If fear is directly tied to sin, is it possible for us to not be fearful?
The Bible is filled with fear. From Genesis to Revelation, God has spoken to His people about fear – both directly and through His prophets. Fear is integral to the nature of man. So what hope do we have then to live without fear?
There are two verses that come to mind when I think about fear fighting:
2 Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
These verses tell me a couple of things:
· We were not created with a spirit of fear
· Perfect love casts out fear
Before sin existed, the only type of fear on earth was the kind that involved reverence to God. Fearfulness is the handiwork of Satan. Our Heavenly Father gave us power, love and a sound mind to combat our fears.
Think about it: when you feel afraid you also feel powerless, right? But in cases where you are strong, it’s because you are confident that you can defeat or overcome whatever obstacles lie in your way. In these situations, fear does not exist or if it does, it is used to your advantage.
Love is another great deflector of fear. Have you ever noticed how brave and fearless you get when something or someone you love are being challenged? Your love and the desire to save your loved ones causes your inner heroine to rise up, ready to do battle.
I once had a manager who dove into a river to save her junior manager who was drowning. That story almost ended badly because in her attempt to save the other manager, she forgot she could not swim. Her own fear of drowning was forgotten in an instant.
The third piece of arsenal that we have in the war against fear, is a sound mind. The Greek word translated as “sound mind” is sōphronismos. It could also have been translated as moderation or self-control.
There’s a scene in Anne of Green Gables, where she and her best friend Diana imagined that the woods between their homes was haunted. In daylight, it was fun. But after dark, their imaginations made the woods terrifying.
It got to the point where Anne was afraid to go into the woods after sunset. She almost had a heart attack when Marilla asked her to collect something from Diana’s mother one evening. Anne’s imagination conjured up every creature that she had pretended existed in the woods.
Like Anne, one of the worst things about my fears is how they grow in my imagination. The more I think about them, the more fearful I become. I imagine things that sometimes never happen in real life. Maybe if we learned to control our imaginations, we would learn to control our fears.
Challenge: Write one of your fears in detail. Make a note of how can self-control or moderation help keep this fear in check.