What Causes the Spirit of Fear?

spirit of fearDo you feel constantly tormented by a spirit of fear in one form or another? What causes the spirit of fear and how do you overcome it?

Living free from a spirit of fear is totally possible.

Fear is not from God, and Jesus has made the way of escape for you.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

It is not only possible to experience freedom from the spirit of fear, but this freedom is what you were designed for.

You were not designed to live in a state of fear. It is absolutely toxic to the human soul and body.

Not only that, it is a direct command from God not to fear. Surely, if God has commanded you not to fear, He has provided the ability to do so.

The vast majority of mental, emotional ,and physical illnesses have some form of fear at the root. Much of the stress, anxiety, and worry we experience in this life are the results of a spirit of fear.

Fear ultimately tells you that God is a liar, that He is not as good as He says He is, and He can not be trusted. This is 100% untrue. God is good beyond our wildest dreams. He is pure goodness!

What Causes the Spirit of Fear? 

The spirit of fear is not hard to find. Fear is the basic nature of Satan. He is the source of every spirit of fear.

The Bible tells us that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). The majority of people in this world are under the influence of a spirit of fear in one way or another.

The spirit of fear could be caused by trauma, loss, heartbreak, abuse, neglect, nightmares, horror movies, accidents, or simply focusing and thinking on fearful things. 

Regardless of what caused the spirit of fear to enter your life, it doesn’t belong there, and you can begin to recognize it and cast it out of your life. If you are a child of God, the spirit of fear has absolutely no right in your life.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

This verse is quoted by people all the time, but not necessarily understood. It is saying that a spirit of fear (or timidity as it is sometimes translated) is NEVER from God.

The Holy Spirit is never afraid, and never timid. So if you are experiencing fear, you can be totally sure that it is not from God and He wants you to resist it.

What Does it Mean to Overcome the Spirit of Fear? 

Freedom from fear is listed as a fundamental human right according to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But most of humanity has no idea what life would be like without fear.

Worry, anxiety, stress, and many illnesses have their root in the spirit of fear. Fear is absolutely wreaking havoc on mankind.

What would it look like to overcome the spirit of fear? When you have freedom from the spirit of fear, you can actually enjoy life. Your mind and body can be in a true state of peace.

Peace is the complete absence of any agitating fears or worries. You can live free.

Fear is tormenting. Many times the spirit of fear is playing in the background of our souls and we don’t even know it.

You may think you are just an angry person, or sad or frustrated, but the reality is- you are probably scared.

You may think that you just have a high-stress job, but really you fear that you may not be able to provide for yourself or your family.

You may think that you just care about healthy eating and exercise, but in reality, the fear of getting fat or sick is driving you to be obsessed with exercise.

The fear itself is actually more toxic than the stressful job or unhealthy heating!

Fear is a thief. It steals the joy and wonder from life. It robs you of the ability to make good decisions and see God’s promises come to pass in your life.

Does Fear Cause Bondage and Oppression?

All bondage and oppression have fear as a root. Anything that controls you is a form of bondage. Anything that puts a weight on you is a form of oppression. Fear causes all forms of bondage and condemnation.

Some forms of bondage and oppression are poverty, anxiety, sickness, disease, bad relationships, worry, discontentment, sadness, confusion, depression, addictions, disorders, lack of peace, etc.

Oppression could include not having enough money to feed your family or being in a relationship with someone who is abusive. Oppression includes spirits of self-hate and self-bitterness as well.

In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Isaiah 54:14

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15

How to Overcome a Spirit of Fear

Overcoming the spirit of fear is totally possible. In fact, God has given you everything you need to do so.

as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:3

Everything you need for life and godliness surely includes the ability to overcome fear.

Fear is not godly. Fear is an enemy of God. It is designed to steal, kill, and destroy the things that God has given you.

The Bible tells us in Hosea 4:6 that God’s people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.

If you are not free in an area, there’s a truth you don’t know in that area. The truth will always make you free.

Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to truly overcome the spirit of fear in your life. 

1. Receive a Revelation of How God Sees You 

You are made up of three parts- spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Your spirit is the part of you that is always in connection with God. God is a spirit (John 4:24) and He relates to you in the spirit.

Your spirit is the part of you that has been made a new creation, created in righteousness and true holiness.

and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24

Your spirit is the real you and has been made completely perfect. In your spirit, you look just like Jesus (1 John 4:17).

When God looks at you, He sees your spirit. He relates to you based on what Jesus has done. Jesus has completely removed your sin and made you spotless, holy, and righteous. For more about who you are in Christ, read What Does It Mean to Be a New Creation?.

God cherishes you as His own child. He delights in you and is always with you. He sees you as perfect as Jesus, because you are in Christ. When you understand how God sees you, you can begin to receive His perfect love for you, and this love will cast out fear.

The Bible says that perfect love will completely drive out fear. It is like light and darkness. When you turn the lights on in a room, darkness flees immediately. There is no battle. The light drives out the darkness instantaneously. This is what love does to fear when it enters your heart. Fear flees instantaneously.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Many of us would mentally acknowledge that God loves us, after all, we learned this truth in Sunday school, right? 

But I am not talking about this generic kind of love that God has for the whole world. I am talking about an extremely personal, intimate relationship with the love of God. Knowing that He loves you personally at all times is what will drive out fear.

2. Understand What Jesus Has Done to Defeat Fear – His Finished Work 

freedom from fearA revelation of what happened at the cross is the most important understanding you will ever have. A lot more happened at that cross than most of us have revelation of. One of my constant prayers is “Lord, show me what happened at that cross”.

We fear when we lose sight of the finished work. Understanding what Jesus accomplished allows us to enter into the rest that God has designed for us. It is our promised land. A land of abundance where we have rest from our enemies. A land where there is no fear because everything has been accomplished.

On the cross, Jesus not only took your sin, He took the punishment for your sin. Understanding that God will never punish you will drive out fear. Sin can never be imputed to you because Jesus has given you His righteousness as a gift. Receive it by faith!

Jesus took your fear, anxiety, and worry on the cross. He experienced the full force of the spirit of fear so that you could be free from it. Everything you need was provided for you at the work of the cross. There is nothing to fear. Everything is finished.

Keeping our eyes on Jesus and His finished work is the key to remaining free from fear. Regularly still your soul to remember the cross and what was done for you there. When a  situation arises that would cause you to fear, ask the Holy Spirit what was accomplished for you at the cross that applies to what you’re going through.

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

What happened at the cross is a reality, and when you apply what was done, the things in the temporary will change.

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

3. Believe the Word of God

I hear people all the time say “just trust in God”. But what does that mean? It is such a familiar saying that it loses its meaning.

In order to trust someone, you have to know them. You get to know someone by spending time with them, and listening to what they have to say. The same is true with God. In order to actually trust Him, you have to spend time with Him and His Word.

When we spend time in the Word, and become doers of the Word, the love of God is perfected in us and will drive out fear.

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 1 John 2:5

The spirit of fear is basically the spirit that comes against the Word of God in order to convince you that what God said is not true. Wherever you sense the spirit of fear operating, there is a promise in the Word of God concerning that area. But if you don’t know what God has said, you will be completely subject to the fear.

The Word of God is your sword in the spirit realm. The spirit of fear exists in the spirit realm and cannot stand against the written Word of God.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:17

You can use the Word to attack fear. As you choose to believe and act on the truth found in the Word of God, fear will no longer have a place in your life.

Instead of just receiving the spirit of fear in a situation, find out what the Word says about it. The Word of God will never give you a spirit of fear. It will always bring life and peace.

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

To be spiritually minded is to be Word minded, to be focused on the Word of God. 

4.  Stand Up to Fear

fear is a bully Fear is a bully, and just like a bully on the playground- you must stand up to it. You can ignore a bully, try to be nice to a bully, or try to hide from a bully, but the bully doesn’t stop until you take a stand against it!

Do not try to ignore fear or hide from fear, it will only continue it’s torment until you decide you’ve had enough and are willing to face it. You must stand up to the spirit of fear.

The Greater One is living inside you. You have what it takes to stand up to the spirit of fear and see it flee.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

This is a promise from God. When you submit to God, and resist the devil, he will flee. To resist means to actively fight against. This does not mean to ignore the devil or pretend he’s not there. There is no passivity in this word. It means to take your stand against him.

Who will the devil flee from? YOU. You have been given the authority to tell the spirit of fear to leave. You have been given the name of Jesus, which every knee must bow to.

 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, Philippians 2:10

Grab hold of the authority Jesus has given you and declare “I refuse to fear! Spirit of fear- you leave my life right now in the name of Jesus!”. Take your stand like someone who has finally got the courage to stand up to the playground bully. The spirit of fear will back down when it has met someone with the name of Jesus.

Come to a place in your heart where you decide enough is enough. That you are tired of being bullied by the spirit of fear and you’re not going to take it anymore. When the spirit of fear hears that you now have a revelation of your authority over it, it will run scared.

5. Cast Down Imaginations and Thoughts

After you have taken your authority over fear, the old thought patterns that fear has trained you with will still be there. This is why renewing the mind is absolutely vital to living a transformed life. To see your life changed from fearful to courageous, you must renew your mind.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

The perfect will of God is for you to walk just like Jesus walked, completely free from the spirit of fear. In order to overcome the spirit of fear, you must begin casting down imaginations and thoughts that the spirit of fear brings to you.

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; 2 Corinthians 10:5

How do you cast down imaginations and take thoughts captive? You may all the sudden get a fearful image in your imagination of what “may happen”. You should immediately cast this imagination down by speaking out loud what the Bible says about the situation. This is how you use your spiritual sword and cast down the imagination.

Fearful thoughts should not be allowed to run rampant in your mind. Take them captive by casting it down and speaking out loud what the truth of the Word of God is. Begin to train your mind to think only on things that are true.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phillipians 4:8

At first, it will seem like you are constantly taking thoughts captive, but the more you do it, the more you can program your mind to think the right way. Eventually you will come to a place where the spirit of fear is a long, lost foe and you will have forever overcome it.

Bible Verses to Overcome the Spirit of Fear

Speak these out loud regularly to renew your mind and overcome the spirit of fear!

God has not given me a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

I will not fear, for God is with me. I will not be dismayed, for God is my God. He will help me, He will uphold me with His righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

The Lord my God is in my midst, He is mighty to save me; He rejoices over me with gladness; He quiets me with his love; He exults over me with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

God’s perfect love has driven out all fear. 1 John 4:18

I cast all of my cares upon the Lord, for He cares for me. 1 Peter 5:7

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, the unfailing love of God for me will not be shaken, nor will His covenant of peace be removed from me. Isaiah 54:10

I cast down every imagination and every thought that tries to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. I bring these thoughts into captivity and make them obedient to the Word of God. 2 Corinthians 10:5

I am in perfect peace because I keep my mind stayed on the Lord and I trust Him. Isaiah 36:3

I have great peace because I love the Word of the Lord; nothing can make me stumble. Psalm 119:165

God’s love is perfected in me; therefore I have no fear, because there is no fear in love. His perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:17-18

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3

The Lord is a shield around me, He is my glory and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy, I think on these things. Phillipians 4:8

The angels of the Lord are encamped around me, and they deliver me from all evil. They bear me up in their hands lest I dash my foot against a stone. Psalm 91:12



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