Fear is a stronghold that paralyses a person. It’s defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil or pain whether the threat is real or imagined; an anxious feeling caused by one’s anticipation of some imagined event or experience; it’s also lack of faith. Fear is the absence of courage. It restricts us and our activities and replaces our peace with worry and anxiety. It clutters our spirits, and kills our dreams thus derailing our destinies.
We all feel afraid at some point in our lives. Even the greatest people in life have had to overcome fear at some point in their lives. Whether an imagination, anxiety or phobia, fear is a threat to every person. There are so many things that people fear ranging from death, failure, reality, separation, loss, rejection and even unknown.
While the fear of the Lord is healthy for us, it does not necessarily mean being afraid of God, rather it means having a reverence for God, respect for His power, glory and majesty. It means acknowledging Him for who He is, and giving Him the honour that is due to Him. The fear of the Lord produces life, security, protection from evil, confidence and satisfaction and it also births spiritual wisdom and knowledge. On the other hand, the fear that is harmful to a believer is borne out of lack of faith in God and it becomes a stronghold that paralyses a believer. To paralyse is to bring to a condition of helpless stoppage, inactivity or inability to act. This is the kind of fear that we need to deal with and overcome.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love ~ 1 John 4:18
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
I believe that one of the most repeated commands in the Bible is ‘Do not fear/be afraid’. It is easy for us to succumb to fear and the moment we allow it to take over our hearts and minds, it paralyses everything in our lives. Fear locks God out of our lives and plans; it causes us to lose focus and to depend on our own strength and efforts to make things work.
We can overcome this by gaining the right focus which is upwards in Christ Jesus. We don’t face our fears alone for He has promised that He will never leave or forsake us.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me ~ John 14:1
We must practice our faith not our experience, banking all our hopes in God entirely and depending fully on Him. Sometimes fear comes to us as demonic attacks and this means that we must be fully aware of the works of the enemy and wage war against Satan through prayer while using the name of Jesus in our battles.