Are you afraid? Have you ever been tempted to be afraid? Have you ever let your Monday ruin your Sunday? By revelation of the Holy Spirit, the answer is yes. We are all tempted with fear.
Fear is a tool of the evil one. It is one of the oldest temptations in his bag of tricks. It is part of a three piece set. Anxiety, Worry and Fear. They all are generated from the primary source of the evil ones power. Unbelief! Do you feel that you are alone in being fearful? What if you knew for a fact that there was a simple way to overcome fear every time it tempted you? Would your life be better?
There are two types of fear. One of course, is rational fear. Rational fear is a gift from God. “Fear, (respect for) of God” is Biblical. If someone throws you out of an airplane without a parachute…it would be reasonable to be afraid. Rational fear keeps us from sticking our arm in the propeller of an airplane to find out what would happen.
The fear we are discussing is unreasonable fear. This fear is generated by unbelief in God. Jesus encountered fear constantly. The fact that we have fear is not a surprise to our Creator. That is why, whenever a representative of God or God himself appears…The first words from the messenger are “Fear Not”.
So how do we overcome irrational or bad fear? Here is a tip…In my teaching on anxiety; I reported that in A.A. meetings you will frequently hear fear referred to as an acronym…False Events Appearing Real. Truer words were never spoken. Most of the things we fear are projections based on the incorrect time zone. We fear things in the present because of our past experiences. Carried one step farther, we project future events and results based on problems, failures, mistakes, and blatant bad or wrong decisions in the past.
The problem with most of us Christians is that we rely on ourselves to fight the battles that Jesus has already won for us. We forget all to easily who we are and who Jesus is. Often we are ignorant of all that Jesus said and did. We have trouble because of bad teaching or ignorance making a decision to believe Jesus. Sometimes our challenge is merely to make a decision to believe that God is.
My wife had been going through a terrible season of fear and unbelief. One night in the middle of the season of fear she heard a very loud male voice shout to her…”I Am!” Teresa looked terribly upset the next morning and she asked me, “Who is, I AM ?” That would be the Great I AM, I explained. Teresa has never been the same. Fear left her that morning and in that area of her life, it has never returned. That was one of the most powerful things that I have ever seen God do.
Here is the best teaching on fear ever, from our Lord and Savior Jesus…”And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, a great tempest (storm) arose in the sea, in-so much that the ship was covered by the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him and awoke him, saying Lord save us, we perish ( In the report of Luke, the disciples said “Carest not that we perish?”
Many times, I have said these same words to My Lord and Savior. I have been in storms at sea in small boats that were so bad that I believed that I was going to die. I had an engine failure in a small airplane during flight training. I have been in two life threatening car accidents. The worst and most recent of these incidents was at the end of last year when we were just starting this ministry and the money did not appear to my natural eye. As I reflect on these times in my life and many others that are and were similar, I realize that these were the most painful words I could have said to Him. Thank God for his enduring love, mercy and forgiveness.
” And he saith unto them, Why are you afraid oh you of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23-26. WOW!
This is one of Jesus’ most powerful teachings and it happened in seconds and it took 9 words.”WHY ARE YOU AFRAID, OH YOU OF LITTLE FAITH ?” Think about this. We do not have their excuse. They had to rely on their flesh faith. They did not have the faith of the Son of God. We do. If you have been saved by believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and have confessed with your mouth that he is Lord, you have been given as a free gift, the faith of God. (Ephesians 2:8 and 9)
Does it seem redundant to say that Faith is the answer to fear? The message for us is to pause in the middle of the storm and use the faith (Hebrews11:1 Living one moment at a time with joyful expectation of the things that we can not see) of the Son of God ( Galatians 2:20) which we have been given in full measure ( Romans 12:3). How do we do this?
We make a decision. We choose as an act of our will to live one moment at a time with joyful expectation of the things we can not see. Our second teacher Paul, (the teacher to the gentiles by the grace and divine appointment of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit put it like this…(2 Cor 5:7…”For we walk by faith and not by sight”.)
In making the decision to use the faith that we have been given as a free gift from God, we begin to understand that the things that we do not see are more real than the things that we do see. ( Hebrews 11:3…” For by faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”) In simple terms, the creation can not be greater than the Creator.
We have been taught wrongly to believe that the things we see are more real than the things that we do not. Jesus is telling us as simply as possible that the way to overcome fear and walk in victory is to make a choice to (1) make a choice to live in this present moment, not in the past or the future…with (2) Hope…joyful expectation…of (3) the things that we can not see.
I pray that when you are attacked or tempted with one of the tools of the devil: Anxiety, Worry or Fear that you will remember these teachings and overcome the temptation by making a choice to live by faith and to believe ( to accept as true) the promises of God.