Many of us have experienced fear or anxiety at one time or another in our lives or maybe some of you, as you’re reading this, are battling this currently.

In my life, I have struggled with fear and anxiety since childhood and the grip it had on my life was one that kept me locked and hidden. I was lost, naive, and blind to even understand the reality of my circumstances and how it was silently killing me inside. The lack of truth and awareness was what kept me in this prison. The moment fear got exposed was the beginning of the road to freedom.

What is fear?

Psychologists, counselors, and therapists call fear an emotion. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”

Fear is the body’s response to a perceived threat. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

I want to give you an example of the difference between fear and anxiety. Fear has a clear target. When someone points a gun at you, you can experience fear because you’re in immediate danger. Anxiety is a thought that worries you that someone can point a gun at you, but it hasn’t happened yet—you’re on high alert but you’re not in immediate danger. Fear tends to be a reaction to an immediate threat, while anxiety is concern or a response to future event.

How does fear affect our health?

Today fear and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S and it is one of the leading causes of health visits.

Fear is experienced in your mind but triggers a strong physical reaction in your body. As soon as your recognize fear the amygdala(small organ in the middle of your brain) alerts the nervous system. When our nervous system detects a threat, it sends an alert to our endocrine system to release the stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which then triggers your blood pressure and heart rate to increase. You start breathing faster and your blood flow changes. Your body prepares for the fight or flight response.

Because fear is closely associated with anxiety, it can cause many health issues. When fear is constantly present, your body is in a constant response mode. This kind of longterm chronic stress activates different pain disorders and autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. If you have not been dealing with fear the right way, you were most likely on flight mode.

When our body does receive a threat, it responds. We have no control over these events. However, what we can control is how we react after these threats. This will require an active choice we need to make that will determine the outcome of fear in our lives. This would be the fight response.

The truth about fear

I want to dismantle fear and reveal the truth about what it really is. Now that we defined fear from the physiological perspective lets see what God says about it.

 Truth is fear is a liar. Fear wants you to believe something that is not true. And the longer you believe that something is true, it becomes your truth. It doesn’t mean it is the truth, but it became your truth. Fear becomes a mental stronghold when the habitual pattern of thoughts have built one’s thought life. A stronghold is a place that has been fortified to protect it against attack. These mental strongholds are built on past experiences. These experiences result in lack of trust that builds a wall of protection for security and a place of feeling safe.

2 Corinthians 10:4

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

I find it interesting that in this verse is says that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God. Our fight against fear is not just a physical fight but a spiritual fight. The bible calls fear a spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” If scriptures warn us that it is a spirit, truth is we become slaves to it. In Romans 8:15 it says, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

If God did not give us the spirit of fear and the spirit of fear leads us to bondage, did He not say that we have received the spirit of adoption and became His sons and daughters? If we have been adopted into His family, we have been liberated from the spirit of fear! Did you hear me? You have been given the spirit of the Lord when you have accepted Him into your life! You have been set free from the bondage of fear. Do you hear it? You are no longer a slave to fear. You are a child of God. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ESV

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect loves casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

The ultimate punishment of fear is separation from God. God is love and those who are in Christ, know the love of Christ which drives away fear. When we fear, we reject Christ and everything that fell on Jesus on the cross. When we believed in Jesus, we believe in everything that was accomplished on the cross. The Bible says nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ. Romans 8:38-39 God’s love for us is why Jesus died on the cross. Gods love for those who trust in Christ is why He holds them in His hand and promises to never let them go.

To be perfected in love is a process, a process of maturing in Christ and His love. Just like it was a process to allow fear to become a stronghold in our lives, it will take some time to destroy this fortress and rewire our thinking and understanding.

Romans 8:35  “Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ.” He has made us conquerors in adversity. 1 John 4:4 “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Its just silly to think how the enemy has made himself so big in your life, when in reality he’s been defeated.

 I believe that fear itself is not a sin but it can become sin in what we do when we are afraid. Oftentimes fear causes us to override our obedience to God and keeps us in a place of disobedience. We choose to listen to the voice of fear over the voice of God. We allow fear to control what we do. We allow fear to control what God is leading us to do. Too often, we let fear control our lives and set the tone for our faith. We let fear rule us, and keep us from experiencing life, from loving others, and approaching God.

Fear causes us to trust our own resources or to put our trust in someone or something else other than God. Refuse fear by trusting God. Knowing God and knowing that He is good will build your trust. Psalm 56:11 “In God I trust; I shall no the afraid. What can man do to me?”

Because fear is a spirit it is able to control and manipulate us into darkness. Fear can be paralyzing and suffocates the life out of you. Fear also makes you foggy and causes confusion. Fear shuts the reasoning and judgment part of our brain which makes it difficult to think clearly or make good decisions. Fear is a survival response. When you start to take extreme measures to avoid certain activities it starts to interfere with your ability to function healthy in life. Because fear is a liar, it makes you believe the false accusations, the false theories, the false attacks, the false threats. These lies start to form patterns of unhealthy behaviors and choices. Fear limits us and keeps us away from our potential. The main purpose of fear is to lead you away from truth and lead you into deception. When you are deceived you are on the enemy’s territory and he has access to you.

This is the whole purpose of fear to keep you weak, powerless, and timid. If it can keep you weak, powerless, and timid it gained another victim to the kingdom of hell.

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

How to deal with fear

Running from fear doesn’t work. Waiting for fear to go away doesn’t work either. Avoiding dealing with the root of fear, prevents us from moving forward. Until we make a choice to face the fear, we will be held captive to it. To overcome fear and be free from it is to first recognize and acknowledge it. If you google how to overcome a fear of dogs, you will find out that the way to overcome is to start facing your fear of dogs. Once you recognize fear you have to make the choice to face it.

Fear wants you to stay in your comfort zone, because it knows that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone you will start to rise above fear.

When fear or anxiety arises, recognize it, and notice any associated thoughts. Many times when we feel anxiety we want to be comforted in that area, so examine what are you feeding that anxiety with. Many people have turned to addictions, substance abuse, and other coping mechanisms which is only a temporary fix. Instead of addressing the underlying cause of fear and anxiety suppressing the fear and anxiety will only cause the anxiety to increase.

John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

I’ve heard that faith and fear cannot coexist but I’m confident to say that fear cannot thrive where there is love.

Every human is in search for love, approval, and validations. God made us for this kind of love. I believe many of our fears will go when we come to know the truth of God’s word. And the word of God says that He is love, and He is truth. This truth is Jesus. Knowing the truth about God’s love, will drive out fear. Even telling yourself 1000 times “I am not afraid” might work for sometime but if you never come to know His perfect love you might be restless and afraid until you find Him. Ephesians chapter 3 talks about Christ being revealed in our hearts so that we may be rooted and grounded in love and to know the love of Christ which transcends knowledge for us to be filled with the fullness of God. Love will fill every void within and the need for approval and validation.

Isaiah 43:1 Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. 43:4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you. 43:5 Fear not, for I am with you.

This a powerful passage declaring that God has created us, He loves us, we are His, and He is with us.

If we know Whose we are, we will know who we are. The enemy’s greatest fear is for us to know our identity and authority in Christ. Because if we know our position as a son or daughter, we will know longer live in fear!

The word of God is full of truth to help us navigate and deal with this area of fear. Knowing the truth about fear, will expose the fear itself.

His word builds our faith and gives us hope and confidence to stand in adversity. Faith comes from hearing, hearing the word of God. When we hear the word of God our faith grows. When we feed our faith it grows. Fear works the same, when we keep listening to the fear speaking to us and give ear to the lies our fear only grows. Fear only takes control of you in how much you allow it to. The more you feed the fear the more power it will have in your life. If you starve the fear it will have nothing to stay alive by. Fear grabs your attention and once it caught your attention it keeps you on a leash to keep you in bondage.

Worship is our spiritual weapon

When we choose worship over fear, we choose to invite God’s presence and power into our lives. Worship is far deeper than just singing. Worship is allowing Him to be Lord over your life. His presence makes all darkness flee. His peace comes and stills every storm and every chaos. When we worship we choose Him over our fears.

The word of God is our spiritual weapon

The word of God is the sword of the spirit. When we speak and apply the word of God it becomes the offensive weapon that helps us stand our ground and drives the enemy back. Out of the whole armor of God the sword of the spirit is the only offensive weapon. The rest of the armor is for our protection. We don’t go to war without a weapon, we need the word of God to fight the enemy.

Praise is our spiritual weapon

Our battles belong to the Lord. When we posture our hearts in praise, we claim victory. The battle has already been won and victory belongs to the Lord. When you begin to praise Him, you can stand still and watch Him fight the battle for you.

10 practical ways to fight fear:

1. Invite the Holy Spirit on your journey to overcome fear.

2. Prayer—draw near to Him

3. Mediate on scripture and speak scriptures over your life

4. Cultivate times of stillness and rest

5. Recognize the triggers

6. Lay it down

7. Change your focus

8. Face the fear

9. Get enough sleep

10. Exercise and take care of your health

Fear of rejection, fear of disappointment, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of public speaking, fear of death, fear of sickness, fear of the dark, fear of violence, fear of confrontation, fear of pain, fear of being alone, fear of being dismissed and misunderstood, and many more. Whether the fear was induced by trauma or other experiences, the Bible gives us a promise to hold on to.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 2:14-15

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Isaiah 26:3

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in you.”

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:34

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Isaiah 54:17

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper”

Psalm 23:4

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

 Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”