Releasing Blessing By Blocking Curses Chapter 10 of 24<-Chapter 9 Chapter 11-> Show Condensed Version
The Effects of Fear
Freedom from Fear
Just the mention of the word fear is likely to cause a stir up of emotion in many people. If you have a problem with fear, just me saying the word is probably striking fear into you already.
You are afraid you will be afraid again, because that is the kind of thing that fear does. So in this section, we are going to look at this subject and deal specifically with freedom from fear.
I guarantee that if I were to ask you if there is something that you fear, you could probably give me a whole list. Every single person that is reading this book has something that they fear, because fear lies at the root of virtually every spiritual problem that we experience.
You may not have realized it, but fear is at the root of most of the difficulties that we have in life. It makes things hard for us to serve the Lord and to live in this world.
It is the open door to the enemy into our lives. But where does it come from and how can we get rid of it? If every one of us have this problem and if we are all facing it, surely we need to know the answers to some of these questions?
God says continually in His Word,
You will read it right from the Old Testament, into the New Testament and to the end in the book of Revelation.
I doubt whether there is a book in the Bible that does not have fear mentioned somewhere, because fear is one of the most common of human problems.
God does not want us to be bound by fear. That is why He is continually telling us not to be afraid.
Jesus was always saying to His disciples, "Fear not." Even when angels appeared to people they said the same thing, mostly because the people that saw them were so scared that they wanted to die.
A Fact of Life
Fear is a fact of life for every one of us, and it takes on many different forms. Just in case you are sitting saying, "Well I don't have a problem with fear," let me give you a list of a few of the common ones.
You probably know these already, but I am just going to jog you a little bit. I want to get you stirred up and stir the pot a little bit. I want to pull some of those fears out, just so you know what I am talking about and can see that yes, fear is there.
Fear of death â€“ Death is a terrifying thing, and there are people that are bound by the fear of death. As Christians, we do not need to fear death, but there is still that fear of the unknown.
Fear of rejection â€“ Fear of being rejected by others.
Fear of pain and hurt, sickness and disease - This one is so common isn't it? The slightest pain you get in your body and you think,
"I wonder what it is. Is it cancer? Is it a heart attack? Is it something serious? What is it? I want to know what it is. Where does that pain come from?"
It is like riding along in your car, and suddenly you hear a knocking in the engine.
You think, "Oh boy, something's wrong somewhere. We need to find out what's going on."
It strikes fear into you.
Fear of poverty â€“ A fear of being poor and unable to meet your bills, and being unable to eat.
Fear of loss â€“ Fear of losing the things that you love and that are important to you.
Fear of punishment â€“ Fear of getting into trouble for things that you did, whether you did them on purpose or not.
Fear of the animal creation â€“ There are so many creatures in the world that strike fear into us, and each person has their own pet fear of an animal.
Some people are afraid of dogs. Not many people are afraid of cats. They just mostly hate them. You have fear of mice and some of the insects like snakes and spiders.
I am sure you have your own list you could give me. Some people are scared of ants and moths and all sorts of different creatures. There is fear associated with that creature.
You might say, "Well that's normal and natural. I mean everybody is scared of snakes because they might bite you and they could be poisonous. It is the same with spiders."
It is still a fear.
Fear of mankind â€“ Fear of man, fear of what people will think, and fear of what man will do to you.
Fear of demons â€“ Fear of evil spirits, ghosts or the dark.
Fear of marriage â€“ Fear of sex or fear of commitment.
The list could go on and on.
Fear of failure
You can take just about every area of your life and there will be a fear associated with it. You see fear affects every area of our lives. It is there.
And you know we have grown accustomed to it and we have become so programmed by it that we even speak it. We use it in our expressions and say things like,
"I'm scared to death."
We are always speaking fear.
"I'm afraid, we'll just have to do something else."
Why are you afraid? Fear is even tinged in our language. It is part of our fiber. But where does it come from and how do we remove it?
Effects of Fear
What does fear do to you?
The first thing that fear does is it causes you to become paralyzed. It will cause you to freeze up and not be able to move.
Fear will prevent you from stepping out and doing what you know you should be doing. It will cause you to sit at home and do nothing. It will make you lock yourself up inside four walls and avoid people and life. Fear paralyzes you.
When fear gets a hold of you, it is as though you were someone that had a problem with the nerves in their neck, and everything from your neck down has become paralyzed and unable to move. You cannot move. You are helpless.
There is nothing you can do to pull yourself out of it. It has such a hold of you that you can no more break out of that fear than a paralyzed person can get up and walk.
It Blocks Divine Power
Fear blocks God's power, because it prevents faith. How can you move out in faith and do what God tells you to do, and obey the Word of God when you are in fear?
God may tell you to go and speak to somebody about their salvation and about their eternal destiny. But if you are afraid of man, fear will prevent you from obeying the Lord.
Supposing God tells you to go out for the sake of His Kingdom to another place to minister. He may tell you to leave your job to do His work or to leave your church. Whatever He tells you to do that requires a step of faith, fear will be there to stop you from doing it.
Fear will be there to paralyze you so that you freeze up and cannot take a step in the direction that God would have you to take.
That is why fear is such a deadly thing, because it will stand in the way of every single thing that God ever calls you to do. Fear will rob you of the assurance of your salvation. It will tell you that you are going to hell and will not make it to heaven.
Fear will tell you that God will not answer your prayer. It will prevent you from entering into every blessing that the Lord has for you, because it opens the door to the enemy.
It is his force. He is the originator of it. It is his open door to come into your life and destroy everything that God has for you.
I am sure each one of you could give us a long story of some of the fears that you have had. I would like to share a couple of mine with you, not so that we can trade stories or so you can say,
"You think that's bad? You should see the things that I'm afraid of."
I want to share a couple of fears that I had that strongly controlled my life, but they are not there anymore. That is why I want to share them with you, because it is possible to get victory over fear.
Fear of the Dark
I grew up being afraid of the dark.
You might say, "That is no big deal. All children are afraid of the dark aren't they?"
Well I figured that. But when you are coming on to 19 or 20 years old and you are still afraid to sleep without covering your head with a blanket, something is wrong. When you are afraid to switch off the light because you would rather sleep with the lights on, something is wrong.
I was told that as a baby I was like that already. My parents said I would lie there staring at the light and then I would fall asleep.
The strange thing is, put me down in an afternoon or during the day and I could sleep like a baby. But the moment the lights went out at night I would toss and turn for hours, unable to go to sleep.
Perhaps the greatest nightmare that I ever had - and it was a recurring one â€“ would be that I would wake up in my dream and reach out to switch on the light. It would not come on though and fear would grip me.
Panic would take hold of me and I would be terrified. I would try to rebuke the enemy and stand against it as an adult, but my mouth would seize up so that I could not speak. I would wake up in perspiration and fear.
Where did this fear of the dark come from? It came from way back there in my childhood somewhere. I could not even explain it.
How does an adult explain being afraid of the dark? You are strong enough to get out there and defend yourself against what? You are sleeping in bed, the door is locked and the windows are barred. Who is going to come and hurt you?
How do you explain fear? You cannot explain it rationally. Fear is something that grips you and paralyzes you. It takes a hold of you. Thank the Lord that I do not fear the dark anymore.
Fear of Death
I had another kind of fear that came as the result of a bad experience that I had. At about the age of 11 I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes. We did not have a servant, so washing dishes was our responsibility as kids.
I was standing washing the dishes and my mother was ironing clothes next to me. She had put the iron on the sink. It was one of those old irons that was put on a special metal stand with an asbestos cover on it.
She was ironing away there while I washed the dishes, and unbeknown to both of us there was a short in the iron and one of the main wires in the iron touched the outside of it. This then touched the metal stand, which went onto the sink, which is where I was working.
So with my wet hands on the sink I reached out to touch the water tap which made a direct earth. The voltage of that country was 220 volts, and with wet hands 220 volts went from one hand, through my heart into the other hand and everything started to blur. All I could do was to cry out,
"Mom, I'm dying!"
It took about two seconds and I was gone. I lay on the ground and stopped breathing. My parents felt for my pulse and it was not there. My heart was not beating.
Fortunately at that time my dad had been doing First Aid lessons at work. He used to practice on me. I was his dummy.
They did not have mouth-to-mouth in those days. They had the old kind of Holger-Nielsen and all those methods of doing CPR and he used to practice on me.
This time he had to do the real thing. And miraculously, by the grace of God, I came round and came back to life again.
I want to tell you though, you would not get me alone in that kitchen, and even if you were standing next to me I did not want to touch the sink or the tap. I could not do it.
If I wanted a glass of water I would ask somebody else to get it for me. I was terrified of it. I was afraid to be alone. Why? A bad experience had left a fear in me; a fear that I could not conquer.
Never mind the fact that I knew what caused it. It was the iron, and the iron was gone now and was not there anymore. It does not matter. Every time I stood at that place I relived that experience and thought about it.
I would lie awake at night and wake up in a cold sweat thinking about what happened. I would get up and go to the bathroom for a drink of water, and be afraid to touch the tap in case it happened again.
It is a horrible thing to be so paralyzed by fear that it affects your day to day existence.
A Combination of Things
I had a bad experience with a combination of fears â€“ fear of the dark, fear of being attacked and fear of evil.
Sometimes, when I went to school, I would ride on my bicycle through an area of bushveld. To get from one suburb to the other there was a river that we had to go over. It was a fair distance - several hundred meters or about a quarter of a mile.
It was not very big. It was fine going through there during the day. You had to go down into a drift, over a little footbridge and up the other side on a dirt road. After a couple of hundred yards you would finally be back in civilization again.
I remember one day I went out to band practice. I was learning to play with a pipe band at that time and had been for practice, but it had become late. It was that time of the year when the sun went down early and it was already dark as I came back.
Well I was riding along and it was fine while the street lights were on, but suddenly I hit this section. There were no lights or anything there.
I had no light on my bike to even see where I was going. I had to go by the moonlight, and I had to ride down through the steep drift, go over the little narrow bridge and get over the other side.
I decided I would go 100 miles an hour on that bike. I wanted to get through this as fast as I could, like closing your eyes and making a dash.
So I sat there in the light and got myself all geared up and psyched up for it. Then I put my bike in gear and pedaled like mad down towards the bridge.
I was halfway down to the bridge and suddenly I heard a 'SCREEEEEEEECH' - and my bike stopped! It just stopped like somebody had put the brakes on.
Do you suppose I was afraid? Do you know what actually happened? The mudguard had come off my bike and was scraping against the tyre.
It was squealing, and at the same time slowing the bike down and stopping it. It was pushing against the wheel and preventing it from going any further.
So there I was. I had already had this terrifying experience, and I was stuck there in the middle of that area, in total darkness and with no lights.
God was gracious to me. My parents had sent my eldest brother to come and get me. As I stood there in terror, I saw lights shining and coming over the bridge towards me. He had come to fetch me.
I could have kissed him. I do not know what I would have done if he had not come. I would never have made it home that night because I would never have made it through.
These are bad experiences of fear. I am sure you can tell your own. They leave a scar on you and you do not want to face experiences like that again.
As a result of that experience I cancelled the band. I was not practising anymore. I was not going to do that again. No ways would I try and do that and experience it again. I was afraid to ride through that area during the day after that, never mind at night. It was an awful experience.
Fear of Demons
The worst experience of all that I ever had was fear of demons and evil spirits. Everybody fears evil spirits, is afraid of ghosts or is terrified of walking through a cemetery at night. You have heard the stories.
My dad told a story where he had to walk past a cemetery at night on his way home from work. As he came to the cemetery one night he felt something grab him. I will not tell you scary stories and put fear into you, but as a child you hear stories like that and you grow up in fear.
No wonder I could not sleep at night. No wonder I tossed and turned and was afraid of the dark, because of all the fearful and terrifying stories I had heard. I will be looking more at what causes fear as we go along.
I have shared elsewhere how one night as we were praying, a scorpion came running into the room. My brother saw the scorpion and shouted. I did not know what he was shouting at.
We were trying to pray, but there was a sense of evil there. I had just had an experience with somebody who was an ex-spiritualist medium, and while I prayed with him the demon manifested.
It was my first experience with demons. Then I discovered that my fiancÃ© was demon possessed and we were trying to cast the demon out of her.
I had had some bad experiences with demons. Then right in the middle of it, while we were praying and I felt an intense oppression, suddenly the scorpion came running in from the outside.
I heard somebody shout which gave me a fright for a start. Then when I opened my eyes, there right in front of me was a scorpion.
Something just snapped inside of me and a spirit of fear took a hold of me. It was so bad, that I felt like there was somebody following me and watching me wherever I went.
I was so afraid that I could not sleep at night in my own room, even with my brother who shared the room with me. I was not alone.
The one night I slept with my parents in their room in their bed. I was terrified. You are not talking about a youngster here. You are talking about a 20 year old guy. It was terrible.
I had to learn to overcome that fear. I would go to church and they would pray for me and come against that spirit of fear. I felt great while they prayed for me, but that night I had to go home.
I was afraid to even go to the bathroom during the day. I was afraid to be by myself. Terrible fear took hold of me.
I know what fear is. It is an awful, tormenting thing. But that fear does not have to continue to take a hold of you. God can set you free. You can break free of that fear and walk in liberty.
I will look at that as we go on. I am going to share with you some of the basic principles that are involved in identifying where fear comes from and how to deal with it
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