walk in the word
12So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” —Romans 8:12-15
This is helpful to me: “Fear is the opposite of all that Christianity is to be.” Romans 8:15 says, “You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear” (nkjv). Paul told Timothy, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Unless you fear God—that’s a completely different thing; the fear of God is a good thing—but unless you’re fearing God, anything else, any other kind of fear, has no place in the life of a believer.
What do we fear that as believers we need to stop fearing? Well in one word, we fear the future. No one’s afraid of the past. The past has other problems. And no one’s really afraid of the present. We can be upset about the present, but we don’t fear it because we know it. Fear involves the future—the unknown.
Now here are two main categories of what we fear about the future: we fear loss and we fear pain. First, we fear loss of people: “Will my husband always love me?” “Will this treasured friendship last?” “Will I lose my kids?” We also fear loss of possessions: “Yes, I’m fine today, but will I always have enough?” “Will I lose my house?” “Will the kids have enough money for college?” And we fear loss of position: “I’m in over my head?” and “People don’t believe in me,” and “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to have this job.”
Secondly, we fear pain. In fact, we very often cause ourselves a lot more pain than we would ever experience in our attempts to avoid pain. We fear physical pain as well as the emotional pain of rejection or failure: “How will I be hurt today?” “Will growing old be painful?” “When hardship comes, can I count on anyone?” These are all fears that can immobilize.
We’re paying a heavy price for fear. Every time God says, “Don’t,” He means, “Don’t hurt yourself.” So when God says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isa 43:1b), we need to firmly declare that truth against any fear that comes against us.
Prayer: Almighty Father, I want to pray with David, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). I realize that fears will come. It’s what I do when they come that will make the difference. And I want to trust You in the face of fear. Remind me to exercise my freedom in You, to declare fears unacceptable in my life. In Jesus’ fear-dispelling name, Amen.
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