By Dave Butts
Though unwanted, fear seems to be a universal part of life.
Reaction to fear varies from person to person, but fears that are not dealt with can bring damage and paralysis to a life. An example would be the individual with agoraphobia (being fearful of public places) may be unwilling to leave the security of his or her own home. That’s just one example of many of how fear can bind us and keep us from a fulfilled, joyful life.
Christians should and often do, turn to the Lord and ask Him to take away their fears. That is a simple request and really is something we can do in full assurance since the Lord does not want us to live in fear. One of the most common commands in scripture from the Lord is: “Fear not!”
Where difficulty enters in is when we pray, asking for fear to be removed, and nothing seems to happen. We find ourselves as paralyzed by fear as before we prayed. What happened? Or rather, what didn’t happen and why? There are probably many answers that have to do with our unwillingness to let go of fear. But I believe God’s Word gives us a wonderful way to bypass the blocks to removing fear and receive great peace.
David’s prayer in Psalm 34:4 “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears,” contains the key: “I sought the Lord.” His desire was not so much for fears to be relieved as it was to experience the presence of the Lord. He sought God, not just what God would do for him or give him. It’s a pure prayer that focuses on the Lord and brings delight to God’s heart.
What about the fear issue? David made it clear that when he sought the Lord, the Lord delivered him from all his fears. Just like a parent coming into the room of a fearful child, that’s the natural response to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
It’s just as Jesus taught us, if we seek Him first, then many good things will follow. As you seek the Lord and enjoy His presence, you will find that your fears have subsided and peace has taken their place.
–Dave Butts is the founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries and the author of Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God.