by Joyce Meyer
First, let me remind you that fear is not from God. Fear is from Satan. II Timothy 1:7 says, "God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, of love, and a sound mind." Every time you feel fear in your life, it is a manifestation of the kingdom of darkness. Fear is one of the ruling spirits. I often say in my teachings that fear is the "master spirit," or the spirit Satan uses to try to rule God's people and to keep them from coming under the leadership of the true Master, Jesus Christ.
Multitudes of people never fulfill the call of God in their lives, simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them. Is he using fear to stop you? Satan uses fear to keep people from enjoying life. Fear brings torment according to I John 4:18, and you surely can't enjoy life and be tormented at the same time.
I want to encourage you to take an inventory in the fear department. What are you afraid of? Are there any areas in your life that are being stifled because of fear? Satan is always going to bring fear against us at various times. It is one of his major weapons—not a minor weapon, not a cap gun, but a cannon. The thing that we all must learn is how to not "fear the fear". The devil brings fear, but you should choose not to bow your knee to it. David said in Psalms, "What time I am afraid I will trust in you". I believe, we can state the fact that, when God leads you to step out in an area to do something new or when He leads you to make a bigger commitment, you may (even probably will) feel fear. However, if you are reasonably sure God told you to do it, put your trust in God and go forward.
I have to apply this same principle to my life all the time. Last year in October, we realized we really needed more office space. At the same time, we needed two more employees, which would require more desks, computer terminals, phones, chairs, etc. We had a choice. We had prayed for growth so we could help more people. Everything had increased, including tape orders, speaking engagements, incoming phone calls, mail, letters to be answered, etc. It was God's timing, and He was moving. We had to make a decision either to stand still in fear, "play it safe" so to speak, or to move with God. If we hadn't been willing to rent more space and hire more people, we could not have maintained the growth. I can tell you for sure that fear tried to stop me. I heard things like, "Joyce, you're getting in over your head." "That's too much money to spend." "What if the increase doesn't continue"? Etceteras, etceteras; I'm sure you know the recording; you've probably heard it also.
We certainly don't want to move in the flesh or out of God's timing, but when God is moving, you must not be afraid to move with Him. In the situation I described to you, I had a choice to be "led by my head" or to follow the leading of my spirit. Satan brings fear to your mind and your emotions. You may even physically shake but listen to your spirit. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Don't fear the fear, and what time you are afraid trust in Him.
Some of the more common fears are the following: Fear of lack, death, loneliness, sickness, people, authority, commitment, fear of heights, germs, closed in spaces, airplanes, driving, dogs, cats, birds, etc. Fear of failure, being wrong, rejected, laughed at, fear of being over-weight, fear of being married, even fear of being attractive, and fear of sinning. Fear of the past and fear of the future. It seems that the list is endless. We went to the library and got a typed list of known phobias. It was four (4) pages long and quite extensive. It even included phobaphobia, which is the fear of being afraid.
It convinced me even more how extensive Satan's work is, in this area. The Bible says, "Fear not for I am with you". I believe God works gently with us in areas to bring us out of bondage and into liberty. For people who have been afraid of something, and desire to be free, the time will eventually come when you will have to face your fear and not run away from it. You can do it. Just take Jesus' hand and acknowledge that He is with you. If you are afraid of people with authority, the time will come when you will have to confront some authority figure and not cower under in fear. God will have arranged the time. He will be there, but you'll have to choose whether to "go through" or to "run".
If you are at one of these crossroads in your life, let me encourage you to go forward. Don't stand still in terror, but take His hand and go forward. Remember, fear torments and God wants to deliver you from all your fears.