Be Free from Fear
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
This Sunday, Benson shared an exhortation on the role of fear and faith in our lives. We all face fear on a regular basis, even though Jesus tells us throughout His time here on earth "Do not be afraid". This raises the question, what is our source of fear, and how can we overcome it? The first time we see fear in the Bible is in Adam, after he sinned against God. When he chose to sin rather than live life God's way, He was faced with fear. One instance in which we experience fear is when we are out of the will of God. The number one characteristic of sin is independence from God. When we feel like we know better than God, by following our own desires rather than God's path, or when we do not rely on God and lean on Him in areas of our life, we become incredibly prone to fear. We feel afraid because God did not create us to venture through life alone. The devil brings to us an attitude of pride and independence so we don’t depend on God.
On the other hand, the number one criteria for being in the kingdom of God is being like a child. We see this sentiment stated by Jesus when He said “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10: 14–15). Children are the most dependent human beings on earth. They rely on their parents for every physical, material, and emotional need. In a good parent-child relationship, a child is never afraid to ask their parent to fulfill a need, their complete trust and confidence is in their parent. In the same way, in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven, God wants us to be like a child, who is dependent on their heavenly Father. What should you do when you’re afraid? Depend on God. The Bible says that "Perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18). When we have a true understanding of the love God has for us, we will not be afraid to trust and rely on Him for every need. The cross in itself is a symbol and testament to the depth of God's love for us; He was willing to give up His one and only son that we may have eternal life with Him (John 3:16).
The Bible also says that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). The devil knows that we have access to power, unconditional love, and a sound mind when we do not live in fear but rather trust in God. Therefore, he tempts us to think we can do things ourselves, he tempts us to have pride. If we have pride, we will not depend on God. The way we battle pride is by becoming dependent on God for every little thing. Do you acknowledge God for every seemingly minuscule blessing in your life? Walking, seeing, breathing, living? We take these things for granted, but we would not be able to do any of it without Him. If you want to dwell in God’s will throughout your life, you must have that child like attitude, a heart that cries “God I need you” rather than thinking you can do it all yourself. Have a heart that says “God I don’t want to do this, do that, go here or there if your presence isn’t there”. Trust God, and you will not fear.