Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Overcoming the Life-Dominating Problem of Fear

Most of the following commentary is taken from Steve Gallager and his workbook, The Walk of Repentance. Now, you may not think overcoming fear has much to do with living in purity, but the Bible has much to say about the subject. Let us examine the material from the workbook.

"Fear is an emotion given to us by God that operates in much the same manner as pain. Pain sends an alarm through the body that something is wrong and needs to be dealt with. Fear sends an alarm throughout the body that there is danger. But God has made provision for fear. The writer of Hebrews (quoting the Old Testament) said, “for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?'”
With God on our side, who or what can be against us? We are in the hands of the Almighty. But you say, “Bad things happen to Christians too.” That is very true. But when you truly learn to walk in the Spirit, you will not be dominated by fear."

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."
Fear is for the unsaved who are still under the power of the enemy. We live by faith and are consoled by the fact that God protects his kids.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Even in darkness when we feel all alone and vulnerable, God is with us and we can trust Him to console us and to save us from it. Why should we be overcome with the darkness of worry and dismay when people threaten us if we are doing God's will?

Psalm 56:10-11 In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word), 11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
God is the one who has said that we are of more value than many sparrows, of which He cares for. Even in persecution (which man does), he will not shake my trust in God. Isn't it God who promised a new body for the one who trusts in Christ?

Matthew 10:28-30 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
If I fear weak men who can harm me physically, I am placing my hope in the wrong place. Man has only a certain amount of power. God has power not only to kill but also to determine who goes to heaven or hell.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
If we have the Holy Spirit and walk obediently, we can live powerful, loving and self-controlled lives. Steve Gallager said in another lesson that, "As we learn to stay in constant communion with the Lord throughout the day and as we learn to crucify 'the flesh with its passions and desires' (Galatians 5:24), we begin to walk more and more in the Spirit."

Many who are dominated by fear see themselves as victims. As much as these people need compassion for their problem though, the fact is that fear has no hold on the person who isn't wrapped up in himself. A person who is truly putting God first in life and is more concerned with the welfare of others than he is about himself, is not going to be dominated by fear. Read 1 John 4:18 and explain in your own words what this means." There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
If we live in fear it is because we love little. That fact is unthinkable to most people. They can't stomach it and when told of it or reminded of their lack of love, they will vehemently deny it or suppress it, choosing not to examine their lives but rather to reassure themselves about how much they love others. The Apostle John said, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8.

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