Jimmy Evans - Overcoming Fear
Hey, I want to welcome our Gateway family and everyone else that's watching us online. We are so glad that you are joining us again for this special Palm Sunday weekend service that we're having, you know, online rather than being together again because of the COVID-19. Now, I know you were expecting Pastor Robert. I hope you're not too disappointed, but he's not feeling very well. He's a little bit under the weather. He's doing pretty good. I talked to him yesterday and he kind of turned a corner, but he's kinda had a little bit of a low-grade fever and just not feeling well. We told him to stay home and rest cause we don't want him to take any chances. He hated not being able to be here with you, but I'm gonna fill in instead. But he will be here next weekend for Easter, it's our big Easter celebration. And so, and just remember now that next weekend, the services air beginning at 4pm on Friday, not Saturday because it's Easter weekend.
So just remember that. Pastor Robert will be here. He's got a great word. He can't wait to be back with you. And so I just send his love to all of you. Pastor Debbie and Robert love you. They miss you. And so he'll be back next weekend in-person. So you'll be able to see, or online, to be able to see him and hear from him. Our pastor, we want to hear from our pastor on Easter weekend, and so he's going to be here. Be praying for him, please. Just be praying for his health and his vigor. He's really in great spirits. He's really done pretty good. We just didn't want him to take any chances by being here.
Now let me say that you guys have just been terrific in your giving. It's been amazing. Thank you for your faithful giving. And let me say to those of you, you may not go to Gateway, you might not be a member of Gateway. You may have another church. And maybe your church isn't able to have online services and that's why you're watching. Can I say, please support your church. They've never needed you more than they need you right now. Don't give to Gateway. If this is not your church and you have a church, please continue to give faithfully during this time, really a need for everyone, but local churches have a lot of need right now. But I want to thank you for your faithful giving, all the Gateway family.
But I also want to say we have a crisis relief fund. If you go our giving page, giving.gatewaypeople.com or on the app, we have created a crisis relief fund because we're having a lot of requests because of all the need that people are having, and we want to meet all the need that we possibly can. We have a lot of people coming to us and we're helping them, and if you want to help us help them, then go on the giving page. If you tithe or give, you know, go ahead and do that too. But if you want to give a special designated gift to the crisis relief fund, please do that right there on our giving page or on the app and we would really appreciate that a lot. Now Carter Blood Care, just remember we're still doing the blood drive at all of our campuses, not our Southlake campus in Southlake. It's over at The King's University, but just remember to give blood. Karen and I are going to do this. We're going to do it this next week. They desperately need blood. This is a great opportunity to help them.
We'll have next weekend a worldwide Good Friday communion together. Now we've talked to you about unite714.com. We're all coming together, churches and believers all over the world. We're coming together to pray. And what they're encouraging everybody to do is pray at 7:14 in the morning and/or 7:14 at night. It's easy to remember and just, the prayer is there on the website. We're praying the same prayer together everyday, believers all over the world. And we're going to pray together here in just a minute. This is our week three prayer. The churches are praying together all over the world, so this is so exciting. But this coming Friday being Good Friday, we're going to have a worldwide communion service. So please go on unite714.com and the detail of that will be there.
Now, also Greg Stone, our Jewish ministry here at Gateway, this coming Wednesday begins Passover. Okay, so they're going to do a special Passover service, a Jewish service, and it's going to be online if you want to see that. So there's a lot of neat things that are happening. Now, this weekend we're starting 24/7 prayer for one week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. All you need to do is go on our Facebook page. On our Facebook page it'll lead you through everything. If you want to be a part of Gateway Church, one solid week of prayer, 24 hours a day, seven days a week from this Sunday at noon Central time to next Sunday at noon Central time, we're going to be praying. Again, the world is coming together to pray. If you want to fast, we want to encourage you, if you want to fast a meal or fast a type of food, fast. Just set this week aside for fasting and prayer and seeking God.
And remember now the prophetic words that I was telling you about last week, one of the common themes of those words from Jim Laffoon, from Chuck Pierce was that this Passover is going to be a true Passover. And what Chuck Pierce was saying is something's going to shift, something's going to break this Passover. And so one of the prayers you can pray is just a very simple prayer. Lord, have mercy and pass over us. Let this COVID-19, let this plague pass over us and send life to your people and life to this nation and be merciful to us. And I really believe that God is going to answer our prayers. But this is a prayer movement really the world has never seen before. This is unprecedented in world history.
And you know the reason that I believe that's true is because God's about to do something that is unprecedented in world history. And he's going to take what the devil meant for evil and he's going to turn it to good. And this week is a pivotal week with Passover and also with Easter coming up. So just remember all of those things there. Now we're going to pray together. This is the prayer that we're all praying together from unite714.com so I want you to join together. Maybe you're by yourself, maybe with your spouse or your kids or whoever, but I want you to join together with me if you would. I'm going to read this prayer and we're going to pray it all together.
[quote]"Lord, we come to you in prayer today believing the promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if we humble ourselves, pray and turn from our wicked ways, you will hear our prayer and heal our lands. Our community, nation, and world are in desperate need of your help, comfort and healing power. Lord, we ask you to forgive us for turning our hearts away from you. Hear our cry today as we join with the Body of Christ around the world to stand together against the COVID-19 crisis. Lord, strengthen our minds and emotions with the truth that you are greater than COVID-19. Your righteousness protects our hearts from despair. Your Word enables us to walk through the crisis in peace. Although this is a physical disease, as believers, we know the enemy wants to take advantage of this moment.
Together we stand in faith against the powers of darkness in this evil day. We put on the whole armor of God and stand firm on the promises of your Word. With your armor, we stand protected from the fiery darts of the panic and fear. We take up the shield of faith on behalf of our families, our churches, our cities, our nation, and the nations of the world. The hope of salvation is our battle helmet. We declare the promise in your Word that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Therefore, we pray in faith that COVID-19 will be eradicated, panic will stop, and God's power will fill the earth. We humbly ask all these things in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all of God's people said, amen".[quote]
We agree together in that prayer with all the brothers and sisters around the world, and we know God is listening and we know God is more powerful than COVID-19. Well on this Palm Sunday weekend, very, very special weekend, you know, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt, we remember that he died for our sins. This began his death march. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, even though people were crying Hosanna and laying down palm branches and all of those things, it really was not a celebration for Jesus in any sense of the word. He was hours away from death. He was days away from death, the most hideous death that any person has ever died. Let me just say this, it proves how much he loves us.
You know, I heard someone say one time, God wants to be in our presence more than we want to be in his presence. And the way we know that is the price he paid to get back into our presence. The price he paid to reconcile us to himself was the life of his only begotten Son. And Palm Sunday is where we just begin to remember the love that God has for us, and the incredible, incredible price that Jesus paid for our salvation and our freedom. And so over the years I've preached a lot of different Palm Sunday messages from different perspectives, but this is my favorite. This message is called Overcoming Fear. And I want to talk about fear. What a time in the world right now related to fear. And I want to say in beginning this message, Jesus experienced more fear before going to the cross and on the cross than any person has ever experienced in the history of the world, or ever will.
And that surprises some people because we don't think of Jesus as being a fearful person. But let me read you the text here that talks about the absolute dread fear that was in Jesus. Now this is in the Garden of Gethsemane. They've had the last supper. He's in the Garden of Gethsemane. He's about to be betrayed by Judas, and this is the account by Luke, "Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives", now other gospels say Garden of Gethsemane, "as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony", now that's a very important word there, agony, "He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation”".
So it says that Jesus was in great agony. Well, this is the Greek word agōnía. And let me read you, this is from the Strong's concordance. It's going to come up there on your screen. This is the definition, the Strong's Concordance definition of the Greek word agōnía. "It is used to refer to the trembling excitement and anxiety produced by fear or tension before a wrestling match or a fight. In the New Testament, it is used denoting not the fear which draws back and flees, but the fear which trembles in the face of the issue, yet continues on to the end".
So Jesus was not fearful as in running. He was fearful as in he was facing the fight of his life and he knew he was going to die. He knew he was going to be tortured to death in the worst manner any person's ever died, and he knew he was going to end up dying. And so he knew he was going into a suicide mission. And so this, he was going to be killed. And so Jesus was terrified. This word there agōnía... And by the way, doctor, Luke was a doctor, remember. And Luke says something about this account the other gospels don't say, and it says that he was sweating drops like blood. It's a medical condition called hematohidrosis. It's when you're in such mental, physical, and emotional agony that your blood vessels rupture and empty into your sweat glands, and you literally begin to sweat blood.
See, Jesus didn't just bleed on the cross. He bled all the way to the cross. And so this was the beginning of his torture. It was the beginning of the emotional and mental and physical agony that he was under. And so here's a question, very important question. The Bible never says that Jesus feared, except for right here. And the question is, you know why? Why now? I mean, if Jesus hadn't feared before, so why is he so fearful here? Well, let me try to answer this for you. And one of the reasons that I believe that Jesus was so fearful was to identify us as a fellow human being. In other words, Jesus was the Son of Man. Remember he was, he was fully God, but he's also fully man and he experienced everything that we experience in this life yet without sin.
So this is Hebrews 4, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness".
Do you understand that Jesus here was in a very weak moment, okay? He was God, but for our sake he experienced what we experience. And so if you're feeling fearful related to COVID-19 or any other issue, Jesus understands. He can sympathize. When you go to Jesus and you say, "Lord, I'm fearful". He doesn't look at you and say "you're weak and pathetic and you need to have more faith". Jesus looks at you from the throne of grace, from the throne of mercy. And he says, "child, I understand. I was terrified myself. I know exactly what that feels like. And all the things that it produces in you".
Okay, so this is Psalm 103, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust".
You know, the devil wants you to have a concept of God that he's angry at you. He's disappointed with you. If you're feeling fearful, if you're just being human, that God's up in heaven barking at you and saying, Can't you be a stronger person? Can't you be a better person? And every bad thing that's happening in your life is a judgment on you because God is angry. It's the exact opposite. God was angry. He took it out on Jesus, and daddy's not mad anymore. He loves his family. He loves his children. He only wants good for us and Jesus, anything that you're going through, anything that you're going through in this life, he understands. He went through it as a human being. He was more rejected than any human being has ever been rejected. No one's ever been rejected like Jesus. If you're dealing with rejection, whatever you're dealing with, he understands. So his throne is a throne of grace.
Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need". Now the word boldly in that text is the Greek word metaparrhesia. And the word meta means in the midst of or come into the misdst of. The word parrhesia means freedom or frankness in speaking, freedom in speaking all that one thinks or pleases. It means bold speech. And so when the Bible says to come boldly before the throne of grace, what it means is come right into the presence of God and just don't be religious. Just be real. What's on your heart? What are you going through? Do you feel weak? Do you feel fearful? You know, do you feel insecure? How do you feel? You don't have to be religious with God because he's not a religious God. He's a real God who wants a personal relationship with us. Understand this, God can only help us to the degree that we're honest, and we don't have to have any pretenses with God.
You know, children, precious, little children are precious, grandchildren. I've got the most precious grandchildren in the world. I just love them. I love them being in my lap. I've raised two children, five grandchildren in my lap. I love my children and grandchildren is sitting in my lap. But you know, children are precious, but generally they're pretty disgusting little humans a lot of the time. You know, their hands are always sticky and greasy and they put them on you and stuff. And only Jesus knows where those hands have been. You don't want to know where those hands have been. Only Jesus knows. They have bad manners. They smell. Kids have all kinds of issues. But you know, they don't care. They jump right in your lap and they don't think they have to deserve it. They feel like they just absolutely deserve to be there.
And so my grandkids, they come jumping in my lap. My granddaughter one day was up in my lap and she started tugging on my face and she said, Pappy, your skin's stretchy. Well, they'll say anything. You know. They're just, they're little kids. You know something? I love every second of it. You know why I love every second of it? Because they're mine. I love them with all of my heart. There's nothing I wouldn't do for those kids. I don't care if their hands are sticky. I don't care if they don't understand all the good manners and things like that. The only thing I care about is I want to be close to those kids. And everything I want to do for them, I can only do if I'm close to those kids.
My chair in my home is not a chair of judgment. It's not a chair of merit. It's a chair of mercy and grace for my grandchildren. I want them to come. Nothing would break my heart more as a grandfather, if my grandchildren feared my presence. Nothing would break my heart more. I'm saying to you, Jesus died on the cross. He paid for our sins. God is not mad. He is madly in love with you, madly in love with you. When you need him the most, you deserve him the least. We can't get our act together unless we get in daddy's lap. We can't get our act together unless we can get to God and talk to him plainly, you know, not in religious speech, but just in real speech and talk to him. And he loves it. He loves it.
The concept that we have of God is so critical because you can only get as close to God as your concept of him will allow. If you think that God is disappointed with you, if you think he's angry with you or that he judges you, well, you're not going to run toward that God. I'm telling you-that's what the devil wants you to believe-I'm telling you, our God is the greatest daddy in the world. He is the most loving, precious daddy and he pities his children. He loves his children. Go jump in daddy's lap. Jesus came to the earth to identify with us as human beings and to establish, to take away all of the laws and religious structure that kept people away from God, and to make daddy's lap open for all of his children to jump in. Somebody needs to say, amen. That's pretty good news right there.
One of the other reasons that I believe that Jesus was so fearful on the way to the cross was the full knowledge of every single detail about what was going to happen to him. See, ignorance would have been a blessing to Jesus at that moment. See, the movie, The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson made, which is just an incredibly well-produced movie that graphically shows what Jesus Christ endured for all of us. I mean, it's the most unbelievably cruel movie to watch, but it's accurate in what the Romans did to Jesus, taking him to the cross. But did you know if you were watching that movie, and you knew you were about to do that several days from now? See, Jesus, when he rode into Jerusalem on the colt, he had already told the disciples, I'm going to have to suffer and die. He knew. Jesus knew every single whip lash, every single slap, the crown of thorns, the mockery, the putting him on the cross, every single thing that was going to happen to him. He knew every single detail.
Let me say this. Three times, Matthew's gospel... in Luke's gospel we already said that Jesus prayed one time, "Father, take this cup away from me". Matthew's gospel said he went three separate times before God in the Garden of Gethsemane and said, "Father, if there's any possible way that this cup can pass from me, please, I don't want to drink it". He knew he was about to die and what he was going to go through. He didn't want to do it. You can't blame him for that. And so Jesus went and pled with God and God gave an answer. "No". When Jesus saw the torches coming of the people that were coming to get him along with Judas, he knew. He knew God had answered him. "No". Let me tell you the importance of this. If there would have been any other means of salvation, God the Father would have spared his Son, but because he wouldn't spare his Son, we know there is no other way to be saved other than Jesus Christ.
And so here's what Jesus says about it. John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me". Says it very clearly. This is Acts chapter four, "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”".
And so Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection proves his death satisfied the price of sin as well as defeating the devil. And his resurrection proves that he and he alone is the Savior of the world. Now as some people say, "Well that's not right because all religions, you know, should be able to get you there". They don't. But every single human being is welcome to receive Jesus. No one is rejected. No one is turned away. And so every single person has an opportunity to receive Jesus. But no one gets to God the Father, no one can be saved except through Jesus Christ. And we saw that very graphically there.
Here's another reason that I believe that Jesus was under so much distress. And as he was under full scale assault by Satan, the spirit of fear. And this is what it says in Luke 4. It says, "Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time". The devil's and opportunist. Gentle people, whenever you're hurting, they are careful and they don't want to hurt you any further. When you're down, you know they'll back off even if they don't like you. But the devil waits for an opportunity. And this COVID-19 is a wonderful opportunity for him to try to put a spirit of fear. And this, when Jesus was going to the cross, this was his opportunity to come and try to put a spirit of fear on Jesus, and fear is a spirit.
Okay, this is 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind". Did you know that fear is the opposite of power because it makes you feel weak. Fear is the opposite of love because it makes you selfish. And fear is the opposite of a sound mind because it makes you confused. God has not given us a spirit of fear. He's given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. And it's a spirit. Now I want you to understand something. You don't have fear. And I'm going gonna talk about fear here in just a minute. The nature of fear. You weren't born with fear. You are fearless, okay? God does not make people with fear. All demonic type of fear comes from the devil. It's not a part of you.
If you're going to overcome it, and I'm gonna talk about this more in just a minute, if you're going to overcome fear, you have to stop letting a spirit of fear hide in you and begin to say, "my fear, I'm so fearful of this. I'm so fearful of this". No, you're not. The devil has sent a spirit to try to antagonize you and to cause you to be fearful, and you've got to learn to overcome that spirit. I'm gonna talk about that more in just a minute, but Satan uses fear to control us and to keep us from doing God's will. Okay. so this is Hebrews 2, "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage".
Did you know that the ultimate fear is the fear of death. And you say, well, you know, Pastor Jimmy, I have a fear of heights. No you don't. You have a fear of splattering. You have a fear of falling and dying. He said, I have a fear of flying. No you don't. You have a fear of crashing. Is that ultimately when you take the fears, the worst fears in our life, there are ultimately go to the fear of death. And it says that Jesus destroyed the power of the devil through his death on the cross. He destroyed him and rescued us and set us free from the fear of death that Satan uses to control us. Many people don't do God's will with their lives because they're fearful. You know, they're fearful of death, they're fearful of poverty, they're fearful... whatever it might be.
So Jesus said in John 11, he said this to Martha when Lazarus had died. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this"? Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Did you know, the next time the devil comes to you and starts telling you you're going to die this way or you're gonna die this way or whatever? Can I tell you a little truth? Christians don't die. If you're a believer, there will never be an instant in eternity when you're dead. So you say, "well, I'm on a hospital bed and I'm dying and I stopped breathing". Yeah. When you take your last breath here, you take your first breath on the other side in heaven. It's the truth. When your eyes close here, they open there. Okay? When your senses dull here, they come alive there.
And my father-in-law passed away about six months ago, Karen's dad. And hospice was at the house. He was 91 years old, you know, and he was just, he had fought till the very end. He was 91 years old and he was hours away from death, and we were talking to the hospice nurse at their house, precious woman. She said this, this is so incredible. She said, "Now I want to prepare you for what might happen right before he dies". And we said, "what"? She said, "well, a lot of times they'll wake up and they'll do this". And she said, "because the angels have come to get them". You'll never die. Don't ever believe the baloney that you'll ever... You'll never be dead. If you have loved ones who, Christians who have passed, they're not in the ground. They're not in an urn. They're in the presence of God. Their body is here and it's going to be reunited with their spirit.
But you see the devil uses fear to control us. The devil uses fear to keep us from God's will. So something's about to come up on the screen there and I want to read this to you. I want them to leave it up there for just a minute if they would so you can get this into your spirit. Let me read this: "Fear is a prophet spirit from hell sent to give us a negative report about the future that will upset us and cause us to make a fear-based decision that will harm us and God will not honor". Let's read that one more time. Just leave it up on the screen if you would. "Fear is a prophet spirit from hell sent to give us a negative report about the future that will upset us and cause us to make a fear-based decision that will harm us and God will not honor".
I want you to get that into your spirit. That, you know, fear, a spirit of fear comes to us and just torments us about COVID-19 is going to kill all these people, and we're going to die, and our society is going to collapse, and there's going to be rioting in the streets, and all this stuff and you've got to do this. And when you make fear-based decisions. Well first of all, God is not gonna honor it. It's upset you. You're not thinking rationally. You're not operating in power, love and a sound mind. You're operating in weakness, in selfishness and confusion. 'Cause that's what happens. And so fear comes and when it comes, we have to learn to master it.
Well, let me talk about the nature of fear for just a minute and why the devil uses fear. There's a good fear and a bad fear. Okay? God put within you a good fear and here's the difference between good and bad fear. Here's how you know the difference. Good fear is circumstantial, but bad fear is perpetual. You're driving down the street and someone swerves into your lane and all of a sudden, you know, you swerve out to get out of their way and then the fear goes. The fear came because you were in danger, but as soon as you're out of danger, the fear goes. But not with demonic fear. With demonic fear it's always there. It's always eating at you. Good fear is protective. Bad fear is paralyzing. Good fear is instructive. You have a sound mind. It comes to instruct you. Good fear is instructive. Bad fear is confusing and fatalistic. Good fear is empowering.
You've heard sometimes these little ladies that lift cars off of people because all of a sudden their adrenaline kicks in and they're fearful, and they have this superhuman power all of a sudden. It's empowering. When you have good fear, it empowers you to do the right thing. But bad fears enslaving. It is a bondage. And so circumstantial, protective, instructive, and empowering. That's the fear that God put within you. But perpetual, paralyzing, confusing and enslaving fear is the spirit, the demon spirit that the devil wants to put in you so he can control you. Okay.
So why does Satan use fear? Well it's all he's got. Okay. See, it's what he's full of. Isaiah 48:22, “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.” He has no peace. Satan is not a calm person. He's not a mature person. It's how he feels. It's how he thinks, and it's what controls him. See he knows he's defeated. Satan knows the Bible. He knows he's on his way to hell. He knows he's going to be judged for eternity. He knows he's going to be bound for a thousand years during the millenial rule of Christ. And so the devil knows he's in big trouble. So he's full of it and he wants to give it away.
So listen to this statement, as much as you know the presence of God by peace, you know the presence of the devil because of fear. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. God never uses fear. God never use it. But the good news is Jesus overcame fear. He faced his fear by going to the cross and dying for our sins, and he has empowered all of us to overcome fear. So let me talk about overcoming fear. How do you overcome fear? And I'm telling you, you absolutely can overcome fear.
Number one, ADMIT YOUR FEAR WITHOUT SHAME[b]. Don't be ashamed. What I said earlier. You don't have to be ashamed of your fear. It's just a human thing. You know? You're just, we're just people. We're, you know, we're children. We're God's children so we don't have to have it all together all the time. And so Jesus Christ, the Son of God in the Garden of Gethsemane three times said, "Daddy", aba-means dad or daddy. Jesus fell down in front of God and said, "daddy, please, I don't want to do this. I'm afraid". You don't have to be ashamed of that. But by the way, when the devil wants to... The devil operates in darkness, he's the prince of darkness. Anything in the darkness is under his domain, so when we're prideful or we're fearful or we're full of shame and we don't get honest with God, that's his domain. He's going to wear you out with it. But when you come in the presence of God and say, "Lord, I'm fearful. Lord, whatever's going on". Anything that we bring into the light becomes light, and that's where God operates. So you have to begin right there. Something powerful happens when you begin to be honest with God.
Number two, [b]SUBMIT YOUR FEARS TO GOD. Okay? Admit it and then submit it. Jesus went to the presence of God in the Garden of Gethsemane and said, "I do not want to do this, Father. Let this cup pass. But not my will, but your will be done". So you submit. So understand this. If Jesus would have submitted to his fears, we wouldn't have a savior. There wouldn't be a Palm Sunday, there wouldn't be a Good Friday, and there wouldn't be a Resurrection Day. If Jesus was mastered by his emotions, we would have no savior. Understand this, if you're mastered by your emotions, you're not going to do God's will for your life. And we have to come to a point where our emotions may be real. That does not mean they're right, and it doesn't mean that they can control our lives, 'cause that's what Satan wants to do.
So Mark Twain said, "Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's the mastery of it". When you hear of courageous people, first responders, military people, courageous people doing courageous things-they felt fear. They're not immune to fear, but they've learned to master it. They've learned not to let it master them and to keep them from doing what they need to do. James 4:6-7 says, "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you".
If the devil's against you with a spirit of fear, it says submit to God, then resist the devil and he'll flee. Come to God and say, "Lord, I'm fearful, but I submit this fear to you and I'm not going to let it master me". Now listen, you can only defeat a spirit with the opposite spirit. Okay? That's why Jesus said love your enemies. The devil is full of pride and rebellion and the way that you defeat him is through humility and submission. First submit to God. God resists the proud. He gives grace to the humble, so submit to God. Then you can take care of the devil, okay? You can stand up to the devil and overcome him, but you have to submit to God and not let your emotions master you.
Number three, FOCUS ON GOD'S PRESENCE AND HIS LOVE. I talked about this a little bit last week, but I want to emphasize a scripture. Last week I just referred to a scripture from Psalm 16. I've set the Lord always before me because he's at my right hand. I will not be moved. Let me read you the fuller context of that 'cause it's phenomenal, and this is Acts 2, and Peter is going to give us the context. That's a Psalm of David and David was writing that, but Peter is going to give us the context of that scripture here in Acts 2.
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’"
So on the way, this is what Jesus was saying on the way of the cross. See, David writes this in Psalm 16. Peter said, David wrote this concerning Jesus. This is what Jesus was saying to himself on the way of the cross. I have set the Lord always before me because he's at my right hand. I will not be moved. You will not leave me in sheol. You will not allow your Holy One to see decay. Now, why would Jesus be saying that? Okay? Because the devil was accusing him all the way to the cross. "Look at you, you pathetic loser. You're a shame. You're Father is so ashamed of you right now. You're defeated. Look at you. They've stripped you of your garments. They're mocking you. Everything you said you were, you're not. And I'm telling you you're going to die and you're going to be left in the ground to rot". And Jesus said, "no, no, no, no, no, no. I see my Father right before me. He's right at my right hand. I'm not going to be shaken. And Father, I know you won't leave me in sheol, and I know you won't allow your Holy One to see corruption. In your presence there's fullness of joy".
And Hebrews 12:2 says, "Who for the joy set before him endured the cross despising the shame". See the devil is going to come, and he's going to tell you that God's not with you, that God's ashamed or you, blah, blah, blah. All of his nonsense. Your confession and your meditation tells you what spirit is working in your life. And if you're sitting around all the time thinking fear and speaking fear, a spirit of fear is in operation. Now God loves you. You're on your way to heaven. You know, I'm not talking bad about you. I'm saying I've done it. I've done it a hundred times. But Jesus, when the devil was accusing Jesus and accusing God the father to Jesus, Jesus was saying this. That's what David was saying. On his way to the cross, Jesus was comforting himself by saying, "First of all, I know God's with me. I know he's right with me. He's at my right hand, and I know, I know he's not going to forsake me. He's not going to".
You have to get your thinking and your confession aligned with the Word of God, always knowing your God, your God will never, ever, ever, ever forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 God says, "I will never leave you. I will never forsake you". Now, when people say never, they don't always mean that. When God says never, he means never, never, never, never, never. He will never leave you. He's with you right now. Wherever you are, whatever the devil's whispering in your ear. You come against him and you stop being a parrot for what he's saying and for what he's trying to put in your mind, and you get the Word in you and you remember that God is with you.
Number four, TAKE AUTHORITY OVER A SPIRIT OF FEAR IN JESUS' NAME. You have authority. This is Luke 10, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven”". I give you authority over serpents and scorpions. Listen over all the power of the enemy. All the power and nothing shall by any means harm you if you use the authority. If you don't use the authority, the devil is going to clobber you. If you've been saved for five minutes, you have authority over the devil.
Jesus, thank God that Jesus didn't leave us here in this life to be beaten up by the devil. Jesus has given us authority over the devil, every demon of hell, but we have to take authority. Here's what Jesus said in Matthew 18:18, "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven". Well the word bind... what Jesus is saying is, I'm going to partner up with you, whatever you want to do. If you want to bind something, the word bind in the Greek means disallow. It means you're not going to allow this. If you want to bind something on earth, I'll respect that. If you want to lose something on earth, I'll respect that too. It's up to you. You have the authority. God's not going to do for us what he's given us the ability to do for ourselves.
And so he has given us authority and he expects us to use it when we need to. When a spirit of fear comes against us, all we have to do is bind it. I'm not going to allow you to operate in my life. So let me tell you the prayer that I pray. So, a spirit of fear is coming against you and you need to stand up to it. Here's what to do. It's very simple. "Spirit of fear, I break all agreement with you, and I expose you. I will not let you come into my life and hide inside of me and torment me anymore. You're not me. You're a demon from hell, and I bind you by the authority of the name of Jesus and the blood of Jesus. And I command you to leave me now in Jesus' name, amen". It's over. That's all there is. You bind him, you command him to leave. Now, he may keep harassing you or whatever. You do it over and over, and at the same time you're doing that you're getting into the Word. You're confessing the Word of God. You're meditating on the Word of God, and getting all that fear nonsense out of your mind.
Let me say I dealt with fear for so many years, and I pray to God that I'm not coming across self-righteous. I have been in this trench thousands of times dealing with fear in my own life, but I've experienced the victory. That doesn't mean I never experience fear. It just means overcame it and Jesus overcame it. And I'm saying to you right now, do not let fear control your life. It's a demon spirit. Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ encountered more fear on his way to the cross than any human being has ever encountered, but he overcame and when he was resurrected, he came to the disciples and said this: Peace. Peace be with you. The devil didn't overcome Jesus. Jesus overcame him and his peace, his peace...
I feel peace right now. I feel peace. I want to pray for you and I'm going to pray for every single person that any fear that you're experiencing, that you're going to overcome it, and we're going to bind to the name of Jesus. But I want you to stand. I want you to stand on your own and begin to pray that prayer and not allow fear to control your life. In the midst of this COVID-19 outbreak, God wants to use you to pray to minister to other people, to be a voice of reason, so on and so forth. The devil wants to use you to just get everybody upset and just to be miserable and terrified through this whole thing. Let God have his way in your life through his peace. Let Jesus be before you right now. Understand that he's with you, he's given you authority and he loves you. He loves you. If you're experiencing fear, he loves you. He's not ashamed of you in any way, and you can be yourself in front of God. You can be totally yourself because his throne is the throne of grace.
Now let me say this. If you want to receive Christ, if you don't know Jesus as the Lord of your life. You're not sure right now if you died you'd go to heaven. I want you to text DECISION to 71010 and someone will contact you from Gateway and they will pray with you and they will give you some next steps and some help. We want to give you a Bible, a Fresh Start Bible and so we want to give you some instruction, pray with you and rejoice with what you've done. If you need prayer for fear, for a bondage, for your family, for finances, for a job, for your business, for whatever it might be, text CONNECT to 71010 and someone from Gateway will contact you. Whatever you need, we will pray with you. We'll help you. We are your church family and we want to be here for you during this time.
Before I pray for you, let me tell you one more time. I love you very much. Karen and I love you very, very much. Pastor Robert and Debbie love you very, very much. You are our precious church family. And I'll tell you one thing, when we're able to come together again, we will appreciate it like we've never appreciated it before. I was just thinking earlier today, you know, just about being able to walk up and hug somebody, you know. I mean, except for Karen, I can't do that anymore, and it's going to be wonderful to be back together. But you're on our hearts. We love you so much. We're praying for you, everything that you're going through right now. But let's pray together. I want you to bow your heads with me if you would.
[quote]In the name of Jesus, we bind the spirit of fear. In the name of Jesus. Wherever this fear came from, trauma, failure, words of people. Wherever this fear came from, wherever originated, it is of Satan and we reject it and we will not let it control us. And Jesus, thank you. Thank you so much for what you did for us on the cross and how you faced your fear like a champion. What a champion our Savior is that you stared death in the face and you defeated it. And now you're our Prince of Peace. And I bind fear over every man, woman, and child in the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus, and I command right now every demon of fear, you leave us right now. And I speak peace. I speak peace over minds, over memories, over emotions, over bodies, over marriages, over families, over businesses. I speak peace to you in the name of Jesus. Peace be still.
And I pray, Holy Spirit, you bring us love, joy, and peace, and I pray right now for the peace of God to fill every single person listening to my voice right now. Holy Spirit, fill us with the supernatural peace of God that passes all understanding. Guard our hearts and minds with your supernatural presence and your supernatural peace. We thank you. We thank you for Palm Sunday, Lord. You are a King. You are a King. And the next time you come, you're coming back as the King of Kings. But thank for being willing to die for us on the cross. We could never say thank you enough, but this entire week we remember who you are in our lives and the price that you paid to be our Lord and Savior. We are proud to be your family and to be your bride. Bless Lord, bless your children. Bless these precious saints in Jesus name. Amen.[/quote]