Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth.
If you want to overcome anxiety, then remove unnecessary fear in your life.
Much of the fear we have can be easily removed simply by confronting the source of our fears. For example, many of us are anxious about not doing things we know we ought to be doing. For example, maybe you know you ought to go see the dentist. It’s been a year since you’ve been to the dentist, but you are afraid of what he might discover in your mouth, so you put it off. And the longer you put it off, the more you worry, thinking, “These cavities are multiplying in my mouth.” You know you need to do something, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. Or maybe you need to reconcile your bank statement, but you are afraid to do that. You don’t want to find out that you’re in worse financial shape than you thought so you keep postponing that, and you carry around that low-grade fear because you’re not doing something you know you should be doing. A doctor has said that the three killers of our age are the clock, the calendar, and the telephone. You know why that is? All three of those instruments remind us of things we should be doing that we are not doing. There are three words that can remove a lot of the unnecessary fear in your life: Do it now. Do you have a hard phone call you need to make? Do it now. Do you have a difficult email you need to send? Do it now. Do you have an appointment you need to make? Do it now. Proverbs talks about the diligent person versus the lazy person who is always finding an excuse to postpone until tomorrow what should be done today.
Removing unnecessary fear can also mean dealing realistically with your anxiety. Do you remember Willard Scott, the weatherman from the “Today” show? He wrote about a fear he had in his own life. He was deathly afraid of bridges. He was fearful that if he drove across a bridge, it would collapse. He would spend hours going out of the way to avoid driving across a bridge. And he thought, “This is silly. I am wasting valuable time in my life. I am going to confront my fear.” So he rode in his convertible across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge twenty times until he conquered his fear of bridges.
You may say, “That sounds like a bunch of positive thinking mumbo-jumbo. Where is that in the Bible?” I’m glad you asked. In Ephesians 6:14, Paul talked about the spiritual armor we have, saying, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth.” An important part of the armor the Roman soldier had was a belt. Every soldier wore a free-flowing tunic, but if he went into battle with that tunic flowing this way and that way, an enemy could grab hold of it and gain an unfair advantage. So before the soldier went into battle, he would take the ends of that tunic and tuck it into his belt so there were no free-flowing ends to that tunic. Paul was saying, “We need to take these loose thoughts, and thoughts that are based on unrealistic fears, and confront them with truth: the truth of God’s Word.” That kind of truth makes worry evaporate in our lives.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Faith over Worry” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.