As I look back on my life, there are many things I remember not doing that I wish I had taken a chance on. I remember being invited to go on a trip to Mexico with an evangelist. It was an opportunity I didn’t think I could afford at the time so I passed on it. As I look back now, I wish I would have had a little less fear of the trip and spending the money and had sacrificed a little to take that trip. There were other opportunities in my life to pursue something I had never tried before, but a fear of embarrassment or failure kept me from even feigning an attempt at them. Fear has kept me from many things I wish I had done. So when we look at fear, is it a hindrance to our lives and spiritual walk? Yes.
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that “you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear…” Fear is a slave master that keeps us from giving our lives fully to God. In that passage Paul talks about suffering for Christ and the control of the sin nature. None of us want to suffer. That fear of suffering plus the comfort of sin that we have known so long keeps us from following God. Fear is a potent weapon in Satan’s arsenal. We “fear what man can do unto us” (Psalm 118:6) and we act as those “ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16).