First of all, uh…no, I did not get this post out when I was planning. Here’s an apology for being over three weeks late. But in my defense, in those weeks, I’ve started a new job, or maybe two new jobs, if you want to get technical; I’ve been planning and preparing for a two-and-a-half week long trip to Europe with my sister that we are leaving for on Tuesday; and just a lot of other stuff thrown in there too. In other words, I’ve been busy.
However, I’ve also spent a lot of time laying out my thoughts for this post, so I really hope it will be an aid and encouragement to you! Winning the battle against fear is a topic that I believe we as Christians need so badly and seems to be often overlooked in our circles as a legitimate problem to address.
Please let me know any comments you may have after reading.
(This post is a follow-up to and expansion of my last post, “The Other Side of Fear.”)
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. – George Addair
Is there something in your life that you’ve always wanted to do, but the only way to get there is to cross the Great Wall of Fear and Intimidation?
Let me point out something that may not be immediately obvious: You won’t get across that wall by staring at it or wishing really hard. I mean, even if you do manage to burn a hole through it with your laser-sharp eyes, you still have to move your two legs and walk through that hole.
I think probably everyone at some point in their life regrets not doing something because of fear. They wish they could go back and relive some part of their life and this time just go for it despite the fears and uncertainties. I know I do. The only thing I can do is learn from my mistakes and weaknesses and keep moving forward, growing continually in courage and confidence.
My challenge to you is this: Don’t let fear keep you from living out your dreams and experiencing the fullness of your God-given purpose.
Fear is evil. It is our enemy and the opposite of anything good and courageous. Fear keeps us from so many good things that could be a part of our lives. It chokes us and strangles any spark of bravery, spontaneity, and confidence that might undermine its power and control over our minds and bodies.
Fear doesn’t make any promises and steals more from us than we knew we had to give. It’s a liar, a thief, a deceiver, one of Satan’s MVPs.
Of course, fear doesn’t want you to know that, but now that you do, you can win the victory over it and banish it from your life forever. Now is the time to see it for the sly, petty, thieving coward it is and tell it and yourself that you won’t let it gain another square centimeter of your life.
In this context, I’m not talking about those emotions of healthy fear or nervousness in situations when your body acts in a natural, reactive, fight-or-flight manner against threatening circumstances. In those times, the biological reaction of fear is good and will help you stay alive or sane, as the case may be. In this post, I’m talking about chronic, controlling fear that is usually unfounded and is crippling your whole life and existence.
I truly, personally understand the paralyzing feeling of being under the control of fear. It dictated my life for so long and kept me from doing and accomplishing so many things that I could have done. Now, I can’t go back and redo those periods of my life; I can only move forward and fight against fear with all my being. I still have those struggles against fear, but I’m done with letting it control me and I won’t let it come back to a place of power. Because now I know what fear is and how it works.
Fear is a lie from the beginning. It masquerades as milder sounding epithets such as stress, tension, or anxiety. But when you really get to the roots of those, they are all one form of fear or another.
See, fear’s triumph begins when it can make you believe that it’s really not so bad. It’s not restricting you; it’s protecting you. It’s not a prison–it’s life insurance. It’s not stealing from your life bit by bit; it’s laying a defensive groundwork of reality, practicality, and common sense; it’s acting as a security padding against anything that could hurt you.
Once you start to believe those things, fear’s got an open door to do whatever it wants and squeeze the life out of you with every passing moment.
I’m sure that none of us would wittingly give an enemy like that free rein in our lives. But that’s just it. We don’t realize that the enemy has entered in the first place. Fear is so good at masking its evil side and slipping in the door under the guise of “natural, personal feelings” that we completely miss the bad guy’s entrance. The Master of Elusiveness and Disguises.
Before we know it, he’s set up shop in the inner sanctum, and instead of catching up with his tricks and kicking him out for the intruder he really is, we welcome him as an honored guest, give him the most comfortable suite in the house, and let him take and consume the best of our selves and our things.
Jesus said in John 10:10 that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Fear is sly, petty thief. He only comes to steal your peace, kill your joy, and destroy your life. Fear will never help you in any way; you’ll never get far in life when fear is in control.
Once fear establishes himself as a natural part of our being, he can sit back and relax while the residual fleshly part of our souls that is willful and prone to stray from God grabs hold of that fear, runs with it, and finishes the job.
Fear’s lies don’t stop with just getting into your life. Once it takes root, the lie just grows bigger, causing you to believe, even after you realize fear is a rogue invader and not something to coddle as a natural part of yourself, that it’s impossible to fully shake off its grip on your heart and mind.≥
I know that sometimes we can’t help the fearful thoughts that rise up in our hearts and threaten to control us; but does that mean that we are done for? We just throw up our hands and surrender to defeat?
No, of course not! But sadly, I have to say that often we do act like that. I can say that because I’m talking about myself as much as anyone else. I know how many times I’ve felt that fear grab me in its clutches and I just want to give up right then and there, even if nothing bad has happened or given the slightest sign that it will happen.
So yes, fear can be hard to shake. But this is where our feeble efforts end and God’s power gets the victory.
There is a solution to the fear problem.
God says that all things are possible through him (Mark 10:27; Luke 1:37). He has promised that there is always a way of escape; there is always a path to victory over the spiritual darkness in our lives.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
We can know that any spirit of fear is not from God; He only gives power, love and self-discipline; as the Amplified version puts it, “abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control.”
Fear is a foreign, enemy agent, but the good news is that we have victory over fear through our faith in Jesus Christ.
John tells us that “the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world” and “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 4:4; 5:4-5).
That’s the power that Paul talks about in 2 Timothy. Peter also tells us that “this divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . . by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
This power we have through Jesus Christ and the Spirit of truth inside us gives us the ability to overcome all fear and all evil that would try to influence and control us.
And if that wasn’t amazing enough, God provides another tactic of beating that fear in our lives–remember that second word mentioned in 2 Tim. 1:7? Love.
We are told in 1 John 4 that perfect love is the antidote to fear.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:16-19).
Who could ever demonstrate the ultimate perfection of love except God? God is the originator of true, perfect love, and once we begin to know that love for us deep in our hearts, all fear will flee away. Just like light and dark, love and fear cannot exist in the same space together. One will always repel the other.
“No, in all these [tribulations and hardships] we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
If we are going to have any chance against this monster, we have to first realize that he’s a problem in our lives. We have to see fear for what it is, see the damage that it’s done; and then, we have to see the victory over that fear that is accessible to us through the power of Jesus inside us.
We have to be resolved in our hearts that this fear will not have a place inside us any longer. Stop it right it its tracks before it goes any further.
We have to choose to eject fear from its place of power in our lives and instead walk in the power and confidence and peace that is promised by God.
Did you know that the overwhelming majority of whatever we fear never comes to pass? Fear and faith are both predictions for the future; one is positive and one is negative.
Why predict calamity upon yourself when not only is your fear unfounded, but also your victory through Christ is an overwhelming undeniable certainty?
Let me leave you with a couple of quotes to mull over (unknown authors). I thought these were pretty powerful.
Fear does not stop death. It stops life.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
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