Summary: Overcome fears by trusting the One who has given us a spirit of (1) power, of (2) love and of (3)a sound mind.
Fear is a reality of life. It is true for believers and anyone else. We are talking about phobias - fears of height, fears of cockroaches, lizards, etc. We’re talking about FEARS that cripple us, that prevent us from doing what God wants us to do, that keep us from living a normal life.
So don’t feed your fear! Don’t dwell on it. The more we entertain it, the more it controls you.
Fear will take control of you, only if you allowed it!
TWO DOGS AT FIGHT
An American Indian once shared: "It seems, my brothers, that I have two dogs fighting in my heart: one is a very good dog, a beautiful white dog and he is always watching out for my best interests. The other is a very bad dog, a black dog, which is always trying to destroy the things that I want to build up. These dogs give me a lot of trouble because they are always quarreling and fighting each other."
One of his friends looked up and asked, "Which one wins?"
His reply was, "Whichever one I give in to."
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7
The word ’timidity’ is not just being timid, but terror - the terror that overtakes us in extreme difficulty. Why Paul uses this phrase - because Timothy, being young, was facing suffering and hardship. That’s why Paul says, "join with me in suffering for the gospel..."
Don’t be afraid of what man can do to you. Don’t be afraid of what the devil tries to do. God has given us MORE. The HOLY SPIRIT who dwells in us - His presence gives us power, love and self-discipline (a sound mind). (a ’wise head’, to discern and understand, not easily deceived...)
(1) POWER - He Can Help You Through It
Rid yourself of fear by focusing on the power of the One who is present with you.
David says - Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
What can you do when you’re going through a very terrifying, difficult experience of your life? You may lose your focus of God - your circumstances and pains overwhelm you. All you can see is unfairness, suffering and pain.
But David did not lose sight of God. How could David make such a claim, that "I will fear no evil" in the midst of great difficulty? Because he knew where to look. "You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
Rather than turn to the surrounding, David turned to the Shepherd. Rather than stare at the problems, he stared at the rod and staff. In the most difficult part of the journey, he still notices the rod and staff in His hands. Do you?
If you feel you are in "the valley of the shadow," get off to a quiet place. Quit struggling for a little while. Forget the many details. Stop and look for the rod and staff. They are still in His hands. He is still in-charge. "There is power in His presence." Fear God and you’ll have nothing to fear.
God will lead you THROUGH, not around, the valley of the shadow of death. And, by the way, aren’t you glad it’s just a shadow?
It’s like playing golf. You hit the ball into the bush, surrounded by trees. What do you do? You’ll look for an opening. You’re not going to stare at the trees; you’re going to look for an opening and hit the ball out. Find an opening and FOCUS on hitting the ball THROUGH it.
(2) LOVE - He Cares For You, You’re Not Alone
1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..."
Learn to turn yourself and your loved ones to the love and care of God. We believe in a good God, but we must (like David), "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psa 34:8)
It’s one thing to know, it’s quite another to "taste and see" - David said that out of experience. He went through a terrifying time when on the run from Saul - 1 Sam 21:10-15
10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, "Isn’t this David, the king of the land?... (they recognised him). 12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. 14 Achish said to his servants, "Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?"