My first known fear surfaced when I was about four years old. I believed there was something evil lurking in my closet and if I took my eyes off of it to go to sleep, it was going to get me. I’d lie awake and stare at the door knob, just waiting to see it slowly turn and this “thing” jump out at me. Eventually I’d fall asleep only to have nightmares of twisted faces, contorted and monstrous looking. I’d scream and wake everyone in the house.
Then I grew up.
Satan would love it if you and I live in fear; if we’re so fixed on that fear that we don’t look anywhere else. Or if we give in to that fear and give up, stop trying, believe something is just too hard, too big for us to accomplish. The enemy wants us to fail. Do you really understand that? Satan will kick harder when you’re down. He won’t pull any punches and will only laugh when you bleed.
And Satan will do whatever it takes to sidetrack you. I have to wonder if he laughs when we fall for his distractions, like a dog following the familiar scent of the way back home but veers off course because someone nearby is grilling hot dogs.
So what are we supposed to do?
First, remember who you are and Who you belong to. I like thinking of it this way to go along with the idea of Satan beating us up: Satan is a bully and Jesus Christ is your big Brother. Go tell your Brother, and He’ll take care of that old bully.
When it comes to dealing with distractions, beware of anything that leads your heart away from God and that makes your focus bounce all over the place. Stay on the path God has for you and forget about the hot dogs.
And when it comes to fear, your Heavenly Father will lead you to that closet and open the door. With one hand firmly holding yours, He will turn on the light to reveal what is lurking inside: Nothing. There is nothing to fear when His hand is in yours.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV.)