Fear (John #18)

Text: John 6:15-21

The Lord Jesus had gone into the mountain to pray and be alone.  The disciples were going to head across the sea to Capernaum and at some point catch back up with the Lord.  They got into the boat and evening had turned to night and the calm had turned into a gusting wind and tumultuous waves that beat against the boat.  The manage to get about 3 ½ miles out, but have been rowing for hours fighting this storm

Stronghold of Fear

  • Fear is such a large subject in the Bible the trouble with this sermon is what parts to preach on.  Fear is the opposite of hope, it is dread of real or perceived danger or pain.
  • Fear is the root.  Fear is the stronghold from which many other attacks are made.
    • Fear of man will lead to lying.  Lies are the result of fear.  Like Abraham.
    • Discouragement is usually the result of fear.  Joshua and Caleb versus the ten spies
  • Phobias in the Encyclopedia of Psychiatry can be endless.  There are a few that aren’t in there.
    • Fear of Holiness
      • Saved and the Lord is trying to prune you and prepare you for more fruitfulness.  The problem is pruning can be scary.
      • Unsaved here, the more you hear about Jesus Christ and your need to receive him as your savior, the more your flesh is going to fight you on it because you know it is a life changing event where the flesh and all the sin associated with the flesh will be reckoned dead.  And that’s scary to you.
    • Fear of generosity – man said never ignore a generous impulse.  Fear of generosity or covetousness.
    • Fear of Death –
      • Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
      • I wouldnt waste my time with any religion that didn’t offer assurance to my family or I at the time we all most need it.  That’s like buying insurance that tells you up front, OK when the disaster happens we just want you to know that we don’t ever pay out.
    • Fear of Failure – the man who hid his talent
    • Fear of Man – peer pressure as teenagers.  But peer pressure isn’t just for teenagers.
    • Fear of the Unknown –
      • one thing that Psychiatry will not tell you about phobias is that they can be the result of wickedness.  The wicked flee when no man pursueth.
      • In our story here, Jesus is walking on the water and in a couple other gospels its said the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost.  So the figure walking on the water became more terrifying than the storm itself.
  • The will is the battleground (vs 21)
    • They willingly received him
    • The Lord just needs a willing vessel that says Not my will but thine be done.
    • The devil doesn’t need you’re willful obedience of him.  He doesn’t need you to dress in black and attend the Satanic Church of Allister Crowley.  The enemies of your faith just need to shake your faith, and therefore shake your willing obedience of God Almighty.

Focus on the Lord

Not just overcoming fear, or facing your fear.  It’s the three words the Lord Jesus Christ says first, It is I.

Fear is anything becomes becomes bigger to you than Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

  • Lost Sight of God’s Goodness
    • wondering why the road seems so rocky, why the waves and the wind and noise and the danger seems so imminent – Romans 8:31-39
    • praying for our kids, friends, relatives to turn to the Lord
  • Lost Sight of God’s Wisdom
    • read or hear the Lord speak and think Lord, I don’t see how that’s even possible.  You just don’t understand what I’ve got going on.
  • Lost Sight of God’s Purpose
    • maybe you’ve taken a short term view of your Christian life and forgot that this is for the long haul.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.
    • Frustration in your Christian life is the result of you hanging on to some sin that you’re afraid to get rid of.  God’s longsuffering purpose is trying to pry that thing out of your heart.

If you’re here and you’ve never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.  So you’re sins are still on you, then Jesus Christ didn’t say this to you.  You have much to be afraid of.  The first thing is Him because He is holy and He will judge your sin.  And when He does it will be a fearful fiery judgment as he casts you and your sin into a lake of fire.

Fear is the opposite of faith – Revelation 21:8 But the fearful… shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.