One of the huge hindrances I face day in and day out is my fear. The fear I carry, when not battled against, but engaged in keeps me stuck and away from freedom and the life God wants for me. I came across this article on Freedom from Fear at The Resurgence
We cannot underestimate the importance of freedom in our lives. Freedom is one of the top reasons Jesus came to earth:
“For freedom Christ has set us free...” (Galatians 5:1).
But what does freedom mean?What freedom isn't:
- The ability to do what we want. This certainly would be freeing, but God is not calling us to do whatever we want. We can’t escape his moral law and somehow think there won’t be consequences.
- The ability to do as we ought. We are now free to do the things we were created to do. But this definition still lacks because we are gold mixed with impurities. Yes, we have the power to do as we ought, but we don’t ALWAYS do right because sin is still residing in us.
- An emotional expression during the music portion of a worship service. Freedom in this definition is raising hands, waving a flag, or singing loud. While I applaud anyone who can be uninhibited when the congregation is singing, this is a silly definition of freedom — not very compelling.
Enslaved by fear
Christ has set us free from fear. The importance of this cannot be overstated because fear is our biggest slave master; and here are our top 5 greatest fears (adapted from Marcus Buckingham):
- The Fear of Death — we have a need for security
- The Fear of Being Alone — we have a need for community
- The Fear of the Future — we have a need for clarity
- The Fear of Chaos — we have a need for authority
- The Fear of Insignificance — we have a need for respect.
“Religion produces fear because we are afraid we haven’t done everything right; that the slightest error may restrain the hand of God’s blessing."Think of how these fears guide our life! Our hearts respond to every one of these fears in different ways, and each individual responds to one fear more than others (for instance, I am more afraid of insignificance than I am of death). Our response is often driven by unbelief, which leads to captivity.
Fear in the every day
- Some of us are so afraid of death we become overly obsessed about health, germs, and safety, consequently choosing who we will help based on security and not based on love.
- Others of us are so afraid of insignificance any criticism feels like an attack and we lose relationships when people challenge us.
Redemption from this captivity is part of Jesus’ main work. If we examine those five fears with the eyes of faith, we can see Jesus is the answer to them all:
- He is our security, even in death, because Jesus took away condemnation in death.
- He is our community — he promises never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)
- He is our future — he controls the future and has prepared a place for us
- He is our authority — all authority on heaven and earth is his (Matthew 28:18). He is accomplishing all things according to his plan.
- He is our significance — Jesus alone validates and justifies our life.
I am definitely guilty of the enslavement of fear, but am beginning to make steps forward in facing each one head on. I will not allow the enemy to steal from me the Freedom that Christ freely gives me ... I will GO forward, I will FIGHT the spiritual tools the Lord has equipped me with and through Christ I will, we will WIN!!!! (Oh and if I have to get mad I will just use that as ammunition to fight the enemy for all he has stolen and his attempts to continue to do so).
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" --Romans 8:15
I saw this cute, little turtle and couldn't resist not using it as a great illustration for the message God gives us about FEAR--
This little turtle is scared and hiding from the world, unable to live the life God has for him. God has given him the protection he needs (his shell) as protection from the enemy, but how will He even realize his potential and the protection he has if he doesn't step out and use it... So don't be like the turtle hiding in your shell of safety, whatever it may be, alone and scared-- step out in faith and trust Him and what He has given you to protect you so you can see He is faithful and a protector. How will we ever know if you don't use the freedom and protection He FREELY gives us???
I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you ... No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. --Joshua 1:3-9
What fears do you need to face?