Fear

September 20, 2012

 

Fear


Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Fear most often carries with it a negative connotation, something to be avoided and something we don’t want to have.  Let’s speak for a few minutes on the positive aspects of fear.
First, let’s define what fear is as used in the Word of God.  Certainly it can carry the meaning of terror, dread or to be made terrified, fearful and afraid.  It can also carry the meaning of standing in awe, to cause astonishment and awe or be held in awe.  It can mean to fear, reverence, honor and respect.  Fear can be one of those two edged swords that can be good and it can be bad.  Pain is often the same way.  We don’t like pain, but without it how would we know when we were injured or when something wasn’t right or that we need to pay attention to some aspect of our body?  Fear likewise is a natural sense that causes us to be cautious, to respect something or someone who could hurt us, it can even be there to help insure our survival because we fear what could kill or harm us.
All through God’s Word we are exhorted to fear God.  Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.”  Does God want us to be afraid of Him?  Through Christ we have grown to know God as the God of Love, as indeed He is.  1John 4:18 says, ” 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.” Now we say Lord, I don’t understand, first you say that we are to fear You and then You say there is no fear in love?   How can it be both?  “If fear is the beginning of wisdom, then perfect love is the fulfillment of it.”  We would agree that hope is not faith, but it stands in the place of faith until faith is brought into fulfillment.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. (Hebrews 11:1).”  We fear God why, because He is the awesome, all-powerful, omnipotent, omnipresent, creator God of all of Creation.  In the Old Testament, to look upon God was to die; to experience His presence was almost beyond human ability to abide in it.  Many of us have grown up with a watered down version of whom God really is and as such treat Him as almost common or matter of fact.  God should never be seen in this light.  We who are in Christ have an assurance in our hearts where we know God through the love of Christ, but I think we have become disconnected sometimes with true honor, reverence and respect which He is forever worthy of.  This is the fear of the Lord.  We know that in Christ, we are in God and while He still deals with us in loving discipline, we no longer dwell in the fear of judgement that those outside of God must deal with.  When we come into the love of God through Christ, we come into a place where there is no fear in the sense of terror or dread because we come to know Father as Abba (Romans 8:15) or Daddy God.  Still we honor Him in His awesome greatness and yet we experience the acceptance and love of a Father for His Children.  We are able to climb up on His lap, so to speak, in that place of prayer and worship and sense the caress of His wonderful presence and love.  There is no fear in that place of unselfish exchange of love and relationship.
Let’s take a moment to look at the negative side of fear.  Our life is a system of balances.  When something gets out of balance it gets out of the will of God for us.  Fear is such a thing.  There is a spirit of fear that satan uses to torment us, make us afraid and paralyze us from accomplishing God’s will and purpose for us.  2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  It doesn’t say that He hasn’t given us any fear.  It does say that He hasn’t given us a “spirit of fear”.  A spirit of fear is a demonic thing that is a phobia of something that robs you of your faith and confidence in God.  It exalts some terror, apprehension, or fear above our confidence, peace and security in Christ.  Against such a spirit God has given us love, power and a sound mind to stand in faith and confidence in the Word of God and His Life that is in us.  Does that mean nothing bad can happen to us or that we can’t die?  No, it simply means that when we really have our confidence that God is our all in all and nothing touches us outside His will and purpose, we have peace not fear.  We know, that according to Romans 8:28, “… that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”  When the disciples were rowing for their lives and crying out in the stormy sea for fear that they would perish, Jesus rebuked them because of the little faith.  The more the spirit of fear grips you and finds place in you, the more it will rob you of your faith and confidence in God.  This is the fear that God has given us the victory over through love, power and a sound mind.  Our faith overcomes our fears as we trust Him in the unknown, dreadful and uncharted places of our lives and life’s circumstances.  We have a hiding place in the abiding place of God.  He is a shelter from our storms; He is our deliverer and our salvation.   No matter what satan or life brings, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4).  Courage is a quality that rises up in the face of danger and denies fear its due.  Let us be God’s people of faith and courage that rise to every test in the fear of God, overcoming, “the spirit of fear.”

Blessings,
kent

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