Last week, I shared what Jesus gave me in my two-way journaling when I asked Him the question, “Lord Jesus, what do I fear and what do You want to say about it?” This week, I want to share the answer I received to the follow up question,
Lord Jesus, what do You want me to replace this fear with?
“Shhhhh, My darling, I want you to replace your fear with faith, and specifically, with playing the Good What If Game. Fear is fueled by bad ‘what ifs’: what if somebody gets mad at me? What if I do something wrong? What if I make a mistake? What if I get hurt? What if I am punished? What if I run out of time? What if something bad happens to me today?
And in the same way, faith is fueled by good ‘what ifs’: what if God really does keep all His promises? What if my prophetic words come true today? What if I get to tell somebody about Jesus through this? What if I get an amazing reward in heaven for this? What if God uses me to change somebody’s life today? What if today is one of the most exciting and meaningful and strategic days of my life? What if I get to use my spiritual gifts like never before? What if I step into one (or more) of the good works God has prepared in advance for me to do?
Do you see how differently you are starting to feel just by writing out those few sentences? That is faith waking up, being fueled. I want you to starve fear and feed faith. Every time you think of a bad ‘what if?’ that is outside your responsibility and control, you feed anxiety and fear. And every time you think of a good ‘what if’ based on or consistent with the word of God, you feed faith, hope and love.
It’s like you have a loving dog and a man-eating cat, or vice versa. So I want you to clean all the cat food out of your house the way Israel cleaned the leaven out before the Passover, and starve and kill that cat, and fill your house up with dog food, to feed and bless and keep that dog healthy and strong. (Or again, vice versa, I’m making no statement about cats and dogs! :)) But I want you to clear out all the fear food and fill your cupboards and cabinets and freezer and fridge and every spare Tupperware container with faith food, OK?
Go to the ‘grocery’ store in prayer and stock up on faith food. Feed your faith with as many good ‘what ifs’ as you can, a thousand a day if you can. Think of them, dream of them, write them down. Collect them by day or by night, in your waking and your sleeping dreams. Share them with others. Share them with the others in your small group. Swap them the way kids swap trading cards, baseball or Pokemon cards. Paper your walls with them. Sleep with them under your pillow. Let them fuel your prayers. Ask Me for new ones. Never give up.
When fear is weak and emaciated and faith is strong and fat and muscular from being both well-fed and well-exercised, the joy/peace vs fear ratio in your emotions will change too, I promise. But don’t try to change your emotions directly. That will just make you more afraid. Try to change your ‘what if’s. And have fun with it. Lots and lots of fun. Make it your new hobby. I am with you.”
Pretty cool, huh? However, it often takes accountability for me to take an amazing revelation like this and actually turn it into a new habit instead of just forgetting about it. After I first wrote this down, I didn’t really DO it. Then the Lord convicted me of that and helped me make a plan: every day I would collect at least ten good what ifs and share them with a certain friend who agreed to listen. I would also confess to her any bad what ifs I had been thinking about so she could pray for me about them. After several months of doing that every day, I definitely started to feel like the inside of my mind was changing.
What “Good What Ifs” can you come up with today?
Are there any “Bad What Ifs” you have been allowing to torment you? Try giving them to Jesus and asking what He wants to say about them.