Premier Christian Radio interview on ‘Freedom from Fear’. The amazing thing about this interview was the lady who called in and the Lord revealed the root of her fear live on air!
Listen to the full interview here:
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(This is only a portion of the full transcript) We’re talking all about fear. They say that love makes the world go round but sometimes you would think it was fear. Fear can hold you back, it can manifest itself in all sorts of ways including anxiety, worry, apprehension, tension, terror, timidity, fright, panic, phobias, the list goes on. Whether it’s fear of public speaking, fear of intimacy, fear of the dark, fear of death or even fear of the future, Satan will use fear to try to stop you taking steps forward into everything tat God has for you. Fear can affect all sorts of areas of our lives as well as our ability to function normally. All of us who’ve had to speak publicly or sing publicly know what it’s like, suddenly you can’t be at your best because you’re afraid. Where does fear come from? We’re told that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom so there must be a healthy side to it? Absolutely. Actually, there are three types of fear. It’s important to define what they are so we know what we’re dealing with. The first type of fear is a fear that God has actually given us, it’s what we might call a natural fear or a rational fear. For example, if you stand too close to the edge of a cliff, there’s going to be an element of fear in your heart but actually that’s a good thing because that’s going to stop you from falling off of the edge of the cliff! It’s a good thing that God has given us, it’s perfectly rational and we can thank God for it. The second type of fear is the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord isn’t being afraid of God but it’s actually revering God – knowing Him for who He is. Actually, the fear of the Lord comes from love. We revere God because we love Him so much and we know how much He loves us, therefore we don’t want to sin against Him. It says in Exodus 20:20 that the fear of the Lord will keep you from sinning. However, the type of fear that we’re going to be talking about is what we would probably call ‘ungodly’ fear. We know that God has a plan for each one of our lives and the enemy wants to use fear to try to hold us back. For example, the person who is called to public speaking is most likely to face anxiety and fear in that area, because fear often comes as a direct attack on the call of God on a person’s life. That’s so true, I can testify to that myself. I suffer from anxiety to do with various different things. Do you think that anxiety and fear are the same thing? Is fear a bigger thing than just anxiety? I would say that anxiety is a type of fear. Anxiety is usually fear of the future. You’re anxious about what might happen, you’re not usually anxious about what is happening now. Just like faith, fear projects into the future, but of course fear is the opposite of faith, and you can’t be fully trusting in God for what’s going to happen tomorrow if you are anxious about it. If you make big changes in a business and you don’t do it carefully, people will get upset because they’re afraid of something changing. They’re anxious about their comfort being affected. Every time an angel appears in the bible, it strikes me that they say ‘do not fear’. Again, when something out of the ordinary happens we’re suddenly terribly afraid. I think it’s really interesting that you’ve mentioned that. I remember when I first encountered the Holy Spirit and there was almost an element of fear. I think it’s the power of God and the wonder of being in His presence. One of the things that people are very afraid of is the spiritual world. However, it’s usually a lack of knowledge that makes us afraid of the spiritual world. For example, if we begin to speak about angels or demons, the person who has a lack of understanding about these things is likely to be afraid. Naturally we are afraid of things that we don’t understand. You mentioned that fear is the antithesis of faith, so when we feel afraid, do we just need more faith? Not necessarily. Faith is really important and perhaps as we unpack what fear is and how to overcome fear, we’ll start to see what the keys are. One key is the word of God. If you look at what King David said in the scripture about fear, he speaks about the word of God. In Psalm 56 it says ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee’, so he’s talking about trust. That is a type of faith, but it’s not just a passive trust, it’s an active trust. It’s the kind of trust where you can just spread your arms out and fall back into God’s hands, completely trusting in Him. But then he says ‘In God I will praise His Word’, so when he’s speaking about fear he immediately goes to the Word of God. ‘In God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me’. Then he goes on in verses 9 and 11 ‘In God whose Word I praise’, ‘In the Lord whose Word I praise’. So it’s not just that I need to have more faith, it’s that I need to know what the Word of God says, because I can trust in that. We minister to many people and we find that behind almost every fear is a lie, and we know that Satan is the father of lies. If you start to ask somebody questions about their fear, you’ll find that behind that fear is a lie and this is why the truth of the Word of God is so important. We need to apply the truth of God’s Word in order to break the power of the lies that are behind our fears. When people struggle with fear, is it the case that they need to change their perspective, for example knowing the truth of God’s Word and knowing the truth about what God says about you, or is there actually healing that needs to happen? It can be both and it usually us both. If we look at where fear comes from we can find the antidote. If we go back to the garden of Eden, do you remember that Satan lied to Adam and Eve? He said ‘you will not surely die’. So first of all there was a lie and we’ve already spoken about that. The next thing that happens is that God goes looking for Adam and Eve and he says ‘where are you?’ and it’s really interesting how Adam answered. In Genesis chapter 3 he says ‘I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid’. But Adam was naked before that! But now he’s saying ‘I was afraid because I was naked’. So he was naked before but he wasn’t afraid. So this is the point at which fear entered the human race. It started with a lie, and it led to Adam feeling like he was uncovered. Now we know he wasn’t any more uncovered in the physical than he had been before so there’s something about being spiritually uncovered and separated from God that brings fear. There’s an element of needing to come back into close relationship with God, perhaps the enemy has been lying to you. Perhaps he’s saying to you ‘because of a particular sin you’ve committed, God can’t love you and God can’t come into your life’. And of course, fear speaks. I don’t know if you’re aware of this. I’ll give you a little example which you’ll probably find quite funny. I’m not used to speaking on the radio, this is only my third time. So I got the email from the producer just the other day saying ‘can you come on the radio on Saturday to speak about freedom from fear’. I thought ‘oh wow, this is an opportunity’ because I believe God’s called me to speak His truth. Now, usually God speaks first, and then immediately fear will speak: “Who do you think you are to go on the radio to speak to people about freedom from fear?”, “What have you got to say that could possibly help people?”. So fear comes in and speaks lies to you, in order to throw you off track. So there’s the daily walk of overcoming fear. I would encourage anybody who is dealing with that kind of fear that comes in the moments when you think God is opening a door, to cry out to God and say “God, would you give me a Word that I can stand on?”, “Would you give me a Word that I can proclaim when that fear comes so that I can defeat the lie”. For me, the Word is from the book of Joshua. It says “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you. I will always be with you, I will never abandon you”. Then listen to these words “Be determined and confident”. So when that anxiety comes and I know it’s attacking my calling, whether I’m going to stand up in front of 500 people at one of our conferences or whether I’m coming to speak on the radio, whatever it is, I can come back to that word and say ‘Lord I know you’ve called me to do this, and I shall be determined and confident’. That way I am literally standing against those other voices. Message from caller “David, thank you for what you’ve said so far today. You’ve given me food for thought and highlighted that I don’t know how to love God, resulting in me being anxious. Great, something to work on and move forward with. “Hi there David, basically I just wanted to speak to you because for myself fear is a really big issue for me at the moment. I’ve always been a person of faith. I’ve grown up with God and I still continue on my journey but I do feel that fear is something that God wants to remove from my heart – it’s one big obstacle in my life at the moment. For me it’s a question of how you cope, how you trust in God’s love and how you remove the fear of suffering. I’ve had some pretty bad experiences in my life and it’s really shaken my faith and my trust. When you’ve experienced complete despair and complete fear, it’s difficult. I lost my daughter half way through my pregnancy and I had a terrible time when I had my son. I experienced kind of like terror and panic attacks afterwards. I prayed all the way through those experiences and it felt like I’d been totally abandoned and that fear is still in my life about what awful things might happen”. So you want to know how your trust in God can be restored and how that fear can be driven out? Got to 14:08.