The Bible shows that Fear is a major issue in human experience. So it crops up in our lives in many ways and ends up being called many different things. Fear, by any other name, is still fear. And, wonderfully, fear is something God is happy to set us free from.
So whatever you call your fear, let this message encourage you to be set free by the Love of God.
Let’s start with the good news, that God sets us free from fear.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1John 4:18
“You did not receive the spirit of bondage to fear; but you received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Daddy, Father.” Romans 8:15
“God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2Timothy 1:7
“If the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be completely free.” John 8:36
With those lovely assurances we realise that fear is not something to be afraid of. Fear is a nasty problem and it can mess with people for the whole of their lives, but it is an enemy that can be defeated and God is ready to set us free.
Recently I faced a set back where some resources I was looking forward to evaporated. What I hoped for failed to come and I found myself feeling quite unsettled in the pit of my stomach. I wasn’t in danger of losing anything I had, but I still felt very queasy in my gut.
I asked God to reveal to me what made me feel so bad. Obviously something was coming to light that probably needed to be dealt with. If I was completely free on the inside, full of faith and living in the love of God I would not have been feeling uncomfortable. I wanted to know what I needed to be set free from.
I realised that what disturbed me was that I wanted those new resources to give me a greater sense of security. My life is fine, but with added resources I would be even more insulated against financial challenges or feeling I was limited in my choices.
If I was secretly hoping for greater security, then my problem was ‘insecurity’. I was obviously not finding my complete security in God, but hoping for natural resources to boost my sense of being secure.
I repented of my concern and of looking to natural things to be to me what God is meant to be. I then prayed against the insecurity and confessed that my God is more than able to meet all my needs and see me through life with His blessing on all I do.
When I shared that experience with a friend he replied, “Fear has many names, doesn’t it?”
Until then I had not labelled my insecurity as ‘fear’, but that is exactly what it is. Fear does have many names.
Fear is a serious issue because it enslaves us, for the whole of our lives. And it torments us, agitating our thoughts and emotions (like that deep queasy feeling in my stomach).
Jesus came to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:15
“Fear has torment.” 1John 4:18
God is ready to set you free from fear, so let’s not pretend we don’t have any. You may have labelled your fear as concern, discomfort, being cautious, being sensible, insecurity, agitation, worry, being unsettled, playing safe, anxiety, not wanting to offend, tension, or a bunch of other things.
Fear is when you are unsettled about the danger of unwanted outcomes. That includes losing what you have or missing out on what you want. It involves all those things that make you anxious. It involves all those things that you could worry about and which would take away your peace of mind. It includes all those things that trap you in protective behaviours, defensive responses, and so on.
Look at what the Bible says about how free your mind and heart are to be, when you are free from fear.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” Colossians 3:15
If ever you feel anxious, or agitated, tense, or concerned how things might work out, recognise what you are dealing with. It is Fear. Whatever other name you prefer to call it, face the fact that you are troubled by fear. And then recognise the good news. God’s love will free you from fear.
Tell God what you are afraid of and ask God to be your security and protection. Repent of allowing fear into your heart and of looking to natural things to protect you. Put your trust in God and fall into God’s loving arms, letting Him take care of all those things that haunt you with fear. Then you can resist the fear, like you would resist the devil, telling it to get out of your heart and mind, confessing that you have put your trust in God.
And may the Lord bring you full and free release from Fear – by all its many names.