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Does God speak through fear?  What is Fear and how Do We Deal With Fear? 

Renette Vermeulen

 

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Fear can shoot through every fiber of our souls and bodies to control every thought and action. Fear wants to make us its lifelong slave. Fear is multilayered darkness and mostly based on silly myths, misconceptions, lies, and deception. Fear can rob us of our minds, lives, loved ones, and of God. Fear is faith in reverse. Fear directly opposes Love and Truth - God Jesus Himself Is Love and Truth. Wars are fought on fear-propaganda. Threats to our lives and well-being can make us live and react in irrational paranoia. Fear can get so out of control that those with anxiety disorders frequently worry overwhelmingly about everything in life, which can trigger smothering panic attacks and fear psychosis. Fear disorders can damage logic thoughts so badly that people can lose contact with reality and become tormented by frightening hallucinations, imagined dangers, fear of God-created animals and birds such as monkeys and owls that are totally innocent and very beneficial to the environment;  things that do not actually exist and have logic explanations - not to mention fear of the blood-conquered, demonic world, (Col. 2:9-15.)

However, the truth about fear brings this misery into Godly perspective. Jesus Himself, The Truth of God’s Word or His “Love,” is the only real Cure for, and Control of irrational fear.  On the opposite end of the scale is natural fear, which is merely instinct that manifests as an emotion.  This has been an integral part of all life on earth since creation because it is vital to personal and corporate survival in humans, animals, and all other living things. For instance, if we do not fear or have the mental capacity to discern the danger of fire, we would burn ourselves to a crisp because we do not fear the fire. But we do not have to go berserk every time we see a fire because we know we can avoid it and control it.

So, if God did not create us with the emotion of fear, it could not operate in a protective way in our lives, and very few of us would survive even daily dangers.  No one and nothing can stay alive without the emotion of natural fear. Fear is, therefore, not the problem; what we do with the emotion of fear is the problem.

Therefore, the raw instinct of fear itself is not self-induced, while respect, which pivots on ‘rational, controlled fear,’ is a decision. Of course, ‘respect’ can also mean ‘adoration or reverence as in fearing a tyrant,’ but in the context of ‘controlled’ fear, ‘respect’ means to ‘show consideration for, to regard, or to recognize’ someone or something dangerous.  E.g., “Know Fear” is an important motto among skydivers.  This must not be misinterpreted as “No Fear.”  Skydiving is a fear-based ‘sport.’  To ‘know fear’ in this scenario is not merely to face the ‘thrill’ of self-induced fear.  It is realizing that, if they do not ‘know’ or ‘respect’ the dangers of their ‘sport;’ if they do not control their natural fear to stay calm under all circumstances; if they attempt just one jump from the flying aeroplane without being well-rehearsed, prepared, and taking every possible precaution, it would probably be their last jump.  So, to ‘know [or respect rational] fear’ in skydiving actually keeps them alive — except for the incredible grace of God over them, of course! 

 

This is also true for the believer in Christ, although our lives in Jesus has no bearing on things like “tempting God” as in skydiving, (Mt. 4:6-7!)  In this regard, to ‘know fear’ is to obey the Biblical Truth and inward Voice of the Holy Spirit when He calls us to repent from sin, etcetera.  Although there is complete forgiveness from sin if we sincerely confess it and repent from it by God’s grace, we must not “tempt” God and think we will be saved “in” sin — or while wilfully carrying on in sin.  We must respect God and His Word, obey Him, and fear His judgments, (1 Jn. 1:8-10; Jn. 16:8-11.)   

¨ Proverbs 9:10 KJV teaches, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  We can conclude that without “the fear of the Lord,” we cannot have a grain of wisdom to respectfully revere Him as God.  As a result, we will remain without the knowledge that the Creator God Is Almighty, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.  If we do not fear Jesus or reverently respect Him, we cannot understand Him, His Word, or His Ways. What’s more, we will not have faith in His almighty abilities as described in the Truth of His Word to overcome all exaggerated and satanic induced fear. 

¨ It is a fact that Satan and his demons will try to control us with irrational and logic fear — even unfounded fear of God.  While there are some unscriptural ‘ministers’ who supposedly ‘cast out the demons of fear’ from believers, they can never succeed, because the True Word of Jesus states in 1 John 4:17-18, “Love, [which is ‘agape’ or revert obedience to God,] has been perfected among [true believers] in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment, [because our sins were forgiven and done away with by the full atonement of Jesus in our place, (Eph. 1:7; 12-14; Isaiah 53:3-5.)]   There is no fear in love; but perfect love [or fully surrendering to Jesus Christ, Colossians 2:9-10,] casts out all irrational] fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  In other words, those who are controlled by fear must simply wholly surrender themselves to Jesus, Who Is Love. 

However, we do not have to psychotically fear the Lord Jesus Christ if we are under His full atonement in our place, (Jn. 3:16; 1:12-14.)  We do not have to tremble in fear of being annihilated by His Holy Presence like in the Old Testament when only the high priest could once a year, enter the “holy of holies” of the physical old temple.  Yet, we must reverently fear or greatly respect Him because true believers will always live in His holy presence by His grace.  As we are the utterly dependent, spiritually born again children of our Most High God, Jesus promised, “Do not fear; I have overcome the world,” (Jn. 16:22.)  Worries or fears are a ‘normal’ part of life, but ‘Jesus, the Great ‘I Am’ [“I Am the Good Shepherd, I Am the Way, I Am the Truth, and I Am the Life…”] is in control of our destiny in this world and no one else. As the Man Jesus said to Pontius Pilate when he tried to scare Him with his political power, “You could have no power over Me at all, unless it is allowed you from above…” (Jn. 19:11.) 


So, in the
context of persecution and in daily worries, Jesus commanded, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell… Do not worry [or fear] about what you shall eat, drink, and wear… for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things...” (Mt. 24-31; 6:30-34.) 

¨ Still, we remain human and fear is a ‘natural’ reaction to what we know, see, and experience. It is on this natural level where the devil abuses our emotions and human needs to twist God’s will for the situation, as he tried to do with Jesus in the wilderness, (Matthew chapter 4.) This is why pure emotion cannot lead us in the will of God. Although emotion is not excluded from either our natural or our spiritual lives in Christ, the devil always tries to isolate emotion such as fear from the truth of God’s will for the situation. Scriptural obedience, which never nullifies our “sober minds;” working in the leading and provision of the Holy Spirit, is all that can lead us safely in the will of God. 

God Jesus warned us about the danger of fear in 1 Peter 5:8, commanding, “Be sober and vigilant, [use your brains and be on your guard,] for your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, [he can only roar like a lion to make us shake in our shoes, because Jesus completely conquered him at the cross,] seeking whom he can devour, [because fear has the power to paralyze and immobilize prey, which make them an easy target for any predator,]” (Col. 2:8-15.) 

However, Jesus came  to “destroy the works of the evil one,” and that is exactly what He did on the cross, (1 Jn. 3:8.) He called us “out of darkness into His marvelous [spiritual Kingdom] of light,” to place us on a higher level than the natural level of our emotions, (Rev. 12:11.) But, if we do not fear God on His higher level, we will fear evil on this lower level. Different people deal differently with fear, but here on earth, fear will always remain real. If we do not “overcome” fear in Christ we may not all become psychotic, but we will live irrational, pitiful lives under control of the evil one. 

 

However, fearless, lawless Christians have made the Most High Creator God their “Big Daddy” who supposedly loves them with human affections and literally ‘dance’ when they turn their affections to Him.  They allegedly also “sit on his lap” while joking and laughing with Him, (Mt. 7:21-24.) But the entire Bible tells us that we must fall in reverent fear on our faces before His throne to adore and worship Him in utmost respect. Such holy fear or complete submission to our Almighty Father God is the “beginning of wisdom.” If we lack this reverent fear of and respect for God, we lack the most vital component of our understanding of, and our relationship with Him. So, through a lack of fear believers wilfully disobey His Word, erect their own dogmas, and rebelliously do their own will, (Mt. 7:21-24.)  Hence, it is safe to say that all false doctrine and other sin stem from the fact that humans have lost “their [holy, reverent] fear of the Lord.”

As said, [demonic induced] fear is faith in reverse. God commanded at least 365 times in the Bible, (once for every day of the year, someone noted,) “Do not fear, for I Am with you.  [I will heal you, supply your needs, protect you, deliver you, defend you, guide you, save you, comfort you…]”

¨ Still, someone asked the interesting question, “Is it possible that God speaks through fear?  That might be – because if we are lost or in disobedience to God, fear of the Almighty God has the power to turn us to repentance if we so choose, (Jude 1:23.) This refers to reverent, Godly fear – as our Holy Heavenly Father does not desire that “anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Pt. 3:9.)

How do we practically “overcome” fear?

1. Know the wiles of your enemy. Although God can use fear to turn us to repentance, when believers do not really know what they are anxious about, it is more likely the voice of the devil, who will always try to move us outside the will of God.  While those who did not really surrender themselves to Jesus will be plagued by fear, (1 John 4:18,) the devil usually succeeds by attacking us with anxiety, doubt, and confusion.  God ‘speaks’ specifically and clearly – not as a surprise through a third party like a ‘prophet,’ but in our innermost being, thoughts, (mostly as “knowledge” about what is true and right;) through the Word, our dreams and visions, and through circumstances.  God will only use people to ‘confirm’ what He has already revealed to us personally, not to bring sudden, new ‘revelation’ to us.

2. The more we “renew our minds” or thoughts prayerfully through contextual, Scriptural knowledge, the better we will understand God, and the less the devil will be able to attack us through thoughts and emotions of anxiety, doubt, and confusion, (Rom. 12:1-3.)

3. When fear strikes or when in doubt about anything, we may ask our Father in heaven to reveal the truth about ourselves and the situation, (Jer. 33:3.) It is our personal responsibility to test the fear against the truth of Scripture and ask God to confirm His will for the situation, (1 Ths. 5:21-22; 1 Jn. 4:1-4.)

4. Isa. 32:17 declares, “The work of righteousness [or when we are in the will of God, it] will produce [inner] peace. And the effect of righteousness is quietness and assurance.” While ‘peace’ about a situation must also be tested so we cannot be deceived, we can move forward in God’s true peace while under fire because we “live by faith and not by sight.”

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