What we arrived at in short is the idea that fear is a type of faith – it’s faith in the curse and the lies the kingdom of darkness whispers to us in our thoughts. Without the faith-like power of fear, they’d just be another set of whispery thoughts. When they attach to our fears, and we believe them, they take anchor in our being and eventually begin to guide our actions.
Fear has the same power as faith – but in a destructive, limiting, reducing sense. While, faith is inherently creative and expanding.
As Jewel so wonderfully says in her poem “Lost”:
“Fear is a bird that believes itself into extinction”
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (New King James Version).
“Faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality” (Amplified version).
Now let’s have a look what happens when we rewrite this, substituting the word fear for faith:
“Fear is the substance of things dreaded, the conviction that they will come to pass.”
Have you ever noticed how we speak our fears with absolute certainty?
“Don’t that, you’ll fall and hurt yourself.”
“If I tried that I’d fail.”
“Someday soon it’s all going to come crashing down – I just know it.”
“Don’t do that – you’ll hurt yourself.”
We are commanded not to fear numerous times throughout the Bible, (Isaiah 35:4, 41:10, 41:13, 41:14, 43:1, 51:7, 54:4, Jeremiah 10:5, Haggai 2:5, and 1 Peter 3:14 are just some examples). Between Genesis and Revelation we are given the command “do not to be afraid” 74 different times.
Because fear is faith in the kingdom of darkness, it prevents or even overrides faith in the kingdom of God – you can’t have both.
God holds us accountable for the choice we make. In his eyes, fear makes us false to Him.
“Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me?” (Isaiah 75:11).
Being a people who do not give into fear is one of the marks of true disciples. You see this in the amazing lineage we are joined to in Hebrews 11 of those who “were stoned, were sawn in two, were put to death by the sword…went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated and the world was not worthy of them.”
Or as Revelation 12:11 puts it “…they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
The terrifying challenge of Jeremiah still sits before us as we come face to face with the things we fear in this world:
“Do not be terrified by them or I will terrify you before them,” (Jeremiah 1:17)
One of the other more irritating aspects of fear is that it is inherently self-oriented. Fears keep us focused on our selves – they stop us showing love to others. Again, this is why scripture points out that “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). This whose lives are ruled by fear are seldom generous, expansive, enjoyable people. They have chosen a path that diminishes them.
It is crucial that we understand that fear is a choice.
If it wasn’t the case, how could God blame us for being afraid?
We are held accountable in his eyes precisely because it is a choice – in our moments of pain and discomfort, we are tempted to choose to believe the voice of fear.
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity…Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”
Reflect on this. What are you choosing when you are confronted with that which triggers your fears and insecurities? Do you listen to the thoughts shouting across your mind and, by giving in to them, make them real? Or do you silence them and choose to overcome? Do you choose fear or faith?
I think God hates that stuff as much as fear - it simply adds further deception and dishonesty on top of the underlying fear and insecurity.
Instead faith is an open acknowledgement of the circumstance of life you face, but keeping a clear view of the fact that there is a higher reality above this one. Our circumstances are real – we need to acknowledge them – but they are not our God. Faith is the ability to keep the reality of God as your central perspective that everything else in life must eventually conform too.
Those who truly saw Jesus saw beyond the limits of their circumstance.
Those who truly see Jesus are doing the same thing today.
This is part of what John means when he says “unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God,” (John 3:3).
That’s part of what Jesus offers us all – but we must let go of our fears to receive it. Fear or faith. You can’t have both.
We are to fear God and have an honest appraisal of ourselves.
Faith gives us boldness. Fear of God gives us humility.
Fear of anything else, undermines it all.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams, because we are living our fear” (American motivational speaker, Les Brown).