Fear vs. Faith – 1
Two Spiritual Laws
II Timothy 1:5-7
“When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
A very wealthy man bought a huge ranch in Arizona and he invited some of his closest associates in to see it. After touring some of the 1500 acres of mountains and rivers and grasslands, he took everybody to the house. The house was as spectacular as the scenery, and out back was the largest swimming pool you have ever seen. However, this gigantic swimming pool was filled with alligators. The rich owner explained this way: “I value courage more than anything else. Courage is what made me a billionaire. In fact, I think that courage is such a powerful virtue that if anybody is courageous enough to jump in that pool, swim through those alligators and make it to the other side, I'll give them anything they want, anything--my house, my land, my money.” Of course, everybody laughed at the absurd challenge and proceeded to follow the owner into the house for lunch when they suddenly heard a splash. Turning around they saw this guy swimming for his life across the pool, thrashing at the water, as the alligators swarmed after him. After several death defying seconds, the man made it, unharmed to the other side. Our rich host was absolutely amazed, but he stuck to his promise. He said, “You are indeed, a man of courage and I will stick to my word. What do you want? You can have anything--my house, my land, my money - just tell me what you want and it is yours.” The swimmer, breathing heavily, looked up at the host and said, “I just want to know one thing--who pushed me in that pool?”
Dr. Charles Garfield
I know after hearing this little story, not many of us has this kind of courage or this kind of faith. Stupidity is what I would call it, not faith.
I want to start a new sermon series entitled, “Fear vs. Faith.” I actually preached this series over 7 years ago and it made such an impact in my life, my family and my church family. This is one series that revolutionized our life. My wife was changed and delivered from fear and I was delivered from fear. I heard story after story of several of you being delivered from fear. There are so many new people with us now, that I feel compelled to preach this again. I have grown a lot in 7 years and know that there will be several differences between now and then, but I still want to share what the Lord laid on my heart 7 years ago and I am still working on and overcoming even now.
Faith is a very deep subject that is found all throughout the Scripture. Our whole salvation is based on faith. But the archenemy of faith is fear. I want to spend the next several weeks on this subject of faith and fear. I am going to speak on it both morning and night. So, I sincerely ask you to make plans to be here on Sunday nights for the next four weeks. Clear your schedule and make this a divine appointment. I KNOW that you will learn something if you do. Please don’t miss any of these meetings. I actually cancelled a special speaker for November because I want to get this truth in our hearts.
Fear is what holds us back in our Christian walk. Fear is what holds us back from healing, it holds us back from deliverance, it holds us back from financial breakthroughs, it actually holds us back in every area of our lives. Fear is a very serious attack that the enemy uses against the human race. It is imperative that we learn how to defend ourselves against this attack of fear. Fear intends to destroy our faith. Fear comes in many shapes and sizes, but the final outcome is always the same and that is to steal, kill and destroy.
Our whole nation and all of North America is gripped by fear every since 9/11 and now with ISIS. Terrorism has gripped our hearts. We, as believers, cannot be moved by this attack of the enemy. God has provided the ability to overcome fear at every turn and we know that faith gives us that ability to overcome fear. There is one thing that we must remember and that is: It is God that fights our battles. When we are confident in the fact that God fights our battles, fear cannot grip us.
Revelation 1:5-6; “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God.”
Some of you may wonder what this Scripture has to do with fear or faith. If we could get this truth inside our hearts, we would realize that we have no reason to fear under any circumstance. Jesus Christ has made us kings and priests unto God. No one can touch a king. We are rulers over this world; no demonic force can touch us because we have been made rulers over this kingdom. Fear has no place in the life of a believer. God’s word gives us clear, practical principles that, if diligently applied, will banish fear from our lives forever. Throughout this entire series I want each and every one of us at Calvary Pentecostal Church to declare war on fear!
I. WHAT IS FEAR?
I preached on fear once and used the following definition: “Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.” I still believe that definition is true and accurate. Most of the time fear is nothing more then false evidence appearing real, however, there are times in our lives that we are fearful and rightfully so in the natural realm. But keep in mind throughout this series; it is NEVER God’s plan or will for a child of God to live in fear, no matter what the circumstance is. I would like to use the Webster’s definition of fear.
Fear is: 1 an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger 2 anxious concern 3 reason for alarm: The synonyms for fear are: dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation.
All of these definitions from Webster’s are also accurate. However, from a Biblical standpoint, fear is more than a feeling. According to God’s Word, fear is a spirit. Some say, “Well I certainly don’t agree with that. You know, Pastor not everything is from the devil.” Well I agree, not everything is from the devil, but the Bible makes it very clear that fear is one thing that is from the pits of hell.
II Timothy 1:7; “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Jesus Christ wants each and every one of us to stay free from fear. One of the greatest tools that the devil has to get an open door in our lives is through fear. When you allow the presence of the spirit of fear in your life, it brings a negative, destructive power into your life. Instead of giving you power as the Scripture says, fear paralyses you. Instead of giving you wisdom, fear causes you to make poor decisions. Instead of the blessing flowing in your life, the demonic presence of fear brings a curse.
Before we can ever get deliverance from fear, we must first understand that it is a spirit from the pits of hell. Fear is not a feeling, oh yes, you feel afraid, but it goes much deeper then just a feeling, it is a spirit that needs to be rebuked and sent back to the pits of hell where it belongs.
II. TWO SPIRITUAL LAWS
Romans 8:1-2; ¶ “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
According to these two Scriptures, there are two basic spiritual laws in operation in the earth today. One system is dominated by life and the other system is dominated by death. In these two verses we see the two basic domains under which Christians can and must operate:
1. One is called the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
2. The other is called the “law of sin and death.”
An unknown author once penned these words:
I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath--these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely--these are my native air. A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; we are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality.
We were made to live by faith. I have no idea where and when we went wrong, but we did somewhere along the way. We were never meant to live by feelings. We were never meant to be up one minute and down the other. We were created to have faith in God. Will you choose to go against the grain and live in fear, or will you choose throughout this series to be a man or a woman of faith, as God desires? The choice is left in your hands.
Every person in this world today is living his life under one or the other of these two laws. Every person ever born has lived under one of these two laws. There are no other choices. The sad part is that just because you are born again, that does not mean that you live your life under the right law. Just because you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart does not mean that you are automatically entered into the law of life.
A law is an established principle that can be expected to function the same way every single time. For example, the “law of gravity” applies to everyone in every situation and every place. A rock dropped from the top of a building will fall the same way every time. The law always stays in effect. There will never be a time in the future if you are on planet earth where you will drop a rock and it will float up in the air. It is impossible, because it is a law.
The same is true with the two spiritual laws. If you are living under the “law of sin and death,” there is no way to avoid receiving sin-oriented and death-oriented results. Just like the falling rocks, this principle brings the same results for everyone who lives under it.
These two spiritual laws are very different from one another, but they are more then just different, they are extreme opposites, just like night and day, extreme cold and extreme hot, opposites.
For every spiritual force and substance in the realm of life, there is an opposite force or substance in the realm of death. In the law of life you will find the force of hope, in the law of death you will find its opposite, despair. Under the law of life you will find agape love, the kind of love that gives and gives, but under the law of death you will find its opposite, which is total selfishness. Under the law of life, you will find faith, but under the law of death you will find the opposite of faith, which is fear.
One of the most powerful forces in the realm of the law of life in Christ Jesus is the force of faith. According to God’s Word, faith can move mountains and work miracles. The universe itself is the product of faith-filled words.
Hebrews 11:3; “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
In another lesson we are going to talk about the power of your words. God made this earth just by His spoken word and He has given you all power and authority over this world, but that power and authority comes the same way that it did for Jesus and that is through your words.