Last year, I gave up fear for Lent.
This year, I'm fasting from worry.
The spirit of fear I battled for 50 years came from somewhere outside of me. It whispered outrageous lies--probably from the very day I was born--and kept me cowering and crippled for most of my life.
Deliverance from fear required my refusal to listen to and believe the Enemy's lies. I practiced meditating on the Truth, which always sets us free. At the end of my forty day fast, I saw that my worst fears were only impotent shadows. I knew more fully who I was in Christ, and that set me free, indeed.
Worry, on the other hand, permeates my very nature. Even though I'm no longer paralyzed by my fears, I find myself exhausted by my anxieties. They are so subtle, so ingrained in my thought processes, it takes the illumination of the Holy Spirit to reveal them to me.
For instance, I was driving to work the other day, feeling completely overwhelmed by my responsibilities. I fretted about the work that had piled up while I was in Alaska. I worried about all the expectations that were placed on me to recruit new missionaries. I wondered how in the world I was going to finish writing the post field devotionals I'd started.
I was actually beginning to hyperventilate when I heard the Lord say: "Chill!"
So, I took a deep breath and repented and made a conscious effort to cast all my cares back on Him. I cranked up my worship CD and focused on Jesus for the remainder of my commute.
And He enabled me to view my work load as pleasant challenge rather than a cause for stress.
I think even my boss noticed the change in my attitude.
I think it's very cool the way the Lord calls me to give up things I really don't like very much in the first place!