“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” - Luke 12:32
Do you know what it is to be gripped by fear? Recently I visited the website 'phobialist.com', which lists around 530 phobias. It seems there may be a phobia for everything! It's estimated that 10 million people in the United Kingdom have a phobia of some form or another. The top ten phobias in the nation, some of which you may be familiar with, are listed as follows:
- Arachnophobia (fear of spiders)
- Social phobia (a fear of social or public situations)
- Aerophobia (fear of flying)
- Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces, public spaces)
- Claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces)
- Emetophobia (fear of vomiting)
- Acrophobia (or vertigo, fear of heights)
- Cancerophobia (fear of developing cancer)
- Brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms)
- Necrophobia (fear of death, your own death or another's).
I don't know how the subject of 'fear' relates to you - but it certainly relates to me a great deal, and has done throughout my whole life. If we are honest, I'm sure that most of us have been touched by fear at some time or other. If you haven't, you will be. So it's a very important subject to consider.
In Luke 12:32, the Lord Jesus says: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom”. I just love that verse: 'Fear not, little flock' – back then there were just twelve of them. There are an awful lot more in His little flock today! The whole world was against this motley crew of disciples. Judaism was opposing them, the Roman Empire would try to wipe them out; but Jesus comes and says: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom”. What you should notice in this verse is: Jesus wants us to see that there is no place for fear in the kingdom of God.
It's important to understand what we mean when we talk about 'fear'. Let me just clear up any misunderstandings, because there are different types of fear mentioned in the Bible. The 'fear of God' is described as the beginning of wisdom, and so we should cultivate the fear of God in our lives - perhaps better described as a reverence or awe. There is the 'fear of man', Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man brings a snare”. Thirdly there is a natural fear, which is actually a gift from God. God has given us fear in order to protect us, for our own good. The problem arises when this natural fear ceases from being our servant and becomes our master, when it actually is in control of our lives. This abnormal fear ought not to be in our lives or in our experience.
So, while natural fear is a gift from God, the enemy knows how powerful it is, and he uses potent fear to overcome us and overwhelm us. The fear God has given to us for our safety is turned against us – resulting in physical and emotional turmoil that can even lead to a chemical addiction. Our natural fear gets out of control, becoming unbalanced, eventually resulting in a controlling, tormenting or demonic fear.
Ultimately, this ungodly fear comes when we believe the lie of the devil. When we believe the enemy's lies, we effectively enter into a contract with Satan. Whenever you believe the lie, you empower the liar. At the root of every controlling spirit of fear, there is a lie. Yet Paul tell us in 2 Timothy 1:7: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.
If we are to overcome controlling fear, there are several steps we must take. But why not begin right now by being open before God in your mind and heart, and asking Him: 'What is the lie that I have believed that is the foundation of the abnormal fear in my life? Where did my life get out from under Your protective covering? Where did I become exposed to this fear?'. Then consider each of the practical steps laid out in my message on “Freedom From Fear”, or Chapter 16 of my book “Breaking Through Barriers To Blessing” which studies “The Fear Factor” in much more depth.
I trust that you will soon be able to say:“I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4) - for that is the secret! God is with you! Step out in faith, renounce the lie, declare in Jesus' name that you are free through His blood, and command the enemy to leave you - deal with your fear today in Jesus' name.