- Susan Shultz
Updated: Feb 22
("God's Mission Protocol" Series 2, Post 4)
God revisits -
FEAR = FANTASY EATING AT REALITY
When I asked God what He wanted me to speak about, He laid my message on fear on my heart. I then opened my Bible to have my devotional and found it to be on 2 Chronicles 32. As I read, I knew God was speaking, for with the topic of fear on my mind, words began to leap off the page and I knew that God was showing me that they were Satan’s timeless tactics within an ongoing battle.
2 Chronicles 32:1 says, “After all that Hezekiah had to faithfully done, Sennacherib (Sin Ak e rib) king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself.”
The first thing that leapt off the page was “He laid siege.” Satan didn’t like that Hezekiah had taken steps of faith. This verse pointed out that Hezekiah had just finished taking steps of faith. Whenever we take steps of faith, whenever we live a life of faith, which is what God calls us to do in this life, Satan reacts.
Hezekiah then says, starting in verse 7, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”
We then see within the next several verses that the king of Assyria, along with his officials, spend time taunting the people. Again, isn’t this what Satan and his army also do to us, taunt us?
Verse 18 goes on to say, “Then they called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to terrify them and make them afraid in order to capture the city.”
What stuck out to me here is that they spoke in their particular language. They spoke in Hebrew. Satan knows our fears. He knows our language and our personal buttons. This verse then points out that they called out to the people in order to terrify them, to make them afraid in order to capture the city. This is what fear does. They wanted to make them afraid for the purpose of conquering them, or in order to put them out of commission.
Is that not a perfect definition of one of Satan’s main tactics? He wants to stunt us with fear, to put us out of commission, out of taking steps of faith so that we become useless for God’s Kingdom. He doesn’t want us to be key players in the ongoing battle.
Well, here is a modern-day testimony that shows that Satan hasn’t changed, that his tactics are the same, and that the battle is ongoing. In September 2019, my family and I were in a terrible car accident. I was driving. My husband was in the passenger side seat and our two-year-old daughter was in her car seat behind him. We were headed to a family reunion in another city. I was just driving along, on cruise control, when I heard my husband yell suddenly, “He isn’t going to stop!” A man driving a truck ended up running a stop sign and hitting my daughter’s door. Our car ended up spinning several times and then flipping four times, landing upside down 1 inch from an electric fence.
You see these kinds of accidents in movies, but deep down you never really think that it will happen to you. I just remember seeing a lot of white and that things seemed to be happening fast and slow all at the same time. I also remember having the time as we were flipping to think to myself, “How is this going to end? Are we going to be alive when the car stops moving?” We were alive and although hanging upside down I found comfort in hearing my daughter cry because it meant she was alive. My husband managed to get her out first and then pull me out.
Before I knew it, a car showed up and I knew this was a gift from the Lord because it was filled with two ER nurses. They took our daughter into their car and checked her out. The man that had been driving the truck didn’t get harmed and he ended up calling an ambulance which came. They checked us out briefly and other than a small scratch on my daughter’s chin and a bruise on my chest from having hung upside down, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with us.
I will never forget the look on these ambulance driver’s faces and one of them looking at me and asking if we wanted to go to the hospital. I said, “Isn’t that something you’re supposed to tell me, if we need to go to the hospital?” They just chuckled slightly but still kept looking at us like deer in headlights.
The next day we decided to take our daughter to her pediatrician, thinking that we needed to at least do something in order to make sure she was okay. But we ended up getting a similar response. I will never forget the look on the pediatrician’s face, for it was clear that in his 50 years of practice that he had never encountered such a scenario. Again, he didn’t really know what to say to us as he as well just looked at us like a deer in headlights.
Later that day, I had a conversation with someone close to me that often had to go to accident scenes like this for a living. I told her about the pediatrician’s reaction that day and how I found it odd. I said, “He probably doesn’t see this much because people usually go to the hospital.” She responded with, “Honey, they don’t go to the emergency room after an accident like this. They’re dead.”
That was it. It wasn’t until that comment, from someone who knew, that I broke down into tears and realized that God had given us a miracle. He had saved our lives. He must have had His angels at the four corners of our car.
That night, I asked God an important question, one that He had taught me to ask in hard situations. I asked, “What do You want me to learn from this?” What God brought to my mind is how I had been struggling once again with fear, something that I used to struggle with a lot in my past. He then brought an acrostic to my mind that He had once given me towards that past fear. It was FEAR = Fantasy Eating At Reality.
He then said to me, addressing the state of fear I knew I was locked in, this time mainly concerning the safety of my family, “Susan, I just brought you through your worst-case scenario. If I can do that, I can sustain you through anything.”
I knew He was right. As a wife and a mother, I couldn’t think of a worse-case scenario - the death of my family, especially when I was at the wheel. What more could I fear? Therefore, I knew I had to continue to believe in faith that God will take care of me because He had already addressed my worst fear.
A few days later when we were given the chance to rummage through my car, I ended up coming upon a pocket-sized Bible that had been in my glovebox. It amazed my husband and I that absolutely nothing was where it had started, even things in the glovebox were found at the very back of the car. I had never used this Bible. It was new and still in its box but yet now out of the box, it had scratches and bruises all over it. God ended up using this visual to speak to me. I realized that this Bible had more bumps and bruises on it than I did. I thought, “What a picture of Christ. He took our iniquities, our scars, our bumps and bruises, for us.”
What God then brought to my mind was John 16:33 which says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
This Bible became a picture of this verse. Christ took our iniquities, our bumps and bruises, overcoming the world so that we could have peace in the battle, any battle. Praise God!
We don’t have to be afraid. Fear is fantasy because the reality is that God is in complete control. Nothing ever happens without His complete control.
Fear is fantasy because most of the time it becomes “What if?” We get locked in the “What ifs.” What if I get Covid? What if I get cancer? What if my daughter dies? What if my husband dies? What if I die? And before you know it, you find yourself trapped in a state of fear. We have allowed the enemy to use these “what ifs,” these fantasy’s, to taunt us, to put us out of commission, and to defeat us. He knows that we are not much use to God in this state. But God on the other hand, is like, “That hasn’t happened! You are forgetting that I am in control and that’s just fantasy!”
I’m sure you have heard before that a form of “Fear not” is in the Bible 365 times. That is one for every day of the year. God commands us to not be afraid but instead to have faith.
But maybe you are thinking, “What about the people that do die in car accidents or that God didn’t save from Covid?”
Well, I want to share two verses with you:
Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”
Philippians 1: 21-22 says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.”
A few months ago, I woke up to find out on Facebook that a dear friend of mine had died from Covid and I hadn’t even known she was sick. Lifting my grief to the Lord along with thinking of all the dreams and plans that I knew she still had, God spoke to me and I wrote these words down:
“Susan, I am a good God. No one was made for this world, remember that. Better to be with Me in My Kingdom than on earth, even for one more moment. Death is not something to fear. What people should fear is a life unlived, a life not lived according to My Spirit. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. Susan, live life to the full. . .
Susan, there is no sorrow in death for those who belong to Me. True mourning is reserved for those who don’t, and My love, there’s so many right now that claim to know Me but do not. Mourn for them, cry for them, but more importantly, shine for them. Bring light to the darkness. This is what Christ is for - to bring light to the darkness.”
Powerful words. And only just a few that God has called me to step out in faith this year and share through my testimony. This year God called me out of my comfort zone to start making videos in order to share my testimony – a process as you can imagine that caused me once again to fear, mainly once again for my family. For, it is one thing to put yourself out there and to be persecuted personally, but another when it affects your family as well. But to this more recent fear, what did God bring to my mind? He once again brought my car accident to my mind, after which He gently said, “They were in the car with you.” I knew exactly what He meant. He took care of all of us. I may have been the one driving but God took care of all my family, and as I continue to step out in faith, I know that He will continue to not only take care of me, but them as well. God desires for me to have fruitful labor, and He knows that this takes laying down fear.
This applies to you as well. If you are still alive, it is because you have work to do as well- fruitful labor. God created you to testify, to shine Christ’s light to a hurting world. No wonder Satan wants to put us out of commission.
I will end with this: If you die, and you know Jesus, then what great gain and I will see you in Heaven when my own work is done. But as long as you are alive, join me in laying down fear and regaining great faith for the ongoing battle that is around us. Let us live life to the full. Amen and amen.