Facing Your Giants: Fear
(Editor's note: This continues our series on "Facing Your Giants." Here's the story of David and Goliath on which the series is built, while last week's lesson focused on the giant of anger.)
One of the first details you notice when you read the story of David and Goliath is that the Israelite army was “dismayed and greatly afraid” (I Sam. 17:11). While we may not ever go toe-to-toe with a physical giant like David did, we all deal with hardships and temptations in our lives. Some kind of giant is standing before you, taunting you and harassing you.
One of those giants may be fear. We all have fears, don’t we? Fear is real, and it can dominate us if we allow it to. The word “fear” in II Tim. 1:7 is translated in the Greek as “timidity or cowardice.” It is that kind of fear that is a sin in the eyes of God.
Fear paralyzes: Fear can keep us from doing the things that are important and keep us from being who God wants us to be. It can take a toll on our life and rip the joy right out of us. Fear also will keep us from confessing Jesus (John 12:42-43) and obeying God (I Sam. 15:24; Matt. 25:24-25).
Fear distorts God’s size: David’s focus was not on the size of the giant, but on the size of his God (I Sam. 17:45-47). We must be like David and magnify God in our life. Whatever we fear, our God is bigger. Whatever our weakness is, our God is stronger (Prov. 3:25-26; Ps. 56:3-4).
Fear denies God’s presence: “We walk by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7). Fear comes when we live by sight, not by faith (I Sam. 17:24). Whatever we’re fearful of, underneath that fear is the belief that God is not there. How can I overcome that fear?
*Grow in faith (II Pet. 3:18)
*Be a doer (James 1:21-25)
*Pray and be thankful (Phil. 4:6-7)
*Focus on Godly things (Phil. 4:8)
*Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18)
*Sanctify the Lord in my heart (I Pet. 3:13-15)
Redirect fear toward God: Fear is good when it warns and redirects. It can be healthy and protect us from danger. So, instead of fearing circumstances, I need to fear God with reverence, respect and awe. And if we fear God, we will keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13) and obey, just like Noah did (Heb. 11:7). Noah’s obedience wasn’t haphazard. It was measured and reverent. He did it because he respected God and feared God.
Fear will cause us to lose our soul (Rev. 21:8), just as quick as any other sin. We must take this giant in our life seriously. But a healthy dose of godly fear is good for us, knowing we will stand before God in judgment.