Fear is a snare. The only way to overcome the fear of any person (employer, co-worker, father, mother, husband, wife, sister, brother, or child) is to trust in the Lord and fear (reverence) Him.
Fear is used by the enemy of our soul to keep us from moving forward into an abundant life in Christ. God has provided everything we need to live fully for Him in this world (II Peter 1:3-4.) The Holy Spirit living within us is greater than the spirit in this world (I John 4:4). As we learn to yield everything to God’s Spirit, we become free from the bondage of fear and the enemy’s influence upon our lives.“ For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15 (AMP)
As God’s adopted children, knowing our position in the Kingdom of God gives us the confidence we need to overcome fear. Remember who your Father is — Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of heaven and earth! Romans, Chapter 8 declares that as obedient children in God’s family we can be free from condemnation and live as His own adopted children, available to freely serve our Father as He created us to. Fear is a major hindrance that binds us from this freedom. Fear comes to us through three main areas: 1) The world—by the fear of man, 2) Our flesh—through condemnation, and 3) Satan—lying spirits and deception.
The World-by the fear of man
”The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Proverbs 29:25 (AMP)
Hunters lay snares to catch animals… I found this pic of a fearful rabbit as I researched snare hunting a bit. (Oh, it is heart-wrenching to see the pictures… and I am not a hunter.) The Bible tells us the fear of man is a snare and the outcome of living this way is also heart-distressing! Anxiety, vulnerability, panic attacks come from fear. Some of my biggest failures in life have been because I feared a person rather than God! An employer, husband, children, or any authority figure became “my god”. When God delivered me of that, those around me were set free to be accountable before God for their actions and I was set free to worship Him fully!
We are told by Jesus Himself not to fear man. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. “ Hebrews 13:6 (KJV)” So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Matthew 10:28 (KJV)
Fear carries with it doubt and unbelief. Our fear of failure, or how we are viewed by others, reveals our human nature that is governed by human pride. Human fear, when rooted in pride, will bring defeat. This fear of man reveals whether we are truly trusting (believing) in Christ as our source or in our own abilities. Healthy fear equals reverence toward God our Maker. The fear of man brings us into bondage and a snare.
Our Flesh—fear through condemnation
The secret to freedom living is to align yourself with Jesus in all you do! Not only does this produce a rewarding, fulfilling life, but it protects us from sin and condemnation. “Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Conviction of sin is a precious gift from God. It is the Holy Spirit attempting to lead us into Truth and freedom. Conversely, condemnation comes when we refuse to respond to conviction and continue to walk in sin. We, in essence, are conflicted because we are willfully acting against Truth presented to us by the Spirit of God.
Internal conflict drives people to act in ways that harm themselves and others. A person becomes disillusioned with themselves and attempts to cover this conflict in a variety of ways. The Holy Spirit continues to convict by His love, yet if we continue to indulge in sin, we will continue to experience condemnation, guilt, and discouragement. Yet, all the while freedom awaits us! Jesus said to the woman who had been condemned of adultery, “…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11). We come out from under condemnation and receive the freedom Christ offers when we choose to turn and “sin no more.”
I John 3:20-21 (AMP) says, “Whenever our hearts in [tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him]. And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God.”
So, we must discern the source of condemnation. God already knows it, but we need to see if it is because we are going against the conviction of the Holy Spirit, or if we are facing an external spiritual attack upon us. Knowing God’s Word helps us in assessing this. Conviction is good; it comes because of God’s love and desire for fellowship with us. When we respond rightly to the Holy Spirit we sense grace, assurance, and His love, which in turn gives us boldness.
God’s Word tells us that as His Children, our position is purchased and kept because of Christ. Our thoughts as to who we are, need to be placed upon the Cross of Christ and what He did for us to make us worthy! He is the One who took our sin so that we can come unto the Father. Our soul was redeemed by His precious blood—nothing else.
In order to live victoriously over sin, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and comfort us. Our greatest need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, fully surrendered to His leadership, and find true joy and usefulness in God’s Kingdom. We then become Adopted and Fearless!
Satan—fear from lying spirits and deception
If we are obeying what we know, and walking in open fellowship with God, yet sense condemnation, we can discern that it is coming from the enemy to defeat us and pull us out of the place of victory. Satan uses this as a tool to keep us away from God–falsely! The Father of Lies, tries to tell us that we are not worthy of God’s love and care. He can build upon that through deception and can use other people in a variety of ways. People who continue to live under condemnation, develop a guilty soul and the shame pulls them into bondage. The focus then becomes their shame and guilt, and fear grows. Depression usually accompanies this. Freedom and change seem impossible in their situation. Deception has done its work.
The work of Satan and lying spirits is to tempt and deceive us. He attempted this with Jesus Himself (Luke 4:1-13). Concerning fear, spiritual warfare is a battle between truth and lies. And the battle rages strongly within our minds. Satan is the Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). In order to win the battle, our position as adopted and fearless children is crucial to overcoming the wiles of the enemy! You can be safe and protected. But as a good soldier (I Timothy 2:1-5) you need to be willing, trained in and obedient to the “Manual”, God’s Word. Our weapons and our true enemy are outlined in Ephesians 6:10-19 and II Corinthians 10:3-5. Satan and the fallen angels desire to bind you with fear and aloneness in your battle. He wants to make you an orphan, rejected and discouraged. But God desires to adopt you, to make you His own, fearless and useful in His Kingdom. He desires that you know the purpose for which He created you, and the destiny He planned for you.
Remember, God’s objective is to fill your life with Himself, use you in His Kingdom and for His glory, which results in great joy and fulfillment. The objective of God in filling us with the Holy Spirit is to enable us to love as He loves, to walk without fear in this world, and be a witness for Jesus Christ. This lack of fear and abundance of love will allow you to walk as a victor, not a victim, causing you to overcome every circumstance you face. II Timothy 1: 7-8 (AMP) “ For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or about me His prisoner, but with me take your share of suffering for the gospel [continue to preach regardless of the circumstances], in accordance with the power of God [for His power is invincible].” Amen.
Photo credit: Google Images, Pixabay