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Don’t Let Fear In (2 Timothy 1:7)

Sermon on 30 October 2022 by Reverend Lynette Goh



2 Timothy 1:7 (AMPC) - “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”


In these last days, there might be more fears rising than ever before. Natural disasters, pandemic, fake news, scams happen, but God’s news has good news for us so we don’t have to live in fear. Don’t let fear in. In the Old Testament, the Bible says don’t fear because He is with us. In the New Testament, it shows us that it’s not in our new nature to fear.


What we have is not a spirit of fear that clings on to us. But He has given us a spirit of power and love. God’s power and love is in us. When we have His spirit, we are calm and well balanced. We are not easily shaken. We are also disciplined and have self control, which means no matter what we face in life, we do not fear. We need to make the necessary adjustments to our lifestyle and in our mindset.


James 4:7 (AMP) - “So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.”


Who is running away? It’s the enemy. We are not running. We stand firm. We submit to God. We obey God. Most of us are obeying God in all our ways. By obeying God, we are also resisting the devil. Resisting here means to oppose. Determination is involved. This is our fight of faith. We don’t fight with the devil. Our fight of faith is that we resist the devil. We have determination to come against what he puts in our life. We are on the winning side. We just need to stand strong against the devil.


Fear looks like fear of death, sickness, pain, germs, loneliness, rejection, public speaking. They affect our daily living and decision making.


There might be things we go through everyday that causes us to fear. Some of us have so much fear that it becomes a phobia. But God has already delivered us. If we allow them into our lives, they might disturb us so much that we can’t make good decisions.


Faith looks like Hebrews 11:1.


Hebrews 11:1 - “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”

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Even before these things happen, we already have faith. That’s called faith. Before it happens, we already have the proof with us. We know our God. We know the word of God. It is God that we place our hope and faith in. We are not putting faith in the circumstances we see.


Fear ends where faith begins. When we are born again, that’s where our faith begins. That’s when our fear ends. Why are we not living that way? It’s because we don’t know our God. As you grow in God, you begin to understand why fear ends. He has given us a spirit of power and of love. Not of fear.


Fear comes from uncertainty of the unknown which results in insecurity. In the last days, there will be more deception. People will fall away from the faith. Many of us become more fearful. But we shouldn’t be fearful as faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Romans 10:17 - “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”


With that faith given to us, when we are born again, the seed of the gospel will be sown in our lives and we believe. We don’t allow fear to come in. Instead, we move confidently with faith and in victory.


Hebrews 3:6 - “But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.”


We as believers put our trust in Christ. We are Christ’s own house. We belong to Him. We hold fast to confidence. We rejoice firmly to the end. What does rejoicing do? Rejoicing gives strength to us. If you are discouraged or worried, there isn’t strength. If you cling on to God’s word, with joy and hope, you are strengthened and can see victory. Hope in Him is faith. Sometimes we place hope in the wrong things. We hope in Him. Hope in Him doesn’t disappoint. His becomes our firm foundation. Because we walk upon a firm foundation of the word of God, we are not fearful. Being fully persuaded by the word of God is having faith so that we are not easily persuaded by other things.


Fear controls the mind till there is difficulty in thinking clearly, resulting in making wrong or unwise decisions. Fear can grow quickly from a foothold to a stronghold. It becomes difficult to think clearly. Faith strengthens and enables us to think clearly and act wisely. When we look up at God, we begin to see more clearly.


Jude 1:20 - “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,”


We need to have a living and vital communion with the Holy Spirit. As we pray in the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, as well as praying in tongues, we are building ourselves up. We are strengthening ourselves. Faith comes from the word. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we become more sensitive to hear from the Holy Spirit. As you pray and strengthen yourself, fear will disappear. You have wisdom to take the next step. Pray often led by the Holy Spirit. Start with the prayer pointers then hear from God and pray according to what you are led to pray.


Fear focuses on the physical reality of immediate situations. Doubt creeps in and the person is easily shaken and discouraged. Faith focuses on spiritual reality in the light and understanding of eternity. We stand firm in hope and joy. How do we look at spiritual reality? The Bible describes our redemptive realities in Christ.


Philippians 4:13 - “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”


I may be facing difficulties. By myself, I’m drowning. As I turn to God, I begin to see a different reality. It is a spiritual reality. Christ gives me strength. I arise out of my circumstances and face what I need to do. The spiritual reality becomes more real than the physical reality. We need to learn to look at spiritual reality. That’s what we are praying when we say open our eyes to God to see the wondrous truths of your word. Open my eyes to understand the hope of my calling. We want to have our spiritual eyes open.


1 Samuel 17:26 - “David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?””


When he was speaking, he was aware of the spiritual reality that was higher than the physical reality. The tone in which David was speaking was of indignation. David knew his God. The God he knew was greater than the giant he faced. All the men in Israel were circumcised. This is a symbol of God’s covenant with them. When David looked at the giant, he didn’t fear it. He said uncircumcised Philistine, who didn’t have a covenant with God. So how can he challenge the covenanted people?


Psalms 111:10 - “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!”


Fear of God is a reverence for God. We worship Him. When we worship Him, we begin to know Him more and more as we spend time in His presence. It is a lifestyle of obedience unto Him. We know His word and follow Him. It is the beginning of wisdom.


When you know your God, you don’t fear the enemy. When you know your covenant with your God, you know your enemy has been defeated. We don’t make our enemy bigger than it already is. We will have a different perspective on it.


1 Samuel 17:45-47 - “David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!””


When you know your covenant with God, courage arises. Fear has to leave. When you know your God, He fights for you. You just stand.


Fear focuses on the size of the obstacles, faith focused on the size of our God. Like David, we must know our God. No matter how tough the challenge is, you know you have victory. You hear from God how to remain strong and defeat the enemy. You won’t collapse under pressure. Just as you think there isn’t hope, when you look up to God, you will always have hope. Hope doesn’t disappoint. When you look back at the circumstance, you will wonder why you were even fearful. Even if we start fearing, we must remember that we can look up to God. Do not allow fear to continue anymore.


2 Corinthians 4:18 - “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”


We shouldn’t be looking at the physical reality. There is a higher reality. This is eternal.


Ephesians 2:6 - “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”


This is our spiritual reality. When we meditate on the word of God, these realities become real in our lives.


Matthew 6:33 - “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”


Fear focuses on self - what one can or cannot do. People become frustrated and weary, leading to burn out, depression and defeat. Faith focuses on who we are in Christ and what we can do in Him. We walk in perfect peace and fruitfulness, fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. We want to imagine the word of God and the spiritual realities we have in His word. We will then be able to fulfil God’s plan for our lives.


2 Corinthians 3:18 - “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”


Whatever we focus on determines what we become. As we worship Him, we are becoming more and more like Him. Some say it is ok to fear. Fear will help us to act wisely. That is not true. It is the fear of the Lord that makes us act wisely. When we focus on God, we become like Him. When we focus on things around us, we become like the things around us. If we focus on money, we become money minded. What we focus on, we make our decisions based on that. Some people focus so much on money that every decision is based on it. When we focus on God, divine wisdom guides our decisions.


God’s part:


1. We are born of God


1 John 5:4 - “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”


God has removed fear. Faith overcomes fear. Fear comes from the world.


2. We have been made perfect in love


1 John 4:18 - “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”


Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. No fear can remain because God’s love is in our hearts.


3. God’s hopeful calling


Ephesians 1:18 - “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”


Jeremiah 29:11 - “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”


God is the same yesterday, today and forever.


4. God’s spirit in us


2 Timothy 1:7 - “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

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1 Corinthians 3:16 - “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?”


God’s spirit dwells in us.


Deuteronomy 31:6 - “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.””


Today, God’s spirit is in us. There’s no fear in us. We walk courageously. With each step we take, we know God is with us and in us. It is the devil that flees.


Our part:


1. Make decisions in faith and not fear


James 4:7 - “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”


Our part is to cooperate with God. God already did much for us. We just need to follow and respond to Him.


2. Don’t let fear destroy divine destiny


Matthew 14:28-31 - “Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?””


Many of us fear the uncertain and what’s uncomfortable. There was power to walk on water when Peter focused on Jesus. He struggled when he focused on other things. We cannot let fear destroy what God has called you to do.


3. Believe and obey God’s word


His word is our most powerful weapon. You already have a spirit not of fear but power and love. If there is any fear that comes upon you, these are the ways to deal with it using God’s words. Be strong and of good courage for God is in us. The Holy Spirit dwells within us.


Amen

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