Summary: Overcoming our fears is not about us … it’s all about Him. It’s all about whether you will allow God to be more than enough for you! If you will, then you can cast your fears behind you and in freedom become all that God desires you to be!
How do we overcome the fear that is holding us back? Let’s face it, fear impacts us all. We all have things that create fear within us. But, when these fears hold us back and keep us from becoming the people God would have us be, it’s time to throw them off.
Key Verse: Hebrews 12:1 “… let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
American’s top 10 fears list (What would be on your list?)
What about the fear of rejection / fear of getting involved / fear of really trusting God / fear of serving / fear of commitment / fear of close relationships / fear of failure
If you see fear as one of the weights that is holding you back, let me give you four all time tested and successful steps that will help you throw it under the bus and move ahead.
1. Develop a Lifestyle of Prayer
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
(A) Process your fears with prayer
• Experiencing fear is just one of the many realities of life. We don’t try to avoid fear altogether, (That’s impossible). Instead, we need to learn what to do with it. Prayer is our first line of defense when it comes to fear.
• We can internalize our fear and allow it to become a weight, or we can take our fear to God and process it with Him. By process I mean tell Him about it / acknowledge that you feel it / don’t over spiritualize it / tell God what you need / thank God for all He has done – WHY? Reminds you of His track record!
• The reason we experience fear is that whatever the circumstances are, (perceived or real) they are bigger than us…bigger than our resources…we can’t see our way around them...they threaten our security.
• Prayer, reminds me that whatever I am facing God is bigger / stronger / more powerful / His resources are never ending / and He loves me! He wants me to come to Him because He wants to provide.
• In all honesty, I have had some moments of anxiety in regards to this expansion project. Satan has thrown the “what if” thoughts into my mind. What if we don’t get enough money? What if the economy gets so bad we can’t afford this? What if people aren’t supportive? What if the whole thing falls apart?
• There have been some days when I have woke up with a knot in my stomach. Know the feeling? In those times we need to run to God with these feelings and leave them with Him. Something happens in God’s presence….
(B) Prayer guards your feelings, emotions and thoughts
• These verses talk about God guarding our hearts (emotions) and our minds (thoughts). When we experience fear and anxiety, our minds can just run away with all kinds of “what if” thinking and terrible scenarios, and then our emotions just follow along. Pretty soon we’ve got ourselves so worked up we’re not even rational.
• In prayer, God reigns in our thinking and our emotions so that He can replace it with His peace. Prayer gets our thinking and emotions off of the circumstances and on to God.
• Prayer moves us from what if thinking to what God can do thinking…what God has promised thinking. Fear is a faithless response to life and circumstances while prayer is a faith response. Living out of fear is a life God simply can’t bless, but choosing to pray is a faith response that God blesses richly.
• The amount of peace we experience in this life is not connected to favorable circumstances, but to the amount of time we pray about the circumstances of life. Which are you doing? We first throw off the weight of fear with prayer.
2. Acknowledge The Presence Of God
• Summarize the story
Mark 4:39-40 “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Faith in ME! How can you be afraid when I’m in the boat?)
• If we are ever going to have success throwing off our fears, we must get into the habit of acknowledging the presence of God with us. WHY?
(A) Awareness of God’s presence calms our fears