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Fear

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15 ESV)

The fear of man lays a snare (Proverbs 29:25 ESV)

They will have no fear of bad news (Psalms 112:7 NIV)

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked (Proverbs 3:25 NIV)

fear of failure

fear of lack or poverty

fear of rejection

fear of evil spirits

fear of war or disaster

fear of __________

 

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Isaiah 8:13
It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread.

A severe storm hit the East Coast, and the Coast Guard was summoned to respond to a ship in crisis. A young sailor, new on board, was terrorized by the prospect and proclaimed, "We can't go out. We'll never come back!" The seasoned captain responded, "We must go out. We don't have to come back." Duty called and responsibility overcame fear.

If we're going to walk by faith, there can be only one fear-object in our lives, and that's God. We are responsible to Him. He is the ultimate fear-object because He is omnipotent and omnipresent. The fear of the Lord is healthy because it is the one fear that expels all other fears (Isaiah 8:11-14). All other fear-objects pale in comparison to our holy God. We need to be like David who proclaimed before Goliath, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?" (1 Samuel 17:26). The Hebrew army saw Goliath in relation to themselves and cowered in defeat. David saw Goliath in relation to God and conquered in His strength.

When the 12 spies checked out the Promised Land, 10 of them came back and responded, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us" (Numbers 13:31). They didn't see God in the land; they saw giants (verse 33). With that perspective, "all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night" (Numbers 14:1).

Joshua and Caleb responded, "Do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them" (Numbers 14:9). The people did rebel. They accepted the majority report instead of listening to Caleb and Joshua. By accepting the Canaanites' will over God's will, they elevated the power and eminence of the Canaanites over the omnipotence and omnipresence of God. To honor God as the ultimate fear-object is to worship Him. To be controlled by any other fear-object is to allow it to usurp God's place in our lives.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be a God-pleaser in all I do today, not a man-pleaser or a coward.

Dr. Neil Anderson, Daily in Christ a Devotional. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), May 18

Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

How do you respond to fear situations in your life? The following steps will help you identify and hopefully eliminate any irrational fears.

First, analyze your fear. Most people aren't aware of what is controlling their lives. If you are struggling with anxiety attacks, determine when they first occurred. What experience preceded the first attack? People struggling with agoraphobia can usually identify one precipitating event. It is often associated with some tragedy or failure in their lives, such as a marital affair or an abortion. Satan takes advantage of victimized people if they don't seek a scriptural solution to their crisis (Psalm 38:18).

Second, determine where God's place in your life has been usurped. In what way does any fear prevent you from responsible behavior or compel you toward irresponsible behavior? You may need to confess any situations where you've allowed your actions to be controlled by fear (Psalm 28:1). We will always live less than a responsible life if we fear anything other than God.

Third, work out a plan of responsible behavior. A college student shared with me that she was living in terror of her father. They hadn't spoken to each other in six months. Obviously there was irresponsible behavior on both their parts. I suggested that she take the initiative that evening and say, "Hi, Dad!" We reasoned that there were three possible responses he could give. First, he could get mad. Second, he could respond with a greeting. Third, he could remain silent. It was the possibility of the third response that created the most fear.

We then discussed the fourth point: Determine in advance what your response will be to any fear-object. The young woman and I talked about what her response would be in each of those three cases we had mentioned. I then asked her if she would be willing to carry out our plan. She agreed to do it. I got a call that evening from a happy daughter who exclaimed, "He said 'Hi' back!"

Do the thing you fear the most, and the death of fear is certain.

Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to meet my fears head-on and the persistence to overcome them in Your strength.

Dr. Neil Anderson, Daily in Christ a Devotional. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), August 2

 

The Solution

It is a Choice

Replace fear with faith...

Fear God and Him alone...

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

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 John 4:18 ESV
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

Luke 12:32 ESV
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

1 Peter 3:6 ESV
as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Psalm 23:4 ESV
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 27:1 ESV
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?

Psalm 118:6 ESV
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Philippians 1:14 ESV
And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Luke 12:32 ESV
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Hebrews 13:6 ESV
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

John 14:27 ESV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Characteristics of Being Free from Fear

Boldness and Initiation

Proverbs 28:1 ESV
The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Acts 4:13
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:29-31 ESV
29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

2 Corinthians 3:11-12 ESV
11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. 12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold

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