Fear

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;  all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To him belongs eternal praise.”  Psalm 111:10 

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When fear’s tentacles tangle tightly around our souls it can paralyze us, take us captive, and keep us from reaching our potential.  There’s a whole spectrum of things people fear:  heights, spiders, change, rejection, confrontation, other peoples opinion, and many, many more.  I think it’s safe to say the why, when, where, and how fear originated was in the garden.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So He said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was (afraid) because I was naked; and I hid myself.”  Genesis 3:6-10 NKJV 

Before Adam and Eve took that fateful bite they walked in perfect communion with God–nothing separated them from Him.  They lived in paradise–lush vegetation, blooming plants, and fragrant flowers–their every need meet–void of all sin and fear.  Having all this, how is it that Satan was able to get Adam and Eve to do the one thing God told them they could not do?  DOUBT!

All seems to be well until Satan shows up.  Isn’t that the way it always is?  We’re going along all right and then boom, something comes along to temp or cause us to doubt and then, wham… he’s got us.  Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made, “Really?” he asked the woman.  “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”  Genesis 3:1 NIV  The different Bible translations tell us Satan’s more crafty, more subtil, more cunning, and was the shrewdest of all the creatures.  Yes, he is!  He never told Eve to eat the fruit, he just planted the seed of  doubt in her mind.  “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?  Perhaps you just misunderstood what he said?”  The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit tree which is in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!”    For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.  Genesis 3:2-5 NASB   More doubt–“surly you will not die”.  Satan doesn’t have to make us sin–we do that all on our own–he just plants the seed of doubt in our mind. He waters them just a little and they begin to grow–soon we believe the lie .  I think it is actually pretty easy, because if we are really honest don’t we want to believe the lie–just a little.  “Surly one piece of pie won’t really be cheating on your diet?  Surly______ –won’t really hurt you?” 

Her eyes were open…and oh, how I imagine, she wished they weren’t.  In verse six her eyes were open and only four short verses later, verse ten fear is ushered in.   One conclusive bite and all was lost.  Adam and Eve were banished from the garden and would never again walk in perfect communion with God and would someday die–For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23 NJKV)

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten  Son, whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting like.  (John 3:16)  

I think we had better get free?  We must face up to the issues and attitudes and doubts which constitute our fears, that keep us from being happy and victorious Christians…We seem to quake about many things.  -A. W. Tozer

We are created in the image of God, gifted with the ability to fulfill the plans and desire He has for our life.  So God created man in His own image;  in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Genesis 1:27    God  has a desire for each one of His children, to fulfill the purposes  He has planned for us.  The evil one does not want us to realize our capacity for Kingdom work.  He taunts us by whispering how inadequate and unworthy we are.  He wants to fill us with fears and doubts in order to immobilize us in such a way, that we are unable to fulfill the work the Lord has set before us.  He wields our fears against us like a weapon:  fear of rejection, betrayal, embarrassment, failure, success, man, our past, not measuring up etc.  But when we bring that which we fear, out of the darkness into the light, it no longer has power over us.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:19

We must  face our fears and turn them over to God in prayer.  Trust that He is big enough to handle them.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your path.  Proverbs 3:5-6  A constant dying to self enables us to trust God with every part of our lives, which transforms us more and more into the image of God.

Remember, Christ’s strength is made perfect in weakness.  And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9      

We receive both our strength and our confidence thought Christ.  “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”  Proverbs 3:26 (NASB)

“Such confidence I will have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”  (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NASB)   

We will never get over our fears in our own strength–we must rely on God.  We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia.  We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die.  But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.  And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again.  We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.  (2 Cor. 1:8-10 NLT)

Let’s silence the evil one’s lies.  Put fear in the cage so that we can truly soar.  We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare;  the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.  Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  (Psalm 124:7-8 NIV)

Count blessings, Kasey

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