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Fear or favour

Changing our attitude so we can be released from fears








The fear factor

What is the biggest thing in your life that stops you from having the attitude the same as that of Christ Jesus? I can tell you. I know what it is without even considering your personal circumstances. It is fear. There might be a whole host of them. Fear that God won’t supply your needs. Fear that your children won’t follow the Lord. Fear that your relationship with your husband isn’t strong enough. Fear over the size of the next bill. Fear over illness. Fear the car is going to break down. Fear your debit card will be rejected at the supermarket checkout. Fear your children have made bad friends. Fear of dying. Fear that God is going to do something to embarrass you. I could go on, you know I could.

Today I want to look at Psalm 34 v4 which says in various translations,

“I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” NIV

“I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Amplified Bible

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” KJV

Do you want to be delivered from all your fears? I ask this because the honest answer for many is, “not really”.


Do you want to be delivered?

Do you want to be delivered from all your fears? I ask this because the honest answer for many is, “not really”. Some people have got so used to accommodating their fears that they have settled into a misshapen life and they have no real wish to seek God about it. They have got used to ‘walking with a limp’, if you like. Some other people don’t really wan to be delivered from their fears because they like the status that being uneasy gives them. What do I mean by that? Someone with a fear can become the centre of attention when their fear surfaces and other people rally round to support them and they like that. To rise above their fear would be to lose their ‘draw’ on other people and they fear that they would be friendless. Notice here that entertaining one fear gives rise to another. So I ask again, do you want to be delivered from all your fears?

Please don’t think for one moment that I am belittling the very real and very strong hold that fear puts upon people. Fear can be formidable to confront but remember that its force is nothing compared to the force of God to overcome it!

Our verse

Let us look at the Bible’s solution to dealing with fear as laid out in this one verse of scripture that I have brought to our attention today. There are three parts to it. 1. We must seek the Lord over it. 2. We must know God heard us and has an answer and be prepared to listen to that. 3. We must allow Him to deliver us.

Seeking the Lord

The first point. The way we go about seeking the Lord will vary according to our personality, problems and circumstances. What I usually do is pick a time when I can get some quiet and won’t be interrupted—for me, late evening is usually my best chance. I go to my room, sit on my bed with my Bible to hand and I begin with a few moments to just physically relax. I take a few deep breaths and think about if any part of my body is tense, then think about God and worship Him for a few minutes. I might next dash through a few thoughts that are on my mind and offer these things to God, unburdening the trials and failures of the day– saying sorry where necessary and asking forgiveness.

For Some of you my dear Christian sisters, it will take great courage just to admit to God that you have a fear of something.

With these other burdens laid aside for a moment I am now ready to bring the current subject of seeking before God. You may already know what fears you have and you can begin with those. You may be at a point where you want to ask God if there is anything else in your life that He would like to bring up and deal with.

For Some of you my dear Christian sisters, it will take great courage just to admit to God that you have a fear of something. Be gentle with yourself. Some of you already feel guilty for feeling this way. If all you can do is name your fear then leave it at that.

The Lord answers

The second point. Our verse next tells us that the Lord “answered me”. Some translations just say “heard me” but this dos not have enough meaning in the English because part of that hearing is that there is a response and this does not come across, but in order to answer he must also have heard. I ask a question of you. Do you expect God to answer? “Well God doesn’t speak out loudly so how can I know if he has answered?” you may be thinking. First, God could speak out in an audible voice if it was appropriate but the truth is that most people would be scared whit-less by such an experience so mostly he doesn’t speak out loudly. You may be confident already that you do hear God but for those who aren’t so sure I would like to say that I am absolutely certain that you have! He speaks in all sorts of ways—you just may not have identified that it was God.


We are far too quick to dismiss God’s communication as our own imaginings.


It is quite possible that God will answer your seeking then and there but He may also answer over the coming days and weeks. Many people worry that it is the devil they hear rather than God—a general rule of thumb is that if what you think you have heard is condemning and leads to guilt then it is not God speaking. God aims to bring growth and life—He may say some difficult things—He may challenge you about unpleasantness but He brings life and healing growth through it. The chances are that if you think it is God speaking (once you have assessed the message) then it is. We are far too quick to dismiss God’s communication as our own imaginings. If you truly seek the Lord then He will answer you.

An Example

Let me give you an example of different interpretations of the same action of God. I spoke to a lay this week who is married to a non Christian. This Christian Lady had injured her knee. She carried the injury around for a couple of weeks and then got some people to pray for her healing. She knew only God could bring her quick healing as her injury would take months to get better. Well she did get better over night. She told me that her husband believes that it was two weeks of time that had allowed her to get better—she know that that was impossible and that God had healed her. This story illustrates my point in this way: if we are not willing to recognise God’s action when He answers then we will always believe that He has not answered us—but he has and we dismissed it with another (sometimes implausible) explanation. Many Christians are no different from this non Christian man. So check your attitude: are you expecting an answer?

Delivered from all my fears

Let’s now move on to the phrase in our verse being, “delivered from all my fears”. There are two things I want to look at here; what does being delivered mean and does it really mean ALL my fears?

Things which are being delivered usually go through some pre-delivery state first—a journey. 

A journey

Things which are being delivered usually go through some pre-delivery state first—a journey. A baby goes through labour and is then delivered. A letter travels from the sender before it is delivered. A speech goes through a period of thought and preparation before it is delivered. And so it is when we come to delivery in the spiritual sense. There is certainty when I say that any process of being delivered from your fears will involve a spiritual journey for you. Why do I say this? - because fear is the flip side of faith. Just as faith needs to be exercised in order to grow, so has fear thus been exercised and grown, and you need to do that journey again, from where you are, in reverse. Yes, God will deliver you from your fears as our verse tells us—we need to believe it. But the Shepherd of the famous Psalm 23 sometimes “leads us through the valley of the shadow of death” a dark and difficult place. Your journey back may be long and difficult or it may be much more swift than the journey into fear, but God will lead you at the right pace if you stick with Him the whole way.

Start today—fear will say “no wait for tomorrow”.

A journey with an ending

So, being delivered from your fears will involve a journey but just as my examples of babies, letters and speeches will come to a climactic moment where the final point of delivery takes place, so will delivery from fears. When I use the phrase “climactic moment” please don’t assume that I mean a dramatic moment. The moment may pass without you even realising and it only be when the next point of testing comes that you realise you are free. There may be a dramatic moment for you though. You may be praying and feel an overwhelming sense of peace, some people talk of feeling a physical warmth or trembling or many other ways of “knowing” that something has happened to them. There may be something outward that happens to you that other people could see; an example may be that you experience overwhelming joy at your release and start laughing. There are limitless possibilities because we have a limitless God.

Delivery from all our fears is possible and I hope that you choose to exercise your faith and believe for that freedom. Start today—fear will say “no wait for tomorrow”.

All my fears

Let’s round off our look at this verse by considering that God wants to deliver us from ALL our fears. Some of you may be thinking, “but Linda you just don’t understand my fear and how it has got a hold of me” You are right, I do not know the ins and outs of your fear, I do not know what started it, I do not know how you feel when you are in the grip of it nor to what extent you have altered your life to accommodate it. But I know this: God is bigger and stronger than the power of your fear. Not just a little bit but infinitely bigger and stronger! You may not have the faith to believe that right now but that’s ok because faith is not an individual thing—there is such a thing as the faith of the church. You can join with me and rest on my faith and that of other Christians while yours grows. And I shall join in with that faith of the church while mine continues to grow. I know that God can deliver us from all our fears. How? The Bible tells me so. So we shall set our sights high and aim for delivery from ALL our fears.

Heavenly Father, 

You are Perfect Love and perfect love drives out all fear. I invite you into my life once again. Lord, there are many fears which have got hold of me some of them are so small that they don’t even come to mind right now. Some of them come to mind in certain situations. Some of them are fears of the unknown. Some of them are fears of You. Whatever they are, I bring them to you right now and ask for delivery from them. I choose to change my attitude toward them and open myself to the journey of preparation and change that will be needed and thank you for the delivery you have for me.

Continue with your own words bringing specific points before God.


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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.