Fear may be defined as “being afraid or apprehensive of a person, place, thing, or situation.” Fear is also associated with the unknown. Fear paralyzes us, distorts the truth, prevents us from living out God’s purpose for us, and in many cases, ruins our lives.
We’re told in Proverbs 1:7 that Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. It’s true; fear of the Lord is indeed the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, but in our walk with the Lord, that’s as far as fear goes. You see, fear is not of the Lord. God didn’t create us to walk with a spirit of fear, but with boldness, especially when it comes to our faith in Him.
First, let’s define the source of fear that’s the topic of this post.
If you’re staring down the wrong end of a gun barrel or sitting in an automobile that’s veered off of the road and is teetering on the edge of a cliff, it would be quite natural for you to scared stiff. In fact, I’d question your sanity if you weren’t fearful in those situations!
The fears that I’m focusing on here are the subtle fears that sneak their way into our minds. I’m talking about fears concerning finances, careers, relationships, health issues, and especially in the area of personal growth. We’re afraid to try, afraid to speak, afraid to share, afraid to love, afraid to live, and afraid to dream. We’re afraid to unload the burdens that we’re carrying on the inside with anyone, even though they’re eating away at us like a cancer.
Fear is not of the Lord. Fear is of the enemy, and it’s the most powerful and most often used tool in his arsenal.
You don’t have to walk with fear, you know. There’s a solution for fear, and it’s readily available, and it works. What is it?
It is prayer, coupled with belief.
David writes in Psalm 34:4:
I sought the LORD and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
What’s that? You’re thinking, “Oh sure David. That’s easy for you to say, but I’m not you. I’ve been praying as hard as I can, but I have as much fear today as I had six months ago.”
Okay, how about believing the Word of God?
“You will call on me and pray to me and I will listen to you. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD…“and I will bring you back from the place to which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:14
Walking in fear is a state of exile, because fear separates us from God. When our fears have consumed us, and we’re at wits end, what we must do is turn to God and call out to Him.
I have to mention something here about the concept of calling out to God. If you arrived at your home to find out that it was on fire, would you calmly call 911 and ask for help in a meek and timid voice? Of course you wouldn’t. I don’t know about you, but I’m quite sure that I’d be anything but meek and timid. My voice would be filled with a sense of urgency, and I’d pleading for help, almost demanding it, with the expectancy that it was on the way.
So why is it that when we’re troubled by fear, anger, guilt, shame, doubt, unworthiness, or insecurity, and our lives seem to be going up in flames, that we call out to God in a whisper? Oh, I’m sure that there’s a sense of urgency, and we plead for help, but the expectancy is often missing, and so is the calling out!!!
The source of many of our fears is the result of a lack of clarity. If we only had clarity, then we’d know the right choices to make and when to make them, right?
But get this: We’re not going to get clarity from God on anything until our fears are gone. You see, fear blinds our eyes, closes our ears, and muddles our minds. If you’re frozen by fear, God can’t help you even if He’s standing right in front of you! (No, I haven’t forgotten that He’s in us too.)
Ask God to remove the chains of fear, with the belief that He not only can, but will. And look. Don’t get discouraged if the fear isn’t gone the next day. Just keep asking Him to take it off of you, day after day, night after night, and prayer after prayer.
It’ll happen. That cancerous, paralyzing, life-robbing fear will be gone, and when it does, your life, and the way you live it, will never be the same.