Message Delivered by Dr. Elizabeth Coleman Dowdy
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Our scriptural text is: Romans 8:15, “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba Father.’”
The message is focused on fear, the role it plays in our lives, and our responsibility to eradicate all particles of fear by the authority vested in us by the Holy Spirit. First of all we must understand that fear is a spirit; it is the reciprocal of faith, the exact opposite. The prince of darkness has never created anything, he perverts what God has created—turns it literally upside down and takes it to the opposite of God’s intentions. Our faith builds, our fear tears down, fear has torment, it paralyzes, it creates its own universe of slavery. It keeps us in pits, sometimes of our own making.
We have just celebrated “Juneteenth,” the freedom guaranteed by the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863; but it was June 19, 1865 when General Gordon Granger rode into the Galveston, Texas area and relayed the news to those still held in the bondage of forced servitude (slavery). They learned that they were free men, women, boys and girls, the harsh rigors imposed upon them were lifted. Well guess what, you have just witnessed the role that Jesus played. “He came to set the captives free.” (Luke 4:18) Look at the restrictions, acts of intimidation, fear tactics, that have been used to keep that freedom from being fully accessed; there you have the role of the prince of darkness, of whom Jesus said, “He comes to kill, steal and destroy.” (John 10:10) Peter said, “Your adversary, the devil goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Jesus defeated powers, principalities, and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Why? For our redemption, deliverance, and healing, in other words: our spiritual emancipation proclamation!
I John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love….”, II Timothy 1:7 states that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power (authority), Love (His love that is shed abroad in our hearts), and sound minds.” That means a mind that can be controlled and is set on God, and His ways. “He has said He would keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is stayed on Him.” (Isa. 26:3) Peace is a weapon against fear!
Sometimes we do not ascertain the forms that fear arrives in. Thereby we admit it into our being without thinking. Fear tolerated is faith contaminated. Fear used as an acronym is best remembered: False Evidence Appearing Real! Get a hold of that and remember it the next time fear knocks at your door! False Evidence Appearing Real! While faith is “the evidence of things not seen.”
Fear manifests as stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, headaches, turbulent tummies and the list goes on. We readily accept these dis–eases as the norm, never giving a thought to the fact that they are precursors for fear to enter, settle down and eventually begin to reign as master.
In our bodies fear settles in the kidneys and liver, we all know that it produces many of the cardio–vascular ailments that plague us. That is why God does not want us, the redeemed, to be controlled by fear, past relationships make us fearful of reaching out again, we fear being hurt, we carry emotional craters from the emotional asteroids that have crashed into our souls. But take heart, this is not about rehearsing our fears, it is about bringing them under the blood of Jesus, and experiencing His healing into those dry places.
All fears come from the root stock of fear, Fear of death. Hebrews 2:14–15 says Jesus came to deliver them who all their lifetimes were held in bondage through their fear of death! It is the root stock for the deeply rooted tree of fear. Romans 12:2 tells us to renew our minds; II Cor. 10:4–5 tells us to take thoughts captive. These are part of the arsenal God has provided for our freedom from fear. As we plant His word in our reborn spirits it will produce the fruit of love that will cast out fear.
There will always be attempts to re–plant the seeds of fear, but the Word says, “thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus.” Col. 1:13 tells us that Jesus delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into his kingdom. Just as the enslaved in Texas who knew not, we know not the benefits that we receive as children of the Most High.
Let us resolve today to begin to fight the good fight of faith, we can only do this when we divest ourselves of fear, it is not in our own strength that we can win this battle, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the LORD!”
Copyright © 2013 E. C. Dowdy. Written and audio material may not be reproduced without written permission.