Fear, the final frontier
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
There are many forms of fear that rule mankind because of the unknown. The fear of the unknown are in many instances the lie of the devil who plays with our minds. As a result, some fears even in our natural and spiritual lives can be totally unwarranted because one is ignorant of the truth. This is the worst kind of fear that torments a person. Spiritually speaking, one must realise that what is invisible and comes after death needs to be addressed by the recognition of the existence of God. He is greater than death. Only God can be greater than death and act as the giver of life. The question is; can He give life after death? How do we know this and what mechanisms are needed to activate this faith? We can be sure through faith and the knowledge of Jesus who is revealed to us by an act of God. This should be clear in our understanding because no one comes to the Father except He draws him. I am yet to see a person who draws themselves toward God who is invisible to us. When God does not draw us, we are left with a world that we can see. The problem with the world we can see is; it holds clear limitations which end with death. The common quote is; we can be sure of two things in life, taxes and death. We also know, no one takes anything with them from this life into the unknown. All this brings people into the bondage of fear. God gives us peace.
When God chooses to intervene in our lives, He always gives us choice. If we make the right choices, we can then progress in the understanding of the unknown with a sound mind. Understanding often follows choosing. Choosing is a principle and cannot be changed. For example; if we choose to believe God through Christ, we are blessed and have soundness of mind and power to conduct our daily lives without fear. 2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. In the instructions of Apostle Paul to young Timothy his disciple; his instructions were, not to fear because fear is not from God. Timothy had to choose. So, if fear is not from God what is from God? This too needs to be discovered. 1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. So, if we understand that God is love, fear is cast out of our minds and we can progress through this life as sound people in the midst of evil and the unknown of daily life and the after life. Yet, many fear what the unknown of a daily life can hold in this world. Many fear accidents, sicknesses, fear man, fear making decisions, fear going out of their homes; the list is endless. The anomaly that often happens in a Christian life is that, fear controls what is invested into us by the love of God. When love is controlled by fear, it can no longer be love. When love casts out fear, we can move on. To allow this to happen we simply accept God's word and wisdom for daily life in His Bible and by trusting Him no matter what happens. Easier said than done. That is why we need faith.
When God gives us choice to choose Him or hell it brings about a reverential fear which is the making of wisdom. From then on, one has to make their journey in the fear of the Lord rather than in the fear of the unknown. Now it is the fear of the known. There is no good reason in this world to adhere to any form of sanity unless one is fearful of a higher being. All good forces of angelic beings are considered equal to us and all evil forces of satan are below us in power. So, the only one to really fear is God. Why fear God? It is evident that He can cast our souls in hell. Mat_10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Having a healthy fear of the One who can cast our souls into hell motivates us to walk uprightly before Him. What other reason do we have? Punishment, suffering and torment await those who do not accept God and for those who live lives of sin after accepting God.
So, where is the love of God then? It is obscured by sin and death because of disobedience. Though love is a strongman over fear, it is not activated in one's life without living a conscientious life before God. In other words, we just cannot do what we want after we come to God. God continues to love us and not our sin but is waiting for us to turn from our wicked ways. What difference is the believer to the unbeliever when he sins? None whatsoever because both are sinners. Both can only be saved by grace through faith and repentance of sin. It is a conditional love though it is unconditional in accepting anyone who submits to the conditions of God. This may seem confusing but let me explain. None of us deserves to be saved from our sins. Yet, God out of His unconditional love saved us while we were sinners through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. After that, He stipulated conditions that required us to accept His love by faith. To do this, we had to repent of our sins. If we did not repent of our sins, we remained unsaved. If after we had been forgiven our sins we turn back to the world of sin then, we are sinners and unsaved. We do not remain sinners saved by grace. When one deliberately sins, they turn their back on God and so God has to hide from that sin. Though He loves us and is still reaching out to us so that we do not die as sinners, we have to repent and turn back to Him. However, this process of reconciliation cannot be used as a license to keep sinning or going in and out of sin. Heb_10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 1Co_10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.1Co_10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
The above verses are a stark reminder to us of the severity of God and His ways. Many people do not understand this and preach an easy gospel of love that has no conditions attached to it. Because of this, many live in sin through blindness that has come upon them and not by simply achieving miracles, signs and wonders through the power given to us by God. We are expected to reason between good and evil. It does not take a genius to work out that adultery is wrong. Nobody needs to be taught that because it is inbuilt in us to behave properly in society and before God. When we sin in this manner, we not only sin against one another and cause great grievous harm but we sin against God. Likewise, God sees deliberate sins as adultery. The more we sin, the more we harden our hearts. Heb_3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. God is not a respecter of persons. If He destroyed the Jews who sinned, He will do it to us who behave in the same manner. Don't mock God or you will be judged and do not preach a false gospel of "she'll be right mate". No, instead preach a gospel of love with faith and repentance. Do not give licences to people by twisting scriptures to suit your theology of grace. Speaking the truth in love is not a bad thing. It has the power to turn someone away from hell.
Godly fear is a blessing because it brings wisdom that is not available to us on earth. It covers both Godly wisdom to be employed by us against principalities and powers in heavenly places and wisdom to conduct our daily lives. This way, we do not have to submit to an evil world. God is continually extending His love to us so that we do not have to fear a natural life. The natural life holds for us death, sin, sickness, poverty, loss of all kinds and confusion of the mind. To rise above these beggarly elements, God has given us power, love and a sound mind with all His spiritual and natural blessings. So, God's words to us bring life both in the natural and spiritual. How does this work? We don't have to concern ourselves with that. We must only believe in His love and power toward us. This takes away all fear. Though the devil will try his best to concern you with daily life, we must never be anxious.
This takes faith to accept. Once we accept it, we have what we believe in which is manifested to us either by faith or by sight. Till we accept it by faith, we are people who reside in unbelief. What if the process takes longer than anticipated and even extends to periods of time beyond our capabilities to sustain? We still wait on God because we know He loves us and will not allow us to be destroyed. This is how we claim the promises of God; through faith and patience. I remember a lady who needed surgery and was out of her mind with fear about it. I discerned through the Holy Spirit that she was under the influence of a spirit fear. It seemed very unnatural for her to be afraid in this manner. So, I prayed for her and cast out a spirit of fear. Immediately, joy broke out and she became completely alright about going into hospital the next day for her surgery. Fear is an evil spirit that seeks to dominate our minds and confuse us to make decisions that are not rational. There are all kinds of fears that people go through and most of it has to do with unnatural fear. “What if” is a question often asked in fear? Caution is not fear. Fear is, an uncontrollable reaction to a situation in life or the unknown. There are people who cannot leave their homes because of an unnatural fear. Others fear catching a disease at the slightest sign of a cough or cold. Others live dark depressed lives because of fear. The list is endless.
On a spiritual basis, fear has to do with religion. The fear of making a mistake before God, or in doing something that God wants from us, like stepping out in faith. Timothy was a disciple of Apostle Paul who suffered from fear of man and was timid. Through this he had stemmed his destiny and faith. Paul had to come along and stir him up by the laying on of hands and imparting to him the spirit of power, love and sound mind. Many people have wrong ideas about God and His gifts and calling that prompts them to keep within the confines of their thinking. This is fear working to keep them from fulfilling their destiny. Fear also stems our spreading of the gospel. It threatens to steal, kill and destroy us. When threatened, Apostle Peter prayed for the Spirit of boldness to deactivate fear from himself and his co-workers. He was rewarded in his prayer with a thundering outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The same man who had betrayed Jesus out of the fear of man was empowered by God to become a very bold witness of Christ.
If there is an infusion we need today in the church, it is of the Spirit of boldness with clarity on the word. This will help us to step out into the call of God and not fear if we are going to be blessed, provided for or anything else. God is our strength and help in time of need. Let us overcome fear in the knowledge that God is in control of the Universe and knows what He is doing. He is love and will always be love. By knowing that we will cast out fear and be better equipped to serve Him and follow Him. Let us come to know God’s love because it is incomprehensible unless revealed. Assumption is the mother of all mistakes. Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Lots of love