Summary: Seeking the Lord is the key to conquering fear as we look at David’s example from Psalm 27.
Why do we fear? Because fear is so natural for us. We fear the disaster that is about to come whether it’s financial problems, cancer, a tornado, a blizzard, or a spin-out sending our car into the ditch. What do you fear?
So far there have been 530 phobia’s officially named. Here are just a few examples from the beginning of the alphabet:
Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
Amaxophobia- Fear of riding in a car.
Arachnephobia or Arachnophobia- Fear of spiders.
Automatonophobia- Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues - anything that falsly represents a sentient being.
Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying.
Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks.
Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
Bibliophobia- Fear of books. (many students have this fear)
Botanophobia- Fear of plants.
Fear is basically the idea that something bad is going to happen to you or your loved one – something that will cause either physical or emotional pain. It’s the belief that danger is lying right ahead of you on the path.
What do people do to avoid fear? Almost anything! Run! Hide! Quit. Break off relationships. Change careers. Why? Because we sense danger. We must preserve our lives. We must avoid pain at all costs. The fact is that fear itself has a horrible impact on us and on our health: high blood pressure, nervous breakdowns, ulcers, headaches, blurred vision, lack of sleep, lack of concentration.
David experienced many fears as revealed in Psalm 27. He had many seeking his downfall - evildoers, adversaries, enemies. But he overcame his fears. Verse 1 says: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread.” How did he overcome it?
In Psalm 27 we find David facing fears and winning over them. What was the secret of his success? He put his eyes where they belonged – he sought the Lord instead of his own strength.
“One thing that I ask from the Lord, that I shall seek…” “The Lord is the defense of my life whom shall I dread?” We focus our eyes on the one person who can deal with any problem and any issue in our lives, the one who is powerful – the Lord God.
When does fear come? When we take our eyes off of the Lord and who we are as his child. We remember Peter walking on water with the waves and the wind? He stopped looking at Jesus and that’s when fear creeped in and his started to sink. It’s totally the opposite of faith.
When shrinking in fear, for some reason we feel that we are on our own – God won’t help us with this one and all the disaster will fall. And we lose our faith and trust in God. Ultimately, we believe the problem is too big for God.
Other times we might know that God is big enough to handle our problems, but God isn’t going to help us on THIS one. We deserve to fail and fall and suffer! If I go out and rob a store, I ought to be afraid – because judgment is coming. Every time I sin, fear ought to be before my eyes. Because I’m standing face to face against God! What is the solution? REPENT. That kind of fear should always lead to repentance. And when we repent we know that God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. There may be consequences of our sins, but God will see us through it as we repent.
Let’s go back to David and how he dealt with the attack of fear. He turned to the Lord God and he did so in three concrete ways and we need to learn the same ways for ourselves.
First, in moments of fear we need to seek the presence of the Lord. Verse 4a: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
David isn’t requesting to actually live in the temple just like we wouldn’t request to live in this church building. He wants to be in the presence of the Lord every day of his life. Never have to leave or fall away. The house of the Lord is not just a building but the place of worship, of fellowship, of God’s presence.
The scripture says in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No one can take our relationship with the Lord away from us. On the other hand, we can choose to walk away from God and his love and protection. David could decide that he doesn’t want to dwell in the house of the Lord….the most precious thing in life, is to know that the Lord is present in your life - that you are not alone. That he is there with you.