If you don't remember anything else from this article, remember that fear is not from God but from Satan. See 2 Timothy 1:7. Every time you feel fear in your life, it's a manifestation of the kingdom of darkness. I often say in my teachings that fear is the "master spirit." It's the spirit Satan uses to try to rule God's people and keep them from coming under the leadership of the true Master, Jesus Christ.
What Are You Afraid Of?
Multitudes of people never fulfill the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them. Is he using fear to stop you? Satan uses fear to keep people from enjoying life. Fear brings torment, according to 1 John 4:18, and you surely can't enjoy life and be tormented at the same time.
I want to encourage you to take an inventory in the fear department. What are you afraid of? Are there any areas in your life that are being stifled because of fear? Satan is always going to bring fear against us at various times. It's one of his major weapons—not a cap gun, but a cannon.
Stepping Out in Spite of Fear
All of us must learn how not to "fear the fear." The devil brings fear, but you can choose not to bow your knee to it. David said, What time I am afraid, I will…trust…in You (Psalm 56:3). I believe we can say that when God leads you to step out in an area to do something new, or leads you to make a bigger commitment, you may (or probably will) feel fear. However, if you're sure God told you to do it, put your trust in Him and go forward.
I have to apply this same principle to my life all the time. Years ago, we realized that we really needed more office space. At the same time, we needed more employees, which would require more desks, computers, phones, etc. We had a choice. We had prayed for growth so we could help more people. And everything did increase—resource orders, speaking engagements, incoming phone calls, mail, etc. It was God's timing, and He was moving.
We had to make a decision to either stand still in fear or move with God. If we had not been willing to rent more space and hire more people, we couldn't have kept up with the growth. I can tell you for sure that fear tried to stop me. I heard things like, "Joyce, you're getting in over your head." "That's too much money to spend." "What if the increase doesn't continue?" I'm sure you know the recording; you've probably heard it also.
We certainly don't want to move in the flesh or out of God's timing, but when God is moving, you can't be afraid to move with Him. In my situation, I had a choice to be led by my head or follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
How Fear Works
Some common fears are fear of lack, death, loneliness, people, authority, commitment, heights, germs, closed-in spaces, airplanes, dogs, cats, failure, rejection, being laughed at, and even fear of being attractive.
We went to the library and got a typed list of known phobias—it was four pages long. It even included phobaphobia, which is the fear of being afraid. It seems that the list is endless. It convinced me even more of how extensive Satan's work is in this area.
Face Fear and Move Forward
Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you. I believe God works gently with us to bring us out of bondage and into liberty. If you've been afraid of something and desire to be free, the time will eventually come when you'll have to face your fear and not run away from it. Just take Jesus' hand, acknowledge that He is with you, and do it. If you're afraid of people with authority, the time will come when you'll have to confront an authority figure and not cower in fear. God will have arranged the time. He'll be there, but you'll have to choose whether to go through or run away.
If you're at one of these crossroads in your life, let me encourage you to go forward. Don't stand still in terror, but take His hand and go forward. Remember, fear torments and God wants to deliver you from all of your fears.