My Journey By Denise Frangipane

By Denise Frangipane

The following message was taken from the booklet, "Overcoming Fear!" by Denise Frangipane.

Before I appropriated the gift of Christ's peace, I was always looking for something to distract me from my fears. There were few times when I found myself alone while growing up in a family of eleven. My sense of security came from having people always around me. In fact, I hated being alone, especially in the darkness.

To keep from dealing with my gloomy, fearful thoughts, I would occupy my mind with radio, television or books. When all these distractions were removed, however, I was left with an unending supply of tormenting, disabling thoughts.

The enemy had gained free access to my undisciplined thought life. In fact, even after coming to Christ I was still bound by certain fears. Doctrinally, I knew God was love, but I did not fully comprehend His personal love for me. I often carried guilt and condemnation when I stumbled. Not only was I fearful of the world around me, I was also afraid of God and the punishment I thought I deserved.

Even as a parent, when I found myself alone I imagined horrible things that could happen to me or my children. The creaking of the house at night would be exaggerated into footsteps. The sound of the wind outside brought prowlers into my imagination. I lay on my bed (or was it under the bed?) paralyzed by fear. I could sense the presence of evil.

Those dark, frightening thoughts became so real they consumed my mind and constantly stirred up my emotions. It seemed that even God Himself had retreated behind the cloud of my oppression.

Because I lacked discernment, I failed to recognize that the devil was the source and manipulator of many of my fears. Even as we can "fix our minds" on the Lord and soon feel His Presence, so surrendering to the enemy's manipulation of our minds can bring the manifestation of a spirit of fear.

Of course, the night eventually passed and the things I feared had not occurred. After many years of similar battles, I realized I was missing the abundant life Jesus came to give us; I began to seek the Lord for deliverance.

God's Answer
One night I had a dream. I was standing on a very narrow ledge. I could see nothing; darkness had enveloped me. Balancing on this thin ledge, I was petrified, afraid of falling. All around me I could hear cynical, mocking voices.

In the dream, a light was turned on and I saw that the floor was only a couple of inches below the ledge! Fear had exaggerated my danger; its darkness had blinded me to reality. Light broke the illusion and sent the enemy fleeing!

Through this dream the Holy Spirit showed me how Satan was a master illusionist. Any time we open ourselves up to fear, we fall prey to his deceptions and intimidations. Yet, if we submit our hearts to God and stand in faith, we can resist those first fearful thoughts. As we yield to God we can master our reactions to fear and the enemy will soon flee.

Our first place of victory is in believing the truth concerning our relationship with God. Paul tells us that, "having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 5:1). We reject the lie that insists God is our enemy. We come to believe He is our Helper in the healing of our souls!

John tells us, "this is the victory that has overcome the world "our faith" (1 John 5:4). Faith in what Christ has done and faith in what God has promised empowers us to overcome the world. It is a faith that believes that He will be with us and trusts that He is able to deliver us. This is the victory that overcomes the world.

You see, "God has not given us a spirit of fear," (2 Tim. 1:7 nkjv). Tormenting, debilitating fears are not from the Lord. Paul continues by saying that the nature of the Holy Spirit abiding in us produces a spirit "of power and of love and of a sound mind."

This means that our feelings of helplessness are not from God. We can be assured that, whenever our minds become darkened through self-condemnation, fear or tormenting guilt, we are living outside the realm of God's "love," for God's perfect love "casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).

To win the war against fear, we must know the true God as He is revealed in the Bible. He works to give us lasting peace. He receives joy, not from condemning us but in rescuing us from the devil. Yes, the Lord will bring conviction to our hearts concerning sin, but it is so He can deliver us from sin's power and consequences. In its place, the Lord works to establish healing, forgiveness and peace.

If we walk humbly with the Lord, He promises to lift us up and dwell with us. The effect of God's power and love working in us is a sound mind. Our freedom from fear grows as we grow in God. He came to "destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8) and to set the captives free.