Overcoming Fear: Understanding Its Spiritual Root
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Overcoming Fear: Understanding Its Spiritual Root

Fear. It’s an emotion we all experience from time to time. Maybe you feel afraid when walking alone at night. Perhaps you fear losing a loved one. Or you may struggle with anxiety over your finances or health.

Fear can be paralyzing and steal our joy if left unchecked. But as Christians, we don’t have to live in bondage to fear. Why? Because we serve a mighty God who wants to set us free!

In this post, we’ll explore the spiritual root of fear according to Scripture. We’ll also discuss practical ways you can overcome fear and walk in God’s love and power. Get ready to break free from fear’s grip for good!

The Spiritual Root of Fear

Where does fear come from? To find the answer, we need to go back to the beginning.

Fear Entered the World Through Sin

When God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden. Their lives were marked by complete peace, joy, and intimacy with God. There was no sin or fear.

But then Eve was deceived by the serpent. She disobeyed God’s command and ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:1-7). Sin entered the human heart for the first time. Adam also rebelled against God’s word.

Their eyes were suddenly opened to good and evil. For the first time, Adam and Eve felt shame and were afraid to be seen by God (Genesis 3:10).

This was the start of fear’s grip on humanity. Sin broke our fellowship with God and opened the door to all kinds of anxieties and phobias.

We Have an Enemy Who Seeks to Terrorize Us

Behind the serpent who deceived Eve stands our real adversary – Satan. Scripture reveals that Satan actively works to steal, kill, and destroy God’s people using lies, temptation, and fear (John 10:10).

The name Devil literally means “slanderer” or “accuser.” One of Satan’s primary strategies is to slander God’s character and accuse us before Him (Revelation 12:10).

Satan also incites fear in believers’ hearts through deception and intimidation. He is described as a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

But praise God, Satan is a defeated foe! Jesus disarmed the powers of darkness when He died on the cross (Colossians 2:15). The devil ultimately has no power over us as children of God.

Our Flesh is Susceptible to Fear

Our susceptibility to fear also stems from our own fallen nature or flesh. When Adam and Eve sinned, sin took root in the DNA of humanity. We inherited their spiritual deadness and bondage to sin (Romans 5:12).

As long as we remain in our flesh – oriented around self rather than God – we will struggle with fear. Our flesh is limited in perspective, prone to doubting God, and focused on self-preservation.

The flesh is inherently insecure and defensive. It compulsively seeks to protect itself at all costs. This manifests in selfishness, anxiety, and cowardice.

That’s why Scripture tells us to walk by the Spirit rather than the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Our flesh will always lead us into works of darkness, including fear. But the Holy Spirit illuminates God’s truth and comforts us in love (Romans 8:15).

Key Takeaways on the Spiritual Root of Fear:

  • Fear entered the human heart through Adam and Eve’s sin, severing mankind’s relationship with God.
  • Satan actively works to incite fear through lies, temptation, accusation, and intimidation.
  • Our own fallen flesh is prone to insecurity, self-focus, and doubting God’s goodness.

Overcoming Fear God’s Way

If the spiritual root of fear lies in sin, Satan, and the flesh, then overcoming fear requires a spiritual solution. Let’s explore how to counter fear with God’s love and truth.

Receive God’s Love

1 John 4:18 (NKJV) declares: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

This powerful verse reveals that God’s perfect love expels fear from our hearts. As we receive the Father’s intimate love for us as His children, fear loses its grip.

How can you tangibly receive God’s love? First, meditate on scriptures about God’s unconditional love and acceptance of you through Christ (Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 1:4-6, Zephaniah 3:17). Let these truths renew your mind.

Also, spend quality time in God’s presence. Talk to Him affectionately as your Dad. Let the Holy Spirit reassure you of the Father’s love. Fear cannot dominate when we personally experience God’s perfect love.

Speak God’s Truth

Combating lies with truth is another key to overcoming fear. When anxious thoughts flood your mind, take every thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Intentionally replace those lies with God’s truth.

For example, if you fear the future, recall God’s promise, “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

When feeling alone or afraid at night, declare, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

When worries over finances or health surface, meditate on verses like, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Speaking scripture builds your faith and renews your mind. As you saturate your heart with God’s truth, it pushes out anxious thoughts rooted in lies. You can boldly command fear to go in Jesus’ mighty name.

Walk in the Spirit

As believers, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside us. One key role of the Spirit is to lead us into freedom from sin and darkness – including fear.

Galatians 5:16 urges us to “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” This means we must intentionally follow the Spirit’s guidance rather than operating in our carnal flesh.

When afraid, pause and ask the Holy Spirit, “What wisdom or comfort do You want to give me right now?” Then listen quietly to His still, small voice. Write down any scriptures, impressions, or thoughts He brings to mind. Act according to His leading.

Walking in step with the Spirit starves the fleshly motives that feed fear. His peace and sensibility can quiet even the most chaotic thoughts. By submitting to the Spirit, we access God’s power to overcome.

Stand Firm in Your Authority

Jesus Christ conquered Satan’s plan of sin, death, and fear. If you have accepted Christ’s sacrifice for your sins, then you have authority over the enemy and his lies.

Scripture reminds us that we have been delivered from the power of darkness through Christ (Colossians 1:13). Jesus disarmed the enemy and canceled every claim he holds against us (Colossians 2:14-15).

When the devil attempts to terrorize you with phobias or nightmares, stand firm in your authority in Christ. Command him and any demonic spirits of fear to leave in Jesus’ name. Keep resisting through prayer and immersing yourself in God’s truth.

You have nothing to fear, child of God! The One who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms above every evil power (Ephesians 2:6). Walk boldly in this eternal victory.

Overcoming Fear Through God’s Power

Friend, is fear still plaguing your life regularly? Why not invite Jesus, the source of perfect love and truth, to come uproot its grip on your heart and mind?

Here is a simple prayer based on God’s word that you can pray daily to overcome fear’s strongholds:

*”Lord Jesus, I confess that I have allowed fear to dominate areas of my life. I renounce any ways I have opened doors to the enemy’s deception through sin or doubting Your goodness. I forgive anyone who has instilled fear in me.

Right now I receive Your perfect love that casts out all fear. Thank You for fully accepting and delighting in me as Your beloved child. I align my mind with Your truth that sets me free from every lie. Holy Spirit, empower me to walk in victory as I follow Your leading.

I take authority in the name of Jesus Christ over any spirits of fear attempting to torment me. I declare this body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I shut every access point to the enemy through the power of Jesus’ blood. Thank You for delivering me from the kingdom of darkness!

I choose to live fee from fear, trusting You fully. I fix my eyes on things above, not earthly fears. Thank You for giving me a sound and loving mind as I abide in Your presence. I choose faith over fear, knowing You will never leave or forsake me! Amen!”

Friend, is there a specific fear you need to bring before God today? His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Take courage – you can overcome through His matchless power and love working within you!

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.