When the Bible is clear, I don't have to be ruled by my emotions.
So where does this emotion of fear come from in the believer’s life? The Apostle Paul addresses the fearful feelings of “what if” or “if only” and “what if I fail” in Galatians 5:16-26. He gives us a clear picture of how my flesh in me is fighting against the Holy Spirit who lives within me. As you read this passage, it lists the works of the flesh, which fight against the fruit of the Spirit clearly and encourages us to choose the voice of Christ and let the Holy Spirit’s fruit come forth, as well as God’s presence, His peace, and His power that overcomes the works of my flesh.
I have never counted the number of “fear nots” in the Bible, but I have been told by trustworthy teachers and professors that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible. If that is off a few numbers, that’s OK with me because our Savior and Lord is clear when He says something once, but if He says it over 300 times plus, I better get the message. When God says to fear not more than 300 times, I need to be courageous enough to act on what God says about His presence and power to overcome my flesh as I chose to let God produce that which displays His character, called the fruit of the Spirit.
In Galatians 5:22-23 it says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” God is clear: you and I don’t produce these qualities on our own, but the Holy Spirit produces them through each of us as we follow Jesus daily.
Only the Spirit of God’s presence in us can overcome our natural, fleshly weakness that compromises God’s presence in and through our lives.
Please look at Galatians 5:19-21 and see those 15 character traits that our flesh can produce.
Victory over my flesh comes only as I trust Christ to defeat those natural impulses by means of God’s Spirit.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” -Galatians 5:24-25
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and trust the Spirit of God to produce these character qualities in you, as you follow Jesus daily. This is the life of faith. When I ask God to fill me with His Spirit, I now by faith thank Him that God is in control of my life by His Holy Spirit. Know that God’s Spirit always leads us according to the Scriptures by faith.
Here’s an example of how to make such a request: “Father, I ask You to take control of my life and fill me with Your Holy Spirit as I go into this meeting today. Thank You for answering this request. Now may I accomplish Your will in this meeting.”
Now, by faith, not feeling, I trust that God has answered my request, which is according to His will. Yes, by faith I am now filled with the Holy Spirit and trusting God to guide me according to His will.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” -1 John 5:14-15
No matter what my feelings may want to say, I am trusting God’s promise to lead me by His Spirit as I act by faith upon His Word and ways.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.