Faithlife Sermons


Fear  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Bob Woods, in Pulpit Digest, tells the story of a couple who took their son, 11, and daughter, 7, to Carlsbad Caverns. As always, when the tour reached the deepest point in the cavern, the guide turned off all the lights to dramatize how completely dark and silent it is below the earth’s surface. The little girl, suddenly enveloped in utter darkness, was frightened and began to cry. Immediately was heard the voice of her brother: “Don’t cry. Somebody here knows how to turn on the lights.”

Fear can take many forms. Fear can stop us in our tracks or propels us forward. Many of us have amazing callings waiting to be developed. The bible tells us that we have a calling before we were born and that our name echoed through time when God breathed us into life, but yet still many of us continually run in fear.
However, one cannot fear when enthroned in the power of God. Ungodly fear is nothing more than the belief that god hasn’t the power or ability to keep you where he called you.
Billy Graham states that Anxiety (fear) is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.
If we are honest we could state that fear reveals our trust. The bible says
Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The term anxious comes from the Greek word merimnao (mardynow) which means to care for, concern with, anxiety over or fear of. It’s usually used in situations or in which God has asked us to leave our comfort zones.
If you’re like me when faced with a situation outside of my control I began my fear management protocol. I am a numbers guy so I begin to calculate, asses, and strategize my way out of things—I am learning, but in the past this planning meeting I have with myself is often ended before allow God into the meeting room.
We cannot simply take a complete hands off approach as I preached last week that many Christians find themselves delaying in the prayer closet when God has released them into the battle field. Although I have found the adverse to be true as well. Whenever we are afraid of the battlefield put in front of us we often begin to wonder looking for easier fields to tackle. This often leaves us frustrated because although we may receive victory in that battle we find that at the end of the day we only delay the journey put in front of us still awaits our arrival.
You are not alone
The biggest lie we embrace when we confronted with fear is that you’re alone. However realizing everyone experiences fear singles us out and separates us from the pack. This stops us from opening up about our fear and embracing truth that will ultimately challenge the fear we feel.
One of the biggest steps of overcoming fear is identifying it. You may say well duh. I know what I fear, but what I have found is that what I fear isn’t always connected to what I am truly afraid of.
For example I may fear sharing my faith with other people. The fear may really have nothing to do with fear of the gospel. You could be afraid of starting conversations. You could be afraid of rejections. Or fear may have nothing to do with it and it turns out fear is the excuse of laziness. When we stop to identify why we are afraid we are better able to confront it. Remember it’s important when attacking something that we pinpoint the problem instead of aiming at everything.
Another thing to realize is that your fear isn’t driven by the physical, but rather the spiritual. You’re sense may tell you to be afraid of a person or being home alone, but when you begin to reduce the noise many people fear death, rape, or emotional damge over the person who is threatening them.
We see this spelled out in 1 Samuel chapters 18 and 19. David just came back from war. People start rejoicing. Saul is the picture of most salty Christians. See Saul stayed home from war and expected higher praise than the men who earned the victory. People began celebrating the warriors, the best warrior—king David, Saul killed his thousands David his ten thousands. Upon hearing these words Saul receives a tormenting spirit. Saul calls David to play the harp, to bring Saul into worship. During this worship experience Saul is playing with his spear.
Have you ever walked into a room and felt the tension in the air. The tension is so thick it could be cut with a knife. I could imagine David trying to get into worship. Hey maybe you’re experiencing this today. 1,000 things cluttering your mind fears and anxieties on every corner. You’re trying to worship but there seems to be a road block. David fervently plays his harp. I can imagine his eyes closed trying not to focus on the dangers that are staring him down. In the middle of the worship service Saul hurls a spear at David. A once terrifying battle guru misses a sitting duck. The harp isn’t a mobile instrument. The hand of God’s protection is all over him, but he still runs in fear.
What I have found is that my fear derives over not the action, but rather that God cannot guard their heart from pain. Somehow I believed that I could go through anything and God would get me through it, but that somehow he would fail my daughters or wife. It’s human nature as a man or women to want to protect those entrusted to you. It’s not healthy to lose sleep over things that may not happen or that God couldn’t get them through. Now understand there still isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do to protect my family. But even those moments where I am or feel helpless to protect them I no longer fear helplessness. I was able to pinpoint the target of my fear and align it with scripture.
You’re seeing miracles all around but your focus is on the threat. God’s provision is sustaining you, but your David takes off. Runs home to hide, maybe Saul’s anger will pass, Maybe he went there to pack a suitcase, Maybe David is terrible at hide and seek. David’s at home and his wife tells him…uh honey, there are guards surrounding my house. Honey, the creditors are calling, the kids won’t stop fighting, there is danger on every side.
Satan has this uncanny ability to mask the truth. We scream and yell at demons we don’t have because we haven’t taken the time to truely identify the actual target.
Psalm 59:1–5 ESV
Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me; deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For behold, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord, for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Awake, come to meet me, and see! You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah
I’m trapped God. I don’t see a way out. I’m scared, I’m lonely, I don’t have a plan. I exhausted all my resources. My funds are depleted. I know you have plans for me. You anointed me as king. You’re calling put a target on my back. I want to do your will, but you made me a bright red punching bag for the enemy.
V9. For God is my defense.
Defense= high fortress. an un reachable place for the enemy of the protected. All during David’s run—the enemy surrounded him. He was in their camp, in the same cave. and Yet despite all the trouble, all the fear, all the unanswered prayers God kept David safe and David continued in obedience.
But the key lies in v11-13.
God defend me but don’t kill them. Scatter them so they will forever remember YOUR strength. If you use me to kill them I’ll get the glory, but by your strength scatter them so it’s forever remembered.
Psalm 59:13 ESV
consume them in wrath; consume them till they are no more, that they may know that God rules over Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah
That they may know you rule.
David set this pattern in his life talking with God, living with God, keeping his eyes on God. This pattern of emersing himself in God is what kept him from backsliding. When our prayer life isn’t focused on what God can do for you, but rather the working of the plan of God fear has no hold on you.
We get lost when we make things personal. Prayers centered around me bring the focus on me. Prayers centered around God bring the focus on God. Fear is the eyes. You are either afraid of what you see—Or afraid of what you don’t see. Eyes fixed on God cannot be filled with fear. Did David worry. Yes read the Psalms. But the difference between worrying and debilitating fear is our focus.
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