Have you ever been presented with a new challenge in life in which your initial reaction was that you did not feel qualified to handle the challenge? Perhaps you were even tempted to allow fear to dictate how you would respond. I must admit I’ve been in that situation at times in my life. To rise to the challenge, I had to get my eyes off my own weakness and inability and refocus on what God has provided for me. God does not want us to live our lives with any fear at all.
II Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear does not come from God. What does come from God are the provisions to eradicate fear through power, love, and a sound mind. Shifting our focus away from our fears to the One with solutions helps us overcome any fear that would hinder or prevent us from growing. Then we’re free to enjoy all the benefits God has in store for us.
Let’s go to the Word to see how fear defeats the promises of God.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
A snare is a trap. It’s something that holds you and stops you in your tracks. It prevents you from moving freely and being able to make forward progress. Recently I had an occasion to observe a moth that had flown into a spider’s web. This moth was stuck. The more it moved, the more it got all bound up in that sticky web. That’s what fear does—it binds, hinders, encases. God never wants us bound up or stopped in our tracks by fear. It’s not God that brings a snare; it’s the fear of man that brings the snare. Anytime we allow fear to stop us in our tracks, we cannot be claiming God’s promises. Fear is believing, negative believing. When you believe negatively, you cannot have positive results.
Take, for instance, the record of David and Goliath. The men of Israel were not getting positive results as they faced Goliath of the army of the Philistines because of their fear.
I Samuel 17:24:
And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man [Goliath], fled from him, and were sore afraid.
The men of Israel were focused on Goliath and his imposing stature. They could not see past the obstacle in front of them, albeit he was a formidable obstacle. So they were stopped in their tracks by fear, negative believing. And they could not defeat their enemy while in this mental condition. They needed to change their focus. David helped them to do this because his expectation and focus was to rely on God’s strength and ability.
It has been said that fear is sand in the machinery of life. It brings life to a grinding halt. That is not the life that God has called us to. God says in His Word that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). His desire is that we are victors in life, not victims. Each and every challenge, situation, and opportunity that comes our way can be met with positive expectations from God and His Word rather than with fear.
God’s message throughout His Word to His people is, “Fear not.”
Luke 1:30 and 31:
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
What a comforting exhortation to Mary. This was quite a new challenge being presented to her, to bear the Son of God, the redeemer of mankind! Did Mary have questions? Yes, she did. Her questions were answered because she was not afraid to ask. Her focus was fixed on God and His Word, as we can tell by her response in Luke 1:38: “…Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word….” Rather than allowing fear and her own concerns to dictate the situation, Mary sought answers and trusted God.
On the night of Jesus Christ’s birth, another group of individuals were told, “Fear not.”
Luke 2:9 and 10:
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them [the shepherds], and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Had the shepherds allowed themselves to remain afraid, they would have missed out on seeing the Christ child wrapped in swaddling clothes! This was a premier event, by invitation only! They got to participate because they didn’t focus on their initial reaction, but they focused on the message from God and acted on His Word….
This is an excerpt from the July/August 2009 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2009 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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