A dangerous and fearful world
With so many bad things happening in the world today it seems like there is just so much to fear these days. When we put on the news all we hear about are natural disasters, murders, bad economic time etc etc. The list goes on and on. Besides these outside things to fear we could also have fears about our own finances, our health, our marriages, and children to mention a few. There is just so much! But as Christians, thank God there is a better way for us.
I am a South African and as beautiful and wonderful as our country is, it is also known for its high crime rate, violence, and corruption. It would be so easy to let fear rule me like it does some people in our country. But I am instead choosing to trust God to keep me and my family safe. Now that doesn’t mean that I am being naïve, but I have chosen to walk with God instead of letting fear rule over me. Most South Africans have been affected by crime in one way or another. I am not immune. I’ve lost my brother to a violent stabbing incident which left him dead and we have had two house break-ins this past year. Still, I choose to keep my eyes on God and to trust in Him.
Fear can keep us paralyzed and from reaching our goals. It can keep us from reaching our full God-given potential and growing in ways that will be beneficial to us and for our communities.
Living in fear is draining, exhaustive and tormenting to our entire beings and that alone should be our warning sign that fear is not from God, but from the devil.
Faith vs Fear
Faith is developed by meditating on God’s word and in the same way fear is developed by meditating on Satan’s lies –and that is called worrying. Satan moves in response to our fear just as God moves in response to our faith. When we fear we give Satan a door to enter our lives and create havoc. If he can get you into fear, then your faith will be neutralized and ineffective.
However, if you stay in faith then you give God something to work with and He can then bring you to victory.
You cannot be in both faith and fear at the same time!
Jesus take the wheel
I have dealt with many fears myself, some bigger than others, but all of them limiting to me in one way or the other. My fear of driving is one such example. Yes, I was terribly afraid of driving. I feared making an accident and killing myself or worse – killing someone else. It kept me from getting my driver’s licence for a long time. Many lucrative job opportunities requiring a driver’s licence passed me by because of course, I didn’t have one. I also always had to wait for someone to take me where I wanted or needed to be. And so it went on for years. It was embarrassing, to say the least.
Well, I didn’t give up though. I kept going for lessons and kept on trying. I did it scared, but I kept going. My nerves got the better of me many times during the driver’s licence test and I would fail. The devil had a field day with me. And for good measure, he threw in a relative who told me every time I failed that maybe driving just wasn’t meant for me. Thank God I chose to ignore those words eventually.
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Then I heard a song called “Jesus take the wheel” by Carrie Underwood. I turned a portion of the chorus into a prayer. I would sing it over and over and I started believing that Jesus really was taking the wheel. And what happened: faith came. Halleluiah! I also read that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me(Philippians 4:12). I meditated on this scripture and over time it started to get deep down in my spirit and soul. It took root and I believed it. I believed God.
Fear was no more because faith came and I could drive! I passed my test only after about five or so times(it was a lot!). I counted and in total it took me about nine years to get that driver’s licence. I am not kidding. That is how long that fear kept me paralyzed and from reaching my goals.
I once heard Kenneth E. Hagin preach and say that when fear and doubt would come that one has to rebuke the fear by saying something like: “Fear I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. I refuse to fear/doubt.” There is great power in this practice. When applied with the force of faith it will halt the devil in its tracks.
What happens when we let fear rule
In Matthew 14 Jesus walked on the water and invited Peter to come to him. Peter first walked successfully on the water because he had faith in Jesus, but the moment he took his eyes off of Jesus, took into account the wind(his circumstances) and started to fear– that is when he began to sink.
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).
The same principle still applies today. When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, He can perform miracles in our lives, but when we focus on the problem and start to fear and doubt, then we will definitely sink.
The following scriptures are very helpful and most powerful in helping to deal with fear.
- “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6
- “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
- “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” – Isaiah 41:13, NKJV
- “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” – Psalm 27:1
- “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” – Psalm 118:6, NKJV
- “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” – Proverbs 29:25, NKJV
- “Do not be afraid; only believe.” –Mark 5:36, NKJV
- “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.” –Philippians 4:6
- “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, NKJV
- “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” –1 John 4:18, NKJV
Has there been any significant fear that has held you back from achieving a certain goal in your life perhaps? Please share if the comments if you feel comfortable sharing.
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