Do You Have a Foreboding Mindset?

Is it possible that fear has become your main counselor? To the point that its hindering how to face your future? If so, you may be listening to foreboding thoughts that will in the long run, hinder a life of faith and change.

If the enemy can keep you afraid, then he’s got you locked from what’ possible in your life. Worst yet, that fear can, over the long haul, condition you into seeing your life through a constant foreboding perspective. Foreboding is fear’s way to proving itself to you, so that you will believe it, make it your reality and follow its lead.

Defending Your Fears

People who forebode defend their fearful thoughts as reality. They’ve followed it so much, these fears become self-fulfilling prophecies.

They respond to bad occurrences with “See! I told you this would happen!” As though they get a badge for calling out a fearful outcome. Many will defend their fearful predictions and foreboding thoughts with great conviction.

A Fearful Perspective

Fear and faith are both projecting a future. One is based on things hoped for. The other on things not hoped for. Both can be your reality if you chose them. One will leave you trapped, the other will lead you into a world of freedom.

When fear becomes the dominant reality in your life, then you will constantly be drawn to listen to foreboding projections. In fact, I’ve witnessed many people that follow foreboding as though it’s the Holy Spirit. When in reality, fear has become their counselor.

Fear wants you to chose its reality, a world of things you hope won’t happen. You dread them, but you focus on those realities. The fear drives you to forebode, so that you get distracted from the hope that God wants to build into your life.

Opposing Faith and Hope

Seeing with foreboding is the opposite of faith and hope. God is always working in faith, hope and love with His people, whereas foreboding wants to keep you locked from the joyful experience we can have in God through all circumstances.

Foreboding wants to keep you from living in the hope and future that God has for you. Live in fear long enough and foreboding will become the way you see your future. It will oppose everything God’s word says about your future, keeping you as a victim to doom and gloom outcomes.

A Thief of Joy

You see, just as you start to take steps into freedom, fear may attempt to hit you with some foreboding thoughts that seek to whiplash you back into defeated patterns. A foreboding mindset keeps you from fully embracing joy and stepping into your future joyfully.

Do you ever have those moments where you feel you can finally enjoy something, when suddenly, this dread comes over you?

I remembered this occurring when Max was a little toddler. I’d be in the midst of enjoying bringing him to the park or having a moment of connection with him. Immediately this sense of dread would come over me and steal the joy of the moment.

There are some definitions of foreboding that can help us develop discernment:

  • fearful apprehension; a feeling that something bad will happen. (
  • to have an inward conviction of (something, such as a coming ill or misfortune) (Merriam-Webster)

There are places where you can find foreboding defined as a prediction, a premonition or even a prophecy. I believe that many times fear can bring about foreboding as a counterfeit predictor to what is head. Many who have prophesied judgment and destruction that did not come to pass may have been influenced by a condemning, fear-filled foreboding perspective.

The “Gut” Feeling

For many, that “gut feeling” is their Holy Spirit thermostat. They go by, “I don’t feel good about that,” and attribute all those feelings to God. But wait! Did you realize that fear can produce that feeling in your gut?

I believe the enemy wants to use fear to present itself as discernment and wisdom. Beware about attributing that to God, discernment or some kind of leading. Because fear wants to capture your focus and keep you from hearing God and breaking through your fears.

If I served that feeling of “I don’t feel great about that,” I don’t think I’d be doing anything. Seriously, I would never have taken any risks. I would not have gotten married, had children, started a new ministry, moved, nothing. Because each time I have faced new chapters, I had to press through that fearful sensation I felt in my gut.

Using Your Disappointments

Every time you take a step of faith, fear is wanting to meet you right there, dragging in all your disappointments of the past and bringing them into how you see your future. Your enemy wants to call it a premonition or intuition, when in reality, you are being served a big bowl of fear.

When I was first becoming a parent, this was a huge deception for me. I thought those fearful feelings were God speaking to me. Some course corrections needed to be made in my discernment, because this deception was leading me down some really unhealthy patterns. I had to learn that God does not use tormenting fear to speak to us.

In fact, the Bible says, “whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). So if God is using fear to speak to me, He’s operating with sin. I know God is holy, so I had to get this distorted thinking out of my system.

I felt shameful that I struggled with that, but then found masses of Christians listening to the same fearful, foreboding voice and calling it God’s leading.  

Some people think it’s the fear of the Lord, when it’s not. The fear of the Lord draws you to be struck in awe of how big God is, leading you to magnify God in your heart. Fear from the enemy magnifies the situation or a dreadful outcome, as though its bigger than God.

Constant Fearful Projections

Even when God breaks through and miracles show up, the foreboding shows us right away and says, “but what about next time?” You’re in financial need and a check comes in the mail. You rejoice in the miracle, but a dread comes in and says, “but what about next time?”

With foreboding in the midst, fearful dread keeps interfering. We cannot embrace the joy of God’s goodness because we’re wondering, “when’s the hammer gonna fall?”

This is a sign that our foundation with God is off. A new one based on His love needs to be laid down in our hearts. Wherever love has not been experienced, fear, which includes foreboding, takes residence in our thinking.

Here are the goals of foreboding:

  1. Make fear the dominant voice you listen to and serve.
  2. Steal your ability to live in joy.
  3. Keep you bound in past hurt and disappointments, using them as leverage to keep you in fear.
  4. Hold a negative perspective alive in your view.
  5. Prevent you from embracing a good future for yourself.
  6. When good things manifest in your life, keep you from being able to fully receive them.

The Blueprint of Foreboding

The longer people live with a foreboding mindset, the harder it becomes to embrace joy or have any fun in the present moment.

Here are some of the ingredients that make up a foreboding spirit:

1. A history of unresolved brokenness and disappointment.

Get enough pain in your life that does not find healing and you will think, “why get excited and joyful, because I will only be disappointed.” The hurt of the past continues to become ammunition into your present and future.

2. A constant heaviness regarding your future.

Let’s be honest, if foreboding keeps kicking up, then it’s hard to have joy about what’s ahead. We end spending our lives focusing on and avoiding what we don’t want to happen, rather than really living and focusing on the good that is possible.

3. Deep Fear and Dread

I spent a lot of time addressing the fear factor because it has infected the hearts of many in ways that keep them from moving forward with confidence.

There is often a specific aspect of fear that comes up here, which is dread. It’s that kind of fear that immediately strips us of energy. I’ve had to renounce dread a number of times, because I found myself sliding into it often, without even knowing it.

Dread leaves us on an up and down roller coaster, where you are constantly geared up for crisis, anticipating the next bad thing that could happen. It keeps you from ever landing into a place of peace and settling in with the loving care of Father God.

With dread, you are thrusted into survival mode, therefore all your control mechanisms kick into gear. Many “foreboders” brag about how “right” they are with their negative and fearful predictions. All they need is a few negative events and they feel justified in their fearful perspective and controlling lifestyle. All control issues are rooted in fear and not being able to trust.

4. Being trained by a fear of evil.

Foreboding gets empowered by a fear of evil, where people fear evil happening or even fear the evil one.

Here is what King David said:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me . . . Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

David was aware of the presence of God that was with him in every season of life, even to the depths of the valley. Though he touch the edges of death, he still doesn’t need to be afraid of evil.

Have you come into agreement with a fear of evil? Does the nightly news, social media feeds and Negative Nancy’s you talk to feed the fear in you?

David said, there is no evil I need to fear.

Here is what Psalm 91 tells us:

5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place Psalms 91:5-9 (NKJV)

When you make God your refuge, you lean into His love, letting His perfect love cast out fear from your life. The Psalmist says, “you may see the destruction, but don’t be afraid. I am with you.” 

Fear by Night or By Day

Psalm 91 says you don’t have to pay attention to the fear that comes in the day or at night. I’ve worked with many people that have had certain fears only kick up in the daytime and others that only happen at night. That’s because fear often attacks in two different watches. I’ve battled both in my life. I know what it feels like to say:

In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see. Deuteronomy 28:67 (NKJV)

Getting Your Sleep Back

The struggles that people have with sleep today is revealing the lack of peace that is going on. The foreboding thoughts they wrestle with captivate their attention, not allowing the nervous system to calm down and engage restful sleep. They’re up all night stewing over stuff.

God is telling us that you don’t need to afraid of terrorists, the boogeyman or your mother in law. Foreboding will do nothing to serve your safety or health.

We’ve been trained to fear evil and the evil one so easily. Movies and television have taught more about spiritual warfare to people than the Bible. We’ve not gotten armed up and therefore, we live more superstitious than soberly.

Think about your prayer life. How many people pray more out of a fear of evil than a faith filled perspective? How much do your waste your time praying about things that are motivated by fear and negativity?

It’s time that we get God’s heart and get out of fear, because this foreboding is going to lead down a trail that never ends.

I want to hear God’s heart and listen to His signals of faith, hope and love.