In the times in which we are living; a time with the world’s economy falling apart and with wars and uprisings on just about every continent, it’s no wonder so many people are living in fear. I really believe that fear and the stress that comes with it is one of the leading causes, if not the leading cause of sickness and disease today. Scripture even says in Luke 21:26 that men’s hearts will fail them for fear, and for looking toward those things, which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Job 3:25 says what I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. In both of these instances things happened to people because they were afraid. In the one instance people’s hearts failed, and in the other instance, well, we all know what happened with Job. He lost his kids, livestock, pretty much everything except his life, oh yea, and his wife. But even she was trying to convince him to curse God and die. Anyway, fear was a major issue back then, and is even more of an issue now. Because fear and anxiety seem to be playing such an important role in the lives of men and women today, even Christians, it is imperative that we gain understanding as to what fear is, how we as Christians are to address it, and how to overcome it.
Fear is an unpleasant emotion like dread, fright, and apprehension that manifests as an expression of ones belief (or faith) that someone or something else has a greater ability to influence their circumstance than God.
Once while teaching on fear in a conference the Lord gave me a vision of how fear influences people. I saw all the people as puppets with strings attached at one end to the peoples feet, legs, arms and hands, while the other ends of the strings were attached to the word ‘FEAR’ that was suspended above their heads. Fear was pulling the strings attached to the individuals and by doing so controlled their actions. One way this is demonstrated in the natural is in the fight or flight response. When you are confronted with a fearful event your body will react by either fighting to rid yourself of the threat or by running away, that is what is meant by fight or flight. This is shown spiritually when you are presented with the opportunity to pray for someone who is injured or sick on the street or in the store. Fear will grip you and cause doubt to enter your mind. It will say something like, “If you go over there and pray for them nothing will happen and you’ll look like a fool!” At that point you have two choices. One is to go and pray for the sick (fight), the other is to walk away (flight). If you pray for them you are declaring that God’s word, which says we will lay hands on the sick and they will recover, is true and greater than fear. If you walk away you’re saying that fear and the lies it tells are truer than the Word of God. By walking away and giving into fear, you have just made fear the potter in your life instead of the only One who is to be the potter, God. That may sound a little harsh but sometimes the truth is harsh, even when spoken in love. In cases where the threat is not imminent like being attacked physically, or praying for the sick, but more like being fearful of losing a job or getting sick, your body will react by becoming anxious or stressed. Many times this stress and anxiety will cause you to make irrational or unwise decisions in order to get free of the perceived threat. As Christians however, we are not called to live in fear or even allow fear to have a say in our lives; we are called to live in His love, since He is love, and to become love. As He is so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has to do with punishment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. (1John 4:18)
Like we mentioned above, God is love and when we have a revelation of His perfect, unconditional love, we understand that there is no way He will let us down. There is no way He won’t do whatever it takes to meet our needs, if we will just allow Him. We will believe Him above anything else because we gained an understanding of His true nature, we know who He really is.