Remember when you were a kid and the craziest things creeped you out. Maybe it was a story that someone told you that made you think that there might actually be a wild man with an axe in the woods behind your house. Or maybe it was something you read or watched something about crazed little dolls coming to life in your bedroom and attacking you.
What are somethings that were afraid of when you were kid?
There were a few things that scared me to death when I was a kid. Clowns being one of them. When I was in kindergarden I actually remember a clown coming to our school and I was freaking out! I was hurling insults at the poor guy that came to do some tricks for us saying he was ugly and that I hated him because I was terrified of clowns.
Then there was this show on Nickelodeon. It scared me to death. I actually found a clip of it on YouTube. Check it out.
“Are You Afraid of the Dark?” (Intro)
What were they thinking?! The intro still scares me!!
Now, I’m not really scared of the dark anymore BUT I am scared of the dark if I’m walking into an empty house and feel like there could possibly be someone lurking in the shadows waiting for me.
Is it just me or are you the same way sometimes?
STORY: Killer in the Closet
The other day we got a call that our alarm had gone off at home. When we got there, the door from our garage into our house was cracked open. I doubted that someone was actually in the house but I wanted to take some precaution so I did what anyone else would do...I unscrewed the broom stick from the base that we had in our garage and I went in the house ready to swing. I was searching the house for the uninvited guests, pulling open room doors with authority, slamming open shower curtains. Then it dawned on me...the closets. The place where monsters hid when I was little was now the chosen hideout of infidel intruders. And so with great force I swung open the closet door and something lunged out at me and I jumped back ready to swing and quickly realized it was my wife’s shoe rack that hangs inside the door of her closet. Because I pulled the door open so fast it flew off the door...luckily no one was around to see it.
STORY: KILLER in the HALLWAY
Then there was this time when I was living alone in Cincinnati, in the this little apartment in the ghetto where I would pretty much on a daily bases have strange people walking up to me asking for money and all kinds of stuff so when I would go home at night I would automatically be on edge. Well one night I came home and realized I had left the door unlocked. Not good. Walking in I moved very slowly...then I looked to my left down the hall towards my bedroom and there was the image of man...I flipped out yelled, jumped back look again and realized in was my reflection in the mirror that hung on the door.
- The first question we have to answer tonight is WHERE does fear
Fear comes from misplaced faith.
If you have more confidence in the worst of circumstances coming about than in God’s authority over your circumstances, your faith is misplaced.
Your misplaced faith inflates your fear.
Maybe you’re in a situation right now that is heavy and feels hopeless and it keeps you awake at night worrying and all you can see happening is the worst case scenario. You are inflating the power of fear in your life when you should be activating your faith in God.
2. The next question is WHAT do you fear?
We are actually born with only 2 natural fears.
- The fear of falling
- The fear of loud noises.
All other fears are acquired as we grow older. Some of the fears that we may deal with now are:
The fear of failure.
You are afraid to ever take action, pursue dreams, develop relationships with people , to exert effort and really try in these areas because you believe that you can’t. You believe you’ll fail. That things just won’t work out.
The fear of the unknown.
You are afraid of the future. You worry about all the different scenario’s that could come about in your life that would lead to more unknowns or to heartache or disappointment. You have great need for future security and you can’t get that now because you don’t know the future, so your present is stolen by your tomorrow and you live anxious and fearful.
The fear of loss.
You are afraid you’ll lose family members physically or spiritually. You’re afraid to lose money, or your image or reputation.
The fear of success.
Maybe you’re afraid of actually being successful because you know it will lead to more responsibility. And you’d rather just live mediocre because you don’t want life to get too complicated so you constantly cop out and allow fear to paralyze you.
The fear of rejection.
You’re afraid that you won’t be accepted by certain people. That you are unlovable and not worth anyone’s time and you fear that people are always judging you and making opinions and talking about you.
Maybe you’re dealing with some of these fears and all his friends, like worry and anxiety, depression and insecurity. And here’s what fear does:
Fear shows you where you trust God the least.
- Craig Groschel
If you fear rejection you haven’t trusted in God’s acceptance of you and his favor over you in winning with people. If you fear success you haven’t trusted in God’s ability to sustain you through every season of your life. If you fear loss you don’t really believe that God is more than enough. If you fear the unknown you don’t trust that God has a plan, hope and a future and that you’re not in control of any of it. If you fear failure you don’t believe that God has enough grace to see you through, to hold you up, and put you back on your feet.
God had not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.
// 2 Timothy 1:7
New International Version (NIV)
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.[b] A song.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
We must realize that through Christ we have the power to disarm our fear, to disengage from our worry, and to be free from anxiety.
- What does fear DO?
Fear fights for territory in your mind...
It puts thoughts in your mind that undermine your faith. It suppresses your joy. It immobilizes you. It paralyzes you. It talks you into inaction. It steals your future. It dictates your destiny.
Worry is not a camera. It’s a dark room.
- Richard Lisher
Because worry is the place where the negatives are developed.
4. HOW do we overcome fear?
We overcome fear through unwavering faith in Jesus.
While fear fights for territory in our mind, faith empowers God to reign in and over our thoughts.
The first thing we must do is learn to take our thoughts captive.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
// 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
The things that you worry about are the things you have not relinquished trust and control to God. And here’s the reality, you cannot trust God and hold onto fear.
Look at Isaiah 12:2:
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation.
// Isaiah 12:2
So whenever thoughts attack your mind that tear down your trust in God and fuel your fear you have to take those thoughts captive.
Trust and do not fear!
You take thoughts captive by thinking on the good things.
Check this out:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
// Philippians 4:8
I love how the message says it:
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
When you think on these things you build you faith and allow the spirit to help you fight the battle in your mind, defeating fear.
Where faith is present, fear is absent.
You also disarm fear when you arm yourself with the Word of God.
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 118:6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
You disarm fear when you arm yourself with the Word of God.
We can also overcome fear when we seek God.
Look at what David said:
I sought God and he answered and he delivered me my from all of my fear.
// Psalm 34:4
When we seek God, everything else is put into perspective.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
// Philippians 4:6-7
God is watching over your life. You can trust and not be afraid.
For God's Renown
*There is also an audio link that has me teaching this message live available for download!
Check it out: