You were not created to fear anything:

Jeremiah 1:8 “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will res- cue you, declares the LORD.”

What are you afraid of? This is a very broad question, but I would like to go on record stating my belief that fear is the primary factor behind most of our failures in life. We are afraid of rejection, people’s opinions, losing, winning, not being strong enough, being too strong, we are even afraid of failure itself. Fear has a grip that is tighter than the strongest cord ever made. It seems to have an astounding perseverance, and fear also seems to know your times of weakness.

Fear is like an unwanted friend who shows up at the party and takes over control. It begins to organize the functions, make all the decisions, and has a voice louder than any other in the room. Everyone in the room with fear unknowingly enters into a hypnotic state under its control.

You are probably shaking your head right now in agreement with me. If you’re not, it is simply because you have not identified your problem as fear. You probably think your life is falling apart because it’s God’s will, your spouse’s fault, or maybe it is

just in your genetic make-up. These are all good hiding places for fear. See, fear will control you and not even use its real identity. Fear is like the devil; he doesn’t care who or what you serve as long as you don’t serve God. And fear doesn’t care what you classify it as, just as long as its effect is destruction.

Have you ever wondered why fear seems to grip you every time you have a big decision to make in your life? Do you know why? Fear is the flesh’s or the devil’s way of silencing the voice and direction of God in your life.

We have read in the previous chapters how God created us for a destiny and how He created us with every thing we will ever need to achieve that destiny. One of the things God created us for was to be victorious in every area of our lives, and the main thing we are to accomplish these victories with is the ability to KNOW His voice and direction.

One of the hardest things for people to do today is make decisions. Though we are faced with decision every day, most people do not have the ability to make good Biblical decisions. Why? Because God did not give us the abi- lity to make good decisions? No, be- cause fear declares war against your

creative ability as a human to make a distinctive, unhindered decision when confronted with any problem.

As we discussed earlier, after Adam was created, the first thing he began to do was make decisions. Adam had to decide how to take care of the Gar- den of Eden. He had to name all the animals. As a matter of fact, it was his decision to eat of the forbidden fruit that brought sin and separated him from his Creator. Your Bible says that Eve was deceived, but Adam was presented with a choice. God told him that the consequence of eating of the forbidden tree was death. This was the decision Adam was presented with after his wife ate of the tree her- self. Adam didn’t have to eat of the fruit. He could have said, “No, you go ahead and die on your own.” But he didn’t. I believe his desire to please God was tainted by the fear of being alone again, or of not pleasing his wife or maybe even by the fear of not being loyal to God’s gift to him. Whatever it was, you can bet the voice of fear could be heard throughout Paradise on that dreadful day.

God created mankind with the natural ability to make good decisions. Fear, however, will bring doubt to you when you are confronted with a decision, not just so you don’t make the correct decision, but more so to silence the voice of God from your ears.

Adam never struggled with hearing the voice of the Lord until he made one wrong decision. That decision caused a chain reaction birth into sin that combats every decision we make even until to- day. The fear of being incorrect, wrongfully judged, or hurt has a seemingly silent yet deadly cry, commissioned by sin to keep you from your destiny.

The good news is that there is a voice that cries for you that is louder than the cry of fear. That cry is the cry of love.

The love of God shouts louder than any sound, voice, or cry that will ever present itself to you. The love of God shouts your innocence even when you make a bad decision. It seems to scream forgiveness, truth, acceptance and honor even when you have the sensation of being worthless, filthy, and cast out.

We are a people with limitations. Time, space, feelings and abilities limit us. What I mean is, everything we do, say, and feel is limited by what we know. There- fore, we only have the ability to love to a certain degree and then our love fails.

Take Peter for instance. His love for Jesus was proven time and time again. He walked on the angry waves of a storm-tossed sea because he wanted to be with Jesus. It was Peter who risked a death penalty by cutting off a Roman soldier’s ear all because the man grabbed Jesus’ arm. Wasn’t it Peter who tried to hold back days of fatigue all because Jesus asked him to pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane?

Peter loved Jesus as much as anyone, and more than most. But it was this same Peter who denied knowing Jesus while standing at the gate of the temple after Jesus was arrested and put on trial. Again he denied his relationship with the Lord, standing by a fire when recognized by a few cool civilians. The failing of his love was complete when he denied even knowing Jesus as he was confronted by a teenage girl.

Peter’s love started him on his journey toward a successful life and relationship with Christ, but because of fear and the limitations of being human, it failed him.

Thank God that the story doesn’t end with the love that starts, but there is a love that finishes. Even after Peter denied knowing Jesus three times; even after he returned to doing what God had called him out of, that is, fishing, he encountered a greater love than his own. Jesus met Peter on the rocky banks of his favorite fishing hole one evening. He didn’t condemn him, judge him or even bring up his past. Jesus simply offered Peter something even fear had no strength against: the kind of love that finishes!

You may be reading this book under the pressure of deadlines, expectations or worries, but I speak peace to you, knowing that if you make the right decision or the wrong decision, the love of God will finish in you what He has begun. This is the only effective weapon against fear. I John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” That is the weapon of knowing God’s love, knowing it will lead you, forgive you and start you over again if need be. Whatever it takes, the love that finishes will fight for you, if you will call on it.

This was God’s heart toward Jeremiah when He told him not to fear, “…for I am with you.” Fear has no effect on a person who has experienced the love of God and who knows that it is this love that created him in the first place. God has created you by His love and He will finish or perfect you with the same.

Fear not, you shall Succeed! Psalms 27:1-5 says “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army be- siege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”