What are you most afraid of?

Two men were walking home after a party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery they were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones.

“Holy cow, Mister,” one of them said after catching his breath, “You scared us half to death … we thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?”

“Those fools!” the old man grumbled. “They misspelled my name!”

There are many things people are fearful of, but here are the ten most common phobias:

  • Social phobias

Most common type of fear. Examples: Judgment, rejection, humiliation, failure, success

  • Agoraphobia: fear of open spaces

Fear of open spaces, or even being in public. Traps people in their homes, paralyzes them, cause them to avoid certain public places.

  • Acrophobia: fear of heights

Can be fear of even escalators, cliff-top lookout or a tall buildings.

  • Pteromerhanophobia: fear of flying

Think it’s more a fear of crashing than flying.

  • Claustrophobia: fear of enclosed spaces

People with this fear say they feel like the walls are closing on them.

  • Entomophobia: fear of insects

They are small, they crawl and they often bite, so it is understandable why many people do not like spiders and insects.

  • Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes

Even Indiana Jones famously said “I hate snakes”, and he is not alone. This fear is common to many.

  • Cynophobia: fear of dogs

A fear of dogs is a common phobia, particularly among children, can be one of the most difficult phobias to conquer because canines can sense people’s fear and will be attracted to them.

  • Astraphobia: fear of storms

Fear of storms is common, lightning and thunder

  • Trypanophobia: fear of needles

Pretty self-explanatory

There are thousands and thousands of fears, and some really weird ones like fear of peanut butter sticking to the top of your mouth, fear of the wind, fear of string, fear of washing, fear of dancing (I have this one)

The experts break them all up into five basic Fear groups, and all fears fall into one of these groups, or are manufactured out of one of these groups

  1. Fear of Extinction—the fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist. Many fall into this category like the fear of heights, plane crashes, they all threaten existence.
  2. Fear of Mutilation—the fear of losing any part of our precious bodily structure; the thought of having our body’s boundaries invaded, or of losing the integrity of any organ, body part, or natural function. Anxiety about animals, such as bugs, spiders, snakes, and other creepy things arises from fear of mutilation.
  3. Fear of the Loss of Autonomy—the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control. In physical form, it’s commonly known as claustrophobia, but it also extends to our social interactions and relationships.
  4. Fear of Separation—the fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness; of becoming a non-person—not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else. The “silent treatment,” when imposed by a group, can have a devastating psychological effect on its target.
  5. Fear of Ego-death—the fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one’s constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.

Before everyone says but there is good fear also………………..

I am not quite sure about the calling it a “Good Fear” but for lack of a proper translation, let’s say that it’s a good fear that stops you from driving at 260km/h and it’s a good fear that stops you from diving with Great white sharks without a cage.

But Satan is a bastard, we all know that, and he uses FEAR to paralyze us.

He is a master at using our fears to stop us from being effective for the Kingdom

He uses the “spirit of fear” to:

  • Make our lives miserable. Worry and fear can make our lives miserable!

There is a famous story about a lady called Hetty Green who died in 1916. Ironically she was America’s greatest miser with an estate valued at about $100 million but had a son whose injured foot had to be amputated because she spent years searching for FREE medical services!…

We can be so afraid of losing our wealth, our job or our source of income that we never learn to enjoy our life!

  • Make us ineffective. Many times we do not share our faith or give prophetic words to people or prayer for healing because of fear.

What will they think and say about me? What if I turn them off? What if I mess up? They probably won’t listen to me anyway! What if God doesn’t heal?

He uses our past sins, the potential of failure and the certainty of criticism to disable us and rob us of the Joy that God intended for us.

Most people in our culture today are riddled with fear. The politicians use it to get votes, businessmen use it to sell and the church uses it to gather funds and keep people in the pews.

It runs our life in more aspects that we care to accept and most people don’t even realize it.

We are taught to dress up our fear into sociably acceptable clothes and we call it things like “Stress”

We need to now more than ever, stop being ashamed of our fears, but rather bring our fears into the light so we can deal with them.

(This is pretty much what I want us to do today, we have heard this talk before and we will hear it again, but we need to be pressing in and asking Pappa to reveal the root of our fears to us so we can shine His light on them and bring healing.)

Fear is sneaky, and it shows up in all kinds of disguises. Here is a quick check to tell if fear is running the show in your life?

  1. You find yourself striving in vain for an impossible-to-achieve standard of perfection. What is that a FEAR of?????(Failure, letting other’s down)
  2. You settle for something other than what God has for you.
  3. You say yes when you mean no and you say no when you mean yes.
  4. You numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, sex, television, or excessive busyness.
  5. You procrastinate.
  6. You get paralyzed.
  7. You become a control freak.
  8. You muzzle yourself.
  9. You get sick because of your fear/stress.

BUT GOD

He has given us the power to overcome Fear

Matthew 10:26-36

26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 “Therefore whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

Fear starts really early in the Bible after Adam and Eve sinned, Remember God came in the cool of the evening for his afternoon walk with them and he couldn’t find them. When he does eventually find them, he asks, “Where were you?” Adam’s response was, “I was afraid!”

And this is where a relationship between the fall of humanity and the fear of humanity began.

  • The religious leaders feared Jesus and so they crucified him,
  • The disciples after seeing Jesus crucified were hiding in fear of their lives that they would be the next to be crucified.
  • The guards were so frightened by the angel that these hardened men of war literally froze in place and fell to the ground.
  • Mary Magdalene and Mary are frightened when they see the open tomb for they fear that someone had stolen the body of Jesus.
  • And even when Jesus appeared to the disciples, they were afraid so such so that Jesus had to say to them, “Peace be with you” just to calm them down.

Everywhere you look on that first Easter, in all of the uncertainty, the unknown and all of the questions of about what lay ahead, there was fear.

But God never intended us to live in fear.

He kept on telling everyone, don’t fear, don’t be afraid. Throughout the resurrection story, we hear the words “Don’t be afraid!”

In fact, there are 1500 verses dealing with fear in the Bible and 365 say, “Fear not!”

I don’t think that’s a coincidence. God doesn’t want you to be afraid.

When we trust Jesus is who He says He is, when we believe that His resurrection is real, when we place our lives in His hands through surrender, then surely we can live Fearless.

He promises us that He will not fail us, He will not forsake us, He will not abandon us. He will be with us, stay with us, strengthen us, guide us, and direct us because even though life may become difficult and it seems as if the world is against us, the power of the resurrection, the power to overcome even death itself, is available to us.

When God enters into covenant with us He never breaks it.

So how do we deal with this thing called FEAR?

There is no easy quick fix to stop fear in its tracks and unfortunately we need to constantly be reminded of Gods promises and constantly declare them over our lives.

I want to go through 12 scriptures to help us defeat fear in our lives

  1. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

We have to bring our fears into the light and realize that they are from the enemy and not from God.

Don’t play around with your fears, the minute they rear their ugly head, cut them off.

Through Christ, God has given us Power to overcome every obstacle the enemy attempts to set in our way. No matter the circumstance, God has given us Power to break the spirit of fear from off of our lives and the Strength to fight against and be victorious over the tactics of the enemy in every area of our lives.

Face and conquer fear with God’s Word. Throw God’s word at it.

  1. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

It is our choice to surrender to the bondage and stronghold of fear.

God gives us the Keys and Authority to overcome the enemy in every area of your life. He has set you free.

But it is your choice to walk in the freedom of Christ or live in the bondage and entanglement of the past.

You have a great Destiny in store for you. Don’t allow fear to sabotage and steal your Destiny.

  1. “In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat” Isaiah 10:27

Fear will wrap itself around your Destiny, and choke the life out of your dreams and your plans for the future.

If you trust God, He will keep you protected under His Covering as you surrender to Him.

The Anointing of Christ will destroy every yoke and burden that’s weighing you down.

Step forward in faith, trusting and knowing that God will cover and heal you, destroying the pain of the past.

  1. “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” Mark 2:22

Fear will cause you to implement new ideas in old ways.

If we want different results we have to have different actions.

We cannot continue to do things the old way.

God wants you to implement, the new ideas that He has given you, in His Way.

You cannot put new wine, (new ideas, new businesses, new revelation) into an old framework.

We need to allow God to reshape our minds and renew our vessel to execute His Ideas, His Way.

Ask God to give you a new perspective on what to execute His Way.

  1. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

Probably the biggest fears in life are around finances.

There is nothing wrong with money. Money is a tool – it is not God.

But when you choose to idolize money and exalt it in your heart to a “god-like” status then you’re choosing to worship money over surrendering to God.

 

An overwhelming fear of lack or the fear of being in poverty will torment you, if you allow these thoughts to rule over your “thought life”.

When fear rules your thought life, your actions begin to follow after your fears.

Your fears begin to shape your actions and you begin to solely trust in your own “power and ability”, to obtain wealth, rather than trusting in God.

You always make a plan B instead of relying on God’s Plan A.

Trust God and know that He’ll take care of you. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

  1. “Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:8

Fear will threaten your stability.

When faith and fear are at war, fear competes for a space that only God can fill.

When you choose to allow fear to engulf you it will become your god and drowns out every other voice… even God’s.

Fear will speak louder than The Word of God, if you allow it to rule.

Don’t have double standards, but rather STAND on his words in scripture.

You cannot walk in faith while clinging to fear.

  1. “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” Romans 8:7

Fear is carnal. Your flesh wants to fight God while your spirit wants to surrender and worship Him.

It’s up to you to put your flesh under subjection and align it with the Word of God.

When you trust God and Command fear to leave, you’re declaring that God has dominion over you and fear has to subject itself to Christ.

  1. In Luke 10:19, Christ declared “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Christ has given you power to conquer the enemy’s devices and his plan.

Don’t roll over and play dead.

In Christ, you are not defeated.

Christ knows your starting point and He knows where you’ll finish.

He’s crafted you to prosper. He uniquely created you to win.

You have the Authority to Command fear to leave and to triumph

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..” Jeremiah 29:11 KJV

  1. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 Fear will disarm your war chest.

Your war chest is God’s Word. His Word is Power and releases you from generational strongholds and the soul ties of fear.

Fear will entangle your soul into speaking its language. Speak God’s Word and cancel out the voice of the enemy.

Shed fear and Engage God.

  1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Fear inhibits our ability to Trust God.

When your fears triumph over your ability to trust and lean upon God you begin to set yourself up for failure, no matter the area.

To trust in God, completely, requires a selfless obedience.

If you’re willing to give your whole heart to Him, in every area, He’ll direct your foot-steps.

When you walk by faith and trust God with every aspect of your life, you begin to declare, with your actions, that God is Lord over your life and fear has no residence in your heart.

Trusting God requires your participation.

If you hold on to the weight and condemnation of the past, it will crush you.

God is greater than your mistake. Release it and trust God.

  1. “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17

Fear will cause you to magnify the enemy’s weapon.

God is greater than any weapon that the enemy can form. God created you to prosper and He has given you dominion over any and every weapon that’s formed.

Things like Financial setbacks and mistakes are not permanent holes that you have to live in. God has given you the power, authority and insight to conquer and overcome fear in every area, even in your finances.

  1. “From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.” Isaiah 59:19

When the enemy comes in like a flood God will raise up a standard.

No matter the area where fear attempts to manifest itself, God’s Word will overcome it.

With Christ, you have the Authority to defeat fear whenever it raises its head.

Even if fear tries to come in like a tidal wave, God can calm the storm.

In Closing

Fear does not have to rule you, dominate or torment you, God has given you authority, through the Blood of Christ to rule, dominate and tread on fear’s head.

It’s up to you to embrace God’s Peace or accept defeat

God can cause the storm to cease.

He can cause the waves to be at peace.

God is Peace. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.

Amen.

Written by Andrew Holdsworth

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