This is week three of a five part series that I’m calling the “Five Fails of Spiritual Battle” Every Christian faces battles in the spiritual realm and no one should go into battle without a plan. But I’ve noticed that if we aren’t intentional about a good plan, we tend to default to a bad plan. Each of these is a strategy that falls into the category of “bad plan”.
Week 1) "FEET BEFORE KNEES"
Week 2) "FREE RANGE THOUGHTS"
Week 3) "FEAR BASED DECISIONS"
We're told not to be afraid over a hundred times in the Bible and yet everybody wrestles with fear. There's fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of pain, fear of disappointment, and the fears list could go on and on.
The Apostle Paul wrote encouragement to a younger pastor in II Timothy 1 and he made the point that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self control. He wanted Timothy to live his life with courage and boldness. Paul knew that the paralyzing fear comes from a spirit and so does the freedom to love and have self control. One comes from a demonic spirit and the other from God's Holy Spirit. If Timothy gave into a spirit of fear it would cripple his ministry and make him an easy target for the enemy.
I hope it's obvious that I'm not talking about healthy caution and making good decisions to avoid future problems. What I am talking about is when we don't follow God's leading because we're afraid of what could go wrong. We avoid speaking up, stepping out, and following through because we're afraid.
Fear is the main thing that keeps us from radical obedience to Jesus. He doesn't ask us to muster up some inner strength, work up a rally cry, and then charge into difficult decisions. He simply asks us to trust Him and "walk by faith". He asks us to love without reserve and that requires great courage.
So the next time you feel yourself paralyzed by fear; recognize where it comes from, ask God for courage and then move forward in faith that he will give you the courage you need.