Proverbs 2:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP): “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
1 John 4:17-19: “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”
In these blogs dealing with Bible Answers, one of the most puzzling topics to some is the difference between godly fear and tormenting fear. We must resolve what may seem like a contradiction when the Bible tells us that Jesus loves us and came to set us free from fear, while on the other hand we are told to fear God. The two scriptures above define those two kinds of fear and will give us a better understanding of what the Bible has to say about the subject.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Jesus knew we would live in a time where we would be exposed to multiplied fears all around us; yet the Bible tells us in many places that God does not want us to be fearful. He also explained that fear does not come from God, but rather God wants us to walk in His power, His love and to have a sound mind. People who yield to the spirit of fear can, at some point, become emotionally unstable or end up in bondage that keeps them from functioning normally. I have known a number of people that allowed fear to rule them to such a degree that they no longer fly on an airplane because of fear of it crashing, or they refuse to drive on freeways for the same reason. No longer can they make decisions based on the will of God, but rather fear keeps them from doing the things the Lord wants them to do. Fear has torment and it can even affect our bodies by the stress it causes. Actually fear is at the root of stress and anxiety. Years ago, I personally suffered with this tormenting emotion until the Lord set me free. I was one of those people who was tempted never to fly again after a long stressful flight years ago. However, I was determined not to allow the enemy to keep me from doing anything the Lord wanted me to do.
Coming from a background that taught eternal security to the degree that “once you are saved, you are always saved,” I am very well versed in all the Scripture that supports this view. However, when I came into the Spirit-filled walk, I began to study and read opposite views on this subject and came to embrace them. However, I could not find a peace in the extreme of needing to be saved again every time I sinned, as that certainly had no security in God’s keeping power. Both extremes cause problems in the body of Christ. Let us look to God’s Word and find the balance between these two extremes.
God does not want us to take our salvation lightly, nor does He want us to be constantly insecure with the fear of losing our salvation. Therefore, He gives us Scripture to prevent both of these extremes.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).
Our choices each day determine our growth in the Lord. We can sow or plant things in our lives that will later bring us blessings; or just the opposite, we can sow seeds of selfishness and rebellion and we will reap things that are corrupt. We will either become more like Jesus by walking and obeying the Spirit of God, or we will become carnal Christians, displeasing to God, when we give in to carnal desires. Sowing to our flesh brings the death principle to our lives for Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” From this we can see why so many Christians are not enjoying their inheritance in God. They are refusing to “walk in the Spirit” and are reaping the things they are sowing in the flesh.
What does this mean and how do we “walk in the spirit?” This is working out our salvation and allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.
Mark 4:37- 41: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples when they became fearful because of a storm that arose while they were with Him in a boat on the sea. Jesus was resting, asleep in the boat when the storm hit and in panic they woke Him up and asked Him if he really cared for them, as it looked like they would perish. As His children today, when we become fearful, we take this same attitude when our personal “storms of life” look like we might sink. Even though the Lord is with us, we act as if He is not there to do anything. The disciples forgot that Jesus told them to get in the boat and go with Him to the other side. Since He told them where they were going, they could have trusted Him to get them there. They had seen Him do miracles for many, but doubted that He could do a miracle for them. They forgot He was the true Master of everything, even the wind and the storm. We can find ourselves in the same place if we look at the storm instead of looking to Jesus, the Master of the universe, who has power over the storm. He is the One that can bring peace into any situation and has the answer for every problem we face.
We need to understand that fear is the opposite of faith. We cannot operate in fear and faith at the same time. Now, how can we overcome fear and walk in faith?
All Christians will agree that the Bible is the standard of truth for Christians. Since it is, then obviously, the way to see if something is true is to see if it lines up with the Word of God. Each Christian has the responsibility to prove everything they hear by the Word and by the witness of the Holy Spirit to its truth.
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Today, the world has no enduring standard. Every man does what is right in his own eyes, as Israel did in the day of the judges (Judges 17:6). A multitude of standards abound in the 20th century, ranging from the many cultic and false religious standards to our current cultural “standards.” Much of the confusion in the world today comes from this one thing: Society has abandoned the one standard of truth, which is the Bible.
Zechariah 4:10 “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”
Welcome to the Bible Answers for Daily Living blog. Most of my readers have known me from the BibleResources.org website or the former website of Bible.com, of which my husband, Bud, and I founded back in 1994. YouVersion is now leading the future of Bible.com by providing a free Bible App made available on the Bible.com website; while the Lord is now directing us to share Bible based teachings and other Bible tools on the BibleResources.org website. When we turned Bible.com over to YouVersion it had around 2 million unique visitors a month. I never dreamed when the Lord called me to serve Him that He would have me share the writings that He revealed to me with a potential audience of 2 million people. Our current website, BibleResources.org, started with a humble beginning as well, and is growing daily and that audience is nearing the half million mark. I just feel the Lord wants me to share in this first blog about how He commissioned the literature and online ministry and grew it for His purposes. We began the Christ Unlimited Ministry in 1975 with a small evangelistic outreach in West Texas. Today, He has commissioned us to take the gospel to the world via the Internet. We take our calling seriously as we realize the gravity of being a good steward of the Word of God.