Becoming Fearless

Praying head upturned

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14-15, ESV).

One day, while I was in the middle of some non-devotional activity, Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart about this verse. (He loves to insert Himself into some of the most mundane things necessary to our daily routines! I really cherish this.) What He said that afternoon impacted my life in a significant way, and I think it will yours, too.

He explained to me that “the fear of death” does not exclusively refer to being afraid of dying. Although that is certainly an essential aspect of the meaning, there is more to it. “Death,” here is a comprehensive term also embodying the concept of everything harmful that resulted from the fall of man.

“The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Have you sinned sometime since you were born? Of course you have. We all have. Are you dead? I would assume not, since you’re reading this. Clearly, then, “death” here means more than physically dying. It encompasses everything that happened to us and to the planet when Adam and Eve first disobeyed God. This includes:

  • Sickness
  • Natural disasters
  • Accidents
  • Disfigurement
  • Theft
  • Demonic oppression
  • Spiritual warfare
  • Addictions
  • Divorce
  • Abandonment and neglect
  • Betrayal
  • Relational strife
  • Rejection
  • Vicious gossip and slander
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse
  • Violent crime
  • Losing loved ones

I could go on and on. My point, though, is that every element on this list fits into the category of “death.” Everything ugly or painful that you have ever experienced in your entire lifetime does too. None of this was in Eden. None of it was what God longed to give us when He created a perfect paradise on the earth.

And these are the very things that the devil relentlessly tries to hang over our heads. This is where our concept “the fear of death” comes into play. Those four words could be broken down into just the one: fear. Fear is the way the enemy keeps people in slavery. The fear of betrayal. The fear of abandonment. The fear of rejection. The fear of losing loved ones. Plug in any item from the above list into the phrase, “The fear of __________.”  All of it is a manifestation of the fear of death, in death’s plethora of shapes and sizes.

Jesus came… and died… and rose again… to set us free from absolutely all of it. Hebrews tells us that He came to destroy the one who has the power of death. Do you think He succeeded on His mission? He unequivocally did. He destroyed the devil and violently removed from his claws the keys of death.

Having vanquished the adversary, He is fully able – and passionately yearning – to “deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Are you struggling with fear? You don’t have to be afraid any more. Jesus the Deliverer destroyed death, and all its vile counterparts, when He gave up His life for you. He is closer than the breath in your lungs, and He is ready to set you free. He is leaning in longingly, listening for your prayer. With childlike faith, ask and receive that which He already purchased for you… receive perfect liberty today!

“But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore… And I have the keys of Hades and of Death’” (Rev. 1:17b-18, NKJV).

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Is there a specific aspect of the fear of death, from which God has delivered you? I’d love to hear your testimony of His goodness!

27 thoughts on “Becoming Fearless

  1. Each morning, as I arise from sleep, I give thanks to the Lord our God for another day to worship Him and bless those I encounter. This brings immeasurable joy and peace. As I enter my devotional and prayer time, the enemy does not hesitate to attack my mind and most recently my body. He does all he can to distract me bring about FEARS of the day I am entering. His emphasis on my failing or losing that which God has given me, can be monumental and overwhelming. He often draws my attention to defeats of the past. In the midst of these attacks I am learning to PAUSE and reflect on the power and promises of Jesus. As quickly as darkness entered in the OVERCOMES and victory prevails. I ask often, Lord how long must I suffer so ? He assures me that HE HAS OVERCOME the weapon of death in my life. Amen Len Wisniewski

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  2. My most recent experience of being delivered from “the fear of death’ was the passing of my mother. I knew and believe that she lives on in and through me, is a part of me. I do miss her mortal presence but am and was glad she was no longer in pain and is now with Him. I hope to be an example to my children, so they do not suffer the way some do, with the loss of loved ones

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    1. I can only imagine what an indescribably profound and life-altering experience that was, Jeff. I am so sorry for your loss of here with you on the earth. May the Holy Spirit comfort, strengthen, and heal your heart in tangible ways. He loves you so very much! And yes, may He keep you around for many longs years for your children to enjoy!

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  3. The fear of death, I think, is what prevented Peter from a longer walk on the water, because it took his attention away from Jesus.

    Your post made me think about all the believers who have left this human existence for something better. We miss them, but we are still very much a part of them as the Body of Christ, and will, God willing, rejoin them someday. And that unity has been helpful to me: it helps me see that human death is a doorway we all must pass through at appointed times. It isn’t the end of all things (to borrow Tolkien), but the beginning of a new chapter for us that never ends!
    And in that we don’t know when our “appointed time” is, we can plan for death, but there’s really no sense at all in worrying about it. Our time is much better spent living and loving as our Lord intended, keeping ourselves worthy to bask and rest in the paradise to come. — Mike

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    1. I enjoyed those thoughts, Mike, thank you. Amen. I sense that connection too with those loved ones that are already there with Him. That “great cloud of witnesses.” And that’s a great point about the fear of death impeding Peter’s water walk, too. Thank you!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Nora! I’m truly blessed by that! Is it okay if I respond with my post in a belated way? We are gearing up to host a missions team coming down soon, and things are a bit crazy. I’d love to do so when everything calms down a bit!

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  4. Great read. I am amazed how the wages of sin keep paying out across generations. Sin doesn’t just impact us, it also impacts those around us. Our challenge is to remain faithful to Jesus, to not become fearful and lose hope, to not let sin corrupt our faith. I like Revelation 21:7: “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” It reminds me that we are victorious when we overcome fear, overcome this world, overcome sin and remain faithful to God.

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    1. I love those insights, CG! Your reflection also reminds me of the verse in Revelation that says that cowards will not inherit it. We really do need a lot of supernatural courage through Holy Spirit to overcome as He calls us to!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful post. Thank you. Yes indeed. Surrendering ALL to the Cross means abundant life is ours in the now. When a second positive for breast cancer surfaced on my life in 2017 I knew I had to ‘surrender’ the fear which arose. Maybe this is it!.
    The Holy Spirit responded Your Life is in My Hands. ‘Whether I live or whether I die’ may I live abundantly to proclaim that My God LIVES! (I am sensible and take necessary check-ups etc but I know God does not want me to perhaps take into my body ? preventative tablets etc which may or may not keep this from re-occurring.
    We ALL only have this day. Blessings and Peace to you. Enjoy with Him THIS DAY.

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  6. I have not been much of an independent reader of the Bible and a prayer warrior on a regular basis. Since I have been writing, I have been scheduling regular morning time with God’s word and prayer. I have my own set of past trials and sins, and my increased reading, study, and prayer has strengthened my faith.

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