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Summary: Have you ever considered how your emotions affect your life? Love, for example, influences your feelings, behavior, and even your looks. The same is true of fear. It can affect your thoughts, conduct, and even your physical health. Apprehensions have th

Landmines in the Path of the Believer

Part 4: The Landmine of Fear

Summary:

Have you ever considered how your emotions affect your life?

Love, for example, influences your feelings, behavior, and even your looks. The same is true of fear. It can affect your thoughts, conduct, and even your physical health. Apprehensions have the power to hold you back from all that God wants to accomplish in your life.

Satan uses the emotion of fear to prevent you from enjoying what the Lord has planned for you. You may think that you don’t have any fears, but the truth is that nearly everyone is afraid of something. Your fears may be hidden, and that makes them even more dangerous.

Almighty God is greater than any terror your mind can imagine, and He wants you to walk in courage and faith. In Isaiah 41:10, He says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Key Passage: Isaiah 41:8–14

Supporting Scripture: Joshua 1:6–9; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 64:4; John 14:18;Acts18:9; Ephesians 1:3–4; Philippians 4:19; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 13:5

Scriptural Principles:

1. Six basic fears.

There are six basic things that all of us are anxious about at one point or another. They are the fears of poverty, death, sickness, old age, criticism, and the loss of a loved one. The human reaction of fear is not a sin; in fact, there are some fears which are useful or even wise. Protective fear, for example, usually helps keep us safe. There is also the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. This means that we are to reserve reverence, honor, and exaltation for the holy God we worship. The negative type of fear, which becomes a landmine, is the kind of anxiety that damages and enslaves us. God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Fear is a normal part of life, but not one that should hold us constantly in its grip. Our heavenly Father gives us promises to hold on to so that we never have to be dominated by fear.

2. The nature of fear.

Why is fear so damaging? Because it is as though we constantly have a message playing in our mind, telling us to be afraid. We are programmed early in life by others to be anxious concerning relationships or certain situations, and that fear continually torments and punishes us—paralyzing us from doing God’s will. Our worries dominate all our goals and desires, blocking our spiritual growth and preventing us from building our faith. This does not honor God in the least; in fact, our anxiety is a way of saying we do not think God is powerful enough to protect us. We become increasingly doubtful of the Lord’s powerful promises. Since we don’t trust God, we begin to assess and respond to His circumstances in our own strength and reasoning power. The result is that we come up empty in life. Fear simply does not fit the life of a child of God. We may have moments of fear, but we should handle them quickly, remembering God’s promise that He will use all things for our benefit and His glory.

3. The sources of fear.

Where does this terrible landmine come from? Fear can be the product of sin because anxiety and guilt are a natural result of our transgressions. Fear can also result from things we have been taught or from our own imaginations. Doubt of God, poor self-image, and ignorance of God’s Word are other sources of our worries. We must have our hearts fortified by God’s promises so that we won’t be so susceptible to the enemy’s weapon. The more we dwell on God’s Word, the more courageous we will be.

4. The consequences of fear.

There are terrible results for those who give in to the tyranny of fear. The anxious person is afraid to take risks and, as a result, will be incapable of launching out on the great adventures God has prepared for him. He will be indecisive and procrastinate on important projects, because he will be fearful of making the wrong decision. By not acting in a timely manner, he will thwart his own efforts. In time, his self-confidence will be undermined and he’ll give in to an irrational course of action because of the torment

he’s feeling within. Ultimately, fear will dominate his entire life. He’ll long to be free from his anxieties, but to be free he will have to give in to what he’s most terrified of—lack of control. He’ll only experience true freedom when he gives control of his life to God.

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