Fear is a scary thing. Everyone suffers it. It’s an automatic human trait. It paints a picture in our mind that can drive us to sickness and even death. It can confront us when we’re bullied, intimidated, face a loss or just being questioned.
But, you can actually only feel fear when you’re worried about yourself. Pride is worrying about yourself for yourself, and this is sin. Everyone’s a sinner, and everyone is born proud and selfish, living and making choices of what’s best for ME, and thus everyone suffers fear. Fear is a confirmation that we are selfish, a confirmation that living life without God is selfish, and a confirmation that we need God to save us from our selfish pride. If you were 100% not interested in your own well-being you’d have no fears. If you’re fearing something, your pride is being tempted; you’re being tempted that you’ll lose something of value to YOU … most likely what people will think of you. Fear can attack us in many different garbs, but underneath it all is the fear of what people think of ME … it dictates all our fears. You see, all my pride is really worried about is MY position … status and value in other people’s eyes.
Everyone experiences fear; that’s not a sin, it’s a temptation to sin. Sin is when I surrender to temptation and protect my pride. The Bible says ‘whatever is not of faith, is sin’. Therefore, when I’m doing anything without trusting God on the matter or outcome, I’m simply doing it to protect my self value, and that’s sin. Hopefully, it’s clear to you, that surrendering to your fears is sin because you are protecting your pride.
Most people overcome their fear feelings with either aggression against weaker people, or being agreeable so they don’t get into trouble, or being cool so they look like they’re not fearful. These techniques don’t overcome fear, they hide it. All of these techniques are sin because it’s not the love of God, but the love of ME. The opposite to the agape love of God is the love of ME. Being agreeable or cool in order to camouflage my fears is simply a lie … I’m lying to myself and others; I’m pretending to be something I am not so you won’t think less of me. Most people are so scared of their fears they habitually lie to themselves and others so they can divert the fear away from them getting into trouble.
No one can overcome fear righteously except by the power of God; every other technique is selfishness.
Faith works by Love
Jesus didn’t come to save us from our fears; He came to save us from our sin.
To walk in God’s agape selfless love, you have to walk by faith. To walk by faith you have to walk without your pride, because pride blocks faith and opposes faith, even if you are a Christian. Therefore, God uses every means at His disposal, both good and evil, including fear, to negate and cancel out your pride so you can walk in His love, and not in your sin.
The fact of the matter is, you can’t have fear without pride; that’s why God’s Word says ‘there is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear’. This means that if you choose to die to what YOU want when fear tempts you to lie to save face, the temptation against you, initiated by Satan, has been defeated and you are operating in God, not you; and because only God alone is agape love, in Him and only in Him, can you live above your fears without doing it selfishly. When you’re fully surrendered to the will of the Lord Jesus, you may still feel the fear but it won’t overpower you; you’ll be able to walk through your fear; you’ll be the head, not the tail.
‘Yea tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.’ Psalm 23
How do you die to what you want?
A. Give up what you want by surrendering to whatever God wants to do on the matter.
Fear is the easiest feeling to feel
Pride is of the Devil and blocks fellowship with God. God, therefore, uses fear to expose your pride and self-confidence in yourself, rather than trusting His will in every situation. You can block out many feelings to protect your emotions, but fear is probably the easiest feeling to feel and the most difficult to block. When you feel fear you should train yourself to see your pride beneath it. You should learn to trust God and turn to Him with the feeling. Your aim is not to get rid of the fear, but to stop your pride from rising up. In this way, fear is a diagnostic tool that you have been given by God to expose and inhibit your pride.
Use fear to your advantage for God
Fear is Satan’s tool to trap you in selfish protectionism before the event has even happened, and in most instances will never actually happen. Despite this, God has allowed fear. He uses it to expose your pride, and He uses it to protect you from doing something foolish or hurtful to yourself … fear stops us jumping off bridges or swimming with crocodiles.
You should use fear as a weapon in reverse. By that, I mean, face the worst scenario in your mind, accept it and leave it in the Lord’s will. Even Jesus had to face the fear of the cross to the point of sweating drops of blood, until He surrendered to the Father’s will.
Never make decisions based on Fear
A spirit man must never make decisions based on his fear, otherwise his decision is built on pride. He must fight himself to come to faith. Only then will the decision be righteous.
Fear was initiated in the Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve did the wrong thing. When God came to talk to them they feared getting into trouble. They hid themselves from God. Fancy running away from their Creator and friend; they would have been better to have owned their sin and talked it over with God and taken the consequences. Why didn’t they? The answer is, pride; they didn’t want to look bad and they felt fear and surrendered to their feelings. This is the same as a city without walls; a spirit without firm and disciplined boundaries to protect one’s self from falling to its selfishness. Sadly, today’s generation has been trained to demand its own freedoms and choices, and to stand up for its rights and not be told what to do. The consequences of such undisciplined freedoms is just selfish perspectives on everything, and the loss of salvation and fellowship with their Creator and friend.
Adam and Eve then lied; they didn’t hide because they were naked, they hid because they were afraid of getting found out. Then they blamed someone else for their sin. This is the inherent human pattern that is passed down from generation to generation. It’s called sin, and if you hide from it & blame, instead of facing it and owning it, you end up being cursed and separated from your Creator.
Sin enabled Adam and Eve to become gods unto themselves (Genesis 3:5). That is, Sin enabled them to make their own decisions instead of being told what to do by God. “Don’t tell me what to do” is inherent in us all. Surely you can see that this is pride? Surely you can see that this is a great error of judgement? Whilst they were obedient, God was protecting them from themselves. When they chose to sin they lost God’s protection and relied on their own vision (v.7). Surely you can see that the same phenomenon is current in our nation?
May God stir a few hearts to own their sin and repent before our nation totally falls to its lusts.
Dr David Cousins B.E., B.Sc. hons