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Watch 2022 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - How To Know If You Are Being Controlled By Fear - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - How To Know If You Are Being Controlled By Fear - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - How To Know If You Are Being Controlled By Fear - Part 1

If you have your Bibles, go with me again to the Book of 2 Timothy chapter 1 and verse 7, 2 Timothy chapter 1 and verse 7, as we continue the series, How To Know When You Are Being Controlled By The Spirit Of Fear, how to know when you're being controlled. And it's so very important because a lot of times there may be things happening, and you just don't realize it. And I'll show you a Scripture today, it happened to Peter. He had no idea that Jesus would rebuke him by saying, "Satan, get away from me". But I want to show you how you can tell and stay on top of it and when you identify it, do something about it. 2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 7 says, "God has not given us the spirit of fear". But here's what he's given us, he's given us power, he's given us love, and of a sound mind. A spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of a sound mind, but not the spirit of fear.

So, we know that if God hadn't given us the spirit of fear, then it's, we should not be convinced that fear is natural. And we should not be convinced that it's something that we should tolerate and put up with, okay? It's not normal, and it's not natural. For you to think that it is normal and for you to think that it is natural, well, will put you in a place where you will tolerate it and put up with it and allow it, allow entrance into your life because you think it's normal, you think it's natural. And while there may be different phobias or you might be dealing with fear, don't ever, you know, concede to it and just say, "Well, it's normal and natural," and so it has a foothold now in your life. And so, it's just enough for him to take it and turn it, just a little bit, until it begins to control your life.

So, one of the things we know, when the spirit of fear, and if you are dealing with the spirit fear, and I don't know too many people that are not dealing with some type of fear that's knocking at the door. So, I don't want you to see this as well, you know, this is, "You know, if you're doing that, there's something wrong with you. You're not a good Christian". No, these are just the challenges that we have in our lives as Christian people. We're no longer playing the little Christian game where we go and we look at somebody and say, "Well, I'm gonna compare myself with you and" That's just self-righteousness no matter how you look at it.

And so, one of the things we recognize is the most important thing when fear is knocking at the door of your life, the most important thing for you to know is how you should respond to fear and that's really what matters the most, "How should I respond to fear"? Not just going around and trying to tell yourself is not there. You know, it's kind of like if I fall off these steps and each time I hit a step, "That didn't hurt, that didn't hurt, that didn't hurt". Then I hit the concrete, bam, "That hurt". You know, you need to just be real honest. Fear knocks on my door. Fear is knocking at the door, but the most important thing concerning this is that you know how to respond. And so, how do I respond? Well, that's 1 John chapter 4:18 in the New Living Translation. How do I respond when fear knocks at the door? Fear's knocking at the door hoping that you'll just open the door and let him in, but you don't have to do that. You can respond to fear and the way you respond to fear, the Bible says in verse 18, he says, "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear".

So, what's perfect love? See, most of the time, we think we're responsible for producing perfect love, but I need to let you know something. You can't love perfectly. Where you been? Who told you you can love perfectly? I wish, listen, that's a desire. I want to be able to love perfectly, but I fall short a lot learning, you know, trying to love perfectly. But here's what's happened. Perfect love, or perfected love, that's God's love. And how do I cast or expel fear? When I began to believe that God loves me perfectly. He's the only one in this picture that can love perfectly. I believe that God loves me perfectly. And therefore, because God loves me, then I believe I can have that promise. Therefore, because God loves me, fear is expelled. I don't even have to doubt about that. God loves me, and I know it. Therefore fear, you are expelled.

How many of you know it's time to expel fear out of your life? But we gotta stop playing these little crazy games. "I don't have fear. No, that's not me. You know, I am strong. I am invincible. I am world changer". No, no, no, fear knocks on your door like he knocks on my door and everybody else's door. But when I know that God's perfect love towards me, that God loves me and I believe it, that will expel fear. So, the next time you have a fear encounter, I want you to go quickly to this truth, "God loves me, and I know it". That's the truth you go to. And let it let it come out of your mouth. "God loves me, and I know it". Any time you feel fear. You know, the Bible says fear brings with it torment. And any time you feel fear or torment, you open your mouth up. And I believe you have to open your mouth up, I believe something happens when you hear yourself say it. "God loves me, and I know it. Therefore, I am healed".

I mean, the next time you have a chill or a sneeze and the devil says, "Uh-oh, look at you. You got the virus". Open your mouth up. "God loves me, and I know it. And I believe that I'm healed in Jesus's name". Cause y'all know how that goes. You start to coughing and stuff like that, you'll go around the house, "Uh-oh, wonder if I got it. Rona done came in. Wonder if I got it". You're gonna have to, first of all, a lot of people are defeated in a lot of areas of their life because of panic. You know what panic is? Groundless fear, no grounds for it. You just, you just, you know.

Somebody said, "Oh, well, I feel hot". That's cause somebody turned the thermostat on 78. Y'all understand? You ever been through that? Or you put a shirt on, it's thick and all of a sudden you sweat. And then you have one cough because you just had something that went down your throat and you're hot. "Oh, I need to take my temperature". That's what I'm saying. Don't allow fear to control your life. You know God loves you. You know God loves you and because God loves you, then he will bring his promise to pass. And even if something do get on you, you gotta believe that, "God loves me so much that this thing will die instantly if it touches my body". Where's your faith? So, the question this morning is, are you being controlled by fear? And how can we find that out, okay?

Well, number one, we covered at least two of them last week in complete detail. How do I know when I'm being controlled by fear? Number one, when fear becomes your prison, when fear becomes bondage, when you feel like you're in prison. You remember in Genesis chapter 3, they sinned. Satan talked them into becoming independent from God, and they thought that they didn't need God. And now all of a sudden, the reality of all these things came forth. You see, once they sinned, their sin created a confinement. Once they sinned, their sin created bondage. It created a jail, if you will, a prison, if you will. And this fear, this bondage of fear, as they covered their bodies and then physically they hid from God, they went from being in the paradise to being in the prison of fear.

And a lot of Christians have gone from being in the paradise of faith and belief into the prison of fear. I can't speak for anybody in here or anybody that's online, but I am not gonna be confined when God has done so much and released so much for me. I'm not gonna be confined, and I'm not gonna be in a prison of fear. I won't give Satan that opportunity, I'm not gonna do it. Of course, you're gonna have to make up your own mind but I'm telling you, man, I've made my mind up that I believe God. I got to believe him now. If I've ever been... see, this is a test of everything I said I believed. And I'm not giving him that authority. I'm not gonna be a prison of fear. And if you are a prison of fear and if you find that fear has you in a prison, you're being controlled by fear.

You see, they feared God's response to their sin. They feared their new awareness of sin. They feared that, you know, they became imprisoned by fear and they were not able to experience the freedom of their relationship with God. They're hiding from God when before fear, they had free fellowship and relationship with him, and they're hiding from God. Are you hiding from God? Does fear have you hiding from God? When fear takes over, we want to hide from everyone, especially God. Fear keeps you in bondage. Fear keeps you in prison. You're fearful of the future. You're fearful of sickness. You're fearful of job loss.

Fear can control us to the point of turning away and start hiding from God. And yet, the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 10, I believe it's 14 through 15, that God, through Jesus Christ, has delivered us from the fear of death and the bondage that comes with it. I have to believe I'm delivered from fear and the bondage that comes with it. So, I'm not gonna put myself in prison. Fear is not gonna lock me up in prison. If you are allowing fear to lock you in prison and you feel like you're in prison and you feel like there are confinements, you feel like you're hiding from God, if you feel any of those things, any bondage... what's the bondage in your life that has come because of fear? Then fear is controlling your life.

Number two, the second thing we looked at, how do I know that I'm being controlled by fear? When fear steals your focus. When fear steals your focus away from God and away from his Word, then you are being controlled by fear. One of the things we declared yesterday is that whatever... not yesterday, but last Sunday. Whatever we focus on is what we give strength to. And if you spend all day long focused on the fear, if you spend all day long focused on the bad news, if you spend all day long focused on, focusing on "What if? What if that happens to me"? You can't do that. Job said, "The thing I fear the most has come upon me".

You cannot allow or tolerate fear in your life or to contaminate your faith. And when you allow fear to steal your focus when you can't even focus on God's Word, you're not even reading God's Word anymore, you're not even focusing on spending time in prayer, it robs you of your focus. And I am saying whatever you have to do, get focused on God's Word. Get focused on spending time with God, and don't let it rob you. You see, we have to understand that focus is how real transformation takes place, and he knows that. He knows if you focus more on fear than you do faith, more on fear than you do love, then you're gonna be more apt to operate by fear and you're gonna harden your heart against the love of God and the faith of God.

Don't let fear steal your focus. If you are living life and you're just not focused, you're all over the place, you know fear will get you where you're just, you know, all over the place. You have got to take authority over that so you can focus in. "All right, settle down, calm down". And then you gotta back up. "Now, where'd this come from? Well, I've been looking at five hours of the news". All right, so calm down, cut that off. Find you a "Andy Griffith Show" or something. Just calm down, get in the Word. Find you two or three really good Scriptures to help bring you back into focus about what God said. "This is what God says. Let me focus on what God says. Let me focus on what God says. Let me focus on what God says".

And you might want to take about 30 minutes and walk up and down your hallway and just focus on what God, you're just bringing everything back into focus. Fear wants to bring everything out of focus. It's almost like you've forgotten everything that God's already done. God has already done some amazing things in your life, and fear brings you out of focus. You know this is true. You know this Word will work. You know what God has already done. Don't let fear rob you of your focus. Now, if you are out of focus and out of focus from the Word and out of focus from God, fear is controlling your life.

All right, today we're gonna start with number three. Here's the third way to know that fear is controlling your life. When fear tempts you to hear outside influences, when fear tempts you to hear outside voices outside of God, outside of his Word, okay, then you're being controlled by it. You're tempted to hear the outside voices. You're tempted to hear the outside influences, then you know you're being controlled by fear. Now, here's how Satan's going to test and tempt you. Look at Matthew chapter 16, verse 21 through 23 in the New Living Translation. Here's what Satan's gonna do. He's gonna try to make fear sound like God. Does everybody understand when I say that? He's gonna try to make fear sound like God so you'll take it. But when fear controls your life, you're tempted to listen to those outside influences, things you didn't even believe before.

Now you're like, "Ah, well, let me see". You're tempted to believe those outside influences and outside voices. Here's an excellent example. You're gonna always notice that Satan is always going to try to act like God. You remember when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness? He always said, "The Scripture said," okay? "The Scripture said". You know, that's a way in. "I'll throw a little of the Scripture in there so you can make it think it's God, so I can make you think it's God, and then I'mma put the fear in there". But look at this one 'cause this one shocked me. In verse 21 he says, now this is right after Peter had revelation knowledge come through him and Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God".

And everybody celebrated him for that great revelation knowledge. And Jesus said, "Peter, you're the rock man". He said, "And on this rock, this revelation that came through you, the revelation of who Jesus was, I'mma build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". I'm sure people were going around giving Peter dap like, "Man, yeah, Peter, man, you got it, you go it". And Peter didn't do nothing, it just flowed through him. But right after that incident, right after, you know, him being just celebrated from allowing that revelation to come, look what happens here next. Verse 21, "From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priest, and the teachers of the religious law".

Now, y'all gotta understand sinners didn't kill Jesus, church folk did. He would be killed, but on the third day, he would be raised from the dead. All right, now watch Peter after hearing what Jesus said. Now Jesus ain't gonna sit up there and lie. Peter now proceeds to try to reprimand Jesus. "But Peter took him aside". Check him out. So, he tough now. He got revelation of who Christ is. He's so tough now. "Come here, Jesus, let me holla at you for a minute. Okay, that was a bad confession you just made". But "Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. He said, 'Heaven forbid, Lord,' he said, 'This will never happen to you!'"

All right, now think for a moment. Doesn't it sound like, you know, really caring, concerned, even godly in a sense? Oh, look at Peter, he really loves Jesus. And that's what happens to us all the time. We fall prey to stuff that sounds like God, but it's the voice of fear. And look what Jesus did. Jesus turned to Peter after calling him the rock, he turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan". What? Imagine the offense that was coming over Peter. "Who you calling Satan"? "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God's point of view". And that's what fear does. He was afraid, man, that what Jesus was saying might come to pass. He was seeing things from a human point of view, what happened? That fear caused him to be tempted with outside influences and a voice, instead of God influence. He was being moved by a human point of view.

That's what's happening to a lot of Christians today. Fear is causing us to be moved by human point of view to the point where you're not even paying attention to the Word no more. "Yeah, I hear what you saying, but". And you're looking for other Scriptures you take out of context to contradict the truth of God's Word. I know you do it. I know you do it. I've done it myself. I'm just grateful I couldn't find nothing to contradict it. We do that because we see things from a human point of view and completely ignore that you have the God that made the universe at your disposal. But the outside voice, the voice of fear that sounds like the voice of God.

And somebody says, "Well, how do you know the difference"? Well, Jesus told you how you know the difference. It's the human outside influence versus the God influence. It's what they say versus what he said. And I tried to figure out who they is. "They said this, they", who is they? It's what they said, "Well, they said that and they said this". But what did the Word say? So, if it's not in the Word, don't allow yourself to be tempted with what they said. They said you was supposed to have been dead 20 years ago, but God said with his stripes, you're healed and you're still alive today. Don't be tempted by fear with what they said. Get rid of the outside influences. Does everybody understand that?

Now, let's go just a little bit deeper here. Look at Psalms 11. Man, with just this point of view, I saw Psalms 11 a whole differently. I'm thinking oh, my goodness. I thought this was something to use to celebrate Jesus, and I found out it was nothing but the voice of fear. Look at Psalms 11, verses 1 through 3 in the New Living Translation. Psalms 11, verses 1 through 3 in the New Living Translation. Now, you gotta understand in this atmosphere of fear, Satan is trying to take as much opportunity as he can. He wants to talk to you and preach to you. And I'm telling you, we sitting back and letting him do it. You wake up some mornings and stay in the bed for an hour beating yourself up about how bad you are, about your regrets, about what you didn't do right, all that stuff. You gotta get out the bed. You got to just get up and say, "I am not laying in the bed beating myself up".

Some of y'all go all the way back to the beginning of your life. "See how dirty and nasty I was. I ain't never", you... stop. You're listening to the wrong voice. God does not condemn. So, it's not God. Don't be talking about well, God showed you this. No, no, no, God is not condemning you. God's gonna talk about who you are in Christ Jesus, not who you were in yourself. You understand? Look at this, Psalms 11, and verse 1. This is so shocking. He says, "I trust in the LORD for protection". So why don't you say to me, "Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety"! Verse 2, "Why do you say to me the wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings? Thy shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right". Verse 3, "The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do"?

Would you guys agree with me that this is the voice of fear? From verse 1 to 3, it's the voice of fear. And you know that voice of fear is trying to communicate to David? He's trying to say, "David, you're gonna get hurt if you stick around. You're better get out of here. You're gonna get hurt, boy. You better move. If you stick around, you're gonna get hurt". That's the voice of fear. What has the voice of fear been telling you to do? You completely ignore the voice of God, but the voice of fear keeps telling you to do stuff. "Get out of here, you gonna get hurt". See, we spend too much time listening to ourselves and not enough time talking to ourselves. All right, what does that mean? What does that mean? We spend too much time listening to the voice of fear when we should be preaching the gospel to ourselves.
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