We are continuing the discussion on what I call The Abundant Heart. Each of these studies are built upon the foundation laid in the preceding lessons. So if you missed any of the previous posts, go back and read those first.
We are wrapping up our conversation about fear as this is something that many of us have in our hearts in abundance. Last week, we talked about how we fear because we can’t trust God with that situation. We talked a little about the spirit of fear and how that can spread. We looked at the spies who were sent to check out the promised land. One group came back and saw the goodness of God’s promises and another group saw nothing but giants and said there was no way they could possess the land. This group and another spirit upon them – the spirit of fear. We finished up talking about how we hide those things we are afraid of from God because we have difficulty trusting Him in that area. Today, we are going to continue looking at this difficult subject.
Let’s go back to the story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel, chapter 17.
Look at verses 8-11.
1Samuel 17:8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
In the original Hebrew language the word translated dismayed means to prostrate or break down either by violence or confusion or fear. Our English rendition of that verse sounds like some guys just standing around saying “Hey, check out that guy, he’s pretty scary.” The reality is a different picture from that. Prostrate means lying on the floor. In this case, because of a break down caused by the fear. So, the real image is of some people so afraid that they are laying on the ground in tears, rolling around and not knowing at all what they should do. Is that evidence of a sound mind? No. Is that evidence of torment? Is that a spirit of fear? I think so, on both counts.
Fear can follow you and generations after you. It’s a spirit. Why did the enemy bring the giant? Why not show their strength in numbers? Because there was a weakness in the hearts of the Israelites. Whether the Philistines themselves actually knew this, is unknown. But the spirit of fear knew and was whispering in their ears. Ten men out of the twelve that Moses sent to spy out the land had succumbed to the workings of that spirit of fear. This is the reason the Philistines sent out the one giant, named Goliath. The Israelites were susceptible to that particular fear, the fear of giants.
What fear consistently plagues you? I’m not talking about a one-time event where you were afraid, conquered it and no it no longer bothers you. I’m talking about something that consistently comes up. It causes you to fret. You feel the anxiety. You don’t know what to do. It cripples you in a certain area. You go to do something that you know you should do. You should be okay doing it. But, for some reason fear comes. The anxiety comes, then the torment starts. You struggle to fight it and then you relent. When you back off from what you know you should do, then the fear backs off. You see, just like a game controller for a kids video game, fear is controlling you. If you obey it, then you don’t have the fear… or so you think. The reality is, the more you obey it, the more control you are giving it. Soon it isn’t just fear of doctors (as an example). Other fears begin popping up. Unless you gain control over it, it will gain control over you.
Now, let’s get back to the story.
Saul and ALL of Israel are in fear. They were greatly afraid. There was one exception to this fear. That exception is named David. It’s interesting to note that David is a descendant of Judah, as was Caleb (Num 14:6-9). Caleb wasn’t afraid of the giants either.
The enemy was cocky and loud. He never even drew his sword. David is the one who later unsheathed his sword in order to cut off his head.
Fear is a master of disguise. It will always come to you looking like something else, even imitating God if necessary. Saul came to David and was saying here is my armor, trust in this. The offer sounds like protection, but Saul had another motive…Self protection. Fear is always turned inward to protect self while faith looks outward.
Saul tried to send him out in his armor for two reasons:
- If he succeeded, people would think Saul was the hero.
- If David lost, this would give Saul a chance to sneak away while the enemy celebrated their victory over Saul (thinking they killed the king).
Now let’s look at David. David changes everyone’s outlook in an instant.
- The enemy troops were suddenly the ones who were afraid.
- Israel’s army was suddenly emboldened to fight where previously they let themselves be mocked.
- David’s mighty men were part of the ones who were afraid. This is that point in time where they gained their might.
Giants came multiple times in David’s life. The enemy keeps trying. He keeps sending the giants. Israel (including David) should have been afraid. But the fear no longer gripped them. They learned a better way.
2Samuel_21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
Before we go any deeper though, I want to say a couple of things regarding words. I didn’t want to say this last week because I thought it might cause confusion. I wanted those things to soak in a little bit first. Hopefully by now, you have read and re-read the scriptures that I gave you in the previous installment. If not, you may want to do that first.
Whenever we talk about the power of words, it’s easy for a what I call a ‘doctrine of avoidance’ to get started. This is where people get so concerned about their words, that they actually become afraid to say anything about how they feel to anyone out of fear of speaking negative. My friend, this is wrong and completely unbiblical. What’s happening there, is you are so bound up with fear, that this just gets added to the list. This is absolutely one of the worst things you could do. We are to confess our sins, one to another (James 5:16). Even God had a change of heart after saying a few things that he later regretted. This happened after a talk with a close friend, Moses.
Exodus 32:9-14 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff necked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
If you doubt that God could have a close friend, then read Exo 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend…
My point in this has been to show you how these things work and not to bring fear. Quite the contrary. Fear loves darkness. If I can bring light to the situation to demonstrate how these things actually function and why you may be living in a world of difficulty, then I can assist you in getting out of it. Therefore, If you are having issues of fear or rejection or anything else that may be blocking you from the blessings of God or a right relationship with Him or with others, then you may need help.
If so, then get help from your local pastor or talk with some spiritually mature friends about it. Many churches offer some form of inner healing ministry. There may be a church or ministry near you that also offers this. If so, then make the appointment and go. God wants you free from these things.
Some Final Thoughts
If you are questioning if you are in fear or not, then ask; Is there any evidence? I’m afraid this or that thing will happen. What evidence is there? If all you can come up with is, “Well, I just know,” then you are in fear. Fear’s calling card is the lack of evidence. Are you in fear? Then command it to go in the name of Jesus and if you need help, call on someone to help you get free. Then work on your relationship with Him. There is an area of your heart that you have not yet surrendered to Him. Ask Him to show you what that is.
1Johnn_4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Remember that fear is NOT your friend. Fear kills dreams. It destroys your health and your vision for the future. It causes men’s hearts to stop. It controls you. It nudges you off course and prevents you from fulfilling your destiny. Fear does all of this and much more. It is one of the greatest enemies of the individual believer and the church at large.
I am reminded of a message from Dr. Miles Monroe. In this message, he promised to reveal the location of the lost riches of the world. He kept everyone listening on the edge of their seats as they waited to hear the location of this great treasure. At the end of the message he revealed that place to the audience. What I heard was one of the most profound things I have ever heard. It radically changed my thinking. By now, you are probably wondering where the location of this great treasure is also. Are you ready? The location of all this buried treasure is the local cemetery. Yep, you read that right. The local cemetery. For this is where the great symphonies that were never written are buried. This is where the great new inventions and medical breakthroughs are buried. This is where all the novels, movies and great works of art are buried. The stories that were never told are here. The list of what never was is long and endless and only God knows the true number. Never created, never built, never written, never sung and never pursued. The reason, is this little thing called fear. Please don’t be another one of those. Do what God has called you to do and be what he wants you to be. Don’t let fear stop you. Instead, follow the dream he has for you and pursue that instead of hiding in fear.
This concludes the topic of fear. Next week we will continue looking at what can be found in the abundant heart.
11-2-2020 – This concludes our review of the Abundant Heart series. The new stuff in this series will be posted in the next week or two. I published this review on a weekly basis on Mondays because I wanted us to finish up the subject of fear before the 2020 election. Be prayerful before you vote and do not be driven by fear when you vote. Do not be swayed by external forces wanting you to vote a certain way. Instead, listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his voice and his leading in this election. For many, there will be many reasons to be fearful in the days following this election. Do not succumb to this temptation. Instead, stay in faith and put your trust in the Father and his plan for your life, your family and for our country. Trust Him and love others, even those you may disagree with. Until next time, may God’s richest blessings be yours today.