“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” — 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
In the enemy’s arsenal, fear is one of the most successful weapons used against the believer. The enemy can never get a major entrance in your life, unless he uses the key of fear. We often ask, “What is fear?” Fear is a spirit according to Timothy and its intention is to rule over your life. It is a painful emotion caused by an expectation of evil or impending danger.
There are two kinds of mindsets that govern the human race. One is based on fear and the other one is based on faith. In my position I’ve seen fear grip some of the strongest, very intelligent, and most influential individuals. You may not be down to your last heartbeat but you may be down to the last paycheck, waiting on the Lab report, the talk of layoffs, and economical decline. We fear a lot of things in life. Finishing last, going broke, the mole on our skin, time running out, retirement and parenting. Fear comes to every home, every business, every church, every mind and every life. Fear will paralyze and immobilize you from walking into the promise God has for your life.
The most important element of whether you live a life of faith or fear is how you perceive things from within. Perception determines how you respond to life’s circumstances. King Saul seen Goliath, and thought, “He is too big too kill.” But when David saw him, he thought, “He is too big to miss.” David’s mindset was “Please give me a rock so I can slay the giant.” Perception is the ability to sort out what is important and what is not. Let’s look for a moment today at the costs of fear
First, it will destroy your own sense of self-worth. Fear will begin to destroy and erode your personal sense of value. It destroys your ability to believe that you are someone made in the image of God. God has great plans for your life. The moment you embrace fear, you lose your personality. You start responding to things out of fear and not out of the real you. You start seeing yourself below what God sees in you. In spite of the fact that you have been graced with significant gifts, talents and abilities
The second cost of living in fear is the onset of stagnation in your life, instead of progression. Fear stunts spiritual growth. Once fear has taken hold in you life, then you will never experience the potential that God has for your life. All growth, progression, and advancement in life require tangible risks. Anything worth having in life has risk attached to it. Risk will involve possible danger and danger involves fear. In order to grow spiritually there will be risks. The enemies of growth are comfort and complacencies.
Every stage to our church growth at West Logan has come with great risk. Choosing to be a church that reaches the lost means you have to change things that church folks like. Your look changes, your music changes, and your approach to ministry changes! It was God led, but the results are heavenly. Every stage of growth, progression and advancement in your life will produce the opportunity for new fears to be entertained. Whether it is marriage, your finances, or in your relationship with others you will never progress from A to B unless you embrace some level of risk in your life that will demand that you make sacrifices. I would rather risk and fail, then never risk and never accomplish. Every great step of success has risk attached to it. Fear of failure keeps us from taking the risk. Not taking the risk will keep you in a place of stagnation.
The third fear will cost you your joy. Researchers discovered that people who worry the most are people with over blown imaginations. These people are bright, creative, and intelligent people, but their imaginations run towards the negative. Anything and everything that happens to them is processed through the passage of catastrophe. When you live this way, it will cost you your joy every day. Joy is the fuel that strengthens us daily in the pursuit of God and of our destiny. When joy is stolen from you, your ability to pursue becomes difficult. When you live with a fear-filled mind, you eliminate yourself and take the joy out of present day living. A healthy perspective gives you the power to see things for what they really are, and it helps you to get on with your life. You will never see a fearful joyful person. Fear and joy cannot and will not coexist.
Lastly, fear will cost you the ability to make good judgments, which is the key to your advancement and growth. If you lose or lack judgment, you will forever live life going in a circle. When you live in fear, you will not make good decisions. A fear driven person’s attention and focus are consumed by situations and conditions. At these times, they lack proper judgment because they are overtaken with anxiety, nervousness and worry, and are often depressed over their situation. Living with a mindset of fear will lead you to a mountain of regret for the rest of your life. You’ll be regretful for the risks that you never took, the challenges you never embraced and all the adventures that you drew back from.
Fear may be gripping your life and trying to steal your self-worth, spiritual growth, joy and your good judgment. Jesus can turn your typhoon time into naptime. Silencing your waves with one word. One Word from God will silence the storm in your life. You can face your earth quaking moments in life, and not drown. God is not going to allow you to go under no matter the size of the storm you face in life. Take this moment today to pray to God and experience His peace. God has not given you the “Spirit of Fear” but power, love and a sound mind.
Rev. Scotty Dingess is pastor of West Logan Church of God and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.