2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. ” Fear is of the devil and is a powerful weapon that he uses to control us. Fear is the greatest hindrance to experience the blessings of God, receive our miracles and fulfill our calling and destiny. The most common command in the Bible is, “fear not!” It is God’s will for us to be completely free from fear. In this study we will try to identify areas of fear in our lives and find keys to conquer these fears.
Various types of fear:
The fear of man:
There are many that are under the control of the fear of man. It is a very common tactic of the enemy. We read in Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” When we fear man, we come under terrible spiritual bondage. It can destroy us and make us ineffective in the Kingdom of God. We have an example in John 12:42-43, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” This can also happen to us. In church and in front of Christians we are so spiritual, but in front of unbelievers, we are too afraid to tell them about Jesus or to let them know that we belong to Jesus. We are afraid to “be put out of the synagogue. Our ‘synagogues’ could mean our friends, family and even our jobs. We want to be accepted by people of the world, as well as by the Lord. The root problem is that “they loved the praises of people.”
We have another example in 1 Samuel 15:24, “Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned … because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” Trying to please people will often cause us to compromise with sin and disobey God. We cannot do the will of God and follow Jesus if we are trying to please people. Paul says in Galatians 1:10 Paul says, “If I pleased man I would not be a servant of God.” We cannot please God and man. If we love the praises of people it actually means that we actually love people more than God. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Fear of failure:
This is also a common type of fear. Many of us have great dreams and desires, but we do not go anywhere and do anything because we are afraid that we will make mistakes and will not be successful. We read about the man who hid his talent in Luke 19:20-21. “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man.” This man was too afraid to take a do anything because he was afraid of the master. The fear of failure will prevent us from taking risks and we will live in a comfort zone where everything is predictable and safe.
We notice that he was afraid of what the master would think about him. The reason why we often have this fear is because we are afraid what others and God will think about us. This fear is often rooted in rejection and pride. Therefore we must know that God will always accept us and love us even if we fail. When we realize this, we will be free from the fear of failure.
Fear that terrible things will happen:
We read in Job 3:25 “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me.” What we fear often happens to us. It is like a negative prophecy that comes to pass. Fear and faith and has one thing common, they both expect something to happen that has not yet happened. Faith expects good things to happened, while fear expects bad things to happen. This type of fear often comes when we look at negative information and we think about it all the time. Many times, this information is a lie and the enemy makes it seem much worse than it really is. For example, many people fear that they will die from some fatal sickness such as cancer or heart attack. They expect the worst, whereas it is only a small problem.
Fear of Death:
We read in Hebrews 2:15 “And to release those who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” When we fear death, either through circumstances or sicknesses it brings us into terrible bondage. Isaiah 28:15, it talks about a “covenant with death.” Some people have made a covenant with death through fear of death or the fear of sickness. This can be the reason why they are not healed when people pray for them. According to the Bible, “Jesus has already carried of sicknesses and our pains and by His stripes we have already been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24, Matthew 8:17) We need to put of faith in the word of God and not in our symptoms! God has given us a powerful promise in Psalms 118:17, “I will live and not die, so that I may proclaim the works of the Lord.”
Fear of the future world events:
In Luke 21:26 we read about people having fear in the last days. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” We can fear economic collapse or some terrible crisis and we think about it all the time. Jesus said in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” One of the greatest promises in the Bible is found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Amplified) God is a faithful Father who will “never leave us or forsake us!” Therefore, He will always care for us, for it is His very nature.
Spirit of fear:
We read in 1Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.” Fear can simply be just a demonic attack against us. The spirit of fear can have roots such us, the fear of rejection, the fear of heights, the fear of flying, etc. Often there is no logical reason for the fear. The Bible says that we fight not against flesh and blood but wicked spirits in the demonic realm. The good news is that the spirit of fear is only a demon and Jesus has given us more than enough authority to drive it out the spirit of fear. The Bible says in James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from us.” God wants us to be free from all fear. We can conquer this “giant”.
How to conquer fear:
(There are a number of ways that we can conquer fear)
Firstly: We need to know who that God really loves us:
We read in Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The spirit of bondage is linked to fear. When we are born again and receive Jesus, we also receive the spirit of adoption through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of adoption sets us free from the spirit of fear. For example, when we were children, we had no fear because we always knew that our father would take care of us. We do not have fear because we fully trusted to take care of us. However, when we become adults and we had to take care of ourselves, we began to have more fear. We have fear with regards to our jobs, our finances, our safety our health and what would happen to us in the future, etc. Therefore, we must know that our Heavenly Father loves us and will always take care of us. The Bible says that, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) When we know that God loves us and that with us, we will be free from fear. God gave us a wonderful promise in Joshua 1:5, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Secondly: We need to see things from God’s perspective:
We have the example of Caleb and the ten spies. The ten spies went into the Promised Land and saw giants and problems. They said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” (Number 13:31) They were afraid to enter into the Promised Land, because they only focused on the problems. Caleb on the other hand, believed in God and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Number 13:30)
We have a similar example when the servant of Elisha in 2 Kings Chapter 16. He saw the enemy around him and he was so full of fear. in verse 14 he said to Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” In verse 15, Elisha said to him, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” We then read in verses 16-17, “Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (1 Kings 6:14-15) In the same way, we need to see things from God’s perspective.
Let us look at some scriptures
Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who shall be against us!
John 4:4 we read, He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Hebrews 13:5-6 “… for he (God) has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Jesus said to Peter in Luke 8:50, “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Fear is a deception and things are often seem worse than they really are. Therefore one of the best ways to conquer fear and see things from God’s perspective, is to fill our hearts and minds with the word of God.
Thirdly: We can begin to do the thing that we fear.
When Peter walked on the water, he had to take the first step. The first step was difficult, but the next step was easier. In the same way, we can simply just do the things we fear. For example, if we fear people and find it difficult to tell them about Jesus, then the best thing we can do is just to open our mouths and begin to speak. If we are afraid to give, we must just give! As we start to do the things we fear, we will find out that it is not as difficult as we think.
We read in Joshua 1:9. “Have I not commanded you, be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Many years ago, I had a bad car accident and landed in hospital After I left hospital, I was afraid to drive my car again. However, I just took a step of faith and did it. Within a few minutes, all the fear of driving was gone.
Fourthly: We must not give fear a legal hold on our lives.
Proverbs 28:1. “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” It will be difficult to conquer fear if our lives are not in order. For example, if we steal, cheat or break the law, there will be fear in our lives. When we are right with God and with people, we will have confidence. For example if we do not have the legal documents to live in the country or we drive without a license, we will fear the authorities. We must have the foundation of righteousness in order to conquer fear.
Fifthly: We must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will give us boldness. We have the example of Peter. Before the day of Pentecost he was afraid to confess Jesus before a servant girl. After the day of Pentecost he could confess Jesus before 3000 people. We read in Acts 1.8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.” The Greek word for witness is the same word used for martyr. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will not be afraid of anything, we won’t even be afraid to die for Jesus.
Sixthly: We can cast out the spirit of fear.
We can 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.” Fear is a demon, and Jesus has already conquered this demon on the cross 2000 years ago. We are no longer under the legal control of fear. The Bible says in Colossians 1:13, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” Therefore, “As we resist the spirit of fear, it will flee from us.” (James 4:7) We can command this spirit to go!
Finally, we can make the following declaration:
“I have not been given the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Therefore, I refuse to let the spirit of fear control me. I am as bold as a lion because I am righteous in Christ (Proverbs 28:1) Jesus Christ who lives in me is greater than the devil in the world and He is not afraid of anyone or anything. (1 John 4:4) The Lord is my Helper and I will not fear what man shall do to me (Hebrews 13:6) Because God is for me, no man can be against me (Romans 8:31) The perfect love inside of me casts our all fear from my life. (1 John 4:18) Therefore fear is under my feet, Jesus has set me free, I believe, I receive, I am free from fear. Amen”