Some people believe that fear can be a healthy emotion, and that it’s even responsible for us to have little dose of it to keep us living within cautious, reasonable boundaries. But that’s not God’s will for us. According to the Word, fear is a spirit that is relentless in its intent to keep us in bondage, paralyse our faith, and stop us from experiencing fullness of life.
Since we know fear is our enemy, the Bible teaches us how to practically refuse and overcome it so we don’t have to be bound by its destructive power. Fear will always bring bondage, torment and oppression; but if we establish ourselves in God’s Word, we will be equipped to refuse it and keep it out of our lives!
Did you know that God has given us spiritual equipment of an entirely different nature than fear - according to 2 Timothy 1:7, He has given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind to combat it!
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
We can refuse fear by taking a hold of any negative thought or emotion and pulling them in line with God’s Word! When we bring our souls into submission to God’s Word, we actually do what the Bible calls, “establish ourselves in righteousness”, which is exactly what causes us to overcome!
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to Establish Ourselves in Righteousness.
Take a look at what Isaiah 54:14 says, “You shall establish yourself in righteousness (rightness, in conformity with God’s will and order): you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you.”
In the New Covenant we have in Christ Jesus, we have been made the righteousness of God. This means it’s now our nature and expected behavior to constantly know and be aware of what God’s Word says about Himself, and to live in Him and His ways.
When we are established in these truths, we are established in righteousness and, according to the Word, will be able to resist and refuse fear! In fact, when we get into the habit of establishing ourselves in God’s thoughts and ways - the Word says we will be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, because we will not fear!
Just on a quick side note, the word oppression means removing the power from someone being able to control their own future. Fear says we are bound to destruction and hopelessness, where God’s Word says we are bound to life and victory in Him. We don’t have to settle for what the devil dictates, he doesn’t have the power to oppress us, unless we give it to him - by yielding to fear.
In today’s letter, we are taking a look at one of the foundational truths, found in God’s Word, we must establish ourselves in order to refuse fear:
We must know and believe the love God has for us.
1 John 4:16-18 says, “And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
We can know and believe God’s love for us when we continuously spend time learning about Him in His Word. The Holy Spirit makes that truth alive in our hearts and begins to reveal the true nature of God to us in a most intimate way. Our hearts literally swell with the love God pours into us (Romans 5:5).
That love produces a deep sense of trust in us towards Him, and His Word. When His character and promises become more real to us than our troubles, fear looses its power and is literally driven out.
Take a look at how this happened to Jesus’ disciples when they were faced with fear:
John 20:19-20, “Then on that same first day of the week, when it was evening, though the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace to you!
So saying, He showed them His hands and His side. And when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy (delight, exultation, ecstasy, rapture).”
Did you notice how Jesus responded to the disciples when they were fearful, He came and stood among them. God is not distant from you when you go through trouble. He promises that He is with you, and insists that you realize and recognize that He is your peace and your refuge.
It’s time to settle in your mind once and for all that God loves you with an unfailing, never ending love. He is for you, and completely dependable and faithful to you. You don’t have to worry about Him turning His back on you, or leaving you desperate and alone. You can trust Him with your life.
In John 15:9, Jesus says He loves us, as much as the Father loves Him, and He invites us to continue in that love with Him. “I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me].”
In John 16:27 He says, “For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father.”
In Isaiah 38:17, we see how powerful God’s love for us is. “...You have loved back my life from the pit of corruption and nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.”
His promise in Jeremiah 31:3 stands true for us, “...I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.”
Spend time meditating on these scriptures that speak the truth concerning God’s love for you. Let them fill your thoughts throughout the day, and meditate on them before you go to sleep at night. They will begin to dominate the way you see yourself in God’s eyes.
The moment a negative, fearful thought comes into your mind, vying for your attention, it will hold no ground in your heart or mind. Since you are more convinced of God’s love and care for you than what that negative thought has to say, it has nothing to latch onto and it’s power over you is gone.
Now you can confidently find refuge in the truth you’ve become establish in, and refuse even the thought of fear.
In the next letter we’ll learn how knowing God’s love for us hardens us to difficulties and secures us in a place of complete dependency on Him.
All my love,