Before you read this article, I want you to stop and take a quick inventory of your life. Are there areas of it in which the devil seems to be running rampant? Are there situations that seem to be continually cursed instead of blessed?
If so, the subject I’m about to address is almost surely at the root of those problems. You may not have recognized it yet, but it is there. I’m talking about the force of fear.
I believe no other single factor has more impact on our success or failure than our ability to handle the force of fear. Fear is a deadly, deadly, deadly thing – and it is much more prevalent than many people realize.
The fact is, we live in a culture that thrives on fear. It permeates every facet of our society.
Think about it. From earliest childhood Satan begins subtly programming us to live in fear. He introduces fear into our relationships. He hounds us with fears of being rejected, scorned, or abandoned. As a result, many of us – Christians included – never talk openly with anyone. Instead, we guard the precious secrets of our hearts, terrified that if we reveal them to someone, they’ll laugh at us or trample our feelings underfoot.
Fear also affects our attitude toward material possessions. Take a look at the way we handle our money. All too often, it is fear that shapes the way we invest it, the way we spend it, and the way we treat other people who might need some of it. The fear of poverty is a powerful stronghold in many a life.
There’s no doubt about it: fear is a prevalent, powerful and deadly force. It’s deadly because it’s a perversion of faith. To fear is actually to have faith in negative circumstances rather than faith in God’s Word. It’s having faith in the devil’s power to harm you rather than in God’s promise to protect you.
Just as surely as faith moves the hand of God, fear moves the hand of the devil. Just as God must have the vehicle of faith to bring blessings into your life, the enemy must have the vehicle of fear to bring curses into your life.
As a Christian, you cannot afford to be complacent about fear. You must identify it and conquer it, or it will destroy you.
One thing you can to do rid yourself of that destructive force of fear is “get mad.”
That’s what David did in 1 Samuel, chapter 17. Fear had put the whole army of Israel into paralysis. They feared Goliath so much, they couldn’t move. Verse ten tells us that he taunted them saying, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”
“When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine,” The Word says, “They were dismayed and greatly afraid.” But when David heard about the situation, he didn’t faint with fear. He got mad! He became so righteously indignant that he offered to do something about it. He said to King Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of (Goliath); thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
Instead of encouraging David, however, Saul spoke discouraging words. “Thou are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
You might as well know right now, handling fear is very often something you have to do alone. That’s because very often the devil will use godly people, the very people you respect most, to reinforce the fears you’re fighting. Don’t be looking to someone else to get rid of your fears for you. It is a charge that you alone have to undertake.
David undertook that charge. He refused to let Saul’s words discourage him, and he handled the pressure of fear by getting mad at the enemy. That’s what you must do when you recognize fear operating inside you. Get righteously outraged that fear would have the nerve to try to occupy your heart and mind.
Remember Past Victories
Another step to take is to build your confidence in God’s ability to deliver you by remembering past victories. In verse 34 of 1 Samuel 17, we can see David doing exactly that. When Saul tried to discourage him from going against Goliath, he said, “Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him…and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.”
Confidence in God’s ability to deliver is our greatest weapon against the pressure generated by fear. Past victories are easily lost in the fog of fear and pressure, so you must be diligent to dwell on those confidence-building memories of past victories.
Paul said it well in Hebrews 10:32. “Remember the former days in which you endured a great fight of affliction….And cast not away thy ‘confidence’ for it hath a great recompense of reward.”
You should have a long list of things God has done for you in the past. When fear comes in, get out our list. Remind yourself of the faithfulness of God. Build your confidence.
Talk to Your Fear
A third thing you can do is to talk to your fear. That’s right, talk to it. You can be assured it is talking to you! When Goliath taunted David, threatening to kill him and feed him to the birds and the beasts, David wasn’t silent. He talked back.
He said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: But I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
When fear talks to you, talk back to it like David did. Speak to it with stout words of faith. Look at that pile of unpaid bills and say, “How dare you defy God’s promise of provision in my life!” Look at that bad report from the doctor and shout, “Who do you think you are to defy God’s promise of health in my life!”
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God dwells within you. The solution to your problem lies within you. That means if you’re running away from your problems, you’re taking away the solution. So move toward the problem. Move toward the source of the fear and take the solution with you!