Fear – A big word in today’s world. We use it rather flippantly most often, not thinking of the ramifications of our words. The Bible tells us about the power of the tongue and its ability to bless and curse. People think if they say they are afraid but do not really “mean” it then they believe it is just semantics. But that simply shows our ignorance concerning the power of our words. Once we say something, we have given credence to that which we have spoken, whether we mean it or not.
Fear is real – It has power to paralyze, control, and direct decisions we make. Just as we should not be unaware of how we speak about fear, we should not be ignorant of its existence. The key is to recognize fear, identify it as our enemy, get rid of it, and replace it with love and faith. We are not to co-exist with fear, allowing it to penetrate into our spirit. We must attack fear head-on, and as believers in Christ Jesus, take authority over fear which is only meant to kill, steal, and destroy us.
If we have the impression fear is part of God’s plan for our lives thinking it does no damage then we allow it to take root. The truth is that fear allows our faith only to rise to the level of possibility, rather than believing God for the impossible. Fear left unabated, seeps into every part of our being, holding us back, limiting our ability to thrive. Fear is deadly. It is an assassin to faith. We may still be alive physically, but if fear has its way, we will not “do” what God created us to do nor be what He created us to be. Fear left unattended, will thwart the plans, gifts, and calling of God on our lives. It robs us of peace, joy, and victory in our lives.
Fear is not something God gives to us. In fact we read in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Knowing God has not given us a spirit of fear should excite and motivate us to get rid of fear every time it approaches and/or attacks. God did not give us a spirit of fear therefore it only makes sense He would not do things which would cause our “fearless” spirit to fear. People often say “Some fear is good because it protects us.” We should stop trying to convince ourselves some fear is good or that it protects us. The Word of God does not support that rationale. Faith protects us! Trust in the God who shelters us, our El Shaddai, the Almighty, our most powerful God protects us. We must be willing to “pull down strongholds” and “cast down arguments” and “every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God.” We must open our hearts and minds to new things (which are really old things) in the Word of God. This will break paradigms, take away excuses, and leave us with no rationalizations.
As magnificent as that truth is, we then discover God provided a perfect plan to rid ourselves of fear of every kind. 1 John 4:17-19 says “Love has been perfected among us in this; that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” Since the Word of God boasts that perfect love casts out fear, it certainly sounds like we are not to live in fear. Hallelujah! There is no fear in love! God is love! There is no fear in God! We are in Christ! He is God! Therefore, He and we have no fear. The perfection which comes through Jesus Christ literally casts fear out of our lives. Unfortunately, even when we know we are not to fear, we still attempt to define and defend our fears, giving examples of the “exceptions” for when it is permissible to fear. For the sake of simplicity, understanding, and maintaining the purity of God’s Word, let us agree there are two kinds of fear. The fear of the Lord which we ARE to possess and worldly fear we are NOT to have. God does not give any other kind of fear to protect His people or scare them into obedience.
When we embrace His Word concerning fear we realize we are to be completely free from any kind of earthly fear, living out our days on earth in complete surrender and trust in the fear of the Lord! When looking at the topic of fear we are challenged to believe His Word more fully rather than rely on belief systems created through experience. Though I am an analytical person, God simplifies things with me which causes me to say, “That’s it God?” When I tackle the deep things of God, such as healing and fear, God simplifies to such an extent, I wonder how I could ever have made it as difficult as I had. He gives me only two options. Believe Him or believe my experiences! Take Him at His Word or not! Very simple!
For example, when it comes to healing many people have concluded God allows certain diseases or sicknesses to refine and purify His people. That conclusion has not worked for me since I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, though it certainly worked for me previous to that. Now I cannot open the Word of God without seeing a healing God, a God who is present to teach me how to overcome, how to stand in the midst of turmoil, how to experience the peace that passes understanding, and a Father who loves me enough to tell me when I am wrong or misrepresenting Him. I know a God who is unbending when it comes to healing His children. My Father does not make His children sick in order to draw them closer to Himself. God simplified it for me: anything bad, like sickness and disease is from the evil one and anything good is from Father God because He is the Giver of all good gifts. With this simplicity, I have no confusion in how to pray and what to overcome with healing. Experience, observation, and reasoning no longer confuse the issue of healing for me. I no longer wrestle with the question “Is this sickness God’s will?” He has shown me His will in His Word and I understand these are trials we will face in life, but I must determine to stand on His Word in spite of the evidence I can see.
When God started teaching me about fear He used the same simplicity as He did with healing. Simple can sometimes be frustrating but God seems to like it and once again backed me into a corner giving me only two choices – believe what He was telling me or continue to develop my own theologies and rationalizations which only brought confusion, “exceptions”, and all kinds of “Yeah, buts…”. He took me deeply into the Word and said, “Show Me one place where I say it is “okay” to fear.” I could not find anywhere in Scripture where God said to fear anything except Him.
He told me fear is our enemy not our friend. We must stand against it! Sometimes we are afraid to stand up to our enemies because we really believe they are stronger and will overcome us. Many Christians fear sharing their testimony of the goodness of God saying, “As soon as I give my testimony of overcoming, Satan comes in and attacks that area and now I am worse off than before I gave the testimony.” So people stop testifying of His goodness because life only gets harder. The devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He terrorizes and torments us until we give up, give in, or rationalize. There is a better way – do not fear! Take heart! Get under the shelter of Almighty God and get ready to take a stand! There are times in life when fear can be so overwhelming we do not even feel we have the strength to take a stand. Ask others to stand with and for you against the devil. Then let their faith and strength build you up again to stand in Jesus!
We must not let ourselves get so weak and then rationalize by saying what is bad is really good! We let the devil get away with too much and then think God is allowing it. We should keep it simple: if it does not line up with the Word of God, then it is not from God. Fear fits into that category. When we approach fear as our enemy it is not difficult to say “NO” to it every time.
Fear keeps us from facing other enemies. Remember the story of the Israelites, David, and Goliath? (1 Samuel 17) Fear kept the children of Israel from defeating the bigger enemy, Goliath, who taunted them while insulting their God. They had only to defeat their first enemy, fear, and then they could have defeated Goliath. Instead, God brought in David, a young boy who did not let fear control him, but instead trusted God, as should we. We need to exercise our faith in the face of fear and trust God with everything we have.
David knew from past experience the Lord was his protector as He had delivered him from attacks from a lion and bear. (1 Samuel 17:37) David had nothing to fear because God had protected him before and He would do it again. We likewise must “remember” past experiences where God has given us every reason to stop fearing and walk in faith, and then we must go and do great feats. The Bible tells us we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We need to be people who give repeated testimony proclaiming the great things God has done!
Are we going to let fear dictate how life goes or are we going to let Immanuel (God With Us) prescribe how we live our lives? The Israelites let fear dictate the battle – David let God lead him into victory! Let us say “No” to any kind of worldly fear, and “Yes” to faith in a Mighty God who has perfected His love in us, a love which casts out fear. Let’s choose faith over fear every time! Read the Word! We find a faithful God who frees us from fear!