Chapter 2 – Fear Described
The need for spiritual understanding by the Church is enormous, especially in the area of fear.
“Do not fear,” or “do not be afraid,” appears over one hundred times in scripture. God tells us not to fear. This implies that fear is a choice that we make, and God tells us not to make that choice. Why? Because fear leads to torment.
1 John 4:18 – King James Version (KJV)
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.”
What does fear look like?
While I was doing genealogy searches a few years ago online, I happened on a list of Civil War registrants from the state of Kansas in the alphabetical section of A.
I was quite surprised to find names of the registered as “Afraid of Bear,” and, “Afraid of Enemy.” At first, I laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of these names, but then I realized fear is foolish. Fear will do anything to be accommodated. Fear is desperate for folks will move out of the way and allow it to manifest.
Another observation I made from finding these names as they stood in history was that they were the person’s identity. Your name is what people call you. Your name is in large part who you are. Can you imagine being a friend of someone named “Afraid of Enemy?” Do you want to identify with fear? Or, have it be part of your name?
I once had a friend who was afraid of snakes. She would see a mere photograph of a snake and start gyrating, acting silly, flapping her arms, and yelling “Eeew! Eew! I’m afraid of snakes!” People would laugh. Not because it was funny, but because she was acting foolish and they were embarrassed for her.
She held two masters degrees. I say this because she was not a silly woman. Highly educated and articulate, fear of snakes reduced her in logic, intelligence, and social status to nothing. A being that was laughed at.
God made us all in His image, and He loves us so deeply and completely that it bothers me when I see our enemy, the Devil, do this to God’s beloved children. Fear, among other demonic influences in the world, reduces His created ones to silliness and worthlessness, making a mockery of God. Faithless and unbelieving, unaware of how great our Creator is, allowing a mere fear to reduce us to a joke. It perverts His creation.
We are born with the fear of falling. Newborns will gesture their arms to hold on if set down too quickly such as flapping, trying to find something to grab. Their eyes may grow large, their pulses increase. Fear is a very real human response to the unknown.
Our parents teach us to respect, if not fear, touching the stove when it’s hot; running out into the street without looking; jumping into water, and so on. As children, we have no fear of danger. But, we soon are taught there is danger all around us.
My late son-in-law, Brady, was terrified of flying. He would not board an aircraft. He drove everywhere, no matter the distance. Yet, at forty-one years old he left my daughter a young widow, and my grandson fatherless because he was driving too fast and not wearing a seatbelt in hazardous weather conditions. He was afraid of dying in a plane crash. Fear played a cruel trick on him, and grief over his loss was far-reaching.