Fear is a very powerful, motivating, and mobilizing emotion. It paralyzes us, robbing us of joy and diminishing our effectiveness for Christ. Fear keeps us from reclaiming our workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools for Christ. Fear keeps us from giving generously of ourselves to God and His work.
The Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). This kind of fear was originally given to us as a gift from God, that we might honor Him rightly and worship Him wholly. To exercise fear in its proper context is to render reverence to God.
Exchange your fear for faith in Almighty God.
However, when Satan succeeded in deceiving Adam and Eve, Satan twisted that gift into a curse, and the consequence of that perversion continues to affect us today. Instead of fearing God, we fear people; we fear failure; we fear the future; we fear death. Satan is constantly manipulating us to fear the wrong things.
Read Genesis 3:1-8. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they enjoyed unhindered fellowship with God. But after sin entered the picture, they became terrified of God and hid from Him. In the same way, when we disobey God—avoiding time with Him or going our own way—we fall prey to Satan's fear tactics. We begin living with anxiety and hopelessness instead of peace. But when we fellowship with God, fear takes its proper place. The gift of honoring God, revering Him, and being delighted in His presence is restored.
Living in constant fear affects our relationships, warps our view of reality, and distorts our view of God—and when our view of God is distorted, Satan jumps at the opportunity to keep us from approaching God for help. Our only way to escape the imprisonment of fear is faith—not just saving faith, but everyday faith.
Everyday faith is not simply positive thinking or sheer willpower. Everyday faith is moment-by-moment trust in the one who cares for you, who redeemed you, and who delivered you from eternal death.
Are there any areas of your life where you struggle to trust God? Whatever your fears may be, you can break free from them today. Every doubt that plagues your mind or haunts your heart—surrender it wholly to the Lord. Exchange your fear for faith in Almighty God. Fill your mind with His promises—and the spirit of fear will flee.
Prayer: Lord, I surrender these fears to You right now. For each fear I have, show me the Truth that You want me to focus on instead. Restore my trust in You alone. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:15).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Freedom from Fear: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW