GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR BUT OF POWER
Fear is diametrically opposed to faith. When you do not have faith in a chair that you want to sit on, you will start fearing that it will not support your weight and it will make you fall down when you sit on it. The faith that we have for chairs or people or God was given to us by God. God installed in us all the spiritual ingredients that are required for us to have faith in Him. God created in man the spiritual infrastructure that will enable us to have faith in God. He has created in us a thirst for Him, a vacuum in our hearts that can only be filled by a superior being whom all human beings refer to as God. He created in us the thirst for God so that we are able to seek and trust in Him. The more the faith we have in God, the more we believe and love Him. That is the role of the faith infrastructure installed in our hearts. He did all that before we knew Him because He loved us before we loved Him. “God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8 [NET2]) God has faith in us and that is why He gave each one of us a measure of faith so that we can also have faith in Him. Paul urged his fellow brethren in Rome to “think of themselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given them” (Romans 12:3). His faith in us is eternal.
The Wicked Flee When no Man Pursues
A story is told of Undo Woga, in short U. Woga, who was a qualified, jobless young man. He had worn out shoes as a result of walking up and down fruitlessly looking for a job. He had knocked on almost all office doors in town. But one day, he read an advertisement for a job in a zoo. He applied for the job and was invited to attend the interview on a specified day. His application was successful and he was employed to be acting as a chimpanzee to replace a chimpanzee that had died recently in the zoo. He was then given a mask and coached on how to act and behave like a chimpanzee and was put in a cage to be entertaining tourists as a chimpanzee. He used to amuse tourists who paid money to watch him jump as he swung from one overhanging branch to the other, growling and beating his chest to the excitement of the guests who would throw to him sweets and bananas for him to eat. One day, a branch he was holding onto and swinging from broke by accident and that momentum threw him into the neighbouring lion’s cage. On coming face to face with the menacing lion, he was gripped by fear and cried out loud in panic for help but the “lion” whispered to him to keep quiet “or we might both lose our jobs.” The above illustration paints a picture that the things we fear are usually bogus and nonexistent. The Bible says that “The wicked flee when no man pursues: but the righteous are as bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). We fear scarecrows, defeated Goliaths, shadows, toothless dogs and powerless demons forgetting that Satan is a defeated enemy: “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through your name. And he said to them, I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I giveto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this, rejoice not that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:17-20) [KJV].
Jonah on the Run
Fear makes one to try to run away from God. But how can you run away from the all-knowing God? Jonah tried to run away from the presence of God as narrated in the book of Jonah chapter one and he lived to tell the story. He thought God only knew about Nineveh and that He did not know where Tarshish was. He was very wrong. He found a ship bound for Tarshish, paid the fare and then fled from the presence of God. But God stopped him on his tracks and buried him alive inside the intestines of a giant fish for three days. He was in a dark abyss and did not know where he was or whether he was alive or dead. I can imagine what it was when he felt pain in his body as if he was being eaten up by something that he realized that he was not dead yet. He opened his eyes and discovered that he was inside the stomach of a huge strange animal. He felt as if he was already in hell. He was in great pain as the digestive juices of the giant fish tried to digest him causing him much affliction and bodily harm. He prayed to the Lord God Almighty and said, “I cried by reason of my affliction to the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell I cried, and you heard me” (Jonah 2:2). And because ‘God is ever merciful’ (Psalm 37:26), God “spoke to the fish and it vomited him upon dry land” (Jonah 2:10). God’s mercies are surely from everlasting to everlasting. Earthly fear makes one to be foolish in both worldly and heavenly matters; carnal foolishness and spiritual stupidity.
Adam Feared God and Went into Hiding
When Adam disobeyed God by eating of the tree that God had commanded him not to eat, he started fearing the same God that he was used to walking with in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says in Genesis 3:8-10 that when they ate the fruit and heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called Adam and asked 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.” He was gripped by fear and he ran away from God, hiding from God. By simply obeying the devil, Adam got infected by the foolishness of Satan. Imagine shouting from his hiding place. From whom was he hiding? From the omniscient God? From the moment Adam disobeyed God and decided to obey Satan, he lost all the wisdom, fellowship and the warm relationship that he had been enjoying in his daily walk with God in the Garden of Eden. God could no longer be reached and was not available to him face to face as He used to be. Sin had separated him and his God. The Bible says in the book of Isaiah that “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not short that it cannot save, nor His ear deaf that it cannot save; But your iniquities have separated you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
When we Confess Fear, we Possess Fear
The Bible says that Job “was the greatest man of all the men of the east. And his sons went and feasted in their houses, and called their sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of feasting were over, Job went and sanctified them, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. And it was his regular custom” (Job 1: 3-5). Job said perhaps his sons may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Job was careful that his children might have done wrong therefore decided to offer sacrifices to God to appease Him for the probable sins. What most people do not see is that deep in Job’s heart was fear that destruction would fall onto his children. If you fear that the disease that you have is going to kill you, it will definitely kill you. Job feared for his children. The more he feared for his children, the more he attracted Satan onto the scene, and Satan came and camped in his compound with his demons of destruction and death. Fear brings the enemy called Satan who brings destruction and death. Satan not only wanted to destroy Job’s donkeys, sheep, camels and his children but even Job himself. That is why he planned to destroy all of them together in one day so that the shocking news of their death would overwhelm Job and make him collapse and die. What you fear will eventually come upon you. Job had actually confessed fear when he said that “… the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” (Job 3:25). What Job did not know was that we are not supposed to fear for anybody. We are not supposed to confess fear. Job confessed fear and possessed fear because what you confess, you possess. In other words, we possess what we confess. Job feared that the sins of his children might bring disaster to the whole family. And because he was anticipating that the worst might come upon his family, that became an open door for the devil to get in and destroy him and his family. What he feared eventually came upon him. Words like “perhaps”, “maybe”, or “what if” demonstrate our doubts and expectations of evil coming our way. Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that “… verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says.” Job confessed doom and it came upon him. He confessed fear and the consequences and effects of fear came upon him. Whatever you fear will surely come upon you. You fear to fail and you will end up failing. But fear starts with the word “may be” or “perhaps”. You say that:
Perhaps so and so hates me, therefore I will hate him too. …Perhaps I will fail in examinations because we all fail in examinations in our family. And because perhaps I will fail in the forthcoming examination; therefore I will cheat. …Perhaps I will die poor, therefore I better steal … because I am going to a mosquito infested area, perhaps I will catch a malaria and going by the way I sneeze; therefore I will buy drugs in advance. …Perhaps I am bewitched; therefore I will consult a witch doctor. …Perhaps God is against me; I don’t care whether I go to hell or not.
Cowards to be Dumped into the Lake of Fire
Fear is an open invitation to the devil to get into our lives and execute the negative thoughts that we are expecting for our lives. Instead of expecting that something bad would happen to our family members, we should pray for them and claim them for salvation in the name of Jesus. People say that you ‘mention the devil and he comes along.’ When faith comes in through the door, fear goes out through the window. And when fear knocks on the door and faith answers, there is no one out there. Fear and faith are opposite forces. They are diametrically opposed to each other. Cowards are barred from heaven. The Bible says that cowards will never enter heaven. Jesus told John that “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that thirsts of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be His God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.’ (Revelation 21:6-8) [KJV]. It is chilling to hear that a few lies here and there or allowing fear to grip you every now and then makes God to group you with whoremongers and sorcerers and condemn you forever to the lake which burns with fire. “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). God has given us power and boldness to preach the gospel in a world that is full of evil and all manner of dangers and when we preach the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, no evil shall come upon us. The power to preach Christ is available to whoever steps out to preach the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who died and behold He rose from the dead and is set down at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. You are given the power over all the power of the enemy. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 [KJV])
“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” (Deuteronomy 28:7 )
“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt 10:7-8 [KJV])
People require miracles to believe that there is God. They have been fed with lots of lies such that they cannot believe unless they see the power of God. That is why God has equipped his servants with the Holy Spirit so that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be preached to the ungodly with boldness and with sign and wonders. Only then will they believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God and is truly God, the creator of heaven and earth.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.” (John 1:1-3 [NET2])
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 [KJV])
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:10-13 [KJV])
The creator of heaven and earth came in the flesh and dwelt amongst His people and they did not receive Him. But as many as have received Him in their heart, He has made them to be called sons of God. Because we do not fear demons, we have been given power over every power of the enemy by the creator of heaven and earth who dwells in us. Christ in me, is my hope of glory (Col. 1:27). The power of God dwelling in me is my hope of experiencing the glory of God. Power to tread on the devil. The devil is at last under the soles of our feet just as that giant called Goliath fell and was trampled under the soles of tiny David’s feet. Let us face our Goliaths with boldness and power “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim 1:7 [KJV])