Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined
It’s been a big year for me in the “Overcoming Fear” department. As silly and perhaps childish as this confession might sound, since I was as young as I can remember, I’ve had a paralyzing fear of bugs, spiders especially. When I say paralyzing, I mean just that—absolute panic, filled with anxiety, can’t move, crippling kind of fear. And while I knew what God’s Word had to say about fear and many others in my life had tried to encourage me toward freedom in this area, I wrongfully assumed that all of that Truth somehow didn’t apply to my specific fears. How foolish of me.
When I think about fear, I can’t help but also see and now more fully understand all the good that we forfeit in our lives because of the fear(s) that we are enslaved to. Yes, enslaved. I know that’s a strong word, and I used it very intentionally. Fear is bondage. It’s slavery at its worst, and living wracked with fear of any kind is no way to live.
The Bible has so much to say about fear. God knew we would battle with this one something fierce. Therefore, His Word is anything but silent about it. In fact, one of the most frequent commands given to us in Scripture is this: “Do not be afraid.” Whether it’s delivered through the mouths of messenger angels or Jesus Himself uttering these words, the command is ever so clear, and I hope to encourage you toward this truth today:
Obedience to this command is possible. It’s not beyond our reach. We can be set free from fear.
Praying God’s Word has actually been one of the most vital disciplines in my life that God has used to usher me into freedom from fear. When is the last time that you declared God’s Word over your fear? In October of 2018, I found myself visiting one of my best friends up in northern California. We spent a lot of time adventuring in the outdoors, which as you can probably imagine, has never been a favorite of mine because that is precisely where bugs and critters and creatures of all kinds live that have induced immeasurable amounts of fear in me. She was already well aware of my battle with fear in this area, so she just started asking me questions…
“Cherie, do you want to be free of this fear? Why don’t you start declaring God’s Word over your fear?”
Hmmm, good questions. I had allowed the lies of the enemy to somehow “seal my fate of fear-filled living” when that is not anywhere near where God had destined me to live.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7
This short verse had been a favorite of mine for decades, and it had never occurred to me to start proclaiming its truth over my life, especially in this area of my fear. So, in trembling but hopeful faith, I did for the first time that day next to my friend as we prepared to hike through a beautiful national forest in northern California. And something that is nothing short of miraculous happened. The fear fell off. It died. It lost its power over me. God’s Word proved true, yet again.
Fear is a liar. Take a look again at the definition of fear up at the top of this post. That last part, though…whether the threat is real or imagined. It’s something to really ponder today as you look your own fear in the face. One simple declaration of truth over your fear can have the same, powerful, life-changing effect. Fear can fall off today. Fear can die today. Fear can lose its power over you today. Join me in taking God at His Word and praying His Word to demolish the stronghold of fear.
Overcoming Fear is the one post in this series that Beth Moore didn’t specifically cover in her book Praying God’s Word, so the Scripture prayers below are from yours truly…places in the Word of God that I have frequented more times than I can count, and these frequent visits have led to my own freedom. Praying that same freedom from fear over each of you today.
Father God, thank you for reminding me today that fear does not come from you. Rather, you have given me power over it. You have given me a spirit of love and the ability to have sound judgment, even in the face of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) Help me to walk in the freedom that you died to give to me.
Father, I thank you because I have not received a spirit that makes me a slave again to fear, but I’ve received a spirit of sonship. Therefore, I can cry out, “Abba Father!” (Romans 8:15)
Lord, thank you for promising me that You will never leave me or forsake me. The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6)