“The fear-driven mind.” Can there really be such a thing?
Throughout my earlier years, fear always had a place within my daily activity. No matter what was happening, fear was attached. I was so afraid of the unknowns. Just the thought of waking and going about my day had me in a place of extreme emotional anguish. So afraid of the unknown road ahead.
I sometimes wonder why I was so consumed by the fear of the things I would create within? Was it the past experiences that I carried into each new day? Was it the insecure feeling within my childhood that scarred me so deeply, that even my adult life would be stricken by the ugly face of fright? That fear of the dark? The fear of my father coming home to commence the abusive ways of his choosing? So many years were rooted in the emotional ground of apprehension.
The days of my early walk with the Lord were no different. The fear of the great Creator of our universe set me on a road of great confusion, frustration, anger towards others and the same emotions I later witnessed within the leaders of many churches. “Am I good enough?” Does God hate me?” “Am I going to hell?” “If I sin, intentionally or not, is that the last straw? Is that the thing that will keep me out of heaven? Will I now be chastised for my stupid decision? How long will the punishment last? Am I a wretch that has no chance of being saved?” On and on and on. These questions of fear would fill my worried mind.
I was supposed to feel the comfort of the Lord, I thought? All of this talk of love and joy were somehow blotted out by the talk of hell and damnation by the man at the front of the sanctuary. Old Testament equaled hate. New Testament equaled love. I really had a hard time understanding all of this, “new way, old way, God hates, God loves” contradictory talk within the sermons being preached by these men that were also struggling with their own fear.
The fear-driven mind that once consumed me has been removed. Yes, I still fear at times, but the Lord has turned that fear-driven mentality that I once possessed into an ongoing peace. That ‘joy’, which I was so desperately trying to find within the understanding of why the Lord had shaped the people and world in the past in order for the Christ to come and redeem His people, is now within. That peace is now at the forefront of each new morning. The fear is gone. His grace is understood. His love resides.
If you are a teacher of fear, or if you are being driven by fear by abusive leaders, change your ways, or get out of such places! There needs to be a thorough understanding of His Word in order for it to be taught, or preached. That is exactly why only few should be teachers of His Word (James 3:1). People full of fear destroy others who are already struggling with their own fears.
How can we seek a loving and forgiving God if we are always fearing our every move? How can we call upon Him if we are scared of Him? If He is our refuge, then why would anyone take refuge in such frightening arms?
God is love. He had His ways throughout the Old Testament in order for us all to know about our sin, and how damaging it is. How it has no place in His kingdom, or within His children. Being the sin-natured people that we are, and knowing that we would fail, He sent His only begotten Son to blot out that nasty sin that consumes the world! Praise God for His redemption! Hallelujah!
I will not fear such a loving God! In fact, in reverence, I will honor Him with my life to the best of my ability. He provides the remedy to my fear with His gifts. His loving ways of showing me just how wonderful life is. My children. My wife. My family and friends. This beautiful world so full of wonderous creation; sculpted by His magnificence. A perfect landscape. A laugh of a child. A glorious moment that brings the rush of tears of joy. The love for our confidant.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18 NKJV
Our Lord loves us soooooo much! So much more than we can really comprehend! He laid down His life so we may have life! A life that is not driven by the fear that only drowns out that love. If we would just take the time to read His Word, meditate on His ways, pray for guidance, allow Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts, embrace His grace, and understand that Jesus has made us new, then we could easily remember that fear is from the inner-workings of the adversary. Healthy fear of the Lord is not defined in the same manner as the fear-driven mentality that so many institutions are driving today. Please stop abusing the Church out of ignorance, or for personal gain. It really grieves His Spirit, and it keeps the fear-driven mind and heart in a higher position than His peace.