It’s 9:05pm. I’m supposed to be asleep or getting there.
But instead I’m here writing a blog post on fear. Why? Because I have had a life-long struggle with fear. And recently, circumstances have forced me to conquer my fears. But first, fears have to be faced. And those two things are the hardest things to do in life. To face and conquer fears.
Fear is a paralytic. It does not do anything for us. Literally. Nothing. Fear does not help us any way. Sometimes we like to pretend that fear makes us cautious. It doesn’t. It slows us down. Wisdom makes us cautious. Not fear. Fear is a betrayer. Fear is based on distrust and superstition. Fear lies to us. Fear does not help us in any way. Fear is an inhibitor. Fear holds us back.
And sometimes we like to theologize fear. The theology of fear is completely different than we’d sometimes like to believe. We claim that sometimes it is used as a tool to tell us something is wrong: but that isn’t true. God doesn’t use fear. As far as I have seen in my personal study of Scripture, fear is always a figment of our imagination–never a tool of God. Whatever the reason, we use fear as an excuse. For me, fear is an excuse to run. Most of the time in Scripture when God says, “Do not fear” it is because He has just revealed Himself to His people or is about to. To Mary, to the shepherds, to Zachariah, God tells His people not to fear. To Moses, to Jehoshaphat, to Joshua, to His people throughout the centuries He says, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” [2 Chron 20:15] Fear is an act of mistrust in God. Yes, I said it. Yes, I meant it.
But there is a godly fear. Godly fear is worship. It sounds like a paradox. Godly fear is simply recognizing your smallness and unholiness in the sight of so great a God. In fact, godly fear means letting go of unholy fear. It is surrender to the unknown. It is humility. It is release.
God doesn’t use fear.
He just doesn’t.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fearfulness, but power, love, and self discipline.” [2 Tim 1:7]
So, stop it. Stop relying on fear–for any reason. For anything.
“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: turn not from it to the right or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go… Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee wherever you go.” [Josh 1:7,9]
“We have lived in fear, and our fear has betrayed us
But we will overcome the apathy that has made us
Because we are not alone in the dark with our demons
And we have made mistakes
But we’ve learned from them.”