The trouble for some is that when they feel fearful they go to Dr. Fear for counsel. They want him to confirm what they feel is real and what they think could happen, will happen. The doctor loves to prescribe a bottle of what-ifs, and then try to get his patients to ingest all of them at one time in hopes they will overdose. For a number of people, Dr. Fear was their pediatrician. Their parents took them to their first visit and they have been going to him ever since. When he is busy, he loves to refer patients to Dr. Doubt. They both work against the Word of God by trying to inoculate people from the effects it could have in their life.
When Christians come into the Kingdom, they are suppose to change physicians, so they can become believers. The problem is they are too comfortable with the old one. They are well acquainted with his ways. If they became acquainted with the new Physician, they would have fewer problems with fear. If they become intimate with Him and His ways, fear would have no place in their lives and Dr. Fear would have to close his office due to lack of business.
Colossians 2:12-15 Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (KJV). Fear has no more power than what you give it. It has been made powerless because Jesus stripped the enemy all of his authority. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, fear being one of them (see 1John 3:8). The devil has no power over the believer. The only thing he can do is get the believer to agree with him. By making suggestions through various ways, he tricks the Christian into making a wrong confession, so his words gain power through the authority a believer has. While we will not cover the ins and outs of confession and everyday conversation, remember: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21, KJV). Secondly, if the enemy can influence a person to think a certain way, he will respond accordingly. For some, fearful thinking is their default mindset; therefore, they will create an environment that feeds off fear. They open the bottle of what-ifs and start swallowing. It is time to throw that bottle down the toilet and flush. There is no such thing as “what if” in the Kingdom of God. However, if a person insists on playing “the what if game,” perhaps change the negative what-ifs to faith-filled ones. For example, “What if God’s Word is really true?” Even this question reveals that there are no “what-ifs” in the Kingdom because God’s Word is true, no question.
Dr. Fear has many MOs (modus operandi), so we will only address a few. These should help bring clarity to methods he employs. Keep in mind, he loves to lie and he is big on elusions. He will try to use your past against your present. Dr. Fear loves to take past hurts and failures and project them into your current situation. He will remind you of similar past circumstances and try to convince you it is the same now as before. Have you ever found yourself say, “Here we go again?” “Nothing ever changes.” The elusion is that you are stuck in the past. The scheme is to get you fear the present and lose all hope. If there is no hope, there is no faith, since faith is the evidence of things hoped for (see Hebrews 11:1). There are times the Father will allow circumstances to mirror the past in order to bring up a hurt that needs healing. In the process, He reveals the hurt, addresses any un-forgiveness issues, and brings us to ultimate goal of healing. The Father’s endgame it to bring us into deeper walk with Him, not make us afraid of our present.
In the realm of works of the Spirit, Dr. Fear says, “If you don’t do, it will not get done.” The idea is to get us to move from faith to dead works of the flesh. Everything that begins in the Spirit is supposed to remain in the Spirit (see Galatians 3:1-9). Therefore, God fulfills His promises to us as we walk in the Spirit. If the doctor can counsel us to try to bring them to pass in our own strength, he will succeed in moving us farther away from the promise. Roman 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (KJV). Anything we do in relation to the promise is a question of listening and obeying. We do not have to try to come up with some method of success. Likewise, our righteousness is maintained by faith in Jesus; it is not doing works of self-righteousness. Our sanctification is by the Blood and the Spirit. Therefore, we maintain right standing with God through faith.
The Word of God works brilliantly against fear. We should always take counsel with God and trust what He has to say to us. We agree with Him and declare what He says over our circumstances. In so doing, we encourage ourselves in the Lord. Our greatest asset in combating fear is love. 1 John 4:17-18 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. 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 (KJV). Fear has no chance at survival in the presence of Love, since God is Love. Galatians 5:6 tells us faith works by love; therefore, as we walk in love we are assured of victory in every area of our life. The more we walk in love the more we walk by faith.
Editors note: two great resources for this topic are “The Art Of Blessing” and “The Faith Of Jesus In The Life Of The Believer (His Faith, Not Ours),” by Curt Klingerman.
I have more issues with doubt than fear directly. I can instantly began doubting His voice directly after believing...with no doubt...that it was Him. Also, I know so many Christians who seem to doubtthevabilities of God. I have found myself knowing that I heard from God or believing something in the Word only to have a pastor or Christian tell me I'm wrong because they doubt it themselves. It seems that even Christians are looking for scientific or "logical" proof of everything. It seems most don't even believe in miracles anymore.