We all have fears of some kind in our lives. I admit I do. The command “fear not” is mentioned 365 times in Scripture. Obviously, we deal with fear daily. Fear can be our greatest enemy or our greatest friend.
Fear can be our greatest enemy in that it can paralyze us, keeping us where we are, hindering us from being willing to step out in faith and take risks.
Several years ago I took a ladies’ team on a mission trip to the remote mountains of Mexico. We knew the conditions were going to be hard and challenging, and to be honest, we didn’t know if we would be able to handle them or not. We had major fears, but our team decided we would deal with those fears when the time came. And when we got there, most of those fears were never realized. They never happened, and God provided for us in ways we had never imagined. Those fears could have kept us from going, but instead they drew us into a deeper dependence on the Lord. He provided all we needed and more.
Fear can be our greatest friend in that our greatest fear can be God’s greatest opportunity. We saw this as we prepared to go to Mexico. When we are fearful of something, we either choose to put our trust in God, or we allow that fear to overwhelm us. We either trust or we panic. God can use our fears to draw us into a desperate dependence on Him, resulting in a closer, more intimate walk with Him.
What causes our fear? We become fearful when we focus on our circumstances instead of looking to Him. We tend to fear when we sense we are not in control and our circumstances are.
How do we fight fear? With fear – not fear of the things that God may bring into our lives, but fear of the Lord. We fight fear by fearing God – recognizing that God is sovereign, respecting Him with reverence and awe. We acknowledge that He is God; He is in control. We can trust Him.
Fear of God is coming to a point in our lives when we say “yes” to God, regardless of what He asks of us. If we fear someone or something more than we fear God, then we’ve identified our master.
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” God loves us. Why should we fear anything?
What fears are you facing today? Are you allowing them to be friends . . . or foes? What are your thoughts about fear?