By: Tim Sader
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.
This week’s message is kind of the opposite of last week’s message on peace but to walk in peace we must overcome today’s topic. This topic is fear and was been my personal battle while I wrote this. I had come in contact with a bit of a chest cold. For most this would not cause panic but I am fighting Muscular Dystrophy as well so my cough is quite weak so it tends to hang around awhile. Thank God he is my healer and got me through it all but it can be difficult convincing the mind that the body is ok. The mind says, “Oh, this is what happened last time when you had to go to the hospital, hurry and go or it’s going to get worse, you can’t cough hard enough.” It tells us not to trust God but to follow the insufficiencies of man and his knowledge. God has gifted some with the skills to be a doctor and treat illness but if we trust in them more then God we have put our trust in the wrong place. This was an attack from the devil and I had to resist his power and focus on God to give me victory. In this situation I was doing what I knew to do in order to seek God but as I pressed in, fear and worry come to try and hold me back. When this started I had a strong support system building me up telling me not to worry because God will make it better, I had every machines at home, so I was fine. At that time I heard several sermons about fear and putting our trust in God. Despite being concerned with my health I made it to church that Sunday and went up for prayer. Again they took authority over fear and worry. This was something I needed to work on. After some research I learned over 80 percent of Christians are in some kind of bondage because of fear. This is a major blow to the body of Christ; with that kind of oppression we need answers to get control over fear.
In the bible are many stories about men of God facing their fears to do what the Lord has set before them. One example can be found in Exodus 4 when Moses speaks to the Lord in the burning bush. We can tell Moses is full of fear because he was full of excuses. First he asks the Lord, “What if they don’t believe me?” The Lord shows him two signs; first he tells Moses throw down your staff and it became a snake, then tells him to grab it by the tail and it turns back into a staff. Second he tells him put your hand in your cloak and it came out leprous, then to put it back in his cloak and it comes out clean. The next excuse Moses gives the Lord is, “I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” These excuses really seem to get on the Lords nerves; here the Lord is talking to him in a burning bush and Moses cant trust him with his speech. God fixes this by sending Aaron to speak for him. When the Lord made Moses face his fears it helped him overcome them. God gave him all he needed to set the people free. The Lord helped Moses and he will help us in similar ways. Isaiah 41:10 says, “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.” Just as he was with Moses in that burning bush he is with us, so why do we fear. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Again it tells us God will help us, he will even take us by the hand and lead us so why do we choose to fear? Hebrews 13:6 says, “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Let us then say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. We need to overcome fear, stop looking at what man can do to us and focus on the one true God.
In 1 Samuel 17 is the story of David and Goliath. This story shows we can have the victory over fear if we will face the giant in our life head on and trust God for it. Well delivering food to his brothers David heard the challenge Goliath made and to his surprise no man in Israel would accept, they were all afraid of the giant. David however was not; he trusted God and knew the giant would fall because he was provoking the children of Israel. David was given the choice of armor, sword and javelin to fight the giant but instead chose five stones and a slingshot. An unlikely choice for battle but that was all the Lord needed to slay Goliath. In verse 45, 46 David says to Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” Unlike Moses, David faced Goliath with full confidence and trust in God. Sure he could have been afraid and gave God excuses but he knew the Lord would make away for him to have the victory. Because of David’s unwavering faith and lack of fear God was able to defeat Goliath without having to prove himself over and over. David knew the outcome, believed the outcome and saw the outcome; he left no room for fear only trust in God. Psalm 56:4 says, “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” This is something David believed he was not worried of one man because he trusted God and did not fear. David also believed Deuteronomy 3:22 it says, “Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” David was no more then a vessel the Lord used to defeat Goliath because God fought the battle for him. If we trust God He will fight our battles too so why fear?
Isaiah 51:7 says, “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.” If we know what is right and do it we should not fear, especially not what men can do to us. God will not only make their insults of no value but He will save us when we choose to live by faith and not fear. Isaiah 35:4 tells us, say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Are you fearful? If so the Lord is telling us, Be Strong, Do Not Fear! God will take care of what is causing us fear and will save us from our troubles. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” The Lord knows exactly the path we will walk; He goes before and is with us. He will never leave us or turn his back to us so we need to be free of fear. In Mark 4:40 Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” After already experiencing some amazing miracles even Christ’s closest followers remained afraid and had no faith. They were being attacked by fear so when we are attacked it’s not time to fear and lose faith. It is truly puzzling how these men were following Christ and still had fear. I’m sure they were under attack by the armies of darkness, the devil was hoping to destroy their faith with fear, the enemy of faith. Even when armies pursue if our confidence is in the Lord then Why Fear? 2 Kings 6:16 Elisha says, “Don’t be afraid,” he answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” In this verse Elisha and his servant were surrounded by an army but Elisha knew they were not alone because he seen the armies of heaven ready to protect them. If nothing else says fear not, I believe having all of heaven ready to go to war for us should do the trick.
The Lord sees much value in every one of us and will take great care of us. Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” He knows every detail even the number of hair on our heads; shows we are worth far more to him then a few birds. We are worth so much to him he has given us access to his kingdom. Luke 12:32 says, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” If He gave us His kingdom we are not only chosen but are sons and daughters of God. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Lord is our Father so we can cry out to Him; He will listen and Set Us Free From Fear. Even if we endure hardships and have to suffer for our beliefs we should not fear. 1 Peter 3:14 says, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” We are blessed when we suffer for what is right so why fear when we suffer for the goodness of God. Revelation 2:10 says, “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Every one of us has faced a type of prison; sickness, disease, financial burdens, simple phobias, or any other type of bondage. If we are faithful even to the point of death and are not afraid he will bless us with the crown of life. We will live the life of blessing he wants to give us.
Finally we should love because in love nothing can stand in our way, love conquers all. 1 John 4:18 says, “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.” Love drives out fear, it gets rid of it because there can be no fear in love. If we have fear we are punishing ourselves because we cannot be made perfect in love. Let us choose love and send fear on its way. Psalm 91:5-7,15-16 says, “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Here is a pretty long list of things many people fear but we are children of God and if we call on Him none of these things have power over us. The Lord hears and answers our prayers. He will see us through when we focus on Him and turn from fear. He will deliver us and bless us with a long life and salvation. Let us walk by faith today, learn to love better and send fear far from us!