I. When God Says To “Fear Not,” It’s Not a Suggestion
A. Isaiah 41:10 ~ “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am with your God. I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
1. “I’m afraid so.”
2. “I’m afraid not.”
3. “I’m afraid; I’m afraid; I’m afraid.”
4. Fear has become so “natural” that we don’t know how to live without it.
B. In our text, “fear not” is a command, not a suggestion. Yes, the human race is riddled with fear, but Christians not only don’t have to be, but shouldn’t be!
II. Where Did It Come From?
A. How did fear come into the world?
B. Romans 5:12 gives us the answer: “…sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…”
C. When Adam sinned, and made Satan his lord, Satan – who never created anything – perverted the force of faith in Adam and it became fear. Satan has no creative force. He only has a way of perverting what God has already created. BUT, he can only do that if man allows him to do so.
D. We were given dominion over everything in the garden. Adam sinned and gave over that birthright to Satan. Redemption bought that birthright back!
E. Fear is simply twisted (or perverted) faith.
F. Fear activates Satan the same way faith activates God!
G. For example: Someone who may be told they might die of cancer will begin to fear death because they have faith in the cancer.
H. Fear is connected to the law of sin and death the same way faith is connected to the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
I. So, when God says, “Fear Not,” we have an obligation under the blood of Jesus resist fear.
III. The Key to Getting Rid of Fear
A. God doesn’t expect you to handle fear. He has already overcome it!
B. Isaiah 54:10, 13-14 says: “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you…All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.”
C. The key to getting rid of fear is listed in that last verse – “be established in righteousness.” Being the righteousness of God is not something we can make happen with our own efforts. We are in right standing with God because He said so, through the blood of Jesus.
D. Our part is to establish that truth into our own thinking!
E. We are righteousness in Him and God is for us, not against us.
IV. Fear is Taught, Not Born – Getting Rid of Fear is Taught
A. The purpose of training young children should be to teach them good judgment – not fear!
B. Don’t say to your child “don’t go into the street. Daddy’s afraid you will be run over by a car.”
C. Rather, you can say, “you see that car? Cars are good and one of these days you’ll want one. However, don’t play in the street because cars, although they are good, can hurt you!”
D. Notice how the second statement doesn’t approve of fear. It says the same thing, but does it without speaking fear into it.
E. Children always learn more from example. Therefore, if they hear us, or see us in fear all of the time, they, too, will begin to develop a sense of fear.
F. Remember, fear is twisted faith! The Word says that God has given each of us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). In fact, His Word says that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (I John 4:18). So, He gives each of us a measure of faith, but as II Timothy 1:7 states, He “has not given us a spirit of fear.” So, faith is from God, but fear isn’t.
V. Righteousness Keeps Us Far From Oppression
A. Isaiah 54:14 states that, because we are established in righteousness, we will be far from oppression because we won’t be in fear.
B. Webster defines “oppress”:
v. 1. to persecute or subjugate by force. 2. to weigh heavily upon.
A definition of depression is: “taking away of men’s goods or estates by terror or force without having any right thereto, by working on the ignorance, weakness or fearfulness of the oppressed.”
C. Therefore, oppression is somebody taking something away from you, without a right to do so. For example:
1. Sickness is a satanic depression. The devil has no right to take your health from you. He’s not your god! You’ve been bought with a price, and your body belongs to Jesus! By the stripes on His body, your body has been healed!
VI. Redeemed From Fear & Oppression
A. We have an anointing – the burden-removing, yoke-destroying power of God within us! So, for us to act in fear is truly blasphemous!
B. Listen to Hebrews 2:14-15
“Inasmuch then as the children has partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
C. This passage implies that fear can become oppression, which is bondage, a stronghold.
D. But, God has not given us the spirit (a demon) of fear, but of power and love and a sound-mind! (II Timothy 1:7)