Fear does not always mean the absence of faith. Fear can sometimes mean the absence of safety. Faith over fear is what we choose, walk out, and become disciplined in.
We want to make sure when we are helping people we get the right diagnosis because when we misdiagnose, we mistreat.
What is safety? According to Google, safety means “the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger.”
What is fear?
According to Google, fear means “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, or a threat – a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone – a mixed feeling of dread and reverence, the likelihood of something unwelcome happening.”
This definition tells us three things: Fear is physical. Fear is spiritual. Fear is emotional.
Therefore, safety means we can feel physically safe. Spiritually safe. Emotionally safe.
To live in faith over fear, we must also know that experiencing safety with God is physical, spiritual, and emotional.
We experience fear physically through our sympathetic nervous system, our fight-or-flight response. Our fight or flight is a stress response that communicates to our body whether we need to stay and fight, run, or freeze.
Have you ever been alone walking in an alleyway or somewhere at night?
Matthew 14:26 says, “When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.”
We experience emotional fear through turmoil, constant questioning, and our beliefs, resulting in anxiety, depression, or sadness.
For example, ladies, we fear putting on those pants because we don’t know if they will fit again, which can lead us to extremism with dieting, body shame, or shaming ourselves. What does it mean about me if those pants don’t fit?
Proverbs 14:30 says, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”
The enemy of our hearts is fear because it reminds us of the absence of our safety and comfort. (Choosing faith over fear is knowing which one we are operating in.)
We experience fear spiritually. We read in scripture about two specific types of fear. One is good, which we are to fear (hold in reverence, high regard) the Lord, and the second is that fear can be a spirit.
Example: If you don’t feel like you can trust God or that God isn’t safe, kind, and good. You may find yourself avoiding reading the Bible or going to church. Also, if you feel like you want to hide from God,
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
Which takes us to our scripture 2 Timothy 1:7 says in the AMP, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”
We should not feel shame for fear as a natural response to a threat. That’s the way God designed our bodies.
Our emotional fears remind us of our unrenewed minds.
And a spirit of fear reminds us we have an enemy that wants to kill, steal, and destroy us.
Now that we laid the foundation of fear. How did we get here to this place of fear, and how can we choose faith over fear?
Fear is a direct result of sin. After the fall, we lost our safe dwelling place, which was one with God. We became a slave to sin, and our father became the devil, who is full of lies.
We became separated from God, creating a spiritual death and no longer having access to the Kingdom.
In Genisis 3:7-10, we see two things happen in this portion of scripture – shame and fear enter the world. “They hid from God” and “were afraid because they were naked.”
Romans 6:17-18 says, “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
Romans also says that we become a slave to whom we obey. We can very well become a slave to our fear leading to death or a slave to our faith which leads to righteousness.
Think of us as sponges. Whatever substance a sponge is soaking in will come out when the sponge is wrung out. Our lives are similar. Faith over fear requires us to recognize which one we are soaking in more.
A question we need to ask ourselves: What are we trying to bear that Jesus bore?
We have talked about the foundation of fear, and we talked about how fear came to be. Now let’s talk about restoring safety with God and living in faith over fear.
Psalm 91:1, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
To dwell is to “abide as a permanent resident.” We can be born again without abiding in Christ.
God is love (1 John 4:8), so to abide in God means we have to abide in love (1 John 4:16)
The Hebrew word that was translated as “shadow” here is “TSEL,” and it was translated as “defense.” Those continuously trusting in the Lord will have Him come to their defense.
Walking through tension is the testimony of abiding in God. Tension is there because change is happening.
When we are in the presence of God, a transformation has to happen because He is a holy God. Moses took off his sandals, recognizing the difference between God and him. Moses was on holy ground. Something changes about us when we enter into the presence of God.
It’s our proximity to God that demands change. Safety is restored every time we are in His presence, and he comes to our defense. Choosing faith over fear requires intimacy with God.
Psalm 91:2, “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Our response is our responsibility. He says, “I will say.” It’s an active response to our faith in Jesus.
It’s a confession. Say this with me,
God, you are my refuge.
God, you are my fortress.
God, it’s you who I trust.
Psalm 91:3, “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”
Fowler is a bird, and a snare is what they use to catch the fowler. This verse implies that even if you are in the snare, he is going to save you. Meaning that when we make a mistake and mess up, he doesn’t leave us in our mess.
Our testimony becomes our witness, and our mess turns into our message.
Psalm 91:4-6, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness.”
I got this image from the Lord. Have you ever grabbed a child’s head into your chest to cover their eyes or their ears from something they shouldn’t see or hear? (Or maybe seen it in a movie.) You provided covering and safety for that child.
1 John 3:1, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are”
You protected that child because you loved them. However, it’s the proximity to that child that you were able to comfort them. It’s the same with faith over fear.
It’s when we choose God that brings comfort during our chaos.
Verses 4 says, his faithfulness is our shield and buckler
Faithfulness means trust and loyalty
A buckler is a small round shield someone would carry.
Verse 5 says, “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.”
In the new testament, the arrows are the enemy’s thoughts; the shield of faith is to absorb what the enemy tries to come at you during the day when you are awake.
We know flies are attracted to decay. Satan is called the “lord of the flies.”
Beelzebub is another name for the devil and is also translated to “lord of the flies.” It was “one of the most loathsome and repulsive of the false gods in the Old Testament.” When we choose faith over fear, we are choosing life over decay.
The demonic realm is attracted to decay. Thoughts, morals, values – that’s why what we say, what we do with our feelings, attracts 1 of 2 realms.
Choosing faith over fear
I want to end with this,
Psalm 91:14-15, “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
This is God speaking over his people.
The blessing of His presence: I will be with him in trouble.
The blessing of His protection: I will deliver him.
The blessing of His promotion: I will…honor him.
The blessing of His prosperity: With long life, I will satisfy him.
The blessing of His preservation: And show him My salvation.
When we are aware of fear, we can repair our fear and restore ourselves back to safety by beholding (being held by) God and resting in the shadow of the Almighty. Choosing faith over fear requires discipline and training.
In the presence of God, we are emotionally safe, physically safe, and spiritually safe.