Power to Overcome Fear
Adam was afraid and hid himself. Why was he afraid? Why Indeed, are we often fearful?
Adam was afraid because he was a bad boy. He ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus disobeying God, and he knew that the penalty for disobeying God was death. Therefore, Adam had a good reason to be afraid, so he hid in the bushes; he hid so God, he hoped, would not find him. So, Adam knew by Gods command that he did something mortally wrong, and he feared for his life.
There are several kinds of fear or phobias, and I have done articles and sermons on this topic because these phobias prevent people from living fulfilling lives, because they are afraid to do this and afraid to that. If they do what they are afraid of, their terror oppresses them during the whole time. It has nothing to do with common sense or reality or anything else; they are just afraid.
Why are people afraid of heights, of close places, or bugs? People are just afraid; you name it. Just about everything in the world has named phobia, and usually the name of the phobia is a Greek term to make it even more interesting and more difficult to understand. So, people are afraid up and down left and right. We are reminded of the saying that some people have: a coward dies a thousand deaths the brave man dies just once.
Sometimes people in the armed services whose jobs are so dangerous are afraid. However, they overcome their fear and do what they are afraid of, and as they do what they are afraid of, the emotional fear seems to go away. That same emotional fear interferes with what phobic people want to do; some people become frightened in a daunting situation and find it difficult to think clearly. Others can only work well and think clearly in quiet situations.
There is a good baseball analogy. Some ballplayers can hit when the game is not on the line; where there is no tension. When everything is easy, then they can relax, produce and get on base; you need people like that. Others, on the other hand, need tension. When they have other people, say on base, they can hit best because the game is on the line. They get excited and concentrate on the game in tight situations, become really alert and alive and their senses seem to work beyond normal.
The same is true in life as well; some people work well when things are going smoothly. Other people work well when they have to and cannot be bothered until that point.
In a similar way, the emotionally fearful people are afraid for no actual reason, normally, just frightened, when, as it were, the game is not crucial. When the situation is tight, their fear overwhelms them and they become almost paralyzed. Others become afraid in real danger but react with increased alertness and skill as if danger and fear rouse them to action. Then you have people who are afraid when there is real danger who cannot handle the situation become paralyzed or hysterical because of their fears.
The Source of Fear
The Bible, of course, has something to say about fear. So, Adam was afraid and hid himself.
Proverbs 10:24 says, What the wicked
Adam became wicked by disobeying God. The definition of wicked or sin is disobeying God, disobeying His Word; and words as we know have meaning. For example, a drill sergeant will command the troops to do something and they will act on it. Forward march! They all step forward and march in unison as a man. His words have authority; his words have power. Sometimes, if people just say the word triskaidekaphobia, they get afraid because words can do that to a person. Words can also inspire as well. Words have power in the emotional sense and in many other senses, too that power affects us. The Words of God constitute the greatest power.
His power, of course, goes beyond informational, inspirational, and effectuation. Let there be light could be the most powerful words ever spoken. The breath, the ruach, indeed, the force behind articulation of words, created, additionally, the ether between the waters above and below, and the rest of creation; He also named, spoke, using the ruach as well, much of His Creation.
What the Wicked Fears
What the wicked fears. (Prov. 10:24) Remember, Adam was afraid, because he became wicked by his disobedience to God. As Paul says, all have sinned and come short of the law. Therefore, everyone should be afraid, as everyone is wicked. Or, are they?
What the wicked fears will come upon him. (Prov., 10:24) Adam was afraid that God would find and kill them because he knew the penalty for disobedience is death. However, God did not kill them right away. On the other hand, Adam died in one sense that his relationship with God was dead. While he was still a living (breathing) human being, his life was less than before and less than the manner of life God had in mind for him. In other words, he was spiritually dead.
So, the fears of the wicked will come upon them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted (Prove 10:24). A good example was that of the pre-Passover woes. God caused the gods of Egypt to attack the Egyptians. The Nile, which the Egyptians worshipped, turned red and putrid. The scarab god, or the insects in general, were used by God to ravage them. Even their beloved sky god turned against them and spewed out damaging rain and hail. Each of these gods, as it were, turned on the Egyptians and punished them because they were wicked.
God punishes countries in a similar way when the people become wicked. When Sodom and Gomorrah only had a few people who were righteous, God brought them, Lot and his family, out of the evil cities before He destroyed them by fire and brimstone. God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. In this case, God got them out of the country to protect them. In other cases, God will refrain from such destruction when a large number of righteous are present, their righteousness protects, as it were, the wicked, but eventually nonetheless, their fears will overcome them.
However, when the USA became very bad in the 20s, God used a great drought and let economic venality that resulted in a deep de-pression overwhelm, but not destroy, the people. Furthermore, God allowed great armies to attack the country and bring it into war. People, in those days, realized these events were the result of their laxity in obedience to God, and for two or three decades, the people repented, and God gave them reprieve. However, the normal tendency of humans to move toward moral depravity began to affect the country. We must note that natural disasters might be Gods intervention in the lives of the straying nations as it He has in the past. Sometimes, however, He delays His discipline in hopes people will repent, not because He is allowing people to do wrong unilaterally.
There is a real cause-and-effect relationship: the wicked fears-effect will come upon him and the righteous desires-effect obtain their wishes.
The New Testament presents an entirely different picture. When we were in the seminary in our guidance classes, we learned about what people are afraid of. The professor asked what can happen in the situation to make you afraid: you may break something, you may get embarrassed, you may get a broken bone or a cut or something untoward may happen. What is the worst-case scenario? It may cause death. The ultimate fear is fear of death, not of Friday the Thirteenth. With peoples ultimate fear of death is why Halloween was such a fearful day for people years ago, not like today when people only dress in costumes and go to parties. Halloween preyed upon those fears related to death, such as deadly demons that scare people with those things that have the appearance of death, even violent death.
However, Paul says:
2Tim. 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
What happened on that Pentecost, these many years ago, was God poured out his Spirit on all flesh, and only a few people took advan-tage of that.
To the few that take advantage of this gift, God gives them power to perform spiritual acts. God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and discipline. Therefore, the Spirit that we received in the inner person is a spirit of power and love. On the other hand, the flesh is antagonistic to the Spirit. It is a kind of Jekyll and Hyde syndrome: good versus evil or the Spirit versus the flesh.
Our flesh, that Hyde person, does not want the Spirit of power and love and discipline, because it loses its power and has to be subservi-ent to Gods power, and the flesh cannot and will not do that. It is always a tough fight and always contentious. However, God has not given us a spirit of timidity, and we have to believe that. Gods words should help us believe we have His power within because Gods words have power.
When we tune into the God frequency with which we connected to God and when we turn to the God Channel with which we connect to God, we can receive His Broadcast, that is, understand the True Message in His Word. Other people can read His Word, which just does not revealed His True Meaning to them because they refuse to tune to His Channel, which transmits His Spiritual message to the Spirit, the power at work within. The Words are there, but somehow the mind of the flesh reinterprets the True Meaning into something the world and flesh understand and people force what the Bible says into their preconditioned notions, learned from what Satan has taught over the millennia.
The flesh does not have the power because it does not have the ruach, the Holy Spirit, which empowers Gods words with their tremendous force. God used the power to command the universe into existence and to create light. Power! Jesus commanded the wind to calm down and ordered the lame to get up and walk. Power!
The ruach combined with Gods words is awesome power, which comes from its core or the heart: ahab, love and chesed, lovingkindness. We must understand that the power, which comes from love, needs discipline because we cannot use the power without it. For example, we cannot fly the airplane without discipline, drive the car without discipline or play the piano without discipline. We cannot do anything without discipline, training, and education. A tiny few can train themselves, but most need to be taught and coached. The Holy Spirit changes the nature of human existence. Furthermore, how a person gets the Spirit is also a fundamental part of the power at work within.
No Fear in Love
John 4:18 says, There is no fear
Well, that is all we are looking for: no fear, no fear at all. People do not have to be afraid of Friday the 13th, of heights, close spaces. We do not have to be afraid if there is, yes love. There is no fear in love.
Love is outgoing; fear is fleshy, which is selfish. If you have godly love, you would not be afraid to do things a normal human being would never consider doing. Jesus had that kind of love. He was not afraid to help all who came to him, and more. He was not afraid, even of death. However, he did not want to go through the suffering and death God put before him and wanted it to be taken away. Yet, his love for God (and mankind) was so powerful that doing His will was more important than suffering and death. His love was a powerful love that had enabled him to do things that no normal loveless person could do, because God filled him with His love, which he joyfully received and used completely. There was not a tiny corner in him that did not imbue and radiate love.
Love is that power base for all good things. There is no fear in love because love goes out. Love is imitating God, for He is love. He showed his love from the very beginning by the very nature of the creation. God created a world built on Love because He created a world like Himself; He had to because He could not create anything different from His character. As an aside, people could pervert His Word by evil and deception, but when the time is right, people will choose love.
God created light, which has a double meaning. Light allows us to see and enjoy the beauty of the creation. Light also means enlightenment; His Word and world open our eyes to His Love and our possibility of using the power of love within. He created a world for us. He did not just give us food for nourishment. He gave us tasty food that we would enjoy as well.
He gave us many other things, beyond what we need. He did not give us a bland world of black and white. He gave us an eye that can see colors and enjoy the colors. He gave us an ear that can hear words, the sounds of nature, and music. The human ear can especially hear His Word and be impressed and inspired by His Word. His love knows no bounds.
He does not give us one grapefruit on the tree but possibly more than one person could eat. This is a small example of His boundless love. You see the fields of wheat or corn growing in great abundance. The Earth can support as much food as mankind could ever need. Why this does not happen is another story.
There is no fear in love, but that is only part of what we need to know. Then the verse goes on to say, but perfect love casts out fear. Indeed, that is what we have to aim for: mature (a better translation than perfect in the Greek) love, which is not only unselfish but also more concerned with others and what is good for them than for the self. Let God worry about taking care of us; we need to worry about showing loving care of others.
The mature and perfect love casts out fear. Now, remember what it is that causes fear: disobedience leading to the ultimate punishment, death. The obvious example comes from the criminal justice system, which in certain jurisdictions, decrees that a premeditated murderer deserves the ultimate penalty, death.
Most people obey the law out of fear of punishment, but a few need more help. They must get a time out, pay a fine or receive incarceration to get them to fear punishment. Therefore, it is a good thing to obey the law to avoid punishment. As an aside, some people will never obey the law regardless of any attempts to encourage them: these are the incorrigibles, the psychopaths.
However, it is a better thing to obey the Law out of love: This is the love of God that we keep His Commandments... We can behave because we fear punishment, but, again it is better to do it for the kingdom of God, and for eternal life.
Death Penalty Rescinded
We need not worry about the death penalty because of the power of love within.
Paul says, in 2 Cor. 4: If we are beside ourselves it is for God. If we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ
Now remember, that love is not something that we are born with naturally, we have to be taught love because the body of flesh is selfish and wants to do what it wants to do. It is hungry and wants food; it is wet and wants dry clothes; it is dirty and wants a clean body. While, there is nothing wrong with that, the baby and toddler have to be taught to be selfless.
However, Godly love is even more than selflessness; it is more powerful and more encompassing. It would take volumes, the whole Bi-ble, in fact, to explain Godly love. The Bible is Gods book of love and His love, described within its pages, is poured out all flesh. Those people who respond in a special way to His love will receive the power of love within.
2Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
While we know this, do we appreciate it completely? Remember that the ultimate fear is the fear of the death penalty. Paul says, One died for all. Again, one died for all. If Jesus died for us, we need not ever fear death. We know that he took our sins on his person and bore our death penalty as well.
He alone could bear our sins in our stead, indeed, die for them be-cause he could; he was a sinless person and sins though were some-thing he hated, detested, and hideously defiled and filthy to him, he still took them on his person. Yet, he died for all, even the ones who detested him.
Christs death means that we do not have to die for our sins. We do not have to be afraid that we are going to have to die for our sins, because Jesus died for us if we repent and receive baptism, which washes our sins away in the water. Even more so, we know that in baptism we are buried, because we died, as they buried the dead Jesus. How many really believe and understand that powerful act of love and our response to Gods love.
If Jesus loved us so much that he took our sins and died for us, not for himself because he had no sins to die for, what else will he not do for us. Therefore, we never have to worry about or fear anything. We have to keep that fact in the forefront of our minds.
One who fears is not perfected in love, but we do not have to be afraid because Gods love has been poured into our hearts and Jesus died for us. Remember the next clause that says, Therefore, all have died. Since we have already died, we cannot die again. The body may die and we may appear to die, but who we are, body or not, cannot die. We will sleep until Jesus returns to resurrect us to eternal life with a new spiritual body. We are free from the fear of death, which has enslaved us all our lives, because, to reiterate, Jesus died for us. Remember, we were buried in the water, just as Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights.
Jesus died for us; therefore, we all died, were buried and resurrected. The only thing left to happen is that we are going to get a new body after this body runs its course and stops working for what will appear to us a short moment. In the next moment, we will have a new body. The knowledge of God and Jesus love takes away our fear, gets us through each day and gives us hope. Gods love and all He has done for us, and Jesus love and all he has done for us caused the Spirit of living waters to be poured out on us and motivates, no indeed impels, us to live a life of Godly love.
Praise God in our Saviors name.