Fear is powerful. Fear is a whole bodily response to a situation where danger appears to present itself. Fear has the power to save and to seduce. Dissecting how we define fear is crucial to de-mystifying it’s role in our lives. This dissection allows us to see how the enemy uses fear to sow lies instead of truth, and how salvation and courage can be formed instead of death and dread.
Misplaced fear: Perhaps fear itself is not the enemy, but what you are fearing instead.
We can all describe misplaced fear. It’s paralyzing. It’s terror by night and dread by day. It weaves and wiggles and creeps into all the crevices; all those places you thought were protected or hidden, it opens.
Misplaced fear controls.
It tells you to build walls, to pour all your energy and thought and time into these big, beautiful, masterful walls. You look at them with pride. You see their greatness and think “I’m protected, I’m safe!” False fear whispers, “Walls equal control…keeping out equals keeping safe.” Misplaced fear promises the layering of stone upon stone will let you decide what happens next.
Misplaced fear blinds.
Moments of light creep in through the cracks of those walls. Your instinct is to control the light. You manically try to cover and patch over the cracks, building the walls wider, higher, thicker, trying to block out all that the light has begun to reveal: shaken foundations and walls caving in. You’re trapped thinking you’re free, preferring to choke on the ashes of your crumbling walls because you still believe “At least I’m in control.” You are blind to the reality of your self-built destruction.
Misplaced fear reveals.
With the light come moments when your eyes are horrifically opened to the true reality; you have built yourself into a deep, dark dungeon. Your mind screams. Your body revolts. What you once saw as beautiful now terrifies as it begins to show itself for what it really is: a disfigured, made up wall of lies. Your allegiance to misplaced fear has closed you in and shut you up when you thought it was setting you free.The promised sense of safety is gone.
Misplaced fear enslaves.
Your heart panics and your mind races, “How do I get out of this prison? Can I get out? How did I get here?” You’re frozen. You’re shackled. You’re bound to your misplaced fear. The realization is dawning that what you chose to trust for protection has instead taken, lied and used you up.
Misplaced fear challenges.
Misdirected fear makes what is good look bad and what is bad look good. It paints the picture that serenity and control can be obtained within yourself. It tells you that comfort and safety are worthy of any cost. It insists you are only being organized, you are only being safe, you are only being wise as you pour yourself into building higher and higher walls.
Misplaced fear offers so many saviors, but they’re all lies; a very great, masterfully seductive lie of who can save you. When a good thing is earned out of fear, it gives but it always takes more; it feeds, but never fills; it drowns rather than quenches; it gorges rather than satisfies; it breaks rather than heals; it burns rather than cleanses; it imprisons rather than expands; it enslaves rather than free’s.
When you’ve chosen fear as a savior instead of allowing it to point you to your need of the Savior, it leaves you empty, feeling scraped out and raw from the inside. You’re exposed, but not to an ever-accepting embrace, but to the very thing you thought fear was protecting you from.
And this is its seduction. Misplaced fear promises everything but procures only your demise.
Accurate fear: Perhaps the emotion of fear is really just a repetitive opportunity to claim and remember who truly is the most loving and the most powerful. Accurate fear then, is simply knowing Jesus is the Savior we are being pointed towards.
Accurate fear is sweet.
It is closeness, warmth, and power. Accurate fear attracts Spirit living, soul calming and peace procuring. Correct fear directs us to walk towards His worth, knowing He is always able. It is believing God desires to do us good. It is trusting in His love and power as greater than anything else out there.
Accurate fear is safety.
It is knowing Jesus’ wings are spread, covering you with holy protection. It is trusting His fire leading by night and His cloud securing by day. It is believing in His power to speak to the sea and have it obey. Accurate fear is your faith rising to walk towards Jesus when the waves come crashing in.
Accurate fear is refuge.
It is seeking for the eternal when the mortal is more evident. It is asking for more of Him when our hearts beg for instant satisfaction. Correct fear is placing your hope in the abundance of Jesus for your cup to overflow more than desperately wishing to escape the pain of the temporary.
Accurate fear is light.
It is seeing the one who goes before you. It is knowing the one that rules behind you. It is freedom in His revelation; fighting, crawling, looking towards Him to break your darkness that is never dark to Him.
Accurate fear is feasting.
It is a table He provides in the face of your enemies. It is forced rest to take in His sustenance when all within you screams run, hide, fight! It is allowing fear to point you to drink from the fountain of life to satisfy your thirst by drawing from the well of Everlasting.
Accurate fear is wisdom
It is seeing evil and seeking His face first, fasting for answers from the One who knows all and controls all. It is the tearing of clothes and crying aloud and laying in sackcloth and ashes. Accurate fear directs you to gather in prayer with those who were born for such a time as this.
Accurate fear is faithfulness.
It is enduring when you cannot see. It is holding fast to the hope for which you were saved, both when goodness is evident and when clouds obscure your view. It is the gaining of life by believing in grace grand enough for the most scandalous of sinners, even you.
Accurate fear is courage.
It is faith grown so large that when a giant appears you gain the courage to slay when no one else will stand and fight. It is defying by His strength when your weakness is apparent to all. It is standing beside the angel armies doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly. It is the locked-in hope that envisions Jesus on His white horse, riding in triumph, knowing He owns the ending of no more tears or pain: for death has been conquered.
And this is its salvation. This is fear of the Lord. This is fear pointing us to our own, better savior. This is accurate fear reaping courage from a faith that has grown great in the awe of who our God is by learning His unconditional love in every situation.
So, what will your fear point you towards today?