally get myself onto a solid platform of faith and out of a place of dread.
Since it is faith that pleases God, and I want to please Him, I needed a gear shift.
I decided to use this situation to grow my faith instead of depleting it.
FIRST, I had to get the gray cloud to be something solid and not so misty
It’s hard to deal with intangible, emotional feelings even in your imagination. So I turned dread into an image.
Dread became the name of the waiter sent by the enemy of my soul to serve me a tasteless meal of fear.
Now that I had something more solid in my imagination than a mist, I could deal with it.
SECOND, I’d talk to the Lord
Every morning before I got out of bed, I’d thank the Lord for new mercies for the day, the joy that is to be the atmosphere of my day, and His promise to preserve my life from the dread of the enemy.
I’d also pray the Scripture promises He’d given me for the situation I was facing.
THEN, I’d turn to Mr. Dread…
…who tended to hover over me in the morning, and tell him all about the promises I’d just prayed.
I’d remind him that my life consisted of bigger things than what he was serving up.
If he wanted to discuss the dreadful situation he represented, he’d have to go talk to King Jesus, because I wasn’t available.
I was hidden behind God’s Fortress of Preservation.
FINALLY, I’d talk to myself
I’d review all the positive things in my life and the good things that God was up to in my days.
As I got out of bed, I’d sing my morning fight song.
I’d specifically address my attitude and tell it to get on board with joy because joy was going to be my strength for the day and I wanted it to spill over into every conversation.
Then I’d get up and read something positive from the Scripture about faith as I sipped my morning coffee.
There is a bigger story that goes with this short post, but I’ll leave that for another day. (FYI, God is working amazing things in this story that I can’t wait to tell you about. Maybe in a webinar coming up soon.)
This week, I urge you to identify your ‘dreads.” Then walk through the process I describe above to get rid of them and see your joy restored and faith grow stronger.
P.S. Interested in more? I wrote a post a few years ago on How to Resist Demonic Attacks. You might find it helpful.