by Lynford Heron
The Centurion Press -
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2002

What is fear?

Fear is an uneasiness of the mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger.

Consider these two key words in the definition of fear - Mind & Thought. Fear has everything to do with the mind, our thought pattern and belief system - primarily our belief system.  If we believe in the promises of the Lord, we will have no reason to fear.  Therefore, we will look at those promises as this study unfolds.  However, consider this question, "Who is our example? Jesus, right!! The bible admonishes us to, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”  Phil 2:5.

Jesus expressed feelings of compassion, sorrow and anger, but there are no accounts of him expressing feelings of fear. Some may ask WHY? Well, Jesus suppressed self and operated though the Father. Everything that he did, he accomplished via his Father. He did not try to stand in his own strength because his Father already gave him the assurance that he will be with him every step of the way, making bridges over troubled waters and leading him through the valley of the shadows of death. He had an experiential knowledge of the protective care of his Father, so He knew that come what may His Father will take care.

Consider Crocodile Dundee. In the movie, a man attacked him with a knife. His lady friend screamed out for fear but he was at peace. Why? Well, let’s look at what happened. His lady friend said, “He got a knife.” And Mr. Dundee's response was, “that’s not a knife, this is a knife.” After which he pulled out his knife that looked like a machete and the attacker ran off.  Mr. Dundee was not afraid because he had a bigger knife. Dear reader, reason within yourself.  Is there a problem or situation that is bigger than God? The scripture says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil 4:13  - "with God all things are possible." Matt 19:26 - It is not us, it is God.  God is able friends.  Peter started sinking because he was focusing on the wind and the waves. If he had kept his eyes upon Jesus, fear would not have entered into his heart. That’s the problem. We are trying to stand. We are trying to fight our own battles. Then the bitter reality awakens our consciousness in accepting the fact that the present situation is more than we can handle. Fear kicks in, because when we plug-in personal effort into the equation of victory and do the math, the answer equals defeat. Immediately, we are overcome by fear, because we are not in control.  Then the fear of death, the fear of bodily injury overshadows us.  Our admonition dear reader is, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov.3:6.

Therefore, we exhibit the emotion of fear like Peter when we are trying to stand in our own strength.  The Bible says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear." 2 Tim. 1:7
Fear is not of God.  However, some insist that fear is a normal everyday emotion of life, and this teaching of devils has gotten to the point where it is theorized and categorized.

Are there types of fear?
Healthy Fear
Unhealthy Fear

Healthy Fear
Some theologians justify the exhibition of fear by categorizing the emotion. The best analogy used to add credence to their claims is the developmental stages of a child. They advocate instilling a healthy sense of fear in the minds of our children, in order to protect them from hurting themselves. What does that mean? It means, teaching our children to fear playing with matches, knives or feeling the emotion of fear that "should" accompany crossing the road. Consider what was said, they advocate teaching our kids the emotion of fear, or in other words to associate danger with fear.  Dear reader, consider this question, "is there another way to accomplish the same objective without instilling fear in the hearts of our children?"  Read on and the Bible will explain God's way.

Unhealthy Fear
Unhealthy fear is considered a phobia. This is when an individual starts to entertain irrational thoughts that magnify the anticipation of danger beyond reality or a thought pattern of imagining danger.  For example, Tom is afraid of the dark, or Sally will not leave her home and venture outside because she is afraid of the evils that lurks behind the protective confines of her walls.  The solution from many theologians, is to manage fear after it's adoption.  The adoption is endorsed, because it is seen as a protective mechanism within the human emotion.  An individual that does not have a healthy sense of fear will only cause harm to him or herself. Therefore, fear is considered necessary, and if controlled we will live, safe, healthy lives.  Phobia's, on the other hand, are uncontrolled fears.  This is what some theologians profess.  But God has another plan. Friends, fear, whether "healthy" or "unhealthy" are rooted in unbelief.  Neither is good.  The Bible say, "we should not fear!!!"  Luke 12:32.

Friends, fear is a spiritual problem. Fear is not of God. We should never associate the emotion of fear with the children of God, whether healthy or unhealthy. Rather than teaching our kids to fear, we should educate them about potential danger. Fear does not protect, as some would want us to believe, it destroys. Luke 21:26 says, “Men's hearts failing them for fear.” In other words, people are falling dead because of the emotion of fear.  And why is that? Matthew 22:29 says, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God" Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Our business is not to teach our children fear, but to educate them about the dangers that are around. Do not tell them to fear, rather, explain to them the danger of playing with matches and so on. An informed individual will make intelligent decisions. Therefore, our kids will not keep away from the kitchen knife out of fear, but it is because they understand the bitter consequence of playing with it.

When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness by saying, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down,” He responded by saying, “It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Did He respond that way because he had a healthy fear for his life or was it because he was knowledgeable on the written Word of God? It is because he knew the word of God from a child and remembered that the word says, ”Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God.” Therefore, deciding not to jump off a bridge does not stem out of fear for my life, but it is because I know not to tempt the Lord.  And it would be suicide to endanger the climax of my existence with hell fire.

Why is it important not to fear?
Fear should never characterize or be found in any who claims Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Why? Because Christ is doing it. He promised in Duet 31:6 that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We should not fear, because God is with us.

As we study the Bible we will realize that a negative connotation is attached to the word fear. Luke 21:26 say, “Men’s heart are failing for fear.” The Lord admonishes us sixty three times from the New and Old Testament to fear not.

Fear is unbelief. Fear is rooted in self. The devil wants to keep us wrapped up in self by repeating this quote in our ears, “Fear is a normal part of everyday life.” Many people have bought into this line completely. It has been woven into the fabric of their minds. On the contrary, fear is a prison that has enslaved this world for too long. It is high time for every man and woman, boy and girl, rich or poor, short or tall to take an uncompromising stand against this teaching of devils. We should seek to emancipate this generation from mental slavery through the true teaching of God's word. Fear and Christ cannot co-exist in the heart of a person who professes to be a Christian. Fear is sin. It is disbelief in God's word.  Romans 14:23 says, "For whatsoever is not of faith is sin."  Doubting the protective care of God is not of faith.  The Word of God admonishes us in Romans 1:17 saying, "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith"  We do not believe in the power and providence of God so fear is the result. Consider the promises God made:
Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Isn't that beautiful.  If we live by that promise we would have no reason to fear.
Matt 1:23
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  God is with us friends, then why should we fear?
Luke 12:32
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

"Let not the truth be depreciated before your minds, because those who profess it do not live consistent lives." (Mind, Character & Personality) We have gotten so accustomed and conditioned to this theory and the practice of exhibiting fear that this article might seem ludicrous to some.  However, truth is not established on the norm, or what we do, but upon the infallible word of God.

Many physical and emotional problems as well are rooted in fear. Ulcers, headaches, sleeplessness, fatigue or loss of appetite are common symptoms of fear. A panic attack is a sudden surge of fear that is often accompanied by a pounding heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweaty palms and other unpleasant physical symptoms. Fear has a negative affect on every aspect of our lives. (CBN)

Fear is sin.  When God returns, He is coming to destroy sin. He is not coming to destroy man.  Matt 25:41 says, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”  He is coming to give Satan and his angels their just reward.  We will share in their fate if sin/fear is found in us.  Do we understand how serious this topic is?  Fear, friends, is not of God.

The second coming of Jesus Christ is used by many ministers to instill fear in the hearts of believers.  Often times a tyrannical image of God is portrayed.  Jesus did all those wonderful things, but God destroys.  This misconception about the person of God has gotten to the point where reports are given that, many children are saying they are afraid of God.  God is going to punish us, is their cry.  Why?  Because of false teachings.  Some see God through the eyes of their parents, making God equal to their parents where love and justice is concerned.  No, not so friends.  God is not like us.  Isaiah 55:6 says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  A distorted picture is painted when we try to liken the character of God to humanity.  However, the Bible makes it clear that God is love.  If we serve him out of fear, we will never qualify for heaven, for we can only be made perfect through love.  1 John 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.”  Click on Gospel for an in depth study on the love of God.

How do we remedy feelings of fear?
Matt 22:29
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”   When we are oblivious of the promises in God's words and when we do not know God intimately, then we will have every reason to fear. Studying His words and entering into an intimate relationship with Him is the remedy for fear.  Complete love for God casts our fear.
1 John 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.” God did not give us a spirit of fear.  It is a heart condition.  To know and love him is to trust his protective care.
2 Tim 1:7
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”   So where did it come from? It is of the devil. From a child he plants those seeds of fear through parents, guardians and friends who have been deceived in believing it is a natural emotion of life.

Consider the story of David and Goliath:
David had an encounter with a bear and by operating through God he was able to slew the bear. David realized that God is true to His word. That experience established precedence and added credence to the word of God for David. Consequently, when he had to face the lion he stood in the assurance that no weapon formed against him will prosper. Furthermore, when he had to wrestle with Goliath, he could say in confidence, “this day the Lord will deliver you into mine hand.” Goliath was twice the size of David.  He was a killing machine.  David, had no experience in the art of war and Goliath had wealth of experience.  Then, why David made such a bold statement?  Because the battle is the Lord's friends.  David was standing in the strength of the almighty God.  He knew that the creature cannot contend with the creator.  David operated through the father.  He did not exhibit the emotion of fear because he had a experiential knowledge of the protective care and power of God.  What David did was not a simple thing.  To stand before an experience giant who killed for a living seems ludicrous.  If David was standing in self he would have fled for fear.  But because he has a God that is bigger than every situation he could face Goliath in confidence.  He had no confidence in self, for the flesh will always fail us.  We too can stand in the same strength.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.

Study Topics

  Gospel Music
  Identity Crisis

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