While it is a seemingly harmless lie that the Bible says, “Do not fear” or some variation of it 365 times, it does not, but it is said many times. Fear is one of the enemies favorite weapons. The fear we allow ourselves to live out is a statement that says, ‘I have no faith that God is the LORD.’ It walks hand in hand with pride as we assume we must lean on our own understanding, strength, and will to endure or overcome. Let’s look at some scriptures and see that truly, in Christ, we have nothing to fear.
What are some reasons we are afraid? We forget that the LORD is with us, who He is, what He can do and has done, and what He has said. Deuteronomy 20:3-4 is what God has commanded His people to remember before they go into battle.
… ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, 4 for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’
God has so much good, so many blessings in store for you. Many of those blessings are freely poured out on you, but some promises are contingent on your obedience. What God has asked of you may seem difficult or even impossible. But remember God will not ask you to do anything, He has not given you the ability to do (Philippians 2:12-13). He is not cruel, He sets you up for success and rejoices over it. He reminds us often that He is with us and will never leave us. We are able to obey, always. We do not have to fear the task, the commission, the command, the enemy, or the world. Deuteronomy 31:5-8 says,
And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. 8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
God is with us and He will never leave us. If we choose not to believe that, then we choose idolatry. We choose to have faith in something or someone else. Our fear and pride can lead us to worship ourselves as we depend on ourselves to bring us through. We can love money as we are governed by it to help us. We can worship our jobs or families as we allow our happiness and decisions to be determined by them instead of God. The author of Hebrews said it like this in Hebrews 13:5-6.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
And Jesus said it like this in Matthew 6:24-34
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Paul told us that we can do all things through Him that strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). We can do all things through Christ and nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26). Yet, still we forget and are afraid. We do not have to overcome the world, defeat sin, conquer death, or anything else because Jesus already did that! 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 reads,
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
God is our all in all. He is all we need, Full stop. Jesus rose from the grave after sacrificing His life to pay for ours and when He did that, He conquered sin, death, and every authority and power (Satan and his minions). They are all subjugated to Him. Satan has no desire for you to know that; he wants you to live in fear so that he can minimize the damage you will do to his princedom. The enemy wants to take as many slaves with him to eternal punishment as possible. Believer, he can’t take you, but he can try and make you too afraid to live the victorious life God gave you and so too afraid to snatch his captives from his chains.
In John 14:25-31, Jesus said,
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
Jesus seemed to speak of two opposing things, He said “I am going away” and He said, “I will be with you to the end of the age.” He is with us, because His ascension to Heaven, His leaving meant His Spirit would come and indwell us. Indwell is a permanent possession an eternal presence or attendance with us and in us. That is awesome! The truth is we have peace, we have no fear because the God who conquered even death which seems insurmountable is in us giving us the same power and authority He gave Jesus. Fear is a lie. That lie keeps you from using the gifts God gave you, it keeps you form loving people as you were commanded to do. It keeps you from being who you are meant to be. Paul said it this way in 2 Timothy 1:6-14
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
The truth is God gave you a spirit of power, love, and self-control! The gift or gifts God gave you are meant to be used, and used powerfully! You have a spirit of love. You can love others as Jesus loved you. You can love others enough to open their blind eyes to the truth of their situation, free them from the slavery to sin and the prince of the power of the air, and the self-control to live in obedience, faith and soundness. What is it to be sound, it is to be complete, reliable, sturdy, and healthy. Believer, you do not have to fear, God gave you His Spirit. Look again at the description of your spirit. It is a spirit of power, love, and soundness. What that means is you have the spirit of strong complete love, that is perfect love. 1 John 4:15-21 reminds us what love does and is.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Love does not sit in us and do nothing. Love that does nothing is not God’s perfect love. It is not agape love (Godly love) and it is not philia love (brotherly love). Those are the loves of the greatest commandments that encompass the law and prophets (Matthew 22:36-40). We do not love God and we do not love as Jesus loved us, if we do not actively, vigorously, and ardently love our brother. Fear stops us from philia love and without philia love we cannot have agape love; without agape love, philia love is impossible.
There are many many more passages to remind us not to fear. I encourage you to search the Word and see that you are fearless in Jesus. I encourage to step out of the fear which thinks it can grip you and be courageous as God has commanded you to be and made you to be. It is freeing! The truth of who you are in Christ, what He has done for you, and what you can do in Him is liberating. I will close today with Jesus’ words in John 8:31-36,
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.