Introduction – Has fear ever stopped you? Have you ever run away from something? Have you ever disobeyed God, or started something, and then backed down because of fear? If you have, you are not alone. This lesson will show us that fear will come, but we have to go ahead and do whatever we need to do, even if we “Do It Afraid.” It’s okay to do it afraid.
The Only Right Kind Of Fear – There is only one right kind of fear described in the Bible. It is the respectful, reverent fear and awe of God. Fearing God doesn’t mean being afraid of Him or believing He is going to hurt you. Being afraid of God or what He might do is a misrepresentation of the kind of fear God meant for you to have. The fear of God the Bible talks about is the kind of fear we would have for anyone in authority. It is the kind of fear children should have for their parents, students would have for their teachers, or members would have for their pastors. It is the type of godly respect that involves reverence and awe. Of course, if you really look, you can see that Satan is doing a pretty good job of tearing down that whole structure. In our society there isn’t a lot of respect for authority anymore. Instead, there is a lot of rebellion.
Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence.” Why? If you have a reverent and worshipful fear, you will obey. You will do what God says to do, and your confidence and trust in Him will continue to grow.
The Wrong Kind Of Fear – Without the respectful, reverent fear and the awe of God, we quickly become people pleasers instead of God pleasers. Even though the Bible talks a lot about the fear of God, it never puts a stamp of approval on the fear of man. And, it doesn’t put a stamp of approval on the fear of the devil either. You are to have no fear of the devil, and no fear of man. Don’t fear what people think, what people say, what people do, or what people might not do.
The amount of turmoil which begins occurring in our lives when we become people pleasures instead of God pleasers is amazing. When we know that God is telling us to do something and we go do something else, we miss what God Has planned for us. We are bowing our knee to man rather than to God. Then we have a gnawing feeling inside of us that puts us in a place of unrest. It steals our ability to have confidence.
How Do You Get Out From Under The Control Of Fear – Many people’s lives are controlled by fear. The Greek word for fear is phobos. Initially it had the meaning of “flight.” It “first had the meaning of flight that was caused by being afraid.” In fact the words “fear” and “flight” are so closely connected that one meaning of “flight” is “a fleeing from or as from danger.” In other words, flight is what happened when fear came. Most people have a reason as to why they are afraid. We all have areas in our lives in which we are pretty bold, but we might also have other areas in which we let fear overcome us as well.
Can You Be Afraid? – Whoever said you couldn’t do it afraid? I can assure you that it wasn’t God. Do you really want to obey the scriptures and “fear not?” If so, you will be in good company because every person in the Bible who was ever used by God to any degree was told over and over by Him to “Fear not.”
One of those people was Joshua. Joshua 1:9 reads, “Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Another person was Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved you, and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” In verses 7-10 and 17, the Lord instructs Jeremiah to not be afraid, and promises to be with him.
Another person was Moses. In Exodus 14:10-14 Moses was telling the Israelites not to fall into fear, even though the Egyptians were right behind them. He let them know that all they had to do was place their trust in God, and He would fight for them
Finally, you must believe that God is with you. Philippians 1:28 tells us that when troubles come (and they will come), don’t be intimidated by them. Psalm 3:19 says, “A righteous man has many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Troubles will come, but you can be confident the Lord will deliver you from them—all of them!
The Bible Does Not Say, “Don’t Be Afraid.” – When you read about Moses and the Israelites, it is obvious that something was going on to cause the Israelites to feel afraid. Each time they were afraid God said, “Fear not.” If you are human, when you hear the command to be fearless, right away you start thinking, “I’ll try, but I can’t help it. I don’t want to be afraid, but I can’t help it.” What you need to understand is that when the Bible says, “Fear not,” it doesn’t mean, “Don’t feel fear.”
Remember that any time you try to obey God, any time you try to step out into something you have never done before, any time you start trying to come out of a bondage you have worked yourself into, fear will rush right up in your face and try to stop you.
We think the problem is that we shouldn’t feel this way. Feeling fear is not the problem! There isn’t one thing wrong with you if you feel fear. The mistake you make is bowing your knee to the feeling, instead of going ahead and doing what you are afraid of while you are afraid. Just do it afraid!
Don’t Run! – Fear is nothing but a feeling which causes certain manifestations. It causes us to tremble, sweat, turn red, shake, and our knees to wobble. The Bible doesn’t say, “Tremble not.” The Bible doesn’t say, “Sweat not,” or “Shake not.” The Bible says, “Fear Not.” And the word fear implies running away from something! In other words, God is saying, “When fear comes, (which it will, because fear is the enemy of confidence), don’t stop. We are to do whatever we have to do, even if we do it afraid!”
When I received this revelation, it was life changing! I realized there wasn’t anything wrong with me when my knees knocked together in new situations, and sometimes I felt I like was going to faint. Sometimes I even felt nausea, or began to get headaches. Because I went ahead and did what I was supposed to do, in spite of how I felt, I wasn’t a coward. We are cowards only if we run, because the word “fear’ implies “flight” — or “fleeing.”
God was telling Joshua, Jeremiah, and Moses, “I’m sending you out to do something, but I’m telling you ahead of time the devil will try to stop you with fear. Your enemies will come. You will see and feel things that will scare you. But, “fear not.” And again, fear didn’t mean, “Don’t shake,” “Don’t sweat,” “Don’t tremble.” “Fear Not” meant, “Don’t run!” Just do it afraid!
Don’t Let Fear Determine Your Destiny. – Maybe you have been allowing the feeling of fear to control and determine your destiny. Maybe you think that some people have fear and others don’t. But the truth is this: “Fear comes to everybody.” What we do in spite of that fear makes the difference between victory or defeat in our lives.
If you will begin to act in spite of your fear, you will begin to get to the point of not feeling as much fear. You will have gone through similar circumstances enough times to have developed some confidence in dealing with those types of circumstances. If you are waiting for a time in your life when you don’t feel any fear, you will be waiting until Jesus comes, because fear will always be there to stop you. You just have to make up your mind ahead of time that when that situation comes around, you are going to do it afraid.
Conclusion— Just Do It! – I Peter 5:8 says, “…the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Notice the Scripture says “may” and not “will.” In other words, you have something to do with whether he is able to devour you. And if you know anything about Satan, he doesn’t really have any power. The only power he has is the power you give to him. Fear, of course, is one of Satan’s favorite tactics, so he will try to use fear to stop you. But don’t give in to him. Go ahead and do it afraid! When God tells you to witness to a person, say, “Yes, Lord, I want to do what You’re telling me to do. I feel kind of afraid, Lord, but I believe You’re with me, so I’m just going to do it. And, devil, you can just forget the plans you had for me, because I know who God is, and you don’t scare me! I’m going to do what God told me to do. I’m going to do it afraid!”
When God tells you to give an extra big offering in church because He wants you to plant it as a seed (See Luke 6:38) so that you can come up higher in your finances, say, “Okay, Lord, I’ll do it. I know that means I will have to really trust You for some provisions, but because I believe I’m hearing from You, I’ll do it. Yes, Sir, I’ll do it. And devil, you can forget about trying to scare me away from doing it. I’ve heard from God. I’m going to do what God said. I don’t care if I shake, tremble, or sweat. I will give what God told me to give. I will do it afraid!”
Don’t let the devil rob you of your destiny God has for you. Step out and face your fears. Face your pain. Go ahead and shake, tremble, and sweat. God didn’t say not to feel fear. He said not to run! You can be a victorious Christian, or you can be one who is never quite able to enjoy the fullness of God. The only difference between the two is that one is stopped by fear, and the other does it afraid. Determine today to just “Do it afraid!