Living without fear

person-110303_640Psalm 11:1: In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain,

Like for the psalmist, there may be a difference between what you sense in your heart and what others are saying. They are saying things are falling apart, but you are saying, things are shaping up. They are predicting evil; you are saying that it couldn’t be better. The psalmist was saying: I take refuge in God, therefore I cannot panic.

When David wanted to confront Goliath, he believed God was with him, but Saul the king wanted him to put his trust in his armour (1Samuel 17). David had enough sense to know what works for him, that it is the presence of God that matters and he went ahead to deal with Goliath fearlessly and summarily. He put his trust in God, the fact of his lack of experience in battle versus the experience of Goliath notwithstanding; regardless of the difference in height or Goliath’s fearsome look and the size of his sword.

God helped Gideon to overcome his fear of defeat for him to make him deal decisively with the enemy of Israel (Judges 6). If he did not overcome his fear, he would be useless as a messenger of God. That is why God says to you and to me: fear not, I am with you (Isaiah 41:10).

Fear weakens while faith strengthens; understand that the bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God (which is food [Matthew 4:4] that builds strength [faith]) (Romans 10:17). God told Joshua that he needed to meditate day and night on his word, for him to have good success (Joshua 1:8). The word will build up his faith, and he will conquer his fear and the result will be good success.  You can only conquer on the outside to the limit that you have conquered fear on the inside.

David said that since the trusts in God, he does not have to run helter-skelter in fear; he can live fearlessly. Certain people came to Jesus saying: Herod wants to kill you, so go away from here (Luke 13:31-32). He prefaced his answer with these words: “go tell that fox…,” in total disregard for the threat of Herod (or his person) whether real or unreal. Remember that it was Herod who had beheaded John (Luke 9:7-9), so those people talking to Jesus expected him to cower before such an earthly king. But He is the king of kings. That is the one who says: fear not, I am with you.

Jesus said: “go tell that fox, today and tomorrow I cast out devils and perform cures, but on the third day I will be glorified.” He was fully conscious of the purpose of God for him and would not yield to any attempt to make him afraid. And you cannot be full of God and be full of fear at the same time.

Paul prayed for the Colossian Christians that they be full of the will of God in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9-10). He prayed for the Ephesian Christians that they should comprehend fully the length, breath and height of the love of God (Ephesians 3:13-21); and by that, they will be full with all the fullness of God. When we are captured by the will of God, we cannot be captured by fear at the same time. We cannot run on the purpose of God and run on fear at the same time.

Jeremiah was told by God not to be afraid. He was being sent by God as a prophet, he was not to consider the countenance of the audience (Jeremiah 1:5-8), but must faithfully deliver the word. That means fear will affect our faithfulness in the service of God.

Paul did not allow fear to take over him life. He would not have been able to achieve much, had he been bogged down by fear. Remember that before meeting Christ, he was a foremost persecutor of the church; and probably mentored some people along the line. He knew there were some serious fanatics on the Jewish religion side, ready to kill at the drop of a hat. On the other side, he knew he would face the brunt of their wrath, but he was undaunted.

Though he said later that he has reasons to be afraid, but he did not succumb to them (2Corinthians 7:5). He had his eyes places firmly on the prize for the high calling of God (in His service) in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:10-14).

We must live without fear. The bible says that perfect love casts out fear (1John 4:17-18). Not only that, it says that fear has torment. When we are full of the sense of God’s love for us, and embrace it as such, we would live fearlessly.

You have the right as a child of God not to be afraid. Yes, the right to not be afraid. This is because Jesus said that he overcame the world (John 16:33), and that there is nothing to be afraid of (because of that), since he was not afraid in the world, and he is in us.

We are not afraid of curses. Jesus has been made a curse for us, as it is written (Galatians 3:13), cursed is the one who is hanged upon a tree, so that the blessing of Abraham can come upon the gentiles. Therefore no curse can come upon you because it came on Jesus.

When the Pharisees wanted to make the apostles afraid (and stop their push forward for God’s kingdom) they gave them strokes of canes (Acts 5:40-42). But rather than be afraid, they rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ. Any onlooker must have thought they are crazy for ‘dancing’ because they were flogged. But since they have the approval of God they were not afraid of anyone’s disapproval. That is the recommended mindset for the (fearless) followers of Jesus Christ.

Fear was the surprising emotion which rose in man when confronted with the holiness of God after his sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Fear is a feeling of not meeting the mark, the feeling of impending punishment from a more powerful being.

The reason people fear other men, is because they think they have the power to punish them. If someone does not have the power to punish you, you will to be afraid of him. Being afraid of men is to give them more power (than they really have) over you, to put them on a pedestal higher than God.

Jesus said we should not be afraid of men, because the worst they can do is to is to destroy the body (Matthew 10:28), they punishment man can exert is only limited to this realm. God can punish in this realm and in the unseen, so he said it is Him we should fear. Paul said that he not afraid of men, otherwise, he would not be a servant of God (Galatians 1:10).

Fear is a form of control, the fear of the Lord means we are under his control; and that is described in the bible as wisdom (Job 28:28). Conversely, it is foolish to be afraid of men; that puts you in their control, and they can mess you up, but God has only good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

People want to control you, either directly or indirectly, they do (or say) things just to make you afraid of them, because of their need for control. When you are under their control, it means you are out of the control of God. That is foolishness.

To be afraid of men means we are overly concerned about our impression of them, which is the slippery slope to hypocrisy, for which Jesus reserves his most scathing remarks. Freedom starts with freedom from fear.

You are attached to the object of your fear. It is force that can be exerted over distances. That is why the fear of God is not a bad thing. With the fear of God, we know that we have given him the right of control over us. If we fear the Lord, it means we bow to no one except Him.

 

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