Creflo Dollar - How To Cast Out Fear
2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 7, how to cast out the spirit of fear. Now, one of the things that we've established is that people tolerate fear because they think it's natural. And just because they think it's natural, then they won't resist it. When you think something is supposed to be a certain way, then you allow it to remain. But fear is something that comes from the outside in. 2 Timothy chapter 1 and 7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, of love, and of a sound mind".
So if God hadn't given us the spirit of fear, fear does not come from God. Fear is not of God. What is of God is the power and the authority. What is of God is the love. He doesn't have love, he is love. And what is of God is the fact that because of the power and the authority and the love, that you can have sound thinking and you could have a sound mind. So we also talked about the fact that fear that is tolerated will be faith that is contaminated. So if you want to really put all this together, fear is really contaminated faith. Fear tolerated is faith contaminated.
Now, if we will compare and contrast fear versus faith, what would it look like? Well, first of all, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. But do you know fear comes the same way? Fear comes by hearing, and fear comes by hearing the words of the devil. The Bible also talks about it's impossible to please God without faith. Do you know it's impossible to please Satan without fear? Everything in the kingdom of God operates by faith. Everything in the kingdom of darkness operates by fear. And so we have to understand that the greatest fear that Satan can inflict on Christian people is the fear of that what God promised in his Word won't come to pass, the fear that what God said in his Word won't work.
For example, Philippians 4:19, "My God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory through him by Christ Jesus". Well, fear is attacking your thinking to get you to think that that's not true, that that's not going to come to pass. And so that's the greatest fear that Satan wants to inflict upon Christian people; is to be afraid that what God promised in his Word won't work or it won't come to pass. Now, when we operate not based in the Word, then our operation is going to be based in fear. So what's motivating you to do what you do? Are you motivated by fear to pray? Because if you are, then you're most likely going to be praying a fear-based prayer. And so we've got to recognize we operate within the boundaries of God's Word and not allow fear to become the thing that motivates us to do what we do.
Now, look at Job chapter 1 and 5. We went over this last week. I want to just look at it just one more time. Job 1 and 5, and then Job 3:25 because there's something interesting that happens here. Job thought for some reasons that his kids had sinned against God, and so out of fear he began to bring sacrifices. Verse 5, he says, "And it was so, when the days of their fasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all, for Job said, 'It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their heart.' Thus did Job continually".
Notice the motivation behind Job bringing the sacrifices. Notice the motivation behind what Job did continuously. It was fear-motivated, afraid that his sons have sinned, afraid that his sons have cursed God. And so the sacrificial offerings which were offered to cover man's sin, Job knew that it was going to cover their sins, but his motivation for the offering was fear-motivated. And look what he said in Job 3, verse 25, Job 3:25. What's the result of doing things in fear? What's the result of inviting fear into your life and not dealing with the fear? What's the result of tolerating fear? Well, he says, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me". Wow. So fear is kind of like it opens the door for the thing you're afraid of to try to get into your life. "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me".
You know, as Christians, we've got to be careful not to tolerate fear, I mean, not even a little bit because fear tolerated will contaminate your faith 'cause fear is contaminated faith. And so do you find that you are allowing yourself to put up with fear? I mean, have people convinced you, "Well, a little bit of fear is all right. Don't worry about it". Well, that's just like saying a little bit of adultery is all right. It's just like saying a little bit of murdering is all right. Don't tolerate fear, I mean, not for one moment. Now, let's look at some examples tonight. That's pretty much the review of what we talked about last week.
Let's look at some examples tonight, and then focus in on how do we cast it out. Well, Mark chapter 4, verse 35 through 41. This is the issue about the disciples that were in the boat, and let's see how fear entered in to this situation. Mark 4, verse 35, "And the same day when the evening was come, he saith unto them, 'Let us pass over unto the other side.' And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there was also with him other the little ships". Verse 37, "And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship".
Now, sounds to me like it was either a really bad storm or a hurricane. "So that it was now full". So you got water in the ship. "And he was in the back part of the ship, asleep on a pillow". Now, I don't know what kind of boat this was, but, man, Jesus is asleep on a pillow. Jesus is at peace. "And the disciples woke him up, and they said unto him, 'Master, carest thou not that we perish?'" "Master, don't you care that we perish"? Now, first of all, they were afraid. That's why they woke him up. "And he arose and he rebuked the wind, and he said unto the sea, 'Peace, be still.' And the wind ceased and there was a great calm".
Now watch this next verse. "And he said unto them, 'Why are you so,'" watch this, "fearful? How is it that you have", watch this, "no faith"?. That's a powerful, powerful statement. Why is it that you're so fearful, and why is it that you don't have faith? So Jesus just said to us here that fear is the absence of faith. To be fearful, there has to be the absence of faith. "And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, 'What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obeyed him?'"
Now, listen, if Jesus said, "Let us go to the other side", then you ought to have enough faith that, "Hey, we're going to have what he said". But fear will come in to try to make you think through circumstances, through the eye gate, the ear gate, through what you can see and feel and try to convince you that what Jesus said won't come to pass. Once they were convinced that what Jesus said something, and the devil said, "You know, how do you know it's going to come to pass"? Because what did he use? He used the water in the boat. He began to use the wind, the storm, the circumstances on the outside that can be felt, the circumstances on the outside that can be seen.
All of these things brought fear from those outside circumstances inside of those disciples and then they begin to wake Jesus up being fearful. I mean, they should have thought, "If Jesus is asleep, maybe we need to sleep". But no. They said, "No, let's wake him up". "Don't you care if we perish or not"? And Jesus said, "How in the world could you be so full of fear and have no faith at all, saying that you believe me"?
Man, I think that's really, really similar to what a lot of people are going through right now with this Coronavirus. Jesus said, "No pestilence shall come near thee". Jesus said that he will deliver you from every disease and every pestilence and every virus. Jesus promised you these things, and yet why is it that you are so fearful? This is so important that we see this. Don't allow fear to rob you of your faith because when faith is absent, then fear will be present. That's why it's important to feed on the Word more than you feed on the news reports. That's why it's so important for you to just meditate in God's Word so you don't find yourself pondering and meditating on what the news people have to say. Why? When there's an absence of faith, there will be a presence of fear. Amen?
Now, let's look at another illustration real quick. Matthew chapter 14, verse 22 through 33, and I want to read this one in the NLT Bible. Matthew 14:22 through 33. And this is the story talking about Peter walking on the water, and yet there is fear again trying to stop something. And Matthew chapter 14, verse 22, he says, "Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home". 23, "After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone praying". 24 "Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from the land, for strong wind had risen and they were fighting heavy waves". Sounds like a similar situation. 25, "About 3 o'clock in the morning, Jesus came towards them, walking on the water".
Now, just pause just for a moment now. The last time they heard of Jesus, he went up to pray. The next time they saw Jesus was in the middle of the storm walking on the water. Now, they didn't know Jesus could walk on the water. So they thought, "Well, is this a phantom or a ghost"? And so watch this now. Verse 26, "And when the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified, in their fear and they cried out, 'It's a ghost'". So they thought it was a ghost. 27, "But Jesus spoke to them at once. 'Don't be afraid.' He said, 'Take courage. I am here.'" Boy, that's powerful. "Don't be afraid. Take courage. I am here".
All right, so we're not talking about, you know, if you saw a ghost, but maybe you saw a report on television or maybe you saw something that said something about Coronavirus. He says, "Be of courage". Jesus says, "I'm here". And that's the thing that should really calm you down. Be of courage. Jesus says, "I'm here". "Then Peter called to him and he said, 'Lord'", now watch Peter, "if it's really you, tell me to come to you walking on the water". "I mean, if it's really you, Lord, tell me, bid me to come, to walk on the water". I mean, what was Jesus supposed to say, "It's not really me"? I mean, so he really couldn't do anything else but to say, "All right, come. Walk on the water". And Jesus said, "Come. Walk on the water".
So Peter went over the side of the boat. Peter walked on the water towards Jesus. That's powerful. That's powerful. Faith is present, man. Jesus is present. Jesus said, "Walk on the water. Come on". Now, that's a man walking on the water. Somebody says, "Now, it's all right for Jesus walk on the water, but what about Peter"? Peter walked on the water, too. All right, now watch this. "But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and he began to sink". What happened? Peter got out of the boat, had his eyes on Jesus, faith was present, he started walking on the water, and then he saw the wind and he saw the waves.
Fear coming from the outside in. He saw the wind, he saw the waves, and faith is no longer present and he was terrified. Know the terror came in, see, fear brings terror. The terror came in from the outside. He saw with his eyes the wind. He saw and perceived the waves, and he was filled with terror and all of a sudden it stopped. Don't let the devil bring terror in your life to stop your faith. Don't let the reports of the media or the reports of anything else bring terror to stop your faith. You've got to make sure, "I am not going to tolerate fear. I'm not moved by what I see. I'm not moved by what I feel. I am moved by the Word of God". And you keep your focus on God's Word.
What happened with Peter? He lost his focus. He got his focus on the wind. He got his focus on the waves. He took his focus off Jesus. Now, that's a Word for everybody. Where's your focus? What are you focusing on? Are you focusing on all the bad reports? Are you focusing on the potential terror of, "What if this thing comes to my house"? Where is your focus? Your focus has got to get back on the Word. Jesus says that he's the Word. You got to get your focus back on the Word. Get your focus on the Word. What is the Word has to say? You got to get up in the morning and get focused on the Word. At lunchtime, get focused on the Word. In the evening, get focused on the Word.
Do not let these negative reports outweigh or overcome your focus on God's Word. That's what happened to Peter. The blessing and the miracle stopped because, you know, he was robbed of his focus from Jesus and started looking at the wind and the wave. What are you tempted to start focusing in on that you know will cause you to sink? Are you focusing on the economy? Are you focusing on whether you're going to have a job or not? Are you focusing on, you know, how you're going to pay your rent? All your money is spent a little bit to buy some food. Look, you got a light bill due. What are you focusing on? Don't focus on the problem, focus on the finished works of Jesus. Focus on the answer. Focus on Jesus being your answer. Focus on the provision of God. Focus on the healing of God. Focus on the protection of God. And when outside things try to bring fear on the inside of that situation, you just say, "No, I ain't looking at that. I'm not focusing on that. I'm going to focus in on what the Word says".
And so Peter was filled with terror and he began to sink. And he said, "Save me, Lord". And he shouted that out. And verse 31, "And Jesus immediately reached out, grabbed him. 'You have so little faith.'" Now, I always pause when I see this term, so little faith, because I don't believe he's talking about he had a little measure of faith. That just couldn't be true because he did walk on water. So, I mean, I've never walked on water. I've tried. But, you know, to say that he had so little faith, what is he talking about here? He's not talking about the measure of faith that Peter had, he's talking about the endurance of that faith. In other words, "Why did you have a short burst of faith? Why is it that, you know, you were walking on the water, you were in faith, but it didn't last long"?
That's what he's talking about, a short burst of faith. And he asked, "Why is it that you had little faith or short burst of faith"? You know, while you're listening to this teaching tonight, maybe your faith is on fire and you feel like, "Praise God I've got the faith to overcome whatever I'm dealing with right now". But it's when all of the outside forces come, it's when you hear another news report, it's when you're, you know, you heard somebody, you know, contracted the viruses, it's when you heard about what's going on the economy how much endurance does your faith have. How much endurance will your faith have? I mean, the grace of God has made everything available to you that pertains to life and godliness.
Satan is going to try to bring fear from the outside to cause your faith to be little, to cause your faith endurance to be short. And so you've got to focus in on the Word. Jesus said, "Why did you doubt me"? Remember doubt is just one moment of fear. Doubt is just one moment of fear. And so look at what fear is doing. Fear is trying to give you faith that doesn't last long. Fear is trying to contaminate your faith. Fear is trying to get you to doubt. Why? Why? Because where there is not the presence of faith, there will be the presence of fear. And like God needs faith in order to bring things to pass in your life, Satan needs fear in order to bring his will to pass in your life. Verse 32, he says, "When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped".
Think of that. The wind stopped. Sometimes the only thing that's going on with your circumstances is to get you to stop. And then when you stop in your faith, the thing that brought your fear stops. We gotta stand up against it. We gotta take our stand against fear and against these outside forces that are trying to bring fear in our lives, and we got to say, "Stop. No more". He said, "Then the disciples worshiped him. 'You really are the son of God,' they exclaimed". You really are the son of God. I believe that that's really the base and the foundation for our success as Christians. It's knowing that Jesus really is the son of God. It's knowing that, "I have a relationship with Jesus. I know him. I know him as the son of God". And when you begin to know that, it's going to be hard to walk in fear when you know who Jesus is. It's going to be hard to be afraid when you know who Jesus is. It's going to be really difficult for your faith to be short and little when you know who Jesus is.
My question tonight is, do you know who Jesus is? I mean, are you sure that you know him? Are you sure you have a personal relationship with him? Because if you know who Jesus is, fear will knock, but it won't be able to come in. Do you know who Jesus is? And that comes, once again, through a personal relationship with him where you know him and he knows you and you have no need to fear because you know that when the Lord is with you you don't have to fear. "The Lord is my shepherd. I won't be afraid because I know who he is". A lot of times, if you don't know Jesus, then you doubt him. Then if you doubt him, you're probably going to doubt what he said. This is a big key right here. "You really are the son of God. You really are the son of God".
You know, one of the things that I practice in my thinking and in my mind is why I do what I do. I'm in this because he's the son of God. I'm in this because of my personal relationship with him. And one of the worst things you can do being in the ministry or just being a Christian is for you to compare with somebody else or you compare amongst yourself and then you lose focus on Jesus. I mean, I'm in this for a personal relationship with him. I'm not in this so I can, you know, get a level of success and then compare with somebody else to see how I'm doing. No. I want him. I'm in it for him. I'm in it for the relationship. I'm not in it for anything else, but that. So what happens? Because I know who he is, fear has a limitation when it comes to people who are in it for the relationship. And when you know Jesus, you also recognize fear and fear is not going to be able to torment your life. Fear brings with it torment.