Monday, May 18, 2009

“Give your fears to God, He will be up all night anyway” By: Kelli Zaniel

In truth He is my rock of deliverance, my tower of strength, so that I stand unshaken. The Bible instructs us not to be fearful but place our trust always in God. Pour out your hearts before Him; kneel at His feet; God is our shelter and our deliverer.

One evening, eleven years ago in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, I approached the front door to my loft apartment where I lived alone. I placed the key gently into the lock and entered my dark apartment. As I turned on the lights, I soon realized that my angry ex-boyfriend was strategically hiding and waiting inside. I had been involved with this man in a relationship where his abusive words and actions seeped into my daily life and poisoned my soul. I finally gained the strength and courage to break ties with him. My mission was to re-introduce God into my life and allow Him (not other people) to fill all the brokenness and cracks in my tattered heart. In return, that night I entered into my worst nightmare. This man spent an hour beating and assaulting me in every imaginable way. In my attempt to save my own life, I swiftly jumped over the bed, grabbed the phone and dialed 911. The phone rang only once before it was forcefully jerked out of my battered and bruised hand. Fortunately, the police responded to my home, but not before the damage had been done. I can only describe this event as a fight to stay alive.

I share this less than sparkling image of myself to describe what true paralyzing fear means to me. The immense fear I experienced is both haunting and freeing. Only when I turned the key and unlocked the secret places in my heart, did I experience true renewal and healing from God, my Redeemer, my Deliverer and my Protector.

I do not want to allow fear to define me; or Satan to hold me prisoner to it. I desire to be the godly woman my Heavenly Father designed me to be. I feel God rescued me the way He rescued David. Samuel 22:17, describes God’s deliverance of David, “He reached down from on high and took hold of him; he drew him out of deep waters.” God reached down from on high, and took hold of ME, drew ME out of deep and treacherous waters of fear, worry and despair. He carried me to the security of dry land. I am reminded in Isaiah, that God is with me when I pass through rough waters. He will never allow a river of trouble to sweep over me, (see Isaiah 43:1-13). Are you leaning into the wind and trusting God or are you sinking into fearful waters?

What is fear? Fear is defined as a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence of imminence of danger. Fear is the direct opposite of faith. Fear and faith both come from our beliefs. Wrong believing breathes fear into our lives. Right believing pushes aside doubt and allows the emergence of a faithful heart. When Jesus dealt with fear, He always pointed to faith as the answer. At the height of the storm on Galilee, the seasoned fishermen were overcome by fear. They asked Jesus, “do you not care that we perish?” This was the wrong question to ask. By asking Jesus this question, it actually increased and grew their doubts instead of their faith. Jesus responded to the disciples, “Why are you afraid? The very faith I have in the Father, you can have too.” Jesus is the living water in our earthly stream. He is forever present and watchful as we endure some of life’s most challenging seasons.

We are to accept and embrace fear for what it is. We are not to wallow or indulge in it. Satan, the Father of Lies, delights in our fear. God, the Father of Truth, delights in us. Satan’s evil scheme was to expose my broken soul, emotional scars and bruised heart. His ultimate goal was to saturate my life with constant and tortuous fear, worry and doubt.

My Heavenly Father desires to hold me as His precious child in His mighty righteous right hand, (see Isaiah 41:10); and help me so that I will not be afraid, (see Hebrews 13:6). “I will cast my fears, anxieties and worries on Him; for He cares for me affectionately and cares about me watchfully,” (1 Peter 5:7). “He will not fail me neither forsake me. I will be strong and of good courage,” (Deuteronomy 31:8). The Bible gives much insight into the power of fear. We should refuse to live with fear, worry, bitterness, obsession or discouragement. We can be comforted in the knowledge that our God is all-powerful. He gives courage to those living in fear and comfort to those who worry. He satisfies the weary and refreshes those who languish. “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (John 14:27); “For the power of God is made perfect in your weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

What are your private fears? Will any amount of fear or worry prevent them from coming true? When you are at the end of your rope, will you allow God to take over? One of my favorite quotes from an old devotional book is… “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.” Lord, please help me to be still and quiet in the midst of all the noise of life. I know I may not be the woman I want to be, but I know I am better than the woman I use to be. Wherever my journey takes me, help me not to be afraid, “for you are with me to the ends of the earth.”


  1. I'm so very proud of you and as usual so encouraged by your words. The 5th paragraph defining fear specifically spoke to my heart. The truth about increasing my doubt by giving into my fears will be something I will not soon forget. We are either increasing our faith or our doubts and we can't be doing both at the same time. That fact would normally cause me to sink into my fears, but today you’ve encouraged me to instead pray for my faith to be increased, so that my fears can be conquered. Again, I find myself praising God that He's not finished with me yet. I love you my sweet friend. Thank you for answering God’s call to be exposed for His glory and for doing it so beautifully. You are a constant inspiration in my life.

  2. You are an incredible woman of God; you have an incredible testimony and you serve an incredible God...Praise His name that we serve the same Awesome God. You are a voice for the many that remain silent in bondage to their own paralyzing fear; Now you are an anointed voice bringing forth the healing balm that only He can provide. I look forward to the day when I can stand with you free from the chains that bind and sing hallalujah to The King!

  3. I don't think I have ever experienced fear like you have, Kelli. You have encouraged me to face my little fears of life. Along with our faith study, we can let fear totally overcome us if we let it. It's amazing to see God's mighty hand in your life as you have overcome fear, and have found faith to move that mountain.

  4. Thank you, Kelli Zaniel!
    I needed to read this today, and somehow God led me to this webpage.
    I've heard it said, and heard it sung, that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ's blood shed on the cross) and the word of our testimony.
    I went through something similar to what you went though, although at a much earlier time in life. At some points during reading this article I started crying, and at other points tears not only came out of my eyes but out of my nose too.
    I've been trying to figure out how to give some of my fears to God (to start giving all of my fears to God so eventually I'll be in a place where God holds all my fears and I won't at all anymore), and you're article has helped me.

    Thank you!
    Thank you for posting what you've written online!
    Thank you, Kelli Zaniel!

  5. I'm also copying-and-pasteing your article into a Word document and printing it out, so that when I need to see something like it again I'll have it (and also to memorize the Bible verses you gave in your article).
    Thank you again!