Knowing and Owning Fear

fear

Fear has the ability to stop you in your tracks.  Uncombatted, and allowed to entrench, a given fear can eventually absolutely own you.  Fear of height paralyzes the physical and mental ability of some men, even creating a physical pain that penetrates down into their abdomen when they approach a ledge or even see someone do so.  Similarly, fear of battle or even the mere sight of another person being physically harmed may create similar physical pain to run through some men and send the mental control into a frenzy of panic.  These are fears created either through our sight or vision, or fears created by physical pain and reoccurring through deep-seated, mentally-stamped memories.  These are physical fears that disrupt physical and mental abilities and steal God-given potential.

Fears may also come suddenly, seemingly through the air, through a spirit that introduces a thought.  Consider the thought that invades suddenly as your teenager gets in their car to drive away for the first time.  The fear-induced thought that says you may never see them again; that they may get in a tragic wreck.  Or the fear that you may lose your job and not be able to support your family.  Or the fear that that pain in your side or head is cancer.  These fears are not physical, but they can be crippling none the less.  Just like how a fear of heights or battle can shoot pain down into your physical core, these spirits of fear are meant to paralyze your inner spirit, to steal hope and vision and extinguish faith, and supplant all with fear.  And given a place to root, they will set in and steal your ability to hope, dream, persevere, and advance.  These are the most dangerous fears.  Fears based in a deep lie that once set in, leave the mind’s door open to additional fears of inadequacy and attacks of doubt.  The downstream result, either coming in a slow fade or a quicker depression or death spiral, is a minimized man, worse a critical spirit that crushes other souls, or in maturity, a spirit of suicide.

Fear is a spiritual weapon.  It is a weapon against the truth of God’s sovereignty.  God alone creates, designs, and purposes for good.  He alone is good (there is NONE other; so, says the only one Worthy—Jesus – Mark 10:18).  All these fears, the physical and the spiritual, are seated in the lie that God is not enough; that He is not your Promoter, Protector, Healer or Provider.  These fears are seated in a lie as old as the Garden of Eden.  The devil’s original lie (Genesis 3:1-4).  The lie that says that God’s word is not true.

But consider who God is.  He is above all (Colossians 1:16-17).  He controls all. He can bestow great favor.  He can exhibit great wrath.  He knew you before He knit you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5).  He knows your time and He know your days.  He plants you in an area, assigns you a territory, and sanctifies through trial.   Even the devil takes his authority from God and cannot harm God’s chosen without permission (Job 1-2).  And after considering rightly who He is, write it down on the walls of your heart, impress it on your spirit, and make its truth the absolute and only sieve of your mind.  Conventional wisdom says some level of fear is healthy, i.e. it keeps you aware and safe; like a child’s fear of being run over keeps it from playing in the road, etc.   This conventional worldly wisdom compromises God’s Truth as the only sieve.  Fear God only; replace all worldly fear with absolute unyielding faith in God.

Fear has a face; a smooth, deceitful face with lying lips.  But faith, the opposite of fear, has a name.  God’s word is named Jesus (John 1:1) and that name is above (in authority over; Philippians 2:9) all other names!  The Bible repeatedly says God’s people are not to fear. They are not to fear man or circumstance or authority.  They are to fear God alone.  They are to respect authority (because God has placed it there); but they are to serve God only.

The truth is that fear, left unchecked, can own us.  It can limit us greatly from accomplishing what God has designed us to accomplish in the area He has placed us.  Can fear be conquered?  Absolutely! Can we walk through fire, or survive a den of lions, or face battles against all odds, or face physical death on a cross and then face the demons of death and the grave? Absolutely.  But it must be faced, and faced at increasing deeper levels, until it is ‘owned’.  It is owned when the Truth is firmly and irreversibly seated in your spirit and your mind is fully renewed by the Holy Spirit. Mighty men of God have faced fear, been sifted, and been found faithful even as they found God to be faithful.

Even today, decrease your fear.  Increase your faith.  Prove it out at a higher level in the face of fear and seek to see if He truly is your provider and protector and restorer.  King David did (Psalms 23), “Yea though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no…”  and in the end, many valleys later, the same man of God testified, “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18).  In your last days, what will your testimony be? Will you have joined the battle and faced the fears, and KNOW and have proved out the Truth?  Will you have owned fear? Or will it have owned you? Fear NOT!

Derek Dougherty

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