“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H.P. Lovecraft
Did you know that we are all born with only two innate fears? The fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds. So where did all the other fears come from? They are learned by influence of environment, culture, and experiences. This is good news for us! Why? Well, simply put, what can be learned can also be unlearned. So how does a child of God begin to unlearn fear?
In the physical realm studies show we can overcome or unlearn our fears by continued exposure to them. One of my fears is/was the fear of spiders. It is because I have a healthy fear (respect) of the spiders, that I know are harmful. Was a fear because I have learned to be careful of certain spiders and to hold ones that are docile. This was not an overnight experience, but gradually over time. There even came a point in my life that I owed a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula.
In the spiritual, we can also unlearn fear by continued exposure, but with continual exposure to God’s Word. God’s Word has more than enough truth and when we know His truth, it will set us free (John 8:32). In fact, if you keep reading on in John chapter eight, you will see that it says that if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (verse 36). God also tells us that He does not give us the spirit of fear. The Spirit He gives us is the Holy Spirit.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
In the Greek, timid comes from the word deilós which means fear. The word for power used here in the Greek is dunamis, which get this, means (miraculous) power, might, strength. The love spoken of here is agapé which is unconditional love. Likewise, self-discipline comes from the Greek word sophronizo; discipline, i.e. Self-control -- sound mind. So, the scripture tells us that the Spirit that God gave us does not make us fearful, but gives us miraculous power, might and strength, unconditional love, and sound mind. While we are talking about love, look at what God’s says about love and fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. - 1 John 4:18 (NIV)
We have the love of God residing with in us, so fear has no place in our lives because Jesus drives it out of our lives. Also, take notice that God says fear has to do with punishment. God sent Jesus into the world to save it and give those who believed in Him abundant life. Furthermore, He says that the person who fears is not made perfect in love. To fear the unknown or anything else is to be made in the image of this broken, fallen world and not in the image of Jesus.
Fear has a way to stop you dead in your tracks. Fear is a tactic of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy the power, love, and sound mind that God blesses you with. Fear of the unknown is another sneaky ploy of the enemy. It seems logical to have a fear of the unknown at first, but it too robs you of God’s blessings. For example, when God says I have healing for you if you want it and you think, “What if?”—What if I say I want it and I don’t get healed? This takes your eyes of God and puts them on you. You need to trust God, believe that He truly desires to heal you, and take a step of faith by receiving your healing.
I thank You for the freedom, power, love, and sound mind that You give me through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus, I thank You for setting me free and for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, thank you for empowering me to face fear and overcome it. Help me grow a desire for the scriptures so that I may learn more about the blessings that You have for me. AMEN!
Your servant in Christ,