Identifying the Fear, Asking God to relieve it

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Contributor:  Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.

I’ll admit it….I’m scared of the dark.  To this very day, as a 35-year-old man with 4 children I still feel a temptation toward fear when the lights go out.  Here’s the thing though…I have GOOD REASON to be scared of the dark.  When we were newlyweds renting a basement apartment from an older gal in our church something strange happened in the middle of the night.

We heard banging, crashing, and all sorts of terrifying noises you NEVER WANT TO HEAR AT 3 AM.  As all of the chaos ceased what we learned was not the kind of news you want to hear ever but especially about the older woman you are renting her basement apart from.

“Ryan and Michelle?”

“Uhm, yes, we’re here”

“This is Keith, I am Edith’s oldest son.  I’m coming down to let you know that what you heard upstairs were firefighters and EMT’s responding to a 911-call mom made.  She was having chest pains and called for help but didn’t make it.  I just wanted to let you guys know what happened to mom.  We are making funeral arrangements and we will keep you posted.”

A conversation like that will automatically make you scared of the dark for the rest of your life.  I remember for the next few years every time I heard noises at night my first reaction was; “Oh no…someone must be dying!”.  The fear of death was real and the trigger (noises at night) had been cemented in my mind and heart and it was not easy to un-learn such a vivid experience.

What I Learned

rp_peace-of-mind-349815_1280-300x200.jpgFear is inevitable…I had to embrace the idea that I will ALWAYS fear something: fear of death, fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of not being “successful”, etc.  What was liberating to me in my understanding is that I had the choice of what I allowed to cause fear.  What was even more liberating is the very pragmatic alternative that Jesus offered (and still offers).

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Jesus says that we get to pick what fear dictates our life: fear of God or fear of anything else.  Through this discovery I found that we, as individuals, could take any very real fear and substitute it with a healthy fear of God.  Can you imagine what would happen in your life if you began to replace illegitimate fears (often times the very fears that you lead you into the downward spiral of addiction) with the correct real fear…God?  This is the option that Jesus offers us, not a life with the absence of fear but rather a beautiful alternative to throw all of the illegitimate, accusatory fears at the feet of Jesus who promises nothing but love and grace if we trust Him and His version of life.


Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What types of fears have you faced in your recovery from addiction?  What steps have your taken to face and overcome your fears?

About the Author:

Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.

Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.  

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on September 18, 2015. Published on

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