"NO FEAR" PART 2
The Proper Place for Fear is “In the Hands of God”.
“Do not fear, [Do not “continue in a state of fear” when it comes]for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right HAND.” -Isaiah 41:10
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand [The hands of Jesus]. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. [The hands of the God the Father] I and the Father are one.”
Jesus said while he was on the cross;
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
When he had said this, he breathed his last.
There are four great motivators in life that have an effect on most people.
Faith, Hope, Love, Fear
Of these four which do you think is the greatest motivator?
For God, the answer is Love.
For Jesus, the answer is Love.
For All others (who are sinful) I think it may be Fear.
Remember that “Fear must never drive the car”.
We must never let fear take over the wheel.
We must not allow it in when it knocks on our door.
Think of yourself as an “Uber Driver”, a “Lyft Driver” or a “Taxi Driver”.
You have the option to let people into your car.
You can choose to take them for a ride or to deny them entrance.
You do not have to give them access to your vehicle.
The same thing goes with fear.
You don’t have to let it in.
If you let fear in (as a passenger) you can be sure that it will be Fear that will want to take you for a ride and not the other way around.
Fear will want to take the wheel or at least take over your GPS.
Fear will want to continually reroute you “away from” God, never “toward” Him.
He will want to take you backwards in areas of your life where you should not look or go back.
He will want to skip way forward into the future bypassing the present and missing the moment.
Fear will want to go where “it” wants to go and it wants to take you with it.
The only problem is, fear has no plan of ever getting out of your car or your life.
It is the unwanted guest, the one who never goes home.
Fear is the one who won’t leave your party.
It keeps hanging around and hanging around.
It doesn’t want YOU to take IT for a ride.
IT (Fear) wants to take YOU for a ride.
And where it wants to take you will never be a good place.
Are you in a “good place” in your life right now?
If not, what place, if any, has fear played in getting your there?
Note: Fear often plays some kind of role in “Driving” us to our bad place.
You may not even be fully aware of “how” you got there or “who” may have played a role in you getting there. But to be sure, fear played a role somehow.
Just a sidenote here.
Some people who want to appear fearless, make mistakes by not wanting others to think that they are afraid.
Fearless behaviors can often by motivated by fear itself.
If you are in a “good place” right now, then good.
But “Beware”, Fear wants to “Drive” you to one of those “not-so-good” places.
We all have some blind spots.
Blind spots are those areas in our lives where we may be deceived and not even know it.
That is in fact the very nature of deception.
Something is happening that we are not even aware of.
And if we are aware of it, we may be unaware of the reason why it may be happening.
If we were aware of what was happening and why, then by definition we would not be deceived.
We would be willingly and knowingly ignoring the facts.
Unless we knew and understood all things perfectly (and we don’t), we have no option other than to be deceived to a degree.
The Bible says that Satan is a liar and a deceiver, and a destroyer
“The devil… was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” -John 8:44
Satan will always try to pass as a counterfeit for God.
Ie. Eve in the Garden…
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” -Joshua 29:11
To use the Uber, Lyft, Taxi analogy, Satan will try to carjack this Joshua verse about God to apply to himself by simply inserting his name in for God’s.
Satan wants you to believe that “he” has plans for you that will always prosper you and will never really harm you and that will give you hope and a good future.
Satan hijacks Joshua 29:11
“For I [Your friend Satan] know the plans I have for you,’[as opposed to God’s plans which allow bad, undeserved things to happen to you.] declares the Lord, [Satan] ‘plans to prosper you [in all of the ways that you desire] and not to harm you, [like God does] plans to give you hope and a future.’” [Heaven on earth, not the false promise of a far-off future heaven with phony streets of gold. I want you to have all the gold right now. And if you do things my way says Satan, you’ll get it all now]
Satan plays into our basic fear that we are missing out on all the good parts of life.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
But you are not missing out on life.
Jesus is the “Resurrection and the life”
And he came to give you the “Fullness of life”.
“The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10
Fears don’t ADD, they TAKE AWAY from that “Fulness” that Jesus wants us to experience.
The analogy is not perfect, but it does reflect the realistic process of how people deal with fear.
Here is the process.
Don’t let UNhealthy Fear in your car in the first place.
If it is already there, kick it out.
If you think that you can’t kick it out, then at least don’t let it drive in the front seat, and certainly not in the driver’s seat (that is YOUR seat, it is your car/life).
That is the natural process I think that all people are all aware of.
This is about YOU taking control and determining the proper place for fear in your life.
The only problem is that fear is not a very good listener.
Remember that Fear wants to sit where it wants to sit.
While it will move around for awhile as you command it to, at the end of the day, it will always want the occupy your driver’s seat.
Dealing with fear is a never-ending process.
The only sure way that it will be properly contained is to
PUT IT IN GOD’S HANDS, to GIVE IT TO GOD.
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
PLACE YOUR FEARS IN THE HANDS OF GOD
Will you “hold on” to fear or will you let Jesus hold on to your Fear “for you”?
IF Fear is real (and it is) then think of it as needing a place to stay, a place to live, a place to hang out, etc.
If it is YOUR fear, then you have a right to tell it where to go.
Often when people hear the phrase, “Tell it where to go” they think of the word “hell”.
Since Unhealthy fears have their origin in Satan or from the pit of hell, shouldn’t we tell them to return back there.
The answer is actually “no”.
If we send them back to Satan or to hell, neither is a safe or healthy place for us.
We already know what Satan will do with them.
He will keep throwing them back at us.
He will keep recycling, repackaging, rebranding and rearranging Fear to reappear in your life to ruin it.
How to Give Your Fears to God
1. Identify possible Fears. [All possible fears]
Because we are carrying around fears that we are not even aware of.
2. Admit the Fear. (It is NOT weak to admit fears. If you have them, then they are real. If they are real, then to admit them is to simply admit reality. What is weak about admitting facts? Answer: Nothing.
Remember that God, “...did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” - 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear can be so deeply ingrained in our thinking that it has become a habit and is a natural response.
The good news is that like any other habit, we CAN develop new ones in place of the old.
“Do not be ANXIOUS 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7
Paul knew that Fear and Anxiety were intimately related.
He is not crazy and unrealistic when he wrote
“Do not be ANXIOUS anything”
Look at what he experienced.
“Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:24-28
I am not ashamed to say that if I experienced what Paul did, I would have experienced fear to go right along with it.
It would be natural.
The difference would be that I would have to
Do the right thing with the fear.
Like the bible says, “In your anger do not sin.”
Giving your fears to Jesus would be responding to a Bible verse if it said, in your fear, do not sin.”
The Bible does not say, do not experience anger or fear. It does say that when you do experience them, DO THE RIGHT THING WITH THEM!
With Fear, the right thing is to give it to God.
That is not weak, that is strong. That is not BEING “in denial”, that is real, that is honest.
It is not an issue of IF I am afraid, it is an issue of what will I do with that fear.
If I were Paul in the Bible, I would have experienced fear. I would have had to say to myself, “Self, do not continue to fear.”
The anticipation of the next whip that will land against the fleshy tissue of my back would bring about fear. Ouch! Anticipation of the first strike of the whip is enough. But imagine knowing that you would be whipped 38 more times.
Paul has as much experience as any of us with trials and tribulations. He’s had ample opportunity to be scared out of his mind and to work through fear and anxiety. He says himself that he deals with daily concern over all the churches he’s worked with. In light of all this, he also says, “...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” (Philippians 4:11-12)
The SECRET is to give it all to God.
This secret is simple. It is not complex.
The SECRET is that FEAR belongs in the hands of God - not ours.
It’s not that fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, etc. don’t exist, it's that they have to be put in their proper place.
Make Your Requests Known
God is never surprised about the way you feel.
He knows EVERYTHING about you down to the number of hairs on your head.
He doesn’t think your fears make you less of a Christian than anyone else.
But, he does want to hear from us.;
“...in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgivingpresent your requests to God.”
Here’s are some examples of what praying with thanksgiving might look like,
Dear Lord, thank you for the protection that we have with the roof over our head. It is good to feel safe. I am afraid because I don’t know how we’re going to pay the mortgage this month, but I know that you do. Please calm my fears, clear my vision and guide my actions. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
God, thank you Lord for my dad. He works so hard for our family. He brings me donuts on Saturday mornings, but he’s been drinking again and I’m scared. I don’t like how he acts when he has had too much. Please help him Lord and please keep mom and us safe. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
“Thank you Lord for the eighty years of blessings that you have given to me. I can not begin to count the blessings, because they feel countless to me. You have been so faithful. But after the Doctor’s diagnosis today, I am really scared. I’m scared to my children and grandchildren. I don’t know who will organize Thanksgiving or Christmas when I’m gone. I know you’re here with me., but I’m afraid that I won’t feel you here with me. Thank you for hearing me Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
As you pray through fear, trouble, adversity, etc. Look for God to come through foryou.
It will so often be in ways that we can’t logically explain,
“peace that transcends all understanding,”
Paul says he has learned the secret to being content in every situation he says,
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Even properly dealing with fear in your life.
“Do not fear, [Do not “continue fearing”] for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right HAND.” -Isaiah 41:10
Lord, thank you that you give us the strength to do all things with and through YOUR strength, even facing our fears.
Help us to develop new patterns of dealing with fears by giving them to you.
In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Word of Life Church
17525 W. Bell Rd.
Surprise, AZ 85374