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JUL

22

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Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear

Everyone knows what it’s like to be afraid. Fear is a survival reaction of our carnal nature to escape danger. However, many of our fears are irrational. For example, I can remember as a child being afraid of the dark, especially when owls were hooting.

In the beginning, there was no fear in the Garden of Eden. God did not give us a spirit of fear. So why are we afraid?  There are two main reasons.

1. Disobedience. Disobedience to God removes us from God’s protection and fellowship. Disobedience opens us up to an attack from the spirit of fear.

God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and they were walking and communing with God. They were at peace and did not experience a spirit of fear until they disobeyed God. After they disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they became self-conscious about their nakedness and hid due to the fear of being seen. Their disobedience resulted in man’s acquaintance with evil spirits that cause sin. Consequently, mankind became afraid of everything, including God.

Genesis 3:10 So Adam said “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself ".  

Likewise, our disobedience severs our relationship with God, who has no fellowship with evil. Separated from God, we are subject to the spirit of fear, anxiety, worry, and dread.

2. Lack of faith A lack of faith in God also leads to fear. Faith and fear are opposites. If you have fear, you lack faith in God’s love, protection, and provision.

Mark 4:35-41 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Our Lord rebuked the disciples for fearing when apparently they had good reason for being alarmed. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

The problem was—the disciples didn’t know Jesus. They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"

If Jesus Christ is only a carpenter from Nazareth, then we are foolish to follow Him; but if He is the Son of God, why are we afraid? If Jesus Christ is God, where is my trust in Him? If He is not God, why am I so foolish as to pretend to worship Him? Faith in Jesus Christ means that the relationship, He brings us into with Himself, should hold us undisturbed in the midst of every disturbance there is.

Jesus redeemed us from slavery to evil and put us back into a right relationship with the Father. Those who are born again of the Holy Spirit belong to the most High God, who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. We are God’s children by faith in Jesus Christ, and therefore, we have nothing to fear even if we must suffer.

Matthew 24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”

Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Without faith in Jesus Christ, no one can stand calamity and anguish without getting into a panic. Without faith in Jesus Christ, we will be afraid of earthquakes, storms, demons, uncertainty, war, of what people think, our future, and persecution. If we are going to be more than conquerors in the midst of these things, we must refocus quickly on Jesus, allow His Spirit to calm us, and remind us of His Word and Promises. “Don’t be afraid, just believe”, Jesus said.

Without faith in Jesus as our Savior, we will also have a fear of death. The Good News is Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from the curse of death. He conquered death by rising from the grave on the third day, just as He said He would do. Now we have eternal life through faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We have His promise, “Though we die, yet shall we live!”

So, how can we overcome fear, a spirit of the enemy?

  1. Remember that fear is strictly prohibited.  Stop justifying your fear. Fear is a spirit that dominates unbelievers who have no hope. “Fear not” and “do not be afraid” appears nearly 180 times in the Bible.  When God says “fear not”, He is commanding us to focus on Him, not the situation. God despises unbelief. Repent of being fearful and ask God for the gift of faith. In the Name of Jesus, rebuke the spirit of fear and focus on Jesus Christ, your redeemer, protector, provider, and Savior.

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first (focus on) the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  1. Enthrone Christ and fear Him. Isaiah 8:11-13 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
  2. Put your faith and trust in God. Never lose sight that you are in the Presence of Almighty God.  He is on your side. For Jesus' followers, there is glorious freedom from all fear. In fact, all who come under the Lordship of Christ never need to fear again, if they totally resign their life into the hands of the Lord. If we still fear, it is because we are not totally trusting God and we are still trying to be in control.
  3. Rid yourself of sin.  As we see with Adam, fear is the result of sin.  It brings a sense of guilt and fear of punishment. If we obey Jesus, we have nothing to fear.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

  1. Engage in purposeful activity.  Work at the job of living one day at a time.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t consider tomorrow.” He said don’t worry about it. Obey Him in what He has put forth for you today and leave tomorrow in His hands.

  1. Pray. Tell God all your troubles.  Stay in His Rest and receive His peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  1. Use what God has given us.

God has not given us the "spirit of fear", but He has given us a spirit (the Holy Spirit) that gives us freedom from fear: a spirit of power, of love, and a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and sound mind.

The Spirit of POWER
 1. Power to be saved. John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

2. Power to be a witness for Him. Acts 1:8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

3. Power to be Joyful. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

4. Power to make you a strong believer. John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

5. Power to endure trials. 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

If we are trusting in, drawing from, relying on, believing in the One who has the power, He will give us the power we need! This Power comes from the Holy Spirit, who is God in us! When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have power over the spirit of fear.

Since fear comes from the evil one, we must ask God to forgive us for our lack of faith in Him and fill us with the Holy Spirit. No one who is identified with Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit suffers from a spirit of fear!

The Spirit of Love

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

The more we love God, the more we obey Him and the less fear we will have. It is a matter of trusting that God loves us and will take care of us. There is no fear in this love.

The more we love others the less fear we will have. Love causes us to overcome our fears and to sacrifice our lives for the good of others (i.e. missionaries).

Revelation 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

The Spirit of a Sound Mind
Most of the time our fears are the result of “stinking” thinking. But something happens when we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Our mind is continually renewed!

Romans 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Conquering fear is not a matter of self-determination, it is a matter of focus and dependence on God whom we trust and love. It is a matter of faith in His words, His promises, and His gifts to us. It is a matter of recognizing the devil’s pitiful attempts at crippling us with fear and God’s majestic grace in giving us POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Man needs to have only one fear, the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Some of you may be battling a spirit of fear. It has affected you so long that you think it is normal. Jesus can deliver you of that spirit today if you are not afraid to ask Him. Yes, a spirit of fear can keep you in bondage and make you afraid to be free.

A spirit of fear also prevents people from salvation. They are afraid to publicly confess Jesus as the Son of God. They are afraid to give Him control of their life. They are afraid to come forward in repentance and humility. They are afraid to die to self in a water baptism so their sins can be forgiven and they can be born again of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t let a spirit of fear send you to Hell. Come to Him for salvation or for deliverance from fear today.