The Tyranny of Fear

FearPaul wrote to one of his disciples, Timothy, that “God does not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of self-control [or of a sound mind].” 2 Timothy 1:7. With this, God shows us that fear is in direct opposition to real power, true love, and self-control. They are at war one with another. And fear thwarts faith.

Do you have fear in your life? What makes you afraid? Have you ever stopped and asked God what makes you afraid?

Are you afraid that you won’t have the money to pay your bills if you quit your job?

Are you scared that your husband might cheat on you?

Are you fearful that your child might try drugs?

Does the thought of flying bring shivers to your spine?

I’ve found that when fear enters into my heart I become less able to make sound decisions. If I am afraid of not having money, and that fear drives my employment decisions, then I won’t listen to God when He shows me that I am missing His call in my life or that my job is ruining my marriage or interfering with my ability to raise my children.

If I am always afraid that my child is going to mess up big time, I won’t be loving and gracious toward him or her, and will so try to control his or her life that they will end up being driven away from me rather than drawn to me because of my unconditional love for them.

If I am suspicious of my spouse, how will that come out in my actions? Will it enable me to be trusting, loving, kind, and respectful? Or will they begin to fear that I’m a paranoid and lose trust and respect in me, making the circle of fear and hate continue to spiral out of control?

How does fear impact my ability to obey God’s direction in my life – things like loving others, giving my money away, being hospitable, going the extra mile, respecting my husband, loving my wife, going to make disciples of the nations, leaving my mother and father and cleaving to my spouse, and so many others?

If you have any fear in your life, other than the fear of God, it will tyrannize your life. You lose power, lack love, and try to control everything rather than exercise self-control. That is why God says the following:

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

So, fear not (almost always God’s messengers first words to humans), and trust in the Lord with all your heart, loving Him with all you’ve got, and loving others as you love yourself. And the God of peace will be with you. Amen!

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