2 Timothy 1:5-7 (NLT)
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
People I am telling you from the bottom of my heart – I HATE SNAKES. From the smallest to the largest and every single one in between, I loathe these creatures with all that is within me down to the deepest part of my being. So when my daughter called in a panic that a rattlesnake had been spotted at the entrance to our neighborhood by a parent walking their child home from school, I was quite disturbed. I have seen small snakes walking along in the evening which are tiny garter snakes that scurry away before I get close but the word “rattlesnake” and “children” would provoke fear in the heart of the most seasoned handler I am sure. All seemed calm as I drove past the spot of its sighting on my way home, calm order restored. However, as I left for my nightly walk erring on the side of caution I walked down the middle of the road rather than on the sidewalk. Now some may question the logic in man versus vehicle or man versus snake. I chose to take my chances against cars. Good choice, because there basking in the afternoon sun was the famous adolescent serpent causing all the fuss. He was not as big as my mind had made him. He was not as fierce as portrayed by my overactive imagination but there he was in living color. My worst fear realized I hurried by keeping my eyes locked with his but far from reach. My initial thought was to run home, lock the doors and never cruise the neighborhood again except in our very large SUV. Isn’t it crazy how fear can make our thoughts completely irrational? I instantly decided to never walk the streets of suburbia again but exercise in the safety of the gym with my husband. I began calling the local authorities for assistance. First the sheriff who transferred my call to the police department who then directed me to animal control who informed me that the “rattlesnake” had the right to dwell in nature even if it was fifteen feet from a school crosswalk traversed by unsuspecting children and parents morning and afternoon. Nobody would come deal with the nuisance. A red tail hawk and owl were arguing in the trees above the snake deciding who would eat him for supper but neither one rushed to my aid only continuing to screech at one another high above all danger. Others joined me in the street trying to decide what to do as the snake slithered into the bushes. (Insert shudder here!)
Fear can be defined as false evidence appearing real to Children of God. Death is the primary fear of all living creatures with all other worries and cares falling close behind. My fear of snakes began as a child and was much worse when I was younger. Now after encountering a few along the way in life, I have learned to control my fear and anxiety to walk around them and give these reptiles some space. I have never been chased by one, but I have not challenged one either. I have a healthy respect that affords them great distance. But the truth is only about six people will die of a snakebite in the United States this year. You are more likely to die of a lightning strike – good to know. In fact, more people die of dog bites/attacks each year than encounters with snakes. My fear makes snakes more powerful than they really are considering the fact that approximately 37,000+ people will die of vehicular accidents and there I was walking down the middle of the road to avoid a three foot snake. Fear causes the heart to race and mind to snap into survival mode whether the threat is real or perceived. Anxiety is produced by just the chance of outcomes rather than the truth about what is happening. It is an advance payment for something you do not want and probably will never receive. Worry and stress overcome the hearts of God’s People every single day as we embrace the spirit of fear more than the Spirit of the Living God who is inside of us as believers. We must learn to fear less and have more faith!
Luke 12:4-8 (NLT)
“Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear. “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels.”
Faith becomes important to those who believe that Heaven is real and hell is hot. A lack of knowledge will cause people to perish that is so true. An unsuspecting child enamored by and in love with animals may attempt to pick up a rattlesnake because he does not understand the danger that is in its bite. Faith is not ignorant but based on this truth. Only Jesus Christ can save your soul and put us in right-standing with God which is important because He has the power to kill you and throw us into hell. He alone has this power. No one else. So yes, God is worthy of our fear, love and respect. But God does not take our fear for granted or capitalize on it because He loves us more than we can ever love Him. He calls us His Children. He acknowledges us to His Angels sending them to our defense. (Psalm 91:11-12) The truth is that as Children of God we have dominion over everything on the earth. (Genesis 9:1-2) Yes, even snakes. We can simple walk over them in the Name of Jesus. (Psalm 91:13) Faith and fear are hugely dependent on what we know and believe to be true. The truth is limited by fear but empowered by faith. What do you believe? To fear the Lord is to believe that He has set you free from the power of death and you are free to flourish in faith and confident hope. “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.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“Neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s Love.” Do you believe that? I never really noticed the reference to fear and worry in these popular verses. Fear is more than a word it is a spirit which produces worry and anxiety. God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love, power and self-discipline. The Spirit that we have been given is that of the One who overcame the world which has nothing to fear just confident hope. Fear decimates faith as it doesn’t not believe the truth. The enemy looks for voids in our faith to fill with fear so it will cause us to doubt the Lord and His Promises. Fear is a tormenting spirit. (I Samuel 16:14) Timothy came from a generation of faith-full people. So when fear came calling, he was instructed to “fan the flames of the spiritual gift” God had given him. We have all been provided with a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3) What we do with faith determines its productivity in our life! Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God!” He said this because when we live in righteousness, we have everything we need which will dissolve the fear of lack that produces worry about tomorrow and anxiety of an uncertain future. (Matthew 6:33-34) Worry is not about the things we see but all the things we do not see. Therefore, it is an enemy of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of the unseen. (Hebrews 11:1) Fear says, “I do not believe that God can do what He has promised to do in His Word (the Truth)!” Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Confident hope is the result of firm faith. We must believe the Truth of God’s Word enough to do what it says and wait for the results God promised. Fear can keep you from having the Promises and Blessings of God. You cannot allow it to do so. Many faithful followers of the Lord had to overcome fear to find their faith that leads to the fulfillment of confident hope. (Hebrews 11:27) Overcoming fear allows faith to take root and grow. Nothing can separate you from the Love of God. Neither life or death so do not let fear and worry of those things that will probably never happen steal your faith, destroy your hope and rob you of joy today!
Romans 8:14-16 (NLT)
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
The Holy Spirit affirms that we are God’s Children. The Spirit of God leads us from all fear to live by faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and doing what it says based on total belief. If you hear the Word of God and do something totally contradictory than it is most likely because you do not fully believe. Compromised trust allows for fear just ask anyone who has been betrayed. Our spirit of fear reaches past the current situation to lock its grip on every other thing we face in this life. It tries to take over the heart, mind, soul and body of God’s Children. But the Spirit of God living inside of you will have none of that. Ask the Lord to fill in the voids of your faith compromised by fear with His Spirit. You are no longer a fearful slave bound to your old nature but live in total freedom to love and trust the Lord expecting good outcomes in every situation. You will live and not die so you have nothing to be afraid of anymore. What is it important to uproot the spirit of fear from our life? “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.” (2 Corinthians 1:7) The spirit of fear will defile us so we must rely on the Holy Spirit to complete us. It will steal our future as it contaminates our faith in God and destroys all hope due to distrust and disbelief. You have too many promises circulating the Heavens waiting to pour out in your life to waste time worrying, stressing and being anxious for nothing! Ain’t nobody got time for that!
I Peter 3:13-15 (NLT)
Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
When the spirit of fear comes calling, do not open the door to your heart but fortify it with God’s Word which is the Truth concerning your situation. The enemy cannot get past the Truth! “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Hebrews 13:6 (NLT)
So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
I rebuke the spirit of fear from the life of every believer reading this today in the Name of Jesus Christ including my own. The Lord IS my helper and I will have no fear! Speak these words over your life today and strive to maintain the mindset of fearlessness. People have no power in your life. The enemy has no dominion over you. And yes, even snakes as gross as they may be cannot take authority in your life for you have been given all power over them by the Spirit of the Living God inside of you! Worry is a byproduct of fear so if you live in continual cycles of anxiety it is time to choke out the bitter root of fear that is attempting to override your faith and erode confident hope in the Word, Will and Way of God that leads to prosperity. God has given you the spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Accept nothing less. Be fearless!
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 112:4-8 (NLT)
Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.