How Do You Know When Fear is Controlling You?
Today, many people, including believers are being controlled by the spirit of fear. Have you noticed that Instead of addressing it, many people have developed coping mechanisms for dealing with fear? So, how do you know if you are being controlled by the spirit of fear?
One way of knowing is when outside influences play an outsized role in your life. More than any other character in the Bible, God told Joshua to be brave, strong, and not be afraid: ‘No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you.’ (Jos 1:5).
Joshua had many reasons to be afraid. Their great leader, Moses, had passed on and it was now his turn to lead a bunch of complainers, otherwise known as the Israelites into battle with many nations who were bigger and stronger. The Israelites grumbled about how difficult it would be to conquer these nations after leaving captivity in Egypt. The strength of their adversaries was intimidating, so Joshua had his work cut out for him. But God reassured him that he would be with him, just like he was with Moses. Had Joshua listened to outside influences and allowed his fear to control him, he would not have reached the promised land, thus leaving unfulfilled, God’s plan for his people.
The cacophony of voices around us could be unnerving and distracting. Whenever you choose a path opposite of the majority opinion, outside influences will try to speak into your life and convince you how bad your decisions are. Going against the crowd can be fearful if you are not confident in your leader, or as a leader.
Joshua trusted God’s leadership in his life. God had freed them from captivity, carved a way for them through the Red Sea, and supplied provision in the wilderness. Joshua trusted that God who did all these would help them conquer their enemies. Following God may not always be easy, but fear can cause you to turn your ear to those who are not on the same path.
Another way of knowing if fear is controlling you is when fear creates obstacles. The first time God said ‘Do not be afraid’ in the Bible was when he spoke Abram at the point he questioned the fulfillment of a covenant God made with him: ‘Lord God, what can you give me since I am childless? (Gen 15:2)
God promised that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. This seemed impossible since Abram and his wife were childless and well past child-bearing years. Abram’s fear created an obstacle to believing God’s promise, which eventually came to pass. Are you allowing your fear to create an obstacle to believing God’s promises for you? He has promised never to leave or abandon you (Heb 13:5); and he has good plans for your well-being (Jer 29:11).
This week, be determined to hold on to God’s promises. Do not let fear take them away from you. God is greater than any fear you will ever face. It is well with you.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column is written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.