Free From Fear
Duane Vander Klok
God does not want you to live in a state of fear.
However, we live in a day where terrorism, epidemics, natural disasters and other catastrophic events threaten to steal our sense of security. The Bible tells us that the day will even come when men’s hearts will be “failing them from fear” (Luke 21:26), but God’s plan for His children is that they will “not be afraid of the terror by night nor of the arrow that flies by day…” (Psalm 91:5).
Whether you experience an occasional “small” fear or are plagued by a sense of impending doom, you can be free from fear. How? By believing God’s Word and putting it into practice.
The Nature of Fear
Today, people fear many things in differing degrees. There are those who fear illness, death, failure, rejection or the loss of a job. Others are held captive by phobias that result from things they’ve seen, heard or experienced in the past.
Whether the threat is real or imagined, fear always causes suffering. In fact, when 1 John 4:18 talks about fear, it tells us that “fear involves torment.”
2 Timothy 1:7 reveals two more important truths about fear. First, it tells us that fear does not come from God. You’ll notice it says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Second, it identifies fear for what it is: a spirit.
Left unchallenged, a spirit of fear can affect your mind, will and emotions – and even your body – causing you to feel weak, nervous, insecure, tired and/or stressed. It has the potential to keep you from fully enjoying life and from becoming the person God wants you to be.
Isn’t it great to know that Jesus gave you authority over all the power of the devil – including a spirit of fear – so you do not have to live under the torment fear brings? He boldly declared your freedom when He said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Fear is meant to be under your feet!
God Promises to Protect
The Bible contains promise after promise to assure you of God’s ability and willingness to protect you. Psalm 91 is one of my favorites, and I strongly encourage you to read it over and over again, meditating on it so that it sinks deep into your heart. Every bit of it is powerful, but for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on verses 5-6:
“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Psalm 91:5-6).
Did you notice the 4 types of evil that God promises to protect you from? They are terror by night, the arrow that flies by day, pestilence and destruction. Let’s take a look at these 4 groups that represent practically everything we could ever need protection from.
The terror by night – This can refer to anything from “fear of the dark” to a sudden attack, something you don’t see coming. Robbery, kidnapping, rape, murder, war, and terrorism fall into this category.
An example of God’s protection from this kind of attack is seen in Exodus 12 where the children of Israel were protected from the destroyer by putting blood on the doorposts of their homes. That night, as the death angel came, he passed over every door where he saw the blood on the doorposts. Everyone whose doorposts had no blood suffered loss; but those with the blood were spared.
The blood of Jesus was shed for us, once and for all, and we can apply His blood today. We do that by believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths that “Me and my household are covered and protected by the blood of Jesus.”
The arrow that flies by day – This often refers to the things the enemy uses to pierce and wound us spiritually, physically or emotionally. Circumstances can be arrows the enemy uses in an attempt to set you back or keep you from moving forward. Ephesians 6:16 tells us that we have a “shield of faith with which (we) will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
The pestilence that walks in darkness – This part of the promise includes protection from sickness and disease. It covers things like deadly strains of viruses, cancers and blood diseases, heart problems and other things that come on unexpectedly. It does not necessarily come in the night, but it tends to creep along as if hidden. The pestilence referred to in this passage can be directly linked with the curses found in Deuteronomy 28.
Thank God for the promise of Galatians 3:13 which says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…”
The destruction that lays waste at noonday – This destruction includes catastrophic events that man has no control over. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, droughts, famines and other “natural” disasters fall into this category. I encourage you to read Mark 4:35-41 to refresh your memory of how Jesus simply spoke the words, “Peace, be still,” and the wind and the sea obeyed Him!
The Secret Place
How do we appropriate the kind of faith that allows us to live free from fear? The key is in Psalm 91:1. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The psalmist tells us that we can abide under the shadow of the Almighty and receive the benefits of God’s promises when we choose to dwell in the secret place.
A quick look at Psalm 31:20 describes the secret place as the place of God’s presence. We “dwell in the secret place” as we spend time reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying and worshiping. It is in the secret place that our minds are renewed and our confessions formed.
In Psalm 91:2, the psalmist wrote, “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Notice that he said, “I will say…” He realized that there is power in what we say. Throughout scripture, we are encouraged to not only believe God’s Word, but to confess it.
As we continually spend time with God, as we take the time to know Him and get closer to Him, the less fear will be able to have a hold on us. Like David in Psalm 23:4, even when darkness comes, we will be able to say, “I will fear no evil; for You are with me…”
Overcoming the Devil
Jesus defeated the devil once and for all at the cross. Colossians 2:15 says that He made a public spectacle of the devil and triumphed over him. After His resurrection, Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore…” (Matthew 28:18-19). With these words, Jesus effectively shared His authority with us so that we could enforce His victory in our lives.
In Revelation 12:11, we read, “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” We overcome when we enforce Jesus’ victory by believing and speaking words that line up with what the blood of Jesus purchased for us.
I encourage you to devote time to dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. As you spend time with the One who loves you most, reading and meditating on His Word, praying, worshiping and fellowshiping with the Lord, the more confident you will be of His faithfulness and the less fear will be able to have a hold on you.
When fear does try to come upon you, you will be ready for it. Like David, you can say, “When I am afraid, I will put my confidence in You. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting Him, what can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4 TLB)
You can live your life free from fear!
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)