The Believerís Only Enemy
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. -- II Timothy 1: 7
If fear does not originate from the true God, then it must come from another source. That other source is the god of this world.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. -- II Corinthians 4: 4
The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: Ė John 10: 10a
In itís least common denominator, fear is the believerís only enemy. Fear is believing, but it is believing in reverse and brings negative results. If you fear something enough, it will come to pass.
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Ė Job 3: 25
Fear is sand in the machinery of life. It has been my experience that when you have fear in one area of your life, it permeates into other areas. There is only one thing that will take the fear out of your life and that is an accurate knowledge and application of the Word of God in your life.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it †do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled [pleroo Ė to capacity] with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Ė Colossians 1: 9
Spiritual knowledge always supercedes natural knowledge. God wants you to be filled with the spiritual knowledge of His Will which is His Word. That is the only thing that will set you free from fear. Fear destroys more peopleís lives than anything else. Again, fear is believing and believing is a law. You receive what you believe. God exhorts us time and time again to seek out His truths. This is Godís Will for man.
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the [accurate] knowledge of the truth. Ė I Timothy 2: 4
The only thing that will change a man or a woman is Godís Word. They must be born again of Godís Spirit and renew their mind to Godís Word and then apply Godís Word. Let me show you a real life example of how the Word of God can drastically change a person from being filled with fear to being a bold and fearless person filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in manifestation.
When Jesus Christ appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, where were they? Now remember, it was not yet available to be born again since the day of Pentecost had not yet come. The disciples were body and soul, but no spirit.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day †of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews. Ė John 21: 19
These disciples included Peter. They were afraid of the Jews and therefore were in hiding. What happened to Peter only 50 days later after he became born again and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit? It is remarkable. Letís go to Acts chapter two (2) to see the amazing change that took place. Weíll begin in verse 14 which was after the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye †that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: -- Acts 2: 14
Only fifty days before this, Peter and the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. What changed Peter into a fearless, confident person? He was born again of Godís Spirit and was now a man of body, soul, and spirit. Peter studied Jesus Christ very much and when he was born again, he was ready to teach and lead. This was actually the very first sermon delivered in the Christian Church and it ended in verse 40 of Acts chapter 2.
This is quite an amazing change in a person in only 50 days Ė it was supernatural in nature. I too experienced this change when I first got involved in Godís Word. I immersed myself in the study of Godís Word and in fellowships and Bible classes. I became such a different person that people hardly knew me. I went from being depressed, withdrawn and full of fear to a vibrant person full of confidence and believing. Where do we get positive believing?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Ė Romans 10: 17
The more we study Godís Word, the more our believing builds and becomes stronger. This was the very first Scripture I hung on my wall when I first got involved in Godís Word in 1974. I used to wake up every morning and Romans 10: 17 is the first thing I read. It is just so simple and so powerful and so very important.
Now we are talking about the believerís only enemy and that is fear. We must learn not to treat the effects of fear, but to remove the cause. There are two types of believing, as mentioned before: 1) positive and 2) negative. We either have faith or fear. [For an in-depth study of this subject, you should study The Law of Believing, Parts 1, 2 and 3.] In this teaching, we are focusing specifically on the subject of fear.
There are only two (2) CAUSES of fear: IGNORANCE or WRONG TEACHING.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. -- Ephesians 4: 25
WRONG TEACHING is another cause of fear. Let me use a very simple example here that everyone can identify with. Letís say you misbehaved when you were a child and many times, refused to go to sleep at night. Your parents put the thought in your head that if you got out of bed, the boogie man, in the closet, would come out and get you. This was effective in putting fear in you, wasnít it? We were too young to know that this was a trick and probably believed it. So we stayed in bed out of fear that was clearly due to wrong teaching.
This type of teaching happens often in religious circles. We are taught wrongly that the true God kills people. The Bible says that God is all light and in Him is no darkness at all. So how can the true God kill people? He does not. This, again, is clearly wrong teaching and puts fear in many people. There are many similar examples in the religious arena. Stick just to the Word and nothing but the Word.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. Ė I John 1: 5
At this point, I should clear up something regarding the usage of language. The Old English used in the Bible can cause problems in some areas if not understood. Some words that were used when the Bible were written can have different meanings today. Letís study the following verse to clear this up once and for all. This pertains especially to our subject.
Servants, obey in all things your †masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing [respecting] God. Ė Colossians 3: 22
The fear of God as written in Old English means ĎThe respect or reverence for Godí. This misunderstanding causes many problems to this day. When the Bible mentions the term Ďfear of Godí, it DOES NOT mean that we are to be afraid of God. It denotes respect.
When do we give place to fear? When we look at circumstances and conditions with the five senses instead of looking to Godís Word. We all remember the record of Peter walking on the water and what eventually happened. This is a perfect example.
And Peter answered him [Jesus Christ] and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Ė Matthew 14: 28 Ė 30
There is a great lesson here regarding believing in this record. Peter was doing fine until his senses kicked in. Notice the use of the word Ďsawí in verse 30 indicating that Peter was now focusing on his five senses. When the adversary is roaring, he cannot bite. But if his roaring freezes you in your tracks due to fear, then he can attack. Do you understand this? Peter saw the boisterous wind and he became afraid. He wasnít now believing and he started to sink. That is why we must learn to go to God and His Word for our guidance and not to man. We must study by our own free will.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- II Timothy 2: 15
I have often said that if God created life, donít you think He knows how to live it? The Bible is Godís instruction to us as to how to live the best, most abundant life possible Ė itís Godís blueprint for living.
Now unto him [God] that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, -- Ephesians 3: 20
Thatís just one of the promises we can look forward to. When we study, we show ourselves approved unto God and God will protect us from fear. There is not one benefit to having fear in your life. Fear and caution are two different things.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ė Ephesians 5: 15, 16
ĎCircumspectlyí means to walk very wisely with precision and attention to detail Ė not with fear but with wisdom.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. Ė I John 4: 18
This is talking about the love of God. A person who still has fear is not made perfect in the love of God. What is a concise definition of the love of God?
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous [oppressive]. Ė I John 5: 2, 3
You can see how God ties all this together in such a simple manner. If we have fear, it is because we have not mastered the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. How do we do this? By keeping His commandments which is His Word. How do we do this? BY STUDYING AND APPLYING THE WORD OF GOD.
We study, learn and apply the Word Ė We acquire the love of God Ė We get rid of fear.
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO GET SET FREE FROM FEAR. I should mention, at this point, that even though you are set free, the enemy will go to no end to try and get you to believe that you still have fear. If you feel fearful for no reason, and you know God wants you to get that task done, do what you think †you fear. You will find out that after you begin to take action, those thoughts of fear will just seem to disappear. You should remember this. The enemy does not play by the rules. You need to resist him and he will flee from you. At times, thoughts of fear still try to enter my mind pertaining to a task I need to get done. Even if itís something Iíve done many times, the adversary will try to hinder me. Donít let him stop you from doing Godís Will. God expects you to handle a certain amount of tribulation.
Remember, fear is negative believing and brings negative results. The Word of God studied and applied will teach you how to perfect the love of God which, in turn, will drive the fear out of your life.
What shall we say then to these things? If God be †for us, who can be †against us? -- Romans 8: 31