Breaking the Spirit of Fear: Faith Over Fear
I hope you have been loving this Bible study on fear and faith as much as I have! God has been teaching me SO much about what it’s really going to look like on a practical level to live a courageous life, at peace and free from unhealthy fear. For instance, I’m not sure I would have said before researching and writing this series that breaking the spirit of fear begins with a robust fear of the Lord. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that fearlessness begins WITH fear!
However, as we’ve opened our Bibles together and studied it, I believe we’ve found truth in that concept. At this point in the study, I believe we understand the fear of the Lord, so now it’s time to apply it. Now it’s time to see how when the God we rightly revere says “Don’t be afraid,” we can obey with confidence and bravely walk through this life with resolute, fearless peace in our hearts.
So let’s see how we can place faith over fear in everything we do.
God Says, “Do Not Fear.”
There is a little phrase peppered throughout Scripture. It shows up in several different forms, but they all mean the same thing. Over and over, God says, “Do not fear,” or “Don’t be afraid,” or “Fear not,” to His people.
What we want to know is, why should it matter to us? When God says, “Do not fear,” what reasons do we have to listen? How is placing our unwavering trust in God different from foolishly burying our heads in the sand in denial of legitimate dangers we are going to face?
Deuteronomy 20:1– When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!
As we study Scripture, we find that from Genesis to Revelation, God’s message to His people is the same. We’re going to face giants, and enemies whose forces are greater than our own. Mountains are going to stand between us and the path we know God has asked us to take. But in those moments, fear does not need to rule us for one simple reason. GOD. IS. RIGHT. THERE. WITH. US!
Deuteronomy 31:8 – Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
You see, God tells us we don’t need to be afraid because He is with us. He goes ahead of us, He fights for us, He loves us, He will never abandon us, and He will NEVER fail us!God tells us we don't need to be afraid because He is with us. He goes ahead of us, He fights for us, He loves us, He will never abandon us, and He will NEVER fail us! Click To Tweet
Breaking the Spirit of Fear
Hopefully it brings you great comfort to know that God is with you. But, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you’re not sure how His presence should change your relationship with fear. That’s okay! That’s what we’re here to address and learn.
This is where the fear of the Lord comes back into it. Understanding how the presence of God in our lives changes everything demands we first see God for who He is. We have to understand His power, His sovereignty, and His goodness before it will mean anything to us to know He’s never going to abandon us.
After all, we may love to cuddle a newborn baby, but I doubt it would bring much comfort in the face of serious danger or trouble to know that helpless baby was going to be right there with us the whole time. In the same way, an evil, selfish sociopath (even a strong one) by our side doesn’t really offer much solace either.
But the God of the Bible is not helpless, and He is not selfish. He is good, and holy, and SO mighty! The more we learn to know Him, the more it will encourage us to hear Him say,
John 14:27 – I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
Matthew 28:20 -” …And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
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Bible Verses for Overcoming Fear and Breaking the Spirit of Fear
Have you ever heard or read that there are 365 “fear not”s in the Bible, one for each day of the year? It’s a popular meme that floats around the cyber world. When I started writing this post, I intended to give you a downloadable list of those 365 verses. BUT, sadly, it just isn’t true. There are not, in fact, 365 “do not fear”s in the Bible.
What I found, though, as I studied and searched, is that while the actual phrase “fear not” or “do not fear” or “don’t be afraid” does not appear even 200 times, there are far more than 365 verses in Scripture which speak to breaking the spirit of fear.
We’ve already given you a list of more than 100 verses which specifically deal with the fear of the Lord, and we’ve also given you a list of stories from the Bible that deal with fear. This week we’re offering the final downloadable list with nearly 300 additional verses for overcoming fear in which fear is addressed and dealt with. Combine those lists and you’ll have close to 500 places in Scripture you can go to study the subject of fear!
If breaking the spirit of fear is something you’re trying to work on, print them all off and keep them close. Memorize the verses that speak to you, and meditate on the various ways God came through for His people throughout time. I am confident God will use these efforts to help you gain the victory over your fear!
Faith Conquers Fear
I want you to notice something with me from our list of verses for overcoming fear. Jump to the New Testament verses and notice how often Jesus asks His disciples why they are afraid, and then asks them, “why do you have so little faith?” or something along those lines.
Mark 4:39-40 – When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
This is because faith conquers fear! Here’s where it all comes together.
We start by learning to know God. We study His Word, observe His creation, and invite His Holy Spirit to teach us in order to learn everything we can about who He is. As we do, we will humble ourselves in reverent awe, trembling as we recognize the gravity of our salvation.
We’ll begin to recognize the incomprehensible perfection of God’s plan, and the absolute goodness of His ways. And then, as we understand His unwavering presence in our lives, His interest in us, and His deep and abiding love for us, we’ll learn to trust Him. Like really, truly, deeply trust Him with our everything. And when we do that, the Spirit of fear doesn’t stand a chance.
We will have developed faith. And faith ALWAYS conquers fear!
Choosing Faith Over Fear
That’s it my friends. If you are plagued by fear and breaking the spirit of fear is what you seek to do, these are the answers we’re given in Scripture. Now it’s up to you. Will you choose faith over fear? Or will you remain a slave to your anxieties?
Will you seek God with your whole heart? As He is faithful to reveal those things which stand between you and peace, will you be quick to surrender them to Him? If there are physiological issues at play, God will certainly help you see that too. Will you be willing to accept the help that is offered as He leads you to answers?
Oh friends, may this verse from Deuteronomy 13 be the cry of our hearts as we learn to fear God and choose faith over fear for all our days.
Deuteronomy 13:4 – Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him.
Looking for some other great posts on Breaking the Spirit of Fear? Here are some of my favorites:
Worth Beyond Rubies – Breaking the Spirit of Fear
Courage, Hope, Love – How to Overcome a Deep-Rooted Fear with the Shield of Faith
Faith Over Fear Scripture
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation, I prayed, and the Lord listened;
He saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
He surrounds and defends all who fear Him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!
Fear the Lord, you His godly people,
for those who fear Him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who fear the Lord will lack no good thing.
Come my children and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
His ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns His face against those who do evil;
He will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears His people when they cry to Him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous face many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken! Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve Him.
No one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.
You can find the whole Facing Fear Series by clicking the image below. Or, check out some great resources from Amazon for breaking the spirit of fear.
*How about you? Tell us below about your journey in putting faith over fear! How have you been able to break the spirit of fear in your own life? What have you learned from this series that might help you in the future?
***Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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