Gotta love my grammar, right? I preached a 3-week series called “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”. Today, I talked about something love has nothing to do with – fear. First John 4:18 says that perfect love casts out fear.
We all are afraid of something. It may be strange like the fear of hair, bathing, or peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. For most of us, these fears are more like the fear of what others think of us, the fear of failure, or the fear of being lonely. Fear is a natural response of the flesh, but it is not a discipline of the Spirit.
- Fear is not from God (2 Timothy 1:7). God has not given us the spirit of fear. The devil is ultimately behind it, but we have some responsibility in choosing to operate continually in fear.
- Fear is not rooted in faith. It is the opposite of trust. Furthermore, it is a misplace of trust. We begin to trust in our circumstances rather than in the God who is in control over our circumstances.
- Fear is not rooted in facts. These facts are the promises of God. We are promised God’s presence, yet we feel like He has left us alone. He has promised to fight for us, yet we try to do things in our own strength. He has promised to provide, yet we try to help Him out with credit cards, loans, and more extreme measures. Fear is not rooted in the promises of God.
- Fear is rooted in improper focus. Matthew 14 illustrates this well. Jesus was walking on the water. Simon Peter says, “Lord, if it’s You, ask me to come out onto the water.” Of course Jesus was going to take him up on the offer. Peter walks on the water until his focus becomes improper. When Peter takes his eyes off Jesus, he sinks. When we focus on Jesus, our fears become lost in Him.
- Fear is rooted in feelings. We are emotional beings who often allow our emotions to overrule. Sheryl Crow sang, “If it makes you happy, then why…are you so sad?”. When we live by feelings, we are never fulfilled.
- Fear is a trap. Proverbs 29:25 calls it a “snare”. Fear causes stagnation because we never take risks. Fear makes us lose self-confidence because we ultimately do not think we can do anything even with God’s power. It makes us pessimistic, always expecting the worst.
- Fear should be a part of our past. Notice what Romans 8:15 says: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’.” When you and I entered a relationship with Christ, God did not give us the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Fear should have no place in the life of the child of God, yet we have to fight it daily.
Fear is a choice. We do not have to worry and fear, yet we choose to do so. What are your fears? Are you willing to replace your fear with faith and proper focus on Jesus? Today is your day to be set free!