When I was around four-years-old, I remember one cool October night I was watching a VHS tape of 90s Christian music legend, Ron Kenoly with my dad. It is important to note that as a small child in a Christian, Jesus-loving home, I had never been exposed or taught the ghoulish and menace traditions that surrounded the dark and ugly holiday of Halloween. This particular October evening, my mom was at our next-door neighbor’s house and out of consideration, my dad had left the porch light on for her. As my dad and I got down to the funky contemporary Christian vibes of Ron Kenoly that night, the doorbell rang. I arrived at the door completely expecting to see my sweet mother there to greet me, I was, however, instead met with sheer panic and terror as I was faced with two horrifying looking creatures that I was sure could only be demons in the flesh. As a blood-curdling shrill scream escaped from my innocent little four-year-old self, I was met with an instant awakening that in that moment changed my perspective on reality. Though, yes, I was now and suddenly made aware of the annual tradition of trick-or-treating, I was also made aware of something else that would be far more detrimental than some 11-year-olds wearing masks and seeking candy. In that moment, I was made aware of something that would grip me for months and years to follow: FEAR.
From the very first man and woman created all the way to now, fear has made itself present and affected the lives of billions of humans across the planet. Dare I say all but one. Fear’s mission? To terrorize, suppress, cause a sense of dread, to threaten, rob, and devalue truth.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The truth is that there is no power or force that exists that is stronger or higher than God. As God’s sons and daughters, He commands us to put Him first in our lives. This is not because He is an egotistical God who needs the recognition of being number one. No! It is rather so that when we look at our own lives—our identity, purpose, and value—we see first and most a true reflection of who we are—made in the image and likeness of a powerful God.
Fear’s goal is to get you to believe that something, anything is bigger than God. When this happens, we don’t have a clear view of our true selves and the enemy’s mission of keeping us from abundant life is accomplished. Since we know that God has not made us fearful but instead full of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), fear is not welcomed in our culture or in our lives.
You can listen to the full message, “Fear is Not My Master” below.
In addition, here are some tools to use against fear as you claim your abundant life in God.
Fear Is Not My Master
Tools to use against fear:
1. Rehearse the bigness of God.
“God, you created the heavens and the earth. You heal the sick and raise the dead. Angels hearken to the sound of your word. You parted seas and stopped rain. You created me in Your image and likeness. You formed me in my mother’s womb and called me out for signs and wonders.”
Rehearsing the bigness of God like this reminds you of your identity in God and transforms your state of mind into an environment where fear can’t stay. Whenever I’m struggling to connect with faith, I start telling God how big He is. In the process I begin to see my own reflection as full of power, love, and a sound mind. There is nothing more terrifying to fear than a person who knows their true identity in God.
2. Let the light shine in.
1 John 1:5 says that, “In Him is light and there is no darkness at all.” Faith can appear dangerous and fear can appear safe. Ask God to shine a light on areas where you have viewed fear as bigger than God.
When we understand where we have believed a lie and choose to walk in faith instead, the light will flood in and the darkness will be overcome. When you recognize an area of fear in your life, give it to God, ask for forgiveness for seeing fear as bigger than Him, and ask Him what He wants to give you in exchange for fear in your life. Maybe its a strategy, maybe its peace, maybe its wisdom. Whatever it is, we can trust that it will be good.
3. Face the facts with faith
When you are faced with a fact that would invoke fear within you (e.g. an unexpected bill, a diagnoses, a news report), ask God how He views the situation. When we make God the biggest thing in the room, fear loses its power as it has to submit to the more powerful authority in our presence.
4. Give Holy Spirit some muscle.
Something that I have done is imagined the Holy Spirit within me as a strong, muscular person. Whenever I feel myself slipping into fear or feeling weak to fight against it, I call upon the Holy Spirit who is far more powerful than I am. Suddenly, the “enemy” that I was facing doesn’t seem so scary in the light of a powerful God within me.
5. Have people in your life who promote faith over fear.
If you are faced with fear every time you pay your bills, when that time comes, invite a faith-filled friend to come sit with you. Every time you pay a bill ask that friend to remind of you of a time when God came through for you in the past, or a time in the Bible when God showed Himself as provider.
Having those in your life who you can call to support you in promoting faith in your life is a major win in the battle against fear. Fear will cause you to want to hide or seclude yourself. Don’t give it that power over you. Instead, when you feel petrified to let someone else into your reality, pick up the phone and show fear who’s boss.
6. Make your words powerful.
Declare this over and over again until it becomes second nature to proclaim: Fear is not my master. I will live by faith.
1 John 4:17-19
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”
Fear is not my master. I will live by faith!