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"Fear – Hindrance to Revival"
II Timothy 1:6-7 "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
101 times in the King James Bible the words,
"Fear Not" and "Be not afraid" are used.
We live in a time when a reason to fear is on every side. Natural disasters, violence, failing economy, threat of terrorism and war, to name only a few. The Lord would have never told us "Not to Fear" unless a reason to fear was present. For the Christian though, fear is a lack of trust in the Almighty. Fear gives strength to the circumstances rather than a reliance upon He who rides the storm. Read what the Word of God says:
...the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
The Lord however, is not unaware of our weakness, "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." (Psalms 103:14) It is for this reason that He does admonish us not to fear.
Now more than ever, we must place out trust in the Lord and fear not. We are living in the time of the end and Jesus said that the end times would come like the birth pains of a women. The closer the birth, the closer together and more intense the pains. I have lived to witness this prophecy being fulfilled in my generation. You only have to be a casual observer to notice that the chaotic events of this world are getting closer together and more severe with the passing of time. Read what Jesus said about this time we're living in.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear...
When the storms of life come, we are all tempted to fear.
Fear is one of the greatest tools of the devil to destroy the Believer.
The Anatomy of Fear
Fear: A feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, or pain. Fear is timidity, dread, and terror of the unknown. It is to be anxious or doubtful.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
I had a dear pastor friend who when asked by a business man about the calamities coming upon the earth, and "how his faith in God was now", shot back an answer that I will never forget. The pastor replied, "that's your world falling apart, not mine!" Oh, what glories hope the Christian can have whose trust is in the Lord, knowing that this is not our home.
Let's look for a moment just how fear affects a man and causes both torment and bondage.
I John 4:17-18
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Fear means Torment
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Fear means Bondage
How Fear Hinders
1. Fear kept Adam from fellowshipping with God after he had sinned.
Genesis 3:10 "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
2. Sarah lied to God because she was afraid of telling the truth.
Genesis 18:15 "Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh."
3. Jacob distanced himself from his brother because he was afraid.
Genesis 32:7 "Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands"
4. The men of Israel ran from battle because they were afraid of Goliath.
I Samuel 17:24 "And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid."
5. Job opened the door for Satan to work in his life through fear.
Job 3:25 "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me."
6. Fear kept the man in the parable from using the talent that his master had entrusted to him.
Matthew 25:25 "And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine."
7. Fear was a hindrance to the disciples' faith.
Matthew 8:26 "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm."
John Gill Commentary
A cowardly spirit, so as to be afraid of men or devils, of what they will say or do; and so as to be discouraged in, sink under, or be deterred from the work of the Lord, the preaching of the Gospel, opposing the errors of false teachers, and reproving men for their sins, and doing other parts of the ministerial function; such a spirit is not from God.
Rather are given power by which the minds of Christ's servants are fortified against reproaches and persecutions for his sake, and are strengthened to resist Satan's temptations, to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, to quit themselves like men, in opposition to false teachers, and to do the will and work of God.
And of a love to God, and Christ, and his church, and which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit; and such who have it seek not their own ease and credit, but the glory of God, the interest of Christ, and the good of souls; and having such a spirit, and fired with such love, they are not easily intimidated by the adversary. Nothing will do more to inspire courage, to make a man fearless of danger, or ready to endure privation and persecution, than love.
And of a sound mind in the principles and doctrines of the Gospel; and which shows itself in a prudent conduct and behaviour; in sobriety, moderation, temperance, purity, and honesty; will not easily give way to the enemies of religion, or decline their duty for fear of them.
Matthew Henrey's Commentary
He exhorts him to stir up the gift of God that was in him. Stir it up as fire under the embers. These gifts he must stir up; he must exercise them and so increase them. He must take all opportunities to use these gifts, and so stir them up, for that is the best way of increasing them.
1. The great hindrance of usefulness in the increase of our gifts is slavish fear. Paul therefore warns Timothy against this. It was through base fear that the evil servant buried his talent, and did not trade with it. Now God hath therefore armed us against the spirit of fear, by often bidding us fear not.
2. The spirit God gives to his ministers is not a fearful, but a courageous spirit; it is a spirit of power, for they speak in his name who has all power, both in heaven and earth; and it is a spirit of love, for love to God and the souls of men must inflame ministers in all their service; and it is a spirit of a sound mind, for they speak the words of truth and soberness.
God's Assurance of Victory
The Adoni–zedek King of Jerusalem saw that Joshua had defeated Jericho and Ai and that now Gibeon had made peace with Joshua. So he gathered the five kings of the Amorites to fight against Gibeon.
6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.
7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.
8 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
The Amorites were defeated and the five Kings hid in a cave.
24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
Victory is for the Fearless
2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
Twenty-two thousand people missed out on Revival because they were afraid.
12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
Only three hundred men met God's qualification,
And witnessed one of the greatest victories in man's history.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Fear Not dear Christian of what you can see, rather have faith in what you cannot see. There is a special promise for those who walk by faith in these last days; "...but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (Daniel 11:32) Fear Not, and revival will come in your life in the very midst of the storm, and you will not only be strong to endure, but empowered to help others make it through.