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Scare Pollution
Scripture: Philippians 4:5-7; 2 Timothy 1:3-7; Matt...
Track 9 of 12 in the Soul Detox series
Running time: 51 minutes, 57 seconds.
When you feel fear, you need to acknowledge this one very important truth; our all-knowing, always present, all-powerful Father doesn't deal in fear. When fear comes upon us it is not God causing it, fear is a by product of Satan and his dealings in your life.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

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Scare Pollution
Unlocking the Chokehold of Fear

I have to admit to you all this morning that this topic is probably the hardest toxic emotion I deal with on a daily basis. I am involved in so many things and at times I let my emotions, my activity and my interests to cause me periods of alarm, worry and fear. Being a type A person, success, completion of tasks and wanting to control as much as possible the situations I find myself in, fear is something that Satan will use against me to cause paralysis in my actions. I have to always turn to Philippians 4:6-7 to remind myself that in the areas I donít have control, God has control of everything and he knows what is best and only he can bring real peace of mind and heart.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When you were a kid, what were the things that scared you the most? What about you today as an adult, what are the things that worry you the most or give you the most concern? Are there situations that bring utter fear to you and can cause you to lose control?

"I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever I feel fearful emotions overtaking me, I just close my eyes and thank God that He is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over the affairs of my life."
John Wesley

What do you think causes certain fears to reign in peopleís lives? All of us have fears of some sort. What do you think are the causes of your fears?

True or False: The more fear we allow into our lives, the more we struggle to grow spiritually?

What is the relationship between fear and spiritual growth? How does fear of the future cause spiritual growth problems?

I donít know if you know this or not but a new born baby has only two instinctive fears when it is born, the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. If this being true, what does this tell us about our fears? For some reason, our fears are learned, not inherited. Most of our fears come to us through experiences of some sort. What ever our fears are, they can weigh us down and prevent us from traveling through life with speed and grace. Most experts say our fears fall within 4 basic categories:

Fear of Loss: This can take many forms, the loss of relationships, children, financial loss, control. Is there something right now that you fear in losing that is preventing you from fully following God?

Fear of Rejection: This too comes in many forms. Here is the question to ponder, are you afraid that people might not like you as you are?

Fear of Failure: To be honest, this is probably the one thought that plagues me the most, especially in the area of my business. The economy is destroying small businesses today. It is hard enough dealing with the day to day issues small business owners face but when outside sources that I canít control start messing with everything I built, worry, frustration, anger and plain ole fear begins to take over. It is a constant effort every day to keep plugging along trusting in God that whatever happens, things will work out for His glory, not necessarily mine.

Have you ever missed out on an opportunity to be more successful at something only because you were afraid of letting go of something because to you, it seemed like a failure to change direction?

Fear of the Unknown: This is a deceptive fear that plays tricks on us. Many fear what might lie ahead but when asked if they would like to know for sure what is out there, many definitely donít want to know. They fear the future might be bad.

What are you afraid of knowing? What would you prefer to stay in the dark about?

When you feel fear, you need to acknowledge this one very important truth; our all-knowing, always present, all-powerful Father doesnít deal in fear. I love the opening remarks Paul gives to Timothy in his second letter to him. He reminds Timothy as well he reminds us of a very important fact:

2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV)
I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

When fear comes upon us it is not God causing it, fear is a by product of Satan and his dealings in your life. Usually when your young children are the most afraid, they sense they are not in your presence. When they cry out in fear it is usually mommy or daddy they want because they experience a loss of you not being there. Your voice a lot of times is just enough to calm them down and to reassure them you are close by.

How is this different in our relationship with God? When afraid of what is taking place in your life, what is the first thing you do? Who do you call out to? Who or what do you try to regain your courage from?

If you will notice the end of verse 5 in Philippians 4, God tells us something very importantÖhe is near! But how many of us actually turn to God first and reach out to Him as our kids do when they are scared? What is it that prevents us from seeking Godís presence in times of fear? For many, there is no relationship with God so will turn to other forms of safety that in the end, are not fulfilling and only bring on more anxiety.

When we find ourselves in those situations that scare us to death, what is it we should do? How do we see the real picture that God is close at hand and is protecting us?

True or False: What we fear reveals where we trust God the least.

If this statement is true, does it mean that we are not asking him direction in that area? Do our fears come from the areas in our lives where God has not been given control? In fact, Jesus makes it very clear how much good all our worry does for us:

Matthew 6:25-27; 33-34 (NIV)
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

According to what Jesus stated, what is the core problem to fear? How can our fears be eliminated? Quit worrying about ourselves and put in priority the things that matter to His Kingdom.

Matthew 6 leads us to another verse that I feel digs deeper into the problem of fear.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

True or False: When face our greatest fear; it reveals to us what we value the most?

If this is true and when adding the fact that fear reveals where we trust God the least how do we change this fear into faith and confidence in God that he can handle the problem?

Step 1: Identify what it is you are afraid of. There is no way I can begin to address the fear if I pretend it doesn't exist. If I can pinpoint exactly what it is that I donít trust God to handle, then I can surrender it to God and allow him to take control over the outcome.

James 1:5 (NIV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Step 2: Start seeking God. When we diligently, consistently, tirelessly seek him, our fears will evaporate.

James 5:13 (NIV)
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

David said it best when he sought after God in all the troubles he had.

Psalm 34:4 (NIV)
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Do you notice something that is not eliminated? Our enemies, trouble, tough situations, times of trial.