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I’ve heard many sermons about taking fear captive. As someone who has always struggled with fear, especially in the midst of the battle, I’ve sat on the edge of my seat, Bible in hand, just waiting for some direction on how to take fear as my prisoner. After all, I want to control it – not the other way around.

The first definition of captive in the Merriam Webster online dictionary is –

Captive: Taken and held as or as if a prisoner of war.

I understand the concept of “taking fear captive.” I know we need to lock it up and throw away the key. However, I think we have a tendency to think of it like holding prisoners in their cells, along with the humanity within it.

Years ago, I had the pleasure of knowing a man who was a prison guard. Though he kept the prisoners “in line” and maintained control of what was happening in those cells, it was also his job to let them out to eat or outside in the prison yard for fresh air and exercise.

How often do we feed our fear or allow it outside to breathe from time to time?

This is, of course, just an analogy, and we cannot lock up human beings 24/7 and deny them their rights under good behavior in prison. Still I feel that it’s an important correlation to make.

When it comes to fear, we must put it in prison, throw away the key, and allow Jesus to be the prison guard. We need to walk away from it. Once we have taken it captive, it isn’t our job to guard it. It’s the Lord’s.

If we are left to play the role of prison guard, we will become weak, want to treat it humanely, feed it, and allow it to breathe. Once that happens we are guilty of offering it strength and then before we know it, we become the captive all over again.

We cannot nourish our fear. We must nourish our faith in Christ. (You can tweet that!)

I used to struggle with intense fear. I feared that I would never have another baby, and I eventually feared that I would lose my mind. In my book Nothing to Hold but Hope, you can read about how vivid these fears were. For a short time, fear was responsible for overtaking my sound mind.

So, how do we take it captive?

It isn’t easy, and I can only tell you the steps that worked for me. They might sound cliché, but they helped me tremendously. I also want you to know that it took me a long time to get to the point where I was even able to fight the fear. It’s a process.

  1. I surrounded myself with worship music. I would play it night and day in my home to minister words of edification to my spirit.
  2. I went to church regularly.
  3. I surrounded myself with positive, uplifting people. (After a reasonable amount of time, you have to take your focus off grief and place it on hope. We all grieve and it is important, but we can’t stay in the same spot forever. Sometimes it takes uplifting people who care enough to help pick you up and carry you to the next place on the battlefield.)
  4. I read at least one verse a day in my Bible, primarily in the Psalms. (King David is a great reminder that we are not the first ones to lament our circumstances to God.)
  5. I served in the church.  (Becoming involved in different ministries helped me take my focus off my own problems and minster to someone else.)

These steps helped me take fear captive. I pray regularly that I will have the ability to throw the key away and ask Jesus to be the prison guard, but sometimes I take back the job and the fear escapes.

It takes a lifetime to overcome fear, but with Christ everything is possible. We need to give our fears regularly over to Christ.
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 (NKJV)

Christ is perfect love and He will cast out every fear.

I’m praying for you today!

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My eBook, Mercy Waits, is available!

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