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Rejecting Fear

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Fear often works to prevent us from walking in faith and trusting God. In this message by Pastor Mason Phillips, discover how fear works against you and how you can overcome it.


Rejecting Fear

Many people are familiar with the story of the Israelites in the Wilderness on the verge of the Promised Land. Moses had sent out 12 spies for 40 days to search the land and get not only a strategic picture of the landscape but to bring back verification of the description given by God.
As soon as the spies returned they showed the people the fruit of the land and described it as being exactly as God had said it would be — a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13:26-27).
Then they began to describe the people, their cities, and where they were located. They called the people strong and the cities large and fortified.
Sensing the effect of the other spies words on the people, Caleb interjected.
Numbers 13:30–14:3 NKJV
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” 1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”
In the face of the people’s distress two of the spies responded.
Numbers 14:6–10 NKJV
6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” 10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.
Ultimately, the people’s unwillingness to go into the Promised Land at command of the LORD led to a generation dying in the wilderness. Other than Joshua and Caleb, none of the spies and the adults of that time entered into the good thing that God had prepared for them.
What was the cause of their falling short of the glory of God?
What was the reason that they did not receive the promises of God?
What kept the people from hearing the testimony of faith and confirmation of God’s promises?
It was fear.

Fear Will Keep You Out

Fear will keep you out of the good things that God has planned and purposed from you. It will keep you from entering in and enjoying life. And God desires not that you are kept out from life, but that you would enter into it.
Deuteronomy 4:37–38 NKJV
37 And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.
God brought Israel out of the place of bondage so that He might bring them in to the place of promise. And God wants to do the same for us!
But their fear kept them from moving forward with God. The fear of their enemies and obstacles that they would face kept them from entering into the promised land.
In the parable of the talents, the third man did nothing with what his master had entrusted to him and instead buried his talent in the ground because he was afraid (Matthew 25:25).
Illustration: Story of the Navy SEAL who, on a covert mission, had to convince the hostages that they were trying to free them. The hostages had been there for months, in a dark and dingy room. The SEALs broke in the room and told them they were Americans there to free them. No one moved due to fear. They kept their eyes down and sunk low. The SEALs didn’t know what to do and couldn’t carry everyone out. One SEAL handed his rifle over to a squad mate and took off his helmet. He sat down in the midst of the hostages, close enough to touch them. He curling up and softened his face. (No guard would have done this). After a short time, some of them looked him in the face. He told them he was an American there to help and asked if they would come with him and the other SEALs. Eventually the hostages got up and the story ends with them all safe aboard an aircraft carrier. — Don Miller, Blue Like Jazz
Fear has the power to keep us in bondage and prevent us from walking in the freedom of Christ. Just like in this story, Jesus came down to us to walk with us and invite us to look past fear and trust Him for our freedom.
Fear will keep us out of God’s best for us, but trust will bring us in.
Trust in the Lord and in the power of His might to bring you into the good things He has promised. Follow His lead, heed His word, and boldly step forward in faith. You will see God move on your behalf!

Fear Will Keep You Down

Numbers 13:32–33 NKJV
32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
One of the things that fear will do is make you feel small. It will push you down.
In this story, the people thought that the giants saw them and considered them to be like grasshoppers. Because they thought that the giants thought they were grasshoppers this became their reality.
How often do we listen to and believe our fears? That voice that says you are not good enough, smart enough, wealthy enough, enough enough?
Those voices keep us from rising up doing the great works that God has appointed for us. They prevent us from becoming all that we were meant to be if we are unable to break free from them.
Illustration: Boot camp. Not believing you could do certain things like rappel off of a tower or hike for 12 miles with a 120 lb pack. The voice in your head saying, “no way.” But the other voice—that of the Drill Instructor—saying you can (and will). And you do.
When Gideon was hiding in the winepress due to the Midianites, God showed up to him and called him a “mighty man of valor” and told him to go up in his might and save Israel. Gideon responded and said that he was the least in his family and his family was in the weakest clan. He could not see how he would be able. God reminded him that He was with Him and He had chosen him (Judges 6:11-16).
Instead of listening to the voice of fear and seeing himself as small and weak and unable, Gideon eventually rose up in the strength of God’s declaration of who he was and who he was called to be. With God, Gideon was able to overthrow oppression and bring freedom to Israel and the people wanted to make him king (Judges 8:22).
Remember that you are who God says you are!

Fear Will Silence Faith

When the spies began to share their report, Caleb noticed that they were beginning to focus on the negative and that their talk was going to bring fear. So he spoke up and said that they were well able to overcome the obstacles and take possession of the land (Numbers 13:30)
But the other spies over talked him and the people became afraid and began to talk out against God and against the leaders that God had appointed.
Fear will always seek to silence faith. Fear wants to keep you from trusting God and the people that God has placed in your life for your good.
Illustration: “During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of Joseph Stalin. Once, as he censured Stalin in a public meeting, Khrushchev was interrupted by a shout from a heckler in the audience. “You were one of Stalin’s colleagues. Why didn’t you stop him?” “Who said that?” roared Khrushchev. An agonizing silence followed as nobody in the room dared move a muscle. Then Khrushchev replied quietly, “Now you know why.” — Today in the Word, July 13, 1993.
The devil goes around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). He wants to paralyze us with fear and silence our praise.
The world wants to shut down our testimony and make us afraid to declare what we believe.
But God is for us. And if God is for us there is no reason to be afraid. Now is the time to speak up and stand up and live up to the testimony of Christ. Now is the time to trust and believe and walk in faith like never before. Don’t let that toothless lion silence you with his threats. Don’t let the fear of others silence your voice and keep you from standing up for what is right and righteous. Don’t let fear keep you from proclaiming the praises of God and the truth of His word. People will be healed, delivered, set free, and saved when God’s people will rise up in faith and speak the truth in love (Romans 10:14-17, Ephesians 4:15).


Fear is not from God.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
God gives us power and love and self-control so that we can overcome fear and walk in our purpose.
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
If you are tempted to give in to fear today, reject it. Don’t take what the Lord is not offering you. Instead, know that God—your God—is with you. He will strengthen you and help you and uphold you.
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