Last time, we identified what the fear of man is and how it manifests itself in our lives.
How do we get free of the fear of man? The first step is recognizing the problem. Once we face what is really going on, we repent of allowing it to have a place in us. Repentance means we ask God’s forgiveness for indulging the sin of the fear of man, and we renounce it (put it away from us, with the decision to not give it a place anymore). Because for many of us the recognition comes after the devil already has gotten a hold on us, the next step is receiving deliverance. This does not necessarily mean we must go through formal deliverance ministry from other Christians, but if you find that the steps I mention in the following paragraphs are not entirely taking care of the problem, by all means call in fellow believers whom you trust for support and reinforcement. This may mean that you ask them to add their faith and prayers, with the laying on of hands, to your own.
Deliverance is part of the salvation package that Jesus won for us on Calvary, and we can receive it simply by calling upon Jesus for it. If you look at the original Hebrew and Greek words that our English Bible translates “salvation,” you will find that salvation also encompasses healing and deliverance. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 both say, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” These are quotations from Joel 2:32, which tells us, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (KJV) Romans 11:26 refers to Jesus as The Deliverer. Your deliverance is just as surely provided for in Jesus’ atonement as your salvation from hell. There is no question about it in Jesus’ mind. Call upon Jesus to deliver you from the fear of man. It is as simple as that. Ask Him to do it and believe He does it as you ask. You need not worry or wonder whether your deliverance is complete.
After repenting and receiving Jesus’ deliverance from any footholds the enemy may have gotten, there is one more crucial step that we must take in order to obtain our full freedom. Yes, the deliverance is complete, but we must cooperate with that deliverance by changing our thought patterns. This is the step that Christians often fail to accomplish. The mind must be disciplined to come into a new way of thinking. In one sense, we need the Holy Spirit’s help with this, but in another sense it is up to us. We ask the Lord to transform and renew our thinking (Romans 12:2), but we are responsible to do our part in forming the new habit of thought. Old habits are hard to break; we must work at it. If we notice the old way of thinking entering our mind, we immediately rebuke those thoughts, and refuse to indulge them. This step takes a little time, but it is absolutely essential, if we are going to come into a full victory. Many times Christians think Jesus did not deliver them from their problems when they asked Him to, and they keep running from one deliverance ministry to another, hoping that this time it will stick. The truth is, Jesus did deliver them, but they failed to do their part in disciplining their thoughts and actions from that point on.
So far, we’ve described the process of getting free of the fear of man, but how do we stay free? Always, the antidote to the fear of man is trusting the Lord and having a godly reverence for Him. When we trust Him, there is no opening for fear of any kind to enter, or reenter. Psalm 57 tells the story of David’s own battle with man-fear, and how he dealt with it. He remembered that it was “God who performs all things for me” (v.2), and that he must fix his heart on God and deliberately praise Him (v.7).
May you take hold of your freedom today. Jesus wants you to know the joy of trusting the Lord to perform all things for you, and of moving forward into your God-given destiny with all the fear-chains completely gone from your life.
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