(An 8 Minute Read)
Fear is multifaceted and can make its way into almost every area of our life, if we let it. We need to understand how it operates and learn how to recognize it so that we can defeat it. It’s devious, its main goal is to separate us from love and trust in God, ourselves and others.
One of the major areas that fear brings a snare is in the area of relationships, especially through fear of rejection, fear of failure and fear of man. Fear can train us from our earliest existence to expect and dread rejection, to perform for approval and to be afraid of what others may do to us or think about us. It trains us to develop mechanisms of self-protection in order to avoid the pain of these projected realities. It creates a false sense of security and prevents us from recognizing the bondage that we’ve been placed under and makes us unable to overcome.
For many of us, perhaps the environment we grew up in wasn’t a safe place. Maybe we weren’t raised feeling loved, nurtured and secure. Perhaps there was no place of stability. For some of us, no matter what we did, we couldn’t seem to win the approval that we so desperately craved. Perhaps we were constantly criticized or corrected, out of control and fear. So we were trained from that time to look to man, to hyper analyze every move we made, to expect the shoe to drop if we messed up, and possibly to be driven to performance and perfectionism in order to receive approval. In short, Father God’s love was misrepresented to us.
Before we get all down on our parents or the people that trained us in this, we need to recognize that they may not have known any better or differently. It’s highly possible that they were never treated with the proper, unconditional love of God themselves. Perhaps they had a form of love that they thought was right but just missed the mark in some ways. It’s important to understand that these behaviors and shortfalls are often passed down from generation to generation as a carefully orchestrated set up by the enemy.
Fear of man will constantly have you looking to man rather than to God. It will try to seek man’s approval continually. It’s actually a form of idolatry because it can lead a person to be more concerned with what man thinks about them than what God thinks. It will make us more concerned about how man treats us than in trusting God to protect us.
Fear of man may drive every decision, every action and motivation through a filter of what others will think or do. It may lead to withdrawal if a person comes to the realization that they can never measure up or feels like they cannot get it right, or will always be mistreated, they may just try to escape and give up. It can cause isolation. It will come with accusation to convince a person that everyone out there is judging them and thinks they are unworthy or a failure. It will convince a person that their value is wrapped up in what others think.
With fear of man comes fear of failure. Fear of failure provides no room for mistakes or humanness. It will paralyze a person from the ability to make choices or to engage in relationships. It will cause insecurity in decisions and a dread of failing on any and every level. If, by chance, a person does stick their neck out and try something and make a mistake or fail, fear of failure will come with its buddies, accusation, guilt and shame to ensure that they cannot rise up again. These will hold all of that person’s failures, past and present over their head and project them into the future with the intent of debilitating that person in fear.
Fear of rejection has its fingers in all of this as well. It accompanies fear of man, and fear of failure. It will cause a person to lose the battle between their ears before they ever get to the war. It’ll have a person speculate on who is going to reject them and how they are going to be rejected. It will expect rejection and when accompanied by rejection will cause a person to even demand to be rejected. It will cause a person to be so concerned about whether or not they are accepted or rejected by others that they will be unable to develop their own identity. They will be too fearful to express their own opinion, beliefs or values and often times just find themselves following the herd.
This can all boil down to one question: Who is your source?
At Be in Health®, we teach that the breakdown in relationship between God, ourselves and others is the root of 80% of all diseases. The enemy knows if he can cause separation at any of these levels, we are easy pickings. Fear will come disguised as a friend or a helper; it will offer us a means of self-protection, security, and perhaps a feeling of being in control. Really what it is doing is helping us build up walls around our hearts to keep us in and others, even God, out. That’s where the separation occurs.
Fear also knows that if it can make others our source, so that we look to them to fulfill our need for approval, acceptance and love, sooner or later they will let us down. After all, they are only human. Then, because we’ve valued their opinion and treatment of us so highly, we have a lot farther to fall. It can make the hurt and pain of betrayal or the failure of others seem so much more acute. This establishes the territory for bitterness, rejection, unloving, accusation, and more.
What is our alternative then? The Word says:
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Proverbs 29:25 KJV
God is the only person who will not fail us. He is steadfast and true. He is full of mercy, kindness, and compassion towards us. He is patient with us and He is longsuffering for us. Above all, His love is unconditional; it does not depend on our performance, does not falter in our failures, and even remains strong through every circumstance in life, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor.
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalm 145:8 KJV
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV
Maybe we were trained by religion to believe that God was the judge and punisher and therefore He became a fearful person instead of a source of love and strength. The enemy can come with accusations, fear, guilt and shame to convince us that we are unworthy of God’s love and don’t qualify as His children. So who are we going to believe? If we continue to believe these lies, we will continue in the bondage and desolation of our generations. Yet the Word says that we were chosen and are accepted by God into His family if we choose to be.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12 KJV
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:4-6 KJV
Overcoming fear requires a choice to believe and receive God’s truth over the programmed, familiar lies of the enemy in our lives. This requires searching out His Word in order to understand His heart and His character more fully and intimately. If a person does not believe God’s Word, they have a spirit of unbelief. If they are unable to believe God’s Word, they may have an antichrist spirit which can be associated with occultism.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 KJV
Overcoming fear also requires us to take our position as sons and daughters of God and use the authority that He has given to us over the enemy.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19 KJV
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV
When we recognize these dynamics of fear in our life we can now come boldly to the throne of grace and repent to our Father in Heaven for not believing His truth and trusting Him but believing the lies of the enemy. Once we’ve repented and received our forgiveness, we can command the enemy of fear to leave in Jesus’ name.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 KJV
Finally we need to walk it out, we need to continue in a process of overcoming because fear can stand on two dynamics, the first is the presence of a spirit of fear in a person’s life that influences their thoughts and keeps them in bondage. The second is the programmed mindset of fear where a person has been so well trained by fear, possibly from their generations, that they have permanent pathways of thought that automatically go there when a trigger occurs. New pathways of thought need to be developed. We need to get into the Word, find truth and cling to it. We need to continually immerse ourselves in the truth and meditate on it and take deliberate steps of walking in it; one step at a time. We need to reach out to our Loving Heavenly Father and cast all of our cares and sorrows on Him. That means we talk every little thing out with Him and allow Him to give us His perspective about what we are dealing with. It also helps to praise and worship God and to practice thankfulness. This establishes His goodness, greatness and love in our lives. It pushes out the opportunity for Fear to regain a foothold because we are filling ourselves up with what is good and perfect and true.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:6-8 KJV
Fear can be defeated but we need to be diligent and aware of what it looks like, sounds like and feels like so that when we catch ourselves falling into its trap we can rise out again.
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again. Proverbs 24:16 KJV
At first, it may be a hard battle, but over time, as we continue to practice and walk in truth, we will become stronger and stronger and have better discernment so that its power in our lives can be greatly diminished. Temptation will still come, the enemy isn’t one to give up easily, but by the grace of God we will become seasoned and skillful overcomers.
The Be in Health® Team