I believe that fear is one of the most widely accepted, ungodly things in the Church today. There are a few reasons for this- fear isn’t hurting anyone except for you, fear is disguised as wisdom, fear hides behind a list of other normal issues such as anxiety, intimidation, and worry.
Paul writes to his mentee Timothy, telling him that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. Not all fear is a spirit, people can have feelings of fear that are normal in situations. The spirit of fear is when fear is influencing your life on a regular basis. If fear is not from God then it’s not beneficial for you and needs to go! It’s time to stop putting up with the limitations that the devils puts on you and live in God’s power, experience His love, and live with a sound mind.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul also explains that rather than fear, God gives us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. If you struggle to see God’s power in your life it could very well be the spirit of fear causing you not to trust God. God’s power is attracted to faith and repelled by fear. If you struggle to love people it may be coming from the fear of rejection, the fear of abandonment, or fear of being hurt.
Having a sound mind is uncommon today. The world is loud and busy. People everywhere are controlled by their anxiety and worry. It seems to be the next cool thing to blame your anxiety for everything. The problem is people who claim to have anxiety have a spirit of fear. Because fear is a spirit and not a disease, disorder, or sickness, it needs to be dealt with accordingly. People are quick to turn to anxiety medicine without understanding that a spirit of fear will not respond to any type of medicine or physical healing, just like a broken arm is a physical problem, not a spiritual one.
Jesus made a clear distinction between dealing with physical pain and sickness and dealing with spirits that aren’t from God. Anxiety medicine may cover up or hide the problem for a short while, but will never solve or get rid of the spirit of fear. The spirit of fear needs to be driven out by the name and authority of Jesus and replaced by the Spirit that God gave us. You can’t drive out a broken arm, but you can drive out the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus.
How to recognize a spirit of fear
Fear is similar to faith, in that they are both beliefs about the future. Faith being the positive belief, fear being negative. Think about what you regularly assume first. Imagine you’re meeting your friend for dinner after work at 6pm. What is your first thought when they don’t show up, faith or fear? Do you assume they got in a terrible car accident? Or that they forgot about your plans? Or do you rather assume that they got a promotion at work? or they stopped to get you a nice gift? What is your thought when your spouse is late coming home? Are they cheating on you? Or are they buying you flowers and chocolate? Your thoughts will reveal whether you’re living in fear or faith.
Fear will keep you from reaching the purposes and promises God has for your life. No one wastes their time guarding what isn’t valuable to them. Similarly, the devil will not use fear to keep you away from what isn’t valuable. He will use fear to keep you from what God is trying to get to you and where He is leading you. The devil will use fear to keep you away from the gold, not the garbage. One way to discover where and what God is calling you towards is to think about what you’re afraid of doing. If there is an unreasonable fear, there is likely gold behind the bars of fear.
Fear could have easily kept Noah from building the ark. Fear could’ve stopped David from running towards Goliath in battle, and prevented Jesus from going to the cross. I imagine the spirit of fear shouting at these three men, “What if this doesn’t work??” And it would’ve been reasonable for these three to be afraid in their situations. I’m sure their friends would assure them that it’s normal to be afraid. But God did not give them, or you, or me, a spirit of fear. Instead God gave them each a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a sound mind, which kept them going. God has not given any of us a spirit of fear. Today you can command fear to leave and step into a new power, love, and have a sound mind.
How do you overcome the spirit of fear?
I believe the first thing you need to do is recognize it. Anything that you ignore will never change, especially when dealing with fear. If you are dealing with constant fear doing nothing, or pretending like you don’t have it won’t help you. Unfortunately medication won’t get rid of the spirit of fear. Anxiety medication will suppress your feelings, but won’t lead you to any freedom. There are many great books, YouTube videos, and podcasts about deliverance and freedom. Kris Vallotton has a great book titled Spirit Wars, where he writes about his experience with anxiety and fear.
At the end of the day the spirit of fear needs to be cast out in Jesus’ name. The name of Jesus is the name above every name, every evil spirit needs to leave when you command it to leave in Jesus’ name. Being in Christ gives you the full authority to speak to the spirit of fear and command it to leave. This will be a battle. You are an overcomer. The Holy Spirit is your Comforter. I will be praying that God’s perfect love will wash over you and that the spirit of fear will leave and not return.