‘In Christ we can come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this through faith in Christ.’
What were the first words the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead?
“Don’t be afraid!”
What were the first words Jesus said after He rose from the dead?
“Don’t be afraid!”
What were the first words the disciples heard Jesus say when He met them as a group?
“Don’t be afraid!”
Fear in Greek is ‘Phobia’.
When you google the word ‘Phobia’ you get a list of well over 600 different fears that people are suffering from.
A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is, when used in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational. In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.
The world is experiencing a wave of fear.
Ann Landers was a pen name created by Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist Ruth Crowley. It has been active until 2002, and it received over 10,000 letters a day.
She was once asked,
“What is the most common problem that you find in your letters?”
“Without a doubt, fear.”
If we were to have a giant screen up here in the front and we were able to project your hidden fears, what would be on that screen?
Some of you are afraid you’re going to lose your job.
Some of you are afraid you’re going to lose your marriage.
Some of you are afraid you’re going to lose a kid, that he’s going in the wrong direction.
Some of you are fearful about your health.
You’re waiting test results and you fear that “C” word – cancer.
Some of you are afraid you’re never going to get out of the parking lot!
A son asked his daddy,
“Daddy, are you afraid of spiders?” No. “Are you afraid of thunder? of ghosts? of robbers” No. “Then I guess Mommy is the only thing you’re afraid of.”
We call fear by many names.
We call it worry, tension, anxiety, uptight, stress.
In one of his sermons Rick Warren says that in a recent study on 500 different people they discovered 7000 different fears.
That’s an average of 14 different fears per person.
What do we know about fear?
– We know it’s contagious.
You can get it from other people.
– We know that it’s limiting.
“Fear is the dark room where negatives develop.”
– We know that it’s draining.
Have you ever been worn out by your worries?
But the most important thing we know is that
– We know that God doesn’t want us to be afraid.
Ephesians 3:12 (NCV)
“In Christ, we can come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this through faith in Christ.”
How do I establish a foundation so that I will free from fears?
There are three foundational truths.
To make it simple and brief I just put it as the A-B-C that lead to freedom from fears.
A – Accept. I accept God’s love for me.
B – Believe. I believe that Christ died and rose for me.
C – Commit. I commit my fears and my life to Christ.
HOW TO ESTABLISH YOUR FOUNDATION
1. Accept God’s love for me.
1 John 4:18 (NCV)
“Where God’s love is, there is no fear because God’s perfect love drives out fear.”
The Bible says the opposite of love is fear and the opposite of fear is love.
Love and fear can’t operate in the same room.
When love comes in the front door of your life, fear goes out the back door.
Love is the cure, the remedy to fear.
There are three kinds of fear, three groups of fear that we can have.
THREE GROUPING OF FEAR
1. Surface fears.
The first is what I call surface fears.
Surface fears are things like:
– You’re afraid you’re not going to be able to pay your bills.
– You’re afraid you’re going to run out of gas before you get to the gas station.
– You’re afraid you’re going to have a car accident and not have clean underwear.
That’s a surface fear. And they are not really that important.
The next level down is more significant and far more unsettling.
2. Soul fears or subconscious fears.
They are the things that are right below the surface.
They’re a deeper:
– The fear of failure
– The fear of rejection
– The fear of abandonment
– The fear of losing control
– The fear of being found out
– The fear of not being adequate for the task.
– The fear of loss
But there is one other level of fear that is deeper still.
But it is a singular fear.
It’s the tap root that all your other fears come out of.
It’s the source the well of all your other fears.
3. Spiritual fear
No matter how much you try to get rid of all these other fears, until you deal with the tap root it’s not going to work.
Until you get healing at this deepest level of your life, you’re going to still have problems with all the soul and surface fears.
Question, what is my deepest need?
My deepest need in life is to feel absolutely, totally, unconditionally loved.
Completely loved not for something I could be, not for something I should be, but loved just for who I am.
That is our deepest inner need.
That’s why perfect love casts out fear.
Until this issue is resolved, we’re going to be tormented by other fears.
Only God can love us with as much love as we really need.
God doesn’t love us at random, hit and miss.
He loves us consistently.
He loves us every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year.
There’s never been a time in our life when God didn’t love us.
That’s not true of everybody else.
Only God can love us as deeply as we really need to feel loved.
Jeremiah 31:3 (NCV)
“I love you people with a love that will last forever. That is why I have continued showing you kindness.
‘But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.’
And if we try to get from other people what only God can give us, we’re going to be terribly disappointed, let down.
If you never get to know God, or if you just have a religious belief about God, or if you drift away from having this close relationship to Him you’re going to deal with these fear issues the rest of your life.
In order to deal with the source of all fears, we MUST ACCEPT GOD’S LOVE!
If you don’t get to know the love of God, there will be a giant, huge cave in your soul and it will fill up with fear.
Only God has enough love to fill that void in our soul.
So, the first step is to accept God’s love because where God’s love is there is no fear.
Why is it that people avoid God?
Because they don’t know what He’s like.
They don’t know how much He loves them.
It is amazing to see people run away from God when they need Him most!
Guilt causes us to run from God instead of running to God.
This is as old as Adam.
In Genesis it says, “I was afraid and I hid myself.”
People have been afraid of God and running from Him ever since.
We used to have a bumper sticker that said,
“If you feel far from God, guess who moved?”
God hasn’t moved.
He’s never stopped loving us.
We need God’s love in our life.
But some of you say,
“But you don’t know what I’ve done! I’ve blown it too much. God can never love me.”
The Bible says,
Romans 8:39 (NIV)
“… Nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”
Circle “nothing”. That means nothing!
Now, that doesn’t mean that God approves of everything you’ve done.
But He’s never stopped loving you.
“I don’t feel like I’m a bad person but I just don’t think God’s interested in me.”
You’re wrong too!
Luke 12:7 (NCV)
‘God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.’
He says you’re worth much!
If you ever want to know how much you’re worth, look at the cross.
We are the pearl of great price for which Jesus sold all that He had in order to buy us! (Matthew 13:46)
Now, it’s one thing to know about God’s love, and its’ another thing to accept it.
We are never going to feel it until we first accept it.
That means saying “Yes, I receive Your love, God. I don’t want to just know about You. I want to know You.”
God made you to love you.
The Bible says God created you as an object of His love.
We were created just so He could love us.
He knows everything about us.
And He wants us to know Him.
He wants us to have a relationship with Him.
The God of the universe wants to have a relationship with us.
It is not ‘God from a distance is watching’
Paul said at Athens, ‘though he is not far from any of us. ‘By his power we live and move and exist.’
He wants to know you.
When you love somebody, don’t you want them to love you back?
God wants you to love Him back.
So He sent Jesus Christ to earth to show us what God’s like, to live a perfect life, to die on the cross for us, to rise again.
Through Christ we become children of God.
1 John 3:1-3
‘The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children. The reason the people in the world do not know us is that they have not known him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and we have not yet been shown what we will be in the future.’
II. Believe that God Died and Rose for Me
Not that He just died and rose, but He died and rose for me.
It’s one thing to believe about something, it’s another thing to believe in something.
It’s one thing to believe about a person.
It’s another thing to believe in a person.
People say, “I believe there’s a God.”
So what? Big deal!
Do you think that puts you in the Book of Life because you believe there’s a God.
The Bible says the devil believes in God but you’re not going to find him in heaven.
It’s more than just a head knowledge.
It’s not just believing about, it’s believing in.
The Greek word for believe means to trust in, cling to, rely on, adhere to, sell out to, commit to.
I believe in Lenin but I’m not a Communist.
I believe in Hitler but I’m not a Nazi.
I believe in Jesus and I’m a Christian.
Because I’ve committed myself to Him.
It’s like the chair you’re setting on.
You say, “I believe this chair will hold me up.”
It’s one thing to say you believe it.
It’s another to sit down on it.
The moment you sat down on it, that’s real belief.
If I believe in Jesus what difference will it make?
There are a lot of them, but one of them is if you believe in Jesus and you believe what He says about the future is true, about salvation, then you can stop being afraid of death.
‘Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.’
People don’t like to talk about death.
They don’t like to think about death.
They don’t even like the word death.
First, because they don’t know what’s going to happen afterwards.
Second, because they’re not ready to meet God.
We need Christ in our life because we’re going to live tomorrow and we are going to die someday.
Only a fool goes through life unprepared for what he knows is going to happen for sure!
Let us be prepared!
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”
A third thing we need to do to build this foundation that will release us from all our fears is
III. Commit My Fears and My Love to the Lord
‘Trust in the LORD and do good. `Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.’
Many successful people may appear to be successful outwardly, but inwardly there is a persistent insecurity that’s eating them up.
Outwardly, they look like they’ve got it all together, but inwardly they’re worried thinking, can I pull off another day’s performance or will I fall flat on my face.
Outwardly, they’re saying to the world, “I can make it!”
Inwardly, they’re thinking, “Who are you kidding?”
They’ve got their BMW, their MBA, their VCR, but they are SAD!
They look good on the outside but inside they are caving in.
Idolatry is any time we put anything, any person, any career, any job, any decision, anything first place in our life instead of God.
Anything that takes first place in our life where God ought to be, we’ve made it the god of our life.
Like your boat may be god, or your house, or your job, or your bank account, or your girlfriend, your children, your spouse.
Any time we let this happen we’re setting our self up for fear because we weren’t made to live that way.
Anytime anything else besides God becomes more important in our life it can also be taken away from us so we’re going to develop fears.
– If getting people’s approval is the most important thing in my life, then I’ll develop a fear of losing the approval of other people.
– If making money is the number one goal in our life, then we’ll develop a fear of losing it all.
– If getting married is the most important thing in your life, then you’ll have a fear of never getting married or losing your marriage.
– If success is the most important thing in our life, we’ll develop a fear of failure.
– If your reputation is the most important thing in your life, you’ll develop a fear of losing it and you’ll have to work on your image all the time.
Idolatry equals fear.
Think about what makes you afraid.
Is there any chance that that which you are afraid of could be competing with God in your life?
That’s why you’re afraid.
The Bible says,
…‘Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.’
What does it mean?
Let the LORD be the manager of your life.
Let Him be the boss.
Let Him call the shots.
Let Him be the chairman of the board.
He doesn’t want to be RESIDENT in your life; He wants to be PRESIDENT in your life.
“God, You be number one.”
That’s what it means to be Lord.
Let God be God!
The apostle Peter said,
1 Peter 3:14-15
‘…So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life…’
To worship, revere, honor Christ as Lord means He’s the only person you ultimately have to please.
By having Christ Lord of our life, then He becomes the only person ultimately we have to please, do you think that might simplify our life?
Do you think it might reduce the stress?
Do you think it might release the tension?
Peter the apostle also says,
1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Imagine a garbage bag in front of you in which you cast all your worries.
Fill up the garbage bag with your worries.
Tie it all up and toss it out.
The garbage truck comes along and picks it up.
It says throw your worries on God.
Because He cares for you.
Let God be God.
Resign as general manager of the universe and you’ll be a whole lot more relaxed.
The world does not depend on you or me. God is God and we’re not!
As long as we try to be God, we’ll be filled with fear.
You’ll be filled with worry.
Worry is a warning light that says two things:
One, something has become too important to me, so I’m worrying about it.
It’s more important than it should be.
It’s taking first place in my life.
Two, it means I’m trying to solve something that is bigger than me.
I’m trying to play God.
I’m trying to control the issue.
Both of those don’t work.
This is what it means to commit your fears and your life to Christ.
‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.’
‘This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!’