My anxiety had teeth that summer day. In the quiet darkness of the early morning, apprehension stealthily lurked in my dreams and poised to strike with the initial ray of the sun. Before my first cup of coffee, my heart was hemorrhaging with fear as the deceitful claws of panic gripped my soul.

 

I knew the feeling all too well. My adversary, hidden in the unknown, prowled about my thoughts to whisper hopelessness before he locked his powerful jaws onto my weakness. My emotions continued on the hamster wheel of despair as I cowered into my day. 

 

 

Defeatedly, I slunk to breakfast, hoping a little protein would give temporary relief. I reached for my Bible, wishing I knew the verses better — praying for a promise. Somewhere there was a Shepherd. I’d been told that the One in this book was greater than the one who was eating me alive.

 

I thumbed through the concordance: “Shepherd” (n.) and began to search the references.

 

“The Lord is my shepherd.” I’d read that before, but had He ever truly been? “Like a Shepherd, He will tend His flock.” But was this what He would call tending me? “I am the good Shepherd.” I’d read that one before. I turned to John 10 to see more.

 

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy.” I knew that experientially. This was the wolf who had his fangs in my brain. I also knew I was sick of his destruction. I was tired of his voice.

 

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” So my Shepherd also has a voice. Could I hear Him? Why must He be so still? Why must His voice seem so small?

 

“The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord throws out lightening. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness. The Lord will give strength of His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:4,7-8,11).

 

Wow. I have a powerful Shepherd and He desires peace for me.

 

When I began to believe, I began to breathe. The evil jaws on my jugular released their grip, as the evil voice turned tail to truth and ran. Trust was my resistance. I welcomed the flow of hope.

 

My simple belief in the Presence of my Shepherd was the power needed to cause the old wolf fear to fear. I couldn’t outrun him, but I could resist him. The singular act of trust reveals authority I have to tread over all the power of the enemy — including that of anxiety, despair and hopelessness (1 Peter 5;9; Luke 10:19). I may be a sheep, but the predator of my soul is subject to me in Jesus’ Name (Luke 10:17) “Resist him, firm in your faith — this must become my fighting motto.

 

Faith is the Shepherd-given dagger to defeat the flesh-eating carnivore of fear. The spirit of belief defeats the spirit of anxiety every time. “The Lord is near. I can be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:5-6). 

 

believe breathe

 

Photography by Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram!

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perfection

“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

 

I made a meal. I prayed a prayer. I read my Bible daily.

 

“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

 

I fought with my kids. I argued with my husband. I hated time spent with a co-worker.

 

“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

 

I sang a song. I went to church. I visited the elderly.

 

“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

 

My emotions surged. My thoughts went south. I spiraled downward into a dark place.

 

“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

 

I stopped. Stopped it all. Waited to listen. What was the key to perfection?

 

“Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

 

How is my Father perfect?

 

My Father is perfect because of Who He is,

not because of what He does.

Perfection is His nature.

 

I am cleansed through His gift of faith (John 15:3; Ephesians 2:8).

 

I am perfect, because my Father in heaven is perfect.

 

I am set apart, once and for all, because He died (Hebrews 10:10).

 

I am perfect, because my Father in heaven is perfect.

 

I am righteous because of His obedience (Romans 5:19).

 

I am perfect, because my Father in heaven is perfect.

 

I am wise, righteous, sanctified, and redeemed because of His doing (1 Corinthians 1:30).

 

I am perfect, because my Father in heaven is perfect.

 

He speaks directly to me (John 8:47).

 

He teaches me as I rest in Him (1 John 2:27).

 

He is at peace with me (Romans 5:1).

 

He is praying for me (Romans 8:34).

 

The one who has the Son has the perfected Life (1 John 5:12).

I am perfect because of Who He is in me,

not because of what I do or don’t do.

Perfection is now in my nature,

because His spiritual sperm has made me a new creation

(1 John 3:9; 1 Corinthians 5:17).

 

God is good with me. I will be good with myself. “And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

 

 

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