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a converation with Pastor Miles and QB Philip Rivers
One criticism that people often have about Christians is that they act like they’re perfect and that nothing is ever wrong in their lives. There’s certainly nothing wrong with being joyful, but we also need to be honest with our struggles and burdens and open to letting God work through the difficulties in our lives. When you come to church, you should always be ready to receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit. What is it today that you need to get right? What do you need to change? What struggles are discouraging you?
Last week we studied the story of Queen Esther, who overcame her own fear to stand up for her people before the king. Although the king could not revoke his former decree which called for the death of the Jews, he was able to issue a new decree that would empower the Jews to overcome the first.
You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.” Esther 8:8
This situation reflects the truth of God’s power in our lives to overcome. Sometimes when we face a hard decision, a confrontation, or a trial that feels too painful or difficult for us, we pray for God to remove it from our lives. Sometimes God does resolve trials in this way, but more often He wants to empower us to fight through our fears.
The devil desires to paralyze us with fear by feeding us negativity and lies, such as, “Today’s going to be a terrible day,” “This burden is too much for you to bear,” or “You are a failure.” But we know from Scripture that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Spirit whispers truth to us, “You are a child of God. God loves you. He will never leave you or forsake you.” We must be willing to look fear in the eyes and battle the falsehoods - on a spiritual level - with the truth.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
The Bible tells us not to let any fear hold us captive, but instead to be grateful to God and to turn to Him. We may not understand the details of a situation or know the eventual outcome, but we can thank God for what He has done in our lives and we can express our faith that He will help us to persevere.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
It is not the devil we should fear, nor any person with whom we have conflict. If you think back to all the things you have worried about in your life, you may realize now that not many of them were worthy of your fear. It is only God who deserves our deepest reverence and respect - the One who holds our eternal future in His hands.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Knowing that God is always with us and has promised never to leave us should be a source of great comfort. We can learn to be thankful for what we have, not focused on attaining more, regretting what lies in the past, or thinking that some future change is the answer. If you are facing a fear in your life right now or have a difficult challenge that you know you need to face, God wants you to face it head-on, bring your sin to the light, and work to make things right again by His power and strength.
So how do you overcome FEAR?
1. Proclaim the victory of God.
When you worry, you make a statement that you don’t remember what God has done in your life. If you are facing something difficult, take some time to recall all the victories God has had in your life thus far! Do you remember a time when you didn’t make the team, didn’t have the date, lost a friend, felt left out, or felt like your life was over? It is likely that these “catastrophic” events of your youth mean nothing to you now, years later. Looking back over your life, find some of the ways He has been faithful to you, the times He has protected you or saved you, and the times He comforted you in your loss and opened a better door of opportunity for you. Let them serve as a reminder of God’s great faithfulness.
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:10
The devil is your accuser. His goal is to bring you down and to feed you negativity and lies, but he has no power over you except what you allow him to have. Don’t run from him - chase him down and proclaim God’s victories in your life!
When you are fearful, you can proclaim victory aloud concerning what God has already done in your life:
“In the name of Jesus, who came in the flesh, I proclaim victory in my life over ___________!”
2. Proclaim the promises of God.
Knowing that God has been faithful to you in the past should secure your knowledge of His faithful character to endure throughout your future. To combat your fears, not only can you proclaim victories He has already had in your life, you can claim the victories He will have in the future.
Confront the situation and confront your accuser. God never, ever breaks His promises to us, so you can boldly proclaim that God has saved you and will save you, that He has always been with you and He will never leave you:
“In the name of Jesus, who came in the flesh, I proclaim the faithfulness of God to overcome __________.”
Scripture shows us that even David used these proclamations when he was about to confront Goliath:
But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:34-37
What lions or bears has God slain in your life? What Goliath is standing before you today that you know God can overcome?
Identify your issue, problem, or whatever sin you need to confront today, and be determined to face the fear, stop running, and stop hiding. Based on God’s faithfulness, you can confront it head-on. There’s no need to ask God to make things easier for you - rather, there is a need for you to call upon His power and proclaim victory in His name. If He is for you, then who can be against? (Romans 8:31)