Today, when asking the LORD what to write,  the subject of “fear” came up.  Fear, you know, when you read something or hear something or see something that makes your stomach turn over and you start to shake all over, and that hot feeling comes all over you…yes, THAT fear.  We’ve all been there, and it isn’t a nice feeling, and God doesn’t want us to experience it ever again.

It is written, and oh my, how I love to say, “It is written”, for doing so plants me ever so securely in God’s Word and His love, and any fear the devil brings just melts away like an ice cube in the middle of July.  It is written in Revelation 21:7-8,

 7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

 8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

            Reviewing verse 7, we see exactly WHO shall inherit all things; that being the one who is an overcomer.  And for doing so, God will be THEIR God, and he or she will be His son or daughter.  Is being an overcomer just a simple and easy thing, like picking up one’s feet and falling carefree into a chair?  YES!

HA!  I BET YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING “YES” FOR AN ANSWER!  But here’s how you do it.  Let’s read verse 8, and what are the first two things that are listed? The FEARFUL, and UNBELIEVING.  Once you get rid of “FEARFUL” and “UNBELIEVING”, all the rest of the stuff God hates, such as “the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars”, will cease to be able to operate in you.  All those who practice those things “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

            My own mother was a world-class worrier and was fearful of so much.  It wasn’t until just a couple years before she died that I was able to lead her to the LORD and she was saved.  Fear was just something I grew up with in my household, and it stunted my development as well.  As an only child, my mother was so afraid of losing me, that she tried to shield me from everything a normal child experienced, like learning to ride a bike, or a horse, or swimming, or doing ANYTHING that could possible cause harm.  And of course, that earned me the ridicule of all the other kids.  It came to pass, that just in order to mentally survive, I had to do things on purpose that could get me hurt, just to escape HER fear.  And of course, that was going in the ditch on the other side of the road.

For example, I had a deathly fear of heights, and if I climbed a tree or a ladder, it was all I could do to look down, or even CLIMB down.  Later in life, that fear made me take flying lessons and earn a pilot’s license.  Fear made me do stuff a “normal” person wouldn’t do.  I had to overcome fear, somehow, before it overcame me.  Throughout my life, everything I learned to do, I had to master, because the fear of failure drove me to do so.  Maybe some would see that as a good thing, that is to excel in what I did, but when you consider that “fear of failure” was the motivation, it wasn’t good at all.  You should strive to excel at all you do because that’s just the right thing to do.  Fear shouldn’t even enter into it at all.  But fear makes you do a lot of wrong things.

I love to ride motorcycles.  Fear tried to prevent that, but I overcame it.  Fear would try to tell me, “Hey, it may rain today.  Maybe the motorcycle will break down.  Maybe you’ll fall down, maybe you’ll get killed in a wreck. Maybe you’ll eat a bug.”  You remember I told you of all my mother’s fear.  One day I told my mother that I had a pilot’s license.  She started bawling and tried to make me promise I’d never fly again, because I could be killed in a plane crash.  And I wasn’t about to stop flying because of her fear.  Fear has the ability to amplify itself many times over.  Fear paralyzes people from ever going forward with their hopes and dreams.  Fear is one of our greatest enemies.  Now you can push yourself to overcome fear on your own, but that’s a hard path, and some have done it.  But there is an easier way.  Let me help you here.

As I said, life wasn’t easy for me growing up.  But once I was on my own, that fear didn’t just go away on its own. I had to PUSH it out of my life, and every day it tried to come back.  I’m reminded of a scripture where the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 12:43-45,

43  When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

 44  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

 45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

            You see, fear has many friends, as do unclean spirits. Even once you drive them out, they keep coming back wanting to move back in and take over your life, and they bring their friends with them to move in bag and baggage, and their goal is to totally destroy your life.  That’s why we see people who have multiple fears, to the point they can no longer function in society.  How do you get them out and KEEP them out?  Glad you asked.  Here’s how you do it.

It is written in Proverbs 3:5-8,

 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

 8  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

            It is said that by the law of physics, two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and it’s true.  Trust in God and fear of what the devil can do to you cannot exist in you at the same time, and one or the other has to go.  And of course, we somehow manage to “see” the things the devil threatens us with daily, while we cannot “see” with our eyes the LORD.  So it’s only natural to believe what we pick up in our five senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.  And fortunately for us, the devil can only afflict us in the natural realm, for God has limited him to that.  He cannot, however, touch us in our spirit.  But how is it then, he is so successful in instilling fear in people?  He uses our five senses.  Or rather, he suggests this or that, and WE amplify those suggestions by our own deceived will.  Yes, that’s right WE CAUSE OUR OWN FEAR!

            A child put to bed in a dark room will never learn to fear the dark unless he or she is TOLD “there’s something under the bed that’s going to GET you when the lights are turned out.”  Fear is a LEARNED response to a stimulus.  If you don’t TEACH someone to fear, they won’t.  If I knock on your door, and you open it, and I punch you in the nose, the next time you open your door, you’ll remember that pain, that’s just our natural response.  Do you know how many people whose lives are shaped by previous pain and failure?  Are you one of them??  There’s a way out of that, and you can’t do it on your own.  Of course, you know that already, or you would already be free.

Going back to Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  Trust means putting all your attention on the LORD, and getting it off the circumstances.  Here’s an example that Peter gave us in Matthew 14:22-32;

 22  And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

 23  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

 24  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

 25  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

 26  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

 27  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 28  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

 29  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

 30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. note

 31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

 32  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

Here’s something I want you to get; Jesus didn’t rebuke Peter for walking on the water, He rebuked him because he looked at the circumstances and got himself into fear.  Yes, I could see that circumstance in my mind’s eye going something like this: Peter is walking to Jesus on the water, and the devil whispers in Peter’s ear, “Hey Peter, don’t you know you can’t walk on the water when it’s windy?”  And Peter looked around, and sure enough, it WAS windy…and down he went…glub….glub…LORD SAVE ME!!

Did Jesus let Peter drown?  No!  I wonder if Peter ever walked on the water again?  We don’t know, the Bible doesn’t tell us.  But we sure see how Peter later went from Pitiful Peter to Powerful Peter because he got filled with the Holy Spirit and learned to give fear the boot.  And once WE get filled with the Holy Spirit, we need to do the same.  God isn’t going to drop you on your little pumpkin head.  He has you, and He isn’t going to lose His grip!  You see, if you are holding onto Jesus’ hand, you might get scared and turn loose of Him.  But He is holding YOUR hand, and He won’t turn loose no matter what!  So what could you possibly have to be afraid of?

The next time fear sticks its ugly nose into your life, remember who is holding your hand.  You can live absolutely carefree, with no fear whatsoever.  It is written in Romans 8:31-39,

 31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

 32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

 33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

 34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

 35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            So, can YOU be an OVERCOMER?  YES!  Just keep your eyes upon Jesus, and forget all about the storm.  Remember the One who calms the storm!  And He LOVES YOU!