I was recently talking with a friend who credited fear for protecting us. I stopped and thought about this for a moment. Why would God tell us SO many times in Scripture to ‘fear not’ (Isaiah 41:10), while also using fear as a way to protect us? What I’m going to share may seem like a small thing, or just another way of saying something similar, and yes that’s true; however, words matter. Jesus Himself is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14).
Fear does not protect us.
Let’s think about a situation. Imagine you’re walking through the woods near your home and a huge snake slithers across your path. You immediately get a jolt of adrenaline and jump out of the way. Scared, shaking and now a bit overwhelmed by what just happened you may be tempted to say that fear just protected you from a nasty encounter with that snake; however, what really protected you? How did you know to be afraid of that snake? Why do you think that snake is dangerous? What really protected you in that moment was wisdom. Wisdom is what protects us. The only fear we are told to have is the ‘fear of God’ (Proverbs 1:7) and it’s interesting to me that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!
Wisdom protects us.
God is all-knowing, (Psalm 147:5) He is where true wisdom is found. When we fear God we begin to become wise as His Spirit promises to lead us into all truth.
We are here for God’s glory and His purposes. When we credit fear instead of God for protection we are giving credit/glory to fear, vs. faith which is required for us to fear God and eliminate all other fears from our life.
Did God give our bodies other ‘cues’ to protect us like a caution about heights, or an awareness about our environment to keep us safe? Yes, He did and those serve to educate us about our current state and is still wisdom guiding.
It is important that we do not try to be “friends” with our fears, worries or anxiety. God has advised that we are to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6). Literally…nothing. He has also commanded that we ‘do not fear,’ and often follows that command with a reminder that He is with us (Isaiah 41:10).
He is for us and not against us, He is with us and will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). He loves you more than you can comprehend, and His promises are true. He promises that what the enemy meant for evil that He can use for good (Genesis 50:20). He has promised that He can make ALL things good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). He is our strong tower, and a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He has also assured us that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) who are able to do even greater things than Jesus did, and because of His Spirit living in us, we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15-16). Yes, this and so much more is true about who we are in Jesus. He is able to also set us free from patterns of fear that hold us back from loving God and loving others (Genesis 50:21). God has stated that if we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15). God has told us ‘do not fear’ (Isaiah 41:10). He is all we need and His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Finally, God loves you with a love that is so deep, pure, and awesome. Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). I pray today that you know how wide, and how deep the Father’s love is for you that you will be in perfect peace as you keep your eyes fixed on Him (Ephesians 3:18).