Currently, the Netflix series Ramdev has me captivated. It is based on a true story of one of India’s most loved swamis who is known for his work in Ayurveda, business, and agriculture. Born into poverty and denied an education, this village boy overcomes society’s obstacles to become India’s foremost spiritual guru, revered by millions. What caught my attention that relates to this newsletter is the subject of FEAR and how it is often used to manipulate and control the masses.
There is a scene in the first episodes where the money-hungry, corrupt religious leader pronounces a curse on a family and tribe from a lower caste. The chaos and pain that follow are immense. When questioned what would happen if his predicted curse didn’t happen he responded with a smirk,
“Their superstitions and fear will create it and make it happen”
Did you Know…
Science, Scripture, and history all demonstrate that fear attracts more of that which we are afraid of.
“For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.” – Job 3: 25
“The thing a wicked man fears shall come upon him, but the desire of the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be granted” – Prov 10:24
History also shows great damage can be caused by fear.
“The Only Thing We Need Fear is Fear itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR was telling the American people that their fear was making things worse. He continued his speech with, “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” People were running to the banks and pulling their money out and causing damage to the economy. We have seen this played out many times in history including in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
We can learn a lot from the way Jesus filtered “bad news”!
“While He was still speaking, there came some from the ruler’s house, who said [to Jairus], your daughter has died. Why bother and distress the Teacher any further?
[Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.” -Mark 5:35-36
FEAR is not from God
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” – 2 Tim 1:7
Notice the stark contrast. Cringing fear vs. power, love, and a calm, well-balanced mind.
Love and fear can not co-exist.
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!” – 1 John 4:8
FEAR IS A CHOICE!
“Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” – John 14:1
Why it Matters…
1. FEAR Distorts Reality (The Truth)
“Fear Not” is used more than 80 times in the Bible. “Be Not Afraid” more than 30 times
[tweetshare tweet=”“Fear changes our perspective about God and ourselves. It makes God and ourselves smaller and less powerful than they really are and it makes our obstacles bigger than they really are” – Brenda Byers” username=”@Prosperinall”]
“So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, the land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.
There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” – Numbers 13:32-33 (AMP)
Notice the exaggeration. Were they really the size of grasshoppers?
How often do we make ourselves like grasshoppers?
“And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat so that it was already becoming filled.
But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do you not care that we are perishing?
Again we see exaggeration.
2. Fear Downshifts our Brains
When we are in fear we downshift to our reptilian brain. This part of the brain makes impulsive decisions to try and keep us alive. Therefore when we are afraid we are less creative. It is possible to miss opportunities and blessings and we can tend to rely more on ourselves and our resources than on God. In addition, it is easier to make mistakes about who to trust and align with.
3. Fear has long term effects on children
In this fascinating interview with educator Denise Juranek she shared how fear can affect long term learning and emotional and social well-being. Unlike other childhood fears, these will not be outgrown or go away by themselves. Watch and learn more
What to Do…
Awareness is the first step to transformation.
Distinguish Real and Imagined Fear
First, distinguish the difference between real and imagined fear. REAL FEAR is when a REAL DANGER is happening NOW. It is normal and healthy to experience fear when a sabretooth tiger is attacking your family. Fear will help you take urgent action when a fire or flood is moving towards your home. In these or similar situations our God-given “fight or flight” system kicks in. Adrenaline is released. Heart rate increases. Blood to the extremities is reduced.
2. Practice mindfulness:
Learn to live in the present. Our overactive imagination can skillfully craft future scenarios. What if:
- My kids are in an accident?
- I run out of money and end up homeless?
- I never find that relationship and die alone and lonely?
Fear occurs whenever we leave the NOW and pull the past forward or pull an imaginary future event back.
It is this IMAGINED FEAR that keeps us stuck in SICKNESS AND SUFFERING.
The fight or flight response in the body is meant to last seconds or minutes at the most. Consider nature. A deer is chased by a lion. It springs into action and runs for its life! But once it is in a safe place it returns back to grazing and relaxing. It does not stop living and spend the rest of its life fearing a lion!
Stress is the fight or flight response experienced over long periods of time. It is the number one cause of sickness and disease. It not only shortens our life span but it reduces the quality of our life.
A simple mindfulness activity is to be still and focus on your breathing. Become aware of your body. Then ask the question, “Is there danger or something hurting me right here and right now?” The answer is usually no.
3. Pray and do Biblical Meditation.
Although I put this 3rd on the list it is most important in the long run. However, if you do not address the first two you will miss the deep insights the Holy Spirit has for you because you will be downshifted and distracted. A great time for Biblical meditation is first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I often counter things happening in my life with scripture. For example, I meditate on the 23rd Psalm. Reminding myself that Abba Father is my shepherd and I shall never lack and remembering that He leads me, protects me, and provides for me. A great tool is the “Abide” app (you can listen to sleep meditations from Abide on YouTube for free – I love this one on Psalms 23. Set your phone timer to turn off automatically and fall asleep to these soothing prayer and scripture meditations).
4. Focus on LOVE.
Scripture tells us perfect love casts out fear. The greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. When we focus on loving God our faith and trust grow. When we love our neighbor our focus is also shifted. Consider how a hero rescuing a child from a burning car or home love for the child pushes the fear out to do a heroic act of love and save the child.
5. Use EFT (tapping)
In this video, “End Fear & Negativity with SpiritTapping” I used Spirit Tapping (my personal form of EFT that uses prayer, prophesy, affirmations and declarations) to address a woman’s fear of showing up. This fear kept her playing small. The breakthrough she experienced has completely transformed her and she is currently showing up in a BIG way.
Note: This is excerpted from a March issue of the Prosper Inspirational Newsletter.
This had an open rate 5X normal and this was before the current COVID-19 shelter at home! I felt it even more important to release this to you. (To subscribe to receive the Prosper Inspirational Newsletter each Sunday see the bottom of this post)
You may also enjoy the post, “Battlefield of the Mind – How to Break Free“
Praying YOU prosper in ALL things!
P.S. Much of what I do in addition to business coaching is total life prosperity coaching. It is a way to get clear on what you truly desire and create a life and business you love. To do that you must have balance and a plan for every area of your life health, finances, relationships, and faith. Ask about my new “laser coaching” program. It gives you unlimited access to me at an extremely affordable rate. Schedule a FREE call to see if this program is right for you.