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The Landmine of Fear - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2023 12:00 am

The Landmine of Fear - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 22, 2023 12:00 am

Fear separates us from God while resilient faith in Him helps us walk victoriously.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, February twenty-second. How many things are you afraid of? Today's podcast helps you see that God intends for believers to be anxious for nothing. What I want us to do is I want us to look at a key passage of Scripture, which to me is the anchor.

When you're facing fear, here's the anchor. This is a passage that you can go back to that is so awesomely reassuring and it gets us to the basic and to the foundation of why a child of God should not live in fear. So, I want you to turn, if you will, to the forty-first chapter of Isaiah. And let's read beginning in this eighth verse. And while He's speaking to the nation of Israel and speaking about them, the promise is absolutely just as applicable to us and even more so in some ways because when you were saved, the Holy Spirit came to live inside of us. And so, notice what He says beginning in this eighth verse.

He said, But you Israel My servant, Jacob, whom I've chosen, descendant of Abraham My friend, you whom I've taken from the ends of the earth and called from the traumatest parts, and said to you, You're My servant. I've chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you.

Surely, I will help you. Surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored. Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but you will not find them.

And those who war with you will be as nothing and nonexistent. For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, Do not fear, I will help you. Now, I'm coming back to that passage in a few moments, but I want us to think about this whole issue of fear because I want us to think about, I want us to clarify the meanings of fear in the Bible. For example, the fear that usually we think about is that sense or that feeling of uneasiness, that dread, that alarm that goes off on the inside of us when we feel threatened by something or there is imminent danger and we don't know what to do. God has given to all humanity a sense, a capacity to feel fearful. That's a protective kind of thing. That is to protect us from danger. For example, if I ask you, How many of you are afraid of rattlesnakes? Put my hand up.

Yes, indeedy I am. I don't want to be anywhere close to them. Or brown bears, if you're out in the wilderness and they have their cubs with them, don't get anywhere close. And so I can think of a lot of things that I could be afraid of, but that's protective fear. For example, are you afraid to put your hand on a hot stove?

Well, yes, you are. God has placed that in us and so that's legitimate, that's good, so we're not talking about that kind of fear. Then when the Bible speaks of fearing God, oftentimes somebody says, Well, am I to be afraid of God?

No. Why should I be afraid of a Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally, who's with me all the time, who has the best plan in life for me, and who's there to help me walk through that? We don't have to be afraid of Him. So when the Bible talks about fearing God, it speaks of reverencing Him, respecting Him, honoring Him, obeying Him, walking in His ways. So that's another kind of fear. Then there is a fear about which Jesus oftentimes mentioned, and which Paul wrote to Timothy in second Timothy chapter one, that seventh verse, when he said, God has not given us the spirit of fear. This is fear that damages us. This is fear that torments us, as he says in first John, that fourth chapter, that fear is tormenting, that fear is punishing. There is a level of fear, a degree of fear, a kind of fear that plagues us, that God does not want in our life. It's the kind of fear that underlies and oftentimes people do not even realize that is the root cause of things that they're feeling that makes them uncomfortable, have no peace, no joy, no real sense of happiness in life.

They can't put their finger on it. And oftentimes it is the spirit of fear. Now we're talking about the damaging fear. We're talking about the fear that causes torment and this, and the consequences which we're going to discuss. So we're not talking about protective fear. We're talking about that level of fear that God does not want in our life. When He said to His disciples out on the storm, fear not because He was coming to be with them. Those kind of fears are what we want to deal with.

The issue is how do we overcome it? So I want you to get back to this forty-first chapter for a moment because to me, here's the anchor passage in the whole Bible, in times when I have faced fear for very definite reasons, here's my passage. And I want you to listen. The first couple of things I want you to see what He prohibits and what He tells us not to do. Look at this if you will. He says in verse ten of this forty-first chapter, first of all, do not fear. And secondly, the same thing in that verse, do not anxiously look about you.

Now watch this. Do you know why oftentimes we become afraid in situations? Because we anxiously look about us. Then we begin to imagine what could happen, what they could do or what they may fail to do or what we don't have or what we may lose. Do not anxiously look about you. Anxiety doesn't fit who we are. When we are tempted to fear in some situation or you have realized this morning that there's an underlying fear, listen to what He says.

Now watch this. This was spoken to the nation of Israel, but what was spoken to them also applies to us because, in fact, more so because we have the Spirit of God living inside of us. Listen to what He says. First of all, He says in verse nine, I have chosen you and not rejected you. You know why that's, I know that's true of you? Every single child of God can say, yep, I've been chosen by God. Somebody says, no, wait a minute, why do you think you've been chosen?

And maybe I'm not. Well, here's the reason. Because in Ephesians chapter one, verse three, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him, that is in Jesus, before the foundation of the world. Every single Christian, every single born-again person in the world, every single follower of Jesus has been chosen by God. God says you're a believer, you have been chosen.

So, number one, look at this. We're talking about fear now. So, what's the basis of our fearlessness? He says, number one, you've been chosen. I have chosen you and not rejected you. Secondly, in verse ten, I am with you.

And this is the ultimate key to not being afraid. When God says, I am with you. That's what He said to Moses, I'll be with you. That's what He said to Joshua, I'll be with you. That's what He said to Gideom, I'll be with you. That's what He said to the apostle Paul, I'll be with you. Listen, I'll be with you.

He said, first of all, I've chosen you. Secondly, I'm going to be with you. How long I'm going to be with you? He says, I'll never forsake you. Never, never forsake you. I'll be with you always.

All right, so look at this now. First of all, He says, we're chosen. Secondly, He says, I'm with you. And thirdly, He says, I'm your God. This is the sovereign God of the universe who said, I have established My throne in the heavens and My sovereignty rules over all. And in spite of what people may say, the God of this universe, who is Jehovah God, is in control of all things at all times, all circumstances. He is all wise.

He knows all. He has power over all. And nothing can happen in life apart from His permissive will. It does not mean that He makes everything happens that happens, but He allows it sometimes for reasons we don't understand. He is in control.

Why do we not fear? First of all, He says, because I've chosen you. Secondly, I'm with you. And thirdly, I am the sovereign, your God. And not only that, He says, I will strengthen you. Whatever you and I are going through, He says, I will strengthen you. And there are times when we all need, we need strength sometimes to believe Him. Physical strength to do what He's called us to do. Strength to be sustained.

Strength to persevere in situations and circumstances. He says, I will strengthen you. Then He says, surely I will help you. God is our Helper.

And think about this, the night before His crucifixion, one of the things that Jesus wanted to make sure of is this. He said to His disciples, I will not leave you as orphans. I will come again. I'm going to come help you. He says, I'm going to send you someone.

And He used the word that means just like Me. I'm sending you a Helper. Naturally, it was the Holy Spirit, a Person of Eternity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. So that He says, I will send you a Helper.

Every single one of us who is a believer, a follower of Jesus, we have the Helper who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all loving, and who has all power to help us in every single circumstance of life no matter what. And I love this verse, one of my favorite verses in Isaiah sixty-four, four, what does He say? He says, God, maybe you better read this verse. Look up this verse because if I quote it, you just run right across it and say, well, I forgot what He said. Look at it in the Bible.

Sixty-fourth chapter, look at this fourth verse. For from days of old they've not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eyes seen of God beside you, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Listen, if you're going through something in life, who do you want acting in your behalf?

You want the God who is all wise, who is present, who has all power, who loves you absolutely unconditionally, who's planned the best for you. He says He acts in our behalf. That is, He is our Helper. You have a Helper. You say, well, sometimes I feel so alone.

You feel it, but you're not alone. Sometimes I feel so helpless, you may feel it, but you're not helpless. That is, God is your Helper. He says, I will help you. And not only that, He says, not only will I help you, but I will uphold you. That is, I'm going to sustain you. I'm going to strengthen you. I'm going to be with you. I'm going to uphold you. You're going through a difficult time. Listen, you're not going to sink. It looks impossible, but I'm going to uphold you.

And notice what He said. I'm going to uphold you with My righteous right hand. In the Bible, the right hand of God is His symbol of awesome, unlimited, infinite power. And He says, no matter what's going on in your life, He says, I'm going to sustain you through it no matter what. So, we do not have to worry about being defeated. Listen, in the eyes of God, He's our Helper.

He's the one who strengthens us. He says, I'm going to be with you. I'm going to help you. I'm going to sustain you no matter what.

For I am the Lord your God who upholds your right hand, who says to you, do not fear, I will help you. Now, let me ask you a question. When we were talking about the different kinds of fears and where they came from, what came to your mind in your life?

That's nobody's business but yours. Fear of old age. Fear of not having enough. Fear of dying. Fear of getting some dread disease.

Fear of being rejected by your kids later and just dying out there by yourself. What are you afraid of? Maybe you fear tomorrow. You fear your job. Fear of your relationship, your husband or wife's breaking up.

Fear that your children are going to mess up and embarrass you. What are you afraid of? I want to show you how you can overcome that fear in just a few moments. Listen carefully.

If you want to overcome that fear right now, here's what you do. You identify what is this in my life that's influencing me, that's not right. And you say to God, Father, thank You for showing me this. But the power of the Holy Spirit who is within me, I choose to make a decision today to lay it down.

I don't have to care any longer. I'll choose to lay it down. Will God take it? Yes, He will. Now, is it going to crop back up again? Is there a devil?

Yes, it will. Now, watch this. Here's the key. We all have this grid system. It's in our mind.

It's this grid. So, if I want to remain free of that fear, here's the key. I promise you it works. Then what I must do is I must meditate on this passage. And what I'm doing, I'm reminding myself, God's chosen me. He's with me. He's my God. He'll strengthen me. And He'll help me. And He'll uphold me. I have nothing to fear. Now, here's what I mean by meditating on it. And here's the key. Now, you asked me why I say three weeks.

I can't tell you why. I just know it'll work. If you will meditate, if you will, and here's the best way to do it. If you, before you go to bed at night, will read that passage and tell God, Lord, work this truth in my life all night long while I'm asleep in my subconscious mind. Let it reprogram my thinking because I'm sick and tired of fear.

I don't want to live with fear any longer. So, Lord, I want to go to bed being reminded of the fact You've chosen me, I'm Yours. You're my God. You're going to help me. You're going to strengthen me. And that You're going to uphold me with Your righteous right hand and You're going to help me through whatever I'm going through. You, listen carefully, you meditate upon that passage. You read it every night carefully. Apply it to your life. Think about what you've been afraid of. Think about what you're afraid may crop up in your life. You meditate upon that passage. Let it get in your mind and in your subconscious that's going on because you've got a subconscious, we all do. Keeps your heart going, your blood vessels moving, everything that goes on that you and I don't think about is going on. What you put in your mind right before you go to sleep has an awesome effect upon your thinking. And before long, here's what'll happen. You don't even think about that anymore.

I'm not talking about the passage. I'm talking about what you're afraid of. When it crops up, what are you going to do? Watch this.

Immediately, you refocus from what you're afraid of to your God who said, I'm your God. I've chosen you. I'm with you. I'll help you. I'll strengthen you. I'll uphold you. I'll have your hand in my hand. I'm going to see you through this. Now tell me, give me a reason for us to be afraid of anything, that tormenting, damaging fear of being afraid of anything when what I just read you is the Word of the living God.

Here it is right here. If some psychologist gave you that as a possibility or some doctor or some friend, this is the Word of God. Here's what God said. Will He keep His Word?

Every single word of it. So I want to make a suggestion. I want to make a suggestion that for the next thirty seconds you identify that fear that God brought to your mind. Tell God that by His Spirit you are laying it down and you're going to put your trust in Him to be to you exactly what He promised in His Word that we just read and we said we believe this and we know it's true.

Tell Him you're laying it down. You're claiming His promise and you choose to fear no longer, but you choose to get your focus on Him. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of The Landmine of Fear. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-22 03:36:12 / 2023-02-22 03:43:58 / 8

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