What are you afraid of?
We all have an answer because fear is something we’re navigating. For some, it’s overwhelming and paralyzing. For others, it’s manageable and then, there are individuals who have found freedom from fear and are moving forward.
No matter what fear you’re facing, God can set us free. We know this because fear doesn’t come from God.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7
God does not give phobias but instead, he gives power, love, and self-discipline. From this truth, we’re empowered to defeat fear and walk through it in freedom.
What is the secret to overcoming this real enemy in our lives?
The answer is fear!
That’s right. Fear defeats fear when we do life in God’s way.
The Bible gives us a healthy fear we should develop and grow in. It’s a fear that we offer toward God and when we do, the phobias in our lives lose their power.
“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.”Proverbs 19:23
Notice that the fear of the Lord gives us what we need and ultimately protects us from the fears against us.
What is the fear of the Lord?
“All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.”Proverbs 8:13
It’s a hate for what is evil and a love for God who is good.
The fear of the Lord is NOT a phobia of God but rather a reverence for God. It draws us into who he is, and we’re surrounded with an awe of his person.
This speaks of a close relationship with Jesus that gives him more and more control of our lives.
This is the secret of how fear defeats fear. The more we grow the fear of the Lord, the more the phobias will be conquered. When we revere Jesus, we’re making him more significant than our phobia and reducing our phobia to be under his authority.
This is huge because when phobias are magnified in our lives, God is minimized. Our perspective is upside down, and our faith is out of focus.
But, when our reverence for God is magnified, he is magnified, and our phobias are defeated.
So, what are you afraid of?
God is the answer and has the answer to whatever it is, and when we grow in reverence, we grow in victory!
Fear defeats fear.
So, here are three ways to grow in the fear of the Lord.
First, make his word your foundation.
When we make God’s word our foundation, we can stand through storms and success. In either place, we’re grounded and secure. This is where we grow the fear of the Lord.
It’s believing his word and receiving His Word as our authority. We’re not trying to argue it, debate it, or get around it; we’re receiving it.
By living this way, we’re feeding our soul, which turns our focus to Jesus. When we look at him, we’re stirred to be like him in every area of our lives.
Therefore, our behavior in public and private is guided by what God wants more than we want.
The fear of the Lord is freedom. Our phobias are a prison.
Choosing to bind ourselves to Jesus is how we’re free.
I encourage you to make his word your foundation.
Second, dislike what is wrong.
It’s good to dislike what is wrong. This gives us a right view of what sin and evil do to people. It ruins families, destroys lives, perverts what is good, robs innocence, promotes selfishness, corrupts society, breeds injustice and belittles the overlooked.
The devil causes chaos, God gives peace. The devil causes destruction, God gives healing. The devil ruins lives, God heals lives.
So, when we love God and get close to him, we’ll begin to dislike what is wrong with a passion. There will be a dividing line within our soul that separates the holy from the unholy.
The fear of the Lord is safety and a blessed life. It connects us to Jesus and reveals to us our purpose. When we have the fear of the Lord we will dislike what is wrong.
We must remember that playing with temptation and compromising convictions is a slope too many have fallen down on. The devil will always make us pay more than we want, do more than we want to do and stay longer than we want to stay.
But God will always lead us into more of his presence, empower us to do more for him and bring us to rest in his peace.
God is good, and his ways are better than ours; therefore, we choose to follow him.
Third, we have healthy boundaries.
Boundaries are healthy and necessary for anything to grow. They produce safety and give peace. For our lives, boundaries are needed in two big ways.
The first way is for ourselves.
We know our tendencies, struggles, patterns, and secrets. We know us, which is why boundaries are BIG for our faith.
We must protect ourselves to grow past ourselves. Boundaries keep us from what is wrong and empower us to do what is right. God uses these in healing as we get our soul cleaned and our lives made new.
For example, if you struggle with addiction, I encourage you stay clear from alcohol and drugs.
If you struggle with purity. Have safeguards on your phone, laptop, TV and more. Have a plan for hotel stays and where you go and don’t go.
These are examples of boundaries that keep us moving forward in Jesus.
The second way is for others.
Healthy relationships have boundaries. Unhealthy relationships don’t have boundaries.
We all need these to cultivate healthy dialogue, respect, care, connection and friendship.
Healthy does not happen by accident; it’s intentional and this is true in our relationships.
If we’re afraid of people, it’s a snare. If we grow in the fear of the Lord, we’ll be protected.
We’ll be safer, better, stronger, cleaner, and faith-filled with boundaries.
So, how do we defeat fear? Having fear! The fear of the Lord.
Move close to Jesus today! Let his passion fill you. Give him a chance to work in your life and nurture the fear of the Lord.
Jesus is with you and the best is yet to come!