Summary: Fear can be crippling but there is a way that it can be conquered.
2 Timothy 1:7-9 (NIV)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
Everyone knows what its like to be afraid. We all have things that we’re afraid of - I can remember as a child being afraid of the dark - a fear I think we have all had at one time or another. For my wife its definitely got to be spiders!! For some of you it may be storms, an extreme height, traveling in airplanes, or dogs.
There are hidden fears that motivate us too - Fear of failure causes many people to never start, or try anything that is not completely safe. Fear of rejection makes us afraid to do anything that could draw criticism or give someone a chance to laugh at us.
I could go on an on talking about fears and phobias and in the course of naming these different fears we’d probably find that all of them fall into two kinds of fear.
Two kinds of fear: Fear that is good - keeps us from driving 200kph, picking up a rattler snake, jumping off the side of a building, or other foolish things that you can think of… and Fear that is harmful - This is the "spirit of fear" mentioned in this particular passage. This fear paralyzes us, keeps us from doing things we could or should do.
Perhaps there is a fear that you need to overcome tonight. This passage gives us insight on "Overcoming Fear"
SATAN’S PURPOSE FOR OUR FEAR
A. Satan is a master at using our fears.
He can keep us from being an effective Christian, or happy person by using our own fears… He uses the "spirit of fear" to:
1. Make our lives miserable.
- Worry and fear can make our life miserable!!
There was a lady who died in 1916 name Hetty Green. She was called America’s greatest miser. When she died in 1916, she left an estate valued at $100 million. But she was so miserly that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water. When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated because of advanced infection. I am sure she was worried about losing her wealth, so she didn’t even enjoy her life!!- We can be so afraid of losing our wealth or job that we never enjoy our life…
- Some people are so afraid that something is going to happen to their marriage, that they never get close, or have the intimacy they could have…
- Have you ever met a "worry wart" who wasn’t miserable?2. He also makes us ineffective
a. Many times we do not share our faith with someone because of fear.
What will they think of me?
What if I turn them off?
What if I mess up?
They probably won’t listen to me anyway!
These are the common fears Satan uses to make us ineffective witnesses!
b. Sometimes we don’t get involved in service because of fear
I can’t teach a Sunday School classI can’t help in the nursery…I could never be a pastor or a missionary…I can’t sing on the praise team…I can’t play an instrument on the praise team…I can’t share my testimony…Fear can keep us from serving GodB. Satan’s Method for using Fear:1. He uses our past sins
2. He uses the possibilities of the future
3. He uses the potential of failure
4. He uses the certainty of criticism
Satan is a master at using our fears to stop us, to bind us, and to rob us!
Note: God has not given us the "spirit of fear", but He has given us three things that will help us overcome fear:
GOD’S GIFTS FOR OVERCOMING OUR FEARSThe gift of POWER
Through Christ Jesus, I can do anything God wants me to do!!!
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.That means anything God wants me to do, I can do it… 1. Power to be saved.
John 1:12 (NIV)
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--