ep. 46 | Fear with Matt Lantz
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I brought back one of your all-time favorite guests, Matt Lantz! We talked about fear and what happens when our fear is misplaced. I talked about my own wrestle with fear of man and per usual, Matt blew my mind, like when he said,
“I’m reminded when I am afraid of something that I am not God. I don’t command anything. And I’m mortal. I can die, I can be hurt. I think God gave us the emotion of fear because he’s the only one worthy of it.”
Matt also shares how we can help one another out as friends by reminding one another of the only One who is worthy of our fear. We fear Him because He is good, He commands things, and that He is commanding things for our good, and that He can even do that at our request.
So you’ll know him a little better, Matt is a husband, father, and pastor who lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and three children. He’s a graduate of TCU and Dallas Theological Seminary and has been working in full-time ministry since 2000 preparing the way for the Lord Jesus in the lives of men and women. Matt was the founding director of a discipleship program called the Forge at Pine Cove where he spent 12 years helping young men and women learn their identity and steward it well. He has recently moved on from the Forge and is now serving as the Recruitment and Development Pastor and the Associate Pastor of the West Campus at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX.
For those who didn't catch your episode on the theology of identity, can you share who you are and what you do?
I recently saw an Instagram quote on a popular Christian feed that said, "Daughter, fear is a liar, -God". Is that true? It got 1,866 likes so it must be true, right?
Scripture talks a lot about fearing the Lord. The verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 1 that says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." And yet, there are also verses like the one in 1 Peter that says, "And you are her (Sarah's) children if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." Is there a distinction between different types of fear?
Is all fear bad? Can it be neutral? Good? Do you have a definition of fear?
What is the distinction between fearing man and fearing the Lord?
What are some examples of unhealthy fears? How can we get to the root of them?
What are some examples of healthy fears? What kind of fears should we maintain?
What would it look like to acknowledge our unhealthy fears and to walk forward in freedom while fearing the Lord?
How can we walk in the freedom of the Gospel, and yet work out our salvation with the kind of fear and trembling prescribed in Philippians 2:12?
How do we discern when the Holy Spirit is causing us to hesitate versus knowing when we are simply giving way to fear?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend to someone wanting to grow in this area?
What's one piece of advice you'd give 25-year-old Matt on his journey to glorify God?
What's something you're looking forward to on your journey right now?
"[Satan] will certainly use your fears to persuade you to mistrust God. Satan’s the liar, not fear."
"Fear means fear."
"Is fear bad? Fear isn’t a moral issue. I don’t think it’s really good or bad in that sense. However it can be misplaced. And when our fear is misplaced, that can create moral issues for us."
"Fear is an emotional response to circumstances that we cannot control and that we perceive will do us harm."
"That emotional response always sends us looking for a Savior, something that we believe is bigger or stronger or otherwise able to subdue or get rid of whatever it is that is causing us fear."
"The point in which the disciples were the most afraid is when the storm was calm. The disciples had a rational fear of death, except that Jesus is asleep in the same boat with them and he is the commander of the wind and the waves. When they realize that who they have in the boat with them is bigger and stronger and more powerful than the waves, they are afraid of him. Their fear was misplaced. It was in the wind and the waves and death. But when they stand in front of a God who controls all of those circumstances, their fear is no longer misplaced, it is reoriented back to its proper object."
"Fear isn’t bad, it’s just misplaced."
"God designed us to be fearful. We are creatures."
"I’m reminded when I’m afraid of something, that I am not God. I am mortal. I can die. God gave us the emotion of fear because he’s the only one worthy of it."
"When our fear is misplaced that can cause us to find salvation in things that don’t save."
"Who do you believe is the most powerful? Period."
"If you really believe that God is who he says he is, then you’ll believe what Psalm 118:6 says."
"My fear causes me to revere God and respect him, it also causes me to tremble before him because he can destroy me. The distinction is I am making a choice about who is worthy of my fear. I can give it to anyone or anything, but who I give it to is a statement about what I believe about who I give it to."
"God’s designed us to be fearful. The only time when our fears are unhealthy are when our fears are misplaced."
"When I’m afraid of something other than God and I’m turning to something other than God to get rid of that fear, then I’m saying something about the salvific power of that thing in my life."
"Show me your fears and I’ll show you your idols. But the flip of that is also true. Show me your fears and I’ll show you Jesus, the better Savior than whatever it is you’re trusting."
"Being afraid of ourselves is just another iteration of a misplaced fear, that will lead you to a misplaced faith ultimately."
"If you’re afraid of your own ability to make decisions or self-worth or anything, then you will start to look for things outside of you to save you… So you start to cling to little things that you wouldn’t think of as idols, but they are things that are momentary, knee jerk reactions to things that you turn to when you’re scared."
"God designed us to fear him. The fear of God is ultimately the beginning of that... We fear God because he is good and he is commanding things for our good."
"When we meet each other as both persons in need of the message of salvation, we understand each other’s fears. We don’t look down on each other. We can look at someone square in the eyes and say 'I’m afraid.'"
"We will misplace our fear. God will not condemn us for that, but he will be redirecting us from that."
"Where we place our fear is also what we believe is the most powerful thing that will save us from that fear."
"Since fear is an issue of belief not circumstance, then if I’m afraid of something that’s not God, then it’s more an issue of repentance. Repentance means a returning. Return your fear to its proper object rather than being afraid of something the Creator created."
"It’s forgetfulness that leads me to misplaced faith."
"Fear of God gives us freedom to live life the way he designed it to be lived."
"How do you cultivate of fear of the Lord? With others."
"When I confess to other people that I’m afraid of something, that’s when I’m reminded that my fear is out of place."
"Cultivating a fear of the Lord first starts with others and then requires us to remember."
"Practice a disciple of remembering who God is and what we believe about his power."
"In Mark 4, Jesus is retraining their fears. What an interesting contrast that Jesus is asleep and the disciples are awake. In those moments when circumstances rage… we question God’s goodness. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the roles are reversed. Jesus is awake and the disciples are asleep. And the text says that Jesus is ‘filled with great distress and fear.’ Jesus’ fear is rightly oriented to God."
"My fear belongs to one and to one only, just like my faith does."
"When you’re afraid of something that isn’t God, generally in those moments you don’t want to move forward."
"When I remember to orient my fear to God, I can make objective decisions."
Find a friend who will help you remember when you’re afraid (confess your fears to a friend and let them remind you to fear God)
Find a professional counselor
ADVICE FOR 25-YEAR-OLD MATT
If you’re going to work hard at something in your spiritual life, work hard at trusting God instead of controlling your circumstances.
CONNECT WITH MATT
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