Surrendering Our Fears
Crista Crawford knows what it’s like to face down fears. From navigating a fibromyalgia diagnosis to trying to write through the fog of pain that threatened to steal her words, Crista has come to believe that the only way to fight fear is through the power of the Spirit and the armor He provides. She is an imperfect Christian who loves to write about our perfect God. In her book, The Full Armor of God: Are You Sure You Got Dressed Today and its Workbook Companion, Crista shares what she’s learned about spiritual warfare and the life-transforming power of each piece of God’s armor, lessons she’s learned from years of falling face-first without it. She is an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award winner and holds two master’s degrees, but her real education is the forty-plus years of learning what grace and forgiveness really means. Are you tired of listening to the lies of the deceiver? It’s time to embrace the fact that God carries you in the palm of His hand, and He wants you protected because you are so very precious to Him.
Q: We can fear many things . . . the lingering trauma of a past event; a thorny, present circumstance; or an uncertain future. But the Christian is called to fear God alone. How does the fear of God free us from these unhealthy fears?
A: It is so easy to succumb to our earthly fears. We all have our own triggers that keep our eyes scanning the ground rather than searching the face of our King. We have a real enemy that likes to use these triggers to make us stumble and fall. When we seek our Father and know intimately who He is, our worries and fears start sliding down the scale of importance and land at the foot of the cross where they belong. When we truly grasp the power and strength of our Dad, we realize the things we fear are merely shadows that disperse in His light.
Q: How specifically does the armor of God protect us from fear?
A: There is something powerful about praying for God’s protective armor each day. It focuses our minds on Jesus as our Savior and protector and away from our to-do lists, fears, and worries that are biting at the bit as soon as our feet hit the floor. We stand with His armor, so who can stand against us? Our temporary fears in this world won’t stop coming when we put on the armor of God. Our strength to fight them, however, doesn’t rely on our own limited abilities but on the limitless ability of our Lord. I pray daily for God’s full armor, and I also pray for individual pieces. When we struggle to see through the maze of fear we are entering, praying for the belt of truth is key for God to reveal our steps, even if it’s only a few inches at a time. When I feel especially proud or powerful in my human accomplishments, I pray for the cover of His righteousness to remind me to lay my rags at His feet.
Q: How have you seen God’s faithfulness while combating fear in your own life?
A: I am prone to fear and worry. They are my kryptonite. I spent much of my life rising and falling to their will, and I exhausted myself trying to battle the unknown. This is no way to live. When I first became a believer in Christ, fear and worry didn’t suddenly dissolve their hold on me. It took fighting battles I had no control over, such as my husband leaving and a diagnosis with a chronic illness, to make me realize I needed God’s help. I was believing a lie that I could do it all by myself. God let me try and fail to control my outcomes and then stepped in when my heart was ready to give it all to Him. He is patient with all of us when we are ready to humble ourselves and let Him lead the way.
Q: Surrendering our fears to God is certainly not a one-time event. What does it look like to walk this out on a day-to-day basis?
A: Sometimes it is a minute-by-minute event, depending on the day. It is amazing to me how many fears I battle each day that try to strangle my joy. I’m sure a lot of people can relate. I believe giving over our fears to God needs to be as habitual as prayer and worship. When we thank God for His love and sacrifice through His precious Son and worship His name, we then need to be honest with God regarding the fears we attempt to battle alone. We can’t praise Him in one breath and take control of our fears in the other. He is not surprised by what we fear, He is waiting for us to be honest and vulnerable with Him. He can’t lead us through our fears if we dash ahead and look at Him in our rearview mirror.
Q: What final word of encouragement would you give someone in the grip of fear?
A: Fear is something that puts us all on common and familiar ground. It is a universal battle because we live in a broken world. We have the beautiful truth in our Father that brings hope when all feels hopeless. Whatever is swirling around below us will never be too strong for our Father who resides above. Jesus laid down His life for you. He is asking you to talk with Him, sit with Him for a while, and allow Him to lead. Pray for His holy armor and watch the incredible things He can do with your fears.
Crista makes her home in O’Fallon, Illinois with her husband, two children, four stepchildren, two cats, and a guinea pig.
Connect with her online at https://cristacrawford.com/.