Over time, I have discovered that God takes our fears very seriously. We often do not. Most of us have been afraid of the same things for so many years that we almost don't notice how they're affecting us anymore—or worse, we choose to ignore them.
This isn't fear, we may think. I just don't do that sort of thing. I'm not outgoing enough.
It's not because I'm afraid of failing. I've just decided not to see this through.
I know God doesn't want me to be afraid of this (person, event, situation), but I am.
Our fears may seem small and insignificant to us, but they aren't to God. He will often go to great lengths to see that we are delivered from them.
Several years ago, I had nightmares for 69 nights in a row. Most of the time, I would wake up sweating, yelling and thinking I was going to die. I begged God to stop the dreams, but He didn't—at least, not in the way I had been expecting.
By the time Night Number 70 rolled around, I was staying up until 1 or 2 a.m. and avoiding going to bed for as long as I could. That night, when I finally fell asleep, I dreamed that I was in a huge, beautiful house. Everything was peaceful. But then I saw a bee outside the window, and I thought, Oh, no! Not again! I am not going to let them in this house!
I got out my duct tape and taped up every window, door and even the fireplace. I was determined the bees were not going to get into the house, and when I had finished, I was relieved. I had done it! I had conquered them! I couldn't see out the windows because the swarm was so thick—but I had conquered them.
Suddenly, an angel stood beside me. "Come with me," he said.
But I knew better. "No," I replied. "I know you. You've been here before! Every time I go with you, you take me outside, and if I go outside, the bees are going to know I'm there, and they will sting me, and I will die!"
Rather forcefully, he said, "I said, ‘Come with me!'"
The next thing I knew, I was standing outside about 100 feet away from the house. The bees blanketed the structure completely. You couldn't even see it anymore.
The angel looked at me. "Blow on it!"
Once again, I knew better. "No," I told him. "If I blow on it, they are going to know I'm here, and then they are going to come and sting me, and I'll die!"
"I said, ‘Blow on it!'" he repeated.
It was clear that either the bees were going to kill me or this angel was. So, coming up with a plan, I took a small breath and whispered at the house. I thought that maybe if I blew only a little bit, the bees wouldn't notice I was there, and the angel would be satisfied.
But no. He turned to me again. "I said, ‘Blow on it!' Let the breath of God blow through you! Blow on that!"
Knowing I was facing imminent death, I took a deep breath and blew with everything I had. To my shock, a huge number of bees lifted off the house and disappeared! Full of courage, I did it again. Three breaths later, I could see that the house was completely clean.
The angel looked at me and said, "Never allow the enemy to do that to you again! The Spirit of the Living God will stop it if you will let Him come forth from you. Never stop the breath of God!"
God takes our fears very seriously. None of them is inconsequential, and no matter how small they may seem, every one of them affects us. Our heavenly Father wants us to be free from their negative and binding consequences—but we have to want that freedom, too.
We need to view our fears the way God views them. Take some time and ask Him which fear, or fears, He wants to address in your life today.
What does He want to remove? What do you need to start thinking differently about? It could be that God has a great blessing waiting for you on the other side of the fear, a blessing that has been available to you but that you couldn't see because the fear kept it hidden from your sight.
Let the breath of God blow through you at your fear, and you will reap the benefit true freedom brings.
John Paul Jackson is the founder of Streams Ministries International (streamsministries.com) and a well-known authority on dream interpretation and prophetic evangelism who ministers nationally and internationally in churches and conferences. He is also the author of numerous books, including the best-selling titles Unmasking the Jezebel Spirit and Needless Casualties of War.