True children of God often find themselves on the run for the fear of dangers and foes prowling behind them. When they have escaped one dangerous situation they find themselves surrounded by another. At times dangers and persecutions come from an unexpected direction and it seems almost impossible to conquer them; sometimes it becomes a never ending process. Why does a person who desires to practice godliness face such fears? “Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me and in anger they bear a grudge against me” (Ps. 55.3).
Fear is a common factor in all human beings, but the greatest of all fears is the fear of the enemy of God. This is because they inhibit practicing godliness. Those who are of the flesh believe in the flesh and do the works of the flesh. However, those of the Spirit exercise godliness to receive an inheritance from God. For this reason, Jesus said that the world does not know us for they do not know the truth. Are the voice of the enemy so fearful and the pressure of the wicked unbearable? Truly they are, because they always bring trouble upon the godly.
Worshiping the creation is one form of idolatry, but hatred, jealousy, grudge, arrogance and selfishness in time become idols to those who practice them. Everything they do rotate around such things whether knowingly or unknowingly. When such people are faced by the children of God they bring fear upon them through the qualities they possess. However, those who rely on God do not have to fear, for He says, “But the idols will completely vanish” (Isa. 2.18). How wonderful is the strength and might of God to those who rely on Him?
Furthermore, God keeps us away from fear by allowing us to understand the wicked. He knows the intent of every man’s heart and the work of every man’s hand. As human beings we do not have the power to know exactly the schemes of our enemy and for this reason, the wise of God choose to depend on God for His helping hand. At times we may not even sense the evil that is forming around us, but the Spirit of God in us warns us to act wisely. Through such wisdom God enables us to understand those who devise iniquity and to fight the battle of the Lord. “He said to me, ‘son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give evil advice in this city” (Ezek. 11.2).
It is an undeniable fact that those who are self dependent are less equipped to conquer fear than those who depend on the Almighty. What does the fear of the works of men do to the godly? It only teaches them to depend on God even more! Then it is to our advantage that men act fiercely toward us in order that we may hold fast to the Lord. Most of us give in to the fear of men or the fear of losing because of faithless living. We sometimes act so ignorantly that we care more for what is before our eyes than the Lord. Godliness requires that one ought to fear God first. What is the result? For He says, “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days – you would not believe if you were told” (Hab. 1.5).
Yes, God is truly there to do such great things in our lives that we would have never imagined. God precedes our imagination! He desires to do such things, because He first loved us, and we have to yield to Him. He extended to us His hand in that we who were unqualified would be qualified as His children. In order that we may believe and be saved from this perverse mankind God “has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant” (Luke 1.69).
For us to believe in the Lord we have to remember the works He did in the past; the wonders He has done to our predecessors that we may know and understand His power and love. When we begin to believe in that God, we know that He is even ready today to save us from our enemy. For the Spirit reminds us that “the God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it” (Acts 13.17). It is apparent that we ought to be the chosen of God for Him to lead us with an uplifted arm.
The reason for the downfall of Christianity is many truly do not believe in the nature or the stature of God. If we believe, we ought to have the mind of Christ! It is our nature as humans to doubt everything we do not see. Therefore, we use the same to measure God and exhibit ungodly qualities. For this reason, we are consumed with fear. However, consider yourself as to who you are, where you are from and what you have been. You will never find an answer for such questions, unless you begin coming to the Lord. “For by Him all things were created, both in heavens and on earth, visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1.16). Can we understand such words of the Spirit? People before us were able to adhere to God and conquer fear, because they understood what they have been told.
Dear brethren, we should continually remember our calling and the purpose of our redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are chosen to overcome fear and to lead many out of the bondage of fear; hence, do not give in to the fear of men, but only to the Lord. It is a blessing of God that we are called for His purpose. Therefore, we ought not to be the people who fear, but the people who conquer fear by “not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3.9).