Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Overcoming Fear Part 2 - The Source of Fear


1. Fear is Not of God 


                "for God hath not given us the spirit of fear"  

            Fear does not come from God. Repeatedly, throughout the Bible God tells His people to "fear not."
Abraham
Genesis 15:1, “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

Jacob
Genesis 26:24, “And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.



Hagar
Genesis 21:17, “And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”

Children of Israel
Deuteronomy 1:21, “Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 20:3, “And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;”

Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Isaiah 41:14, Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 43:1, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” 

Joshua
Joshua 8:1, “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed:”

Zacharias 
Luke 1:13, “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”


Disciples 

Luke 5:10, “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” 

Luke 12:4-7, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” 

Revelation 1:17, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:”




Jesus is the first and the last. He created all things and by Him all things exist. There is nothing that He cannot control. He controls every single circumstance in which we find ourselves. 


2. Fear is of the Devil

  
A. B. Simpson said, “Fear is born of Satan, and if we would only take time to think a moment, we would see that everything Satan says is founded upon a falsehood.”

I think the devil uses fear to keep us from accomplishing God’s will for our lives.

I once heard a story of a man who was called to the mission field. This man chose not to go because he was afraid of snakes. One day as his children were playing, two of his boys climbed under their trailer and found a nest of rattle snakes. The man quickly put the boys in the car to rush them to the hospital. As he was backing out of the driveway, he ran over his other child. His wife came out of the house seeing what had happened, dropped dead of a heart attack. The man lost his entire family because he tried to flee from his fear instead of obeying God. In the end, his fear ended up finding him.

Fear is just another tactic the devil uses in attempts to destroy us.  


3. Fear comes from within ourselves


"Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil."                        ~Rogers
                       
Fear comes when we are looking to ourselves for security instead of to God. It comes when we are looking at God through our circumstance instead of looking at our circumstance through God. It is a lack of faith in God. It is a matter of looking to ourselves instead of to the Lord for help and strength.

The disciples did this when they were in the midst of the stormy sea. 

Matthew 8: 23-27, “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

They toiled on in their own strength before finally crying out to the Lord. So often, this characterizes us. The Lord is often our last resort when facing difficulties in our lives. Fear comes from our own hearts when we fail to put our faith in the Lord.                        

Elisabeth Elliot said, “Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your Saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.”




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