FEAR - The Emotion That Moves Us Away From God
It’s been said that fear is the enemy’s faith. Just as God responds and operates through faith, the enemy responds and operates through fear.
Psychologists tell us that all of our emotions originate from three basic emotions, just as all colors come from a mixture of red, yellow and blue. The emotions are love, anger and fear.
Love draws us “toward” something or someone. When we Love someone, we’re “attracted to them”; drawn to them. Anger causes us to be “against” someone or something. MADD (Mothers’ Against Drunk Drivers) are against those who drink and drive, for good reason! The last basic emotion of Fear moves us “away” from someone or something. Some fear darkness, or experience any number of phobias. Fear of the uncertain tends to move us “away” from the Lord. In uncertain times, such as the virus that our country has been plagued with during the last few months, faith is needed to counteract fear.
Fear is a NORMAL EMOTION that all of us have experienced in varying degrees. Fear can also be a SPIRIT. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us THE SPIRIT of Fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” Did you know that fear is listed almost 300 times in the Bible? Fear can often become a stronghold in our life. When we drill down on the subject of worry, we find fear at its foundation.
Fear Can Also Be a Spirit
If we’re going to OVERCOME our fears, let’s begin with acknowledging that we “all” have some fears. None of us are Rambo and Denial is not a river in Egypt. How do we respond to fear?
Then, we need to IDENTIFY the fear that hinders us. Is it a GOOD (healthy and rational) fear, or a BAD (unhealthy, spiritual, irrational) fear? A good fear is normally circumstantial. If someone swerves into our lane on the highway; we see a poisonous snake near our feet; a tornado in our path, we react appropriately. Yet, when the circumstances change, that fear goes away. A bad fear, (unhealthy or demonic) is perpetual, confusing and often enslaving. This type of fear still plagues us even after the circumstances have changed and all danger is gone. Our mind begins to rehearse that fear, or we entertain the what ifs of life. What if I have an accident, lose my job, my child or spouse dies, etc. This bad fear enslaves us and often drives us away from the Lord. Psychologists tell us that 90% of our fears will never become a reality.
Good Fear or Bad Fear
2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us THE SPIRIT of Fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” Consider that fear produces the OPPOSITE of power – weakness; produces the opposite of love – fear, for scripture says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect (mature) love drives out fear” 1 John 4:18. Fear produces the opposite of a sound mind – confusion. It’s no wonder that the devil operates through the spirit of fear. God did not give us a bad or unhealthy fear.
The only thing that OVERCOMES a “bad spirit is a good spirit.” FAITH will overcome fear. God’s principles are opposite of our natural thinking. Love vs. Hate – love those who persecute you. Forgive vs. Unforgiveness (bitterness). Humility vs. Pride – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Give and it shall be given to you. More blessed to Give than to Receive. Seeking God vs Waiting for Him to move …..as James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
Make a conscious decision to CONFRONT and overcome that fear with FAITH. As we study the Bible, we discover that all the champions of faith were “confronted” with some form of fear. It’s a normal part of life. When fear attempts to ensnare us, may we confront fear with faith. May we allow faith to guide our life and not fear. Remember, without the WORD, there is no faith. That’s why we need as a part of our daily bread the Word so we’re transformed by the renewing of our mind or else we’ll stay conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). If we renew our mind with truth (scripture), God has promised to change our life.
What We Will Not CONFRONT – We Will Not Overcome.
Some time ago I was watching an older movie. A high school student was on the wrestling team and had done well through the regular season. As he approached a tournament and was warming up for his match, he could see that his opponent was bigger and stronger than him. His coach observed that his wrestler was battling fear and was emotionally giving up prior to the beginning of the match. His coach said to him, “It’s okay if you lose to your opponent, but don’t lose your battle with fear.”
Faith (the size of a mustard seed) in God can calm a storm. Faith can move the mountains in your life. Faith can allow us to be overcomers through HIM of whatever spirit of fear is battling for our mind and heart. Faith does not deny fear or obstacles, but simply applies the perspective that God is bigger than our biggest problem.
HOW do we begin to build our faith? Remember, without the WORD, there is no faith (Romans 10:17… faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God). Begin where you are, whatever maturity level that may be. Believe the word to be true and applicable to you, not just others. Meditate the Word (Joshua 1:8) and begin to Confess and declare the Word over you and your family.
WHY is it important? Fear will not only hinder or enslave us, but will also handicap us from obeying God and fulfilling His plan and purpose for our lives. It moves us away from God.
Fear Will Not Only Enslave Us, But Will Handicap Us In Following His Purpose
The next time fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer. Faith in God will overcome the fear that is hindering you on your journey with HIM.
I remember hearing Pasty Clairmont on a Focus on the Family (James Dobson) years ago. She had suffered from agoraphobia – fear of people, fear of public places. She literally became a prisoner in her own home. After several years, she decided to face that spirit of fear and asked God to help her overcome it. She began with very small steps of building up and applying her faith in Jesus. One day when she was acting in denial, her first-grade son was outside waiting on the school bus. He came in and she asked him what the problem was. “Well Mamma, the bus is so big and there are so many children, and school is such a strange and fearful place that I just don’t want to get on the bus.” She said harshly to him, “Go back outside and get on the bus!” As he went back outside, the Holy Spirit said to her, “Patsy I want you to get on the bus of life.” As the result of her getting on and confronting the major fear of agoraphobia, she found FREEDOM. Instead of being a captive to her fears, she became a sought-after speaker for numerous audiences across our country.
Isa 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. NIV
Isa 41:10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. NLT
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us THE SPIRIT of Fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect (full grown, mature AMP) love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment”