Have you ever picked up a newspaper and noticed all the positive stories in there? What about the Drudge Report? Doom, gloom, war–all negative. We have lived on negatives for so long, we’re callous to them. Then, if someone some along with positive things we think they’re crazy or something. Why? What are the two kinds of believing? There is positive believing called faith, and negative believing called fear. (Click here to read a post about fear vs. faith.)
What is Fear?
Here is how God describes it’s characteristics in His Word.
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
Fear always brings a snare.
“Say ye not, A confederacy, to [all them to] whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.“
These people as a nation picked up the fear of others and were enslaved by it.
“Damascus is waxed feeble, [and] turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on [her]…” Jeremiah 49:24a
Why was she feeble? She was afraid. Fear makes us weak. The Word says, “Be strong in the Lord…”
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” Job 3:25
Job received that which he believed and was afraid of.
“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4
As long as we are in fear we are encased by it. Only God can deliver from all our (personal and intimate) fears?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
If God did not give us fear, then it must come from another source? If fear comes from another source it is not of God and it is wrong.
“…because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18b
Are you tormented by fear? That is Fear’s job description. No wonder! The antidote is love (agape). We ask God what is available in the situation and do it no matter what we feel. He wants us to walk in love towards ourselves first. We can only give out of what we have.
“Wherefore he (Jesus) saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Ephesians 4:8
A captive is in servitude to a master. Jesus Christ led the things that hold us captive, captive. Jesus Christ freed us from the captivity of fear! Fear is the Devil’s blunt weapon that causes unbelief in God. There are two Greek words for this negative believing, regarding spiritual realities in the Word. God’s wants you to be armed with understanding because the Devil sure knows what he’s doing. We need to see what we’re up against as well.
Here is the first Greek word.
Apistia- This is the unbelief of those who have never heard, or who have not heard in enough detail to believe. For instance; “Sherri had not heard enough of the Word to get saved.” That is apistia unbelief.
“And he (Jesus) did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (apistia).” Matthew 13:58
Jesus did not many mighty works in his own country because of who? Jesus? Jesus had not changed. It was because of their unbelief.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Apistia).” Mark 9:24
The man knew he was the one needing to change and cried out for help with his unbelief. How could he change his unbelief? Romans 10:17 says; “Faith (believing) comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The Greek for word there is rehma, which means, “the right word at the right time.” This is not just the written word of God, but the right word from God. God can show you where to get that right word, He wants you to build your faith. He will show you personally how.
Let’s move to the next Greek word for unbelief.
Apaitheia- refers to those who have heard enough to believe, but refuse to believe what they heard. For instance; “Sherri heard about Romans 10:9 and about salvation, but refused to believe the Word and did not get saved.” She has apaitheia.
“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief (apaitheia)” Romans 11:30
The Gentiles had heard but refused to believe.
Romans 1:21 “Because that, when they (the Gentiles or unbelievers) knew God, they glorified him not as God…”
Fear that culminates into unbelief is due to either ignorance or wrong teaching. A child who is taught that, if he isn’t good the boogie man will get him, is full of fear from wrong teaching. What if an adult is afraid of the boogie man? That is ignorance, because he is ignoring the facts. Either case binds the person in fear. When we are consumed with fear, we cannot act on the positive promises of God’s Word. God never meant for His kids to be ignorant.
“… be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16b
God asks us to be wise, not ignorant. If this were not available, why ask us to do it? Because it is available and more than abundantly!
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37
If it was not available to conquer fear why did God say this?
Should fear be making your decisions? Is fear choosing your path for you? Fear is a blindness of sorts and causes us to emotionally lash out, make desperate decisions, and/or NO decision at all. If that is the case, here is a verse instead.
“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
God promises to shed light with His Word. So where should we go first when we are dealing with it?
God Bless You Today!
To Read the rest of the posts in this series on prayer click below: