Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 092511
Fear will torment you and punish you. Part 3.
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 092511
Fear will torment you and punish you. Part 3.
We continue with Point 3. The Solution to Fear.
The PPOG is designed to remove all the cobwebs of fear in your soul and replace them with confidence in doctrine, which leads to confidence in the Lord. That is the only true basis for spiritual self-esteem, which is confidence in yourself and your relationship with God through Bible doctrine in your soul. Doctrine in your soul reminds you of the fact that ROM 8:31, If God is for us, who is against us?
This inevitably results in the greatest courage in life. It’s more than moral courage; it is a mental attitude courage in all relationships and in all circumstances of life. Fear is met and destroyed with courage. When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. Paul stated this to Timothy who was intimidated by his congregation.It is a command which belongs to the PPOG
2TI 1:7, For God has not given to us a lifestyle of fear, but of power, and of virtue‑love, and of sound judgment.
Whenever we’re afraid, it’s because we don’t know enough knowledge or judgment. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid. The biggest fear in life is fear of the unknown. If you know something, you can deal with it.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
PSA 3:6, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.”
PSA 56:4, “I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear. The brave man is not he who feels no fear.
That would be unrealistic and irrational. The brave man is the one who masters his fears and is willing to face his problems head on. We all need the strength to endure the things that we cannot change. But we also need the courage to change the things that should be changed. Most of all we need the wisdom to know one from the other. Every time fear comes into your life, you know you are not living the Christian way of life. You know immediately that you are not executing the PPOG.
True courage is virtue-love, i.e., personal love for God the Father, impersonal love for all mankind, and occupation with Christ. True courage means sound judgment, thinking under pressure, and good judgment at all times. Sound judgment comes from Bible doctrine, not from emotion. The person with real courage is the person with doctrine in their soul.
When David faced Goliath, he had doctrinal courage that was far superior to Goliath’s loud-mouthed macho courage. So living in the PPOG is a life of courage. The execution of the PPOG is learning courage. What passes for courage is often not courage at all, but macho arrogance and stupidity. Sound judgment is the result of utilizing the problem-solving devices.
1JO 4:18, Fear does not exist in virtue-love, but virtue-love drives out fear; for fear causes punishment. In fact, the person who is afraid has not been matured by virtue-love.
John is saying that if you have personal love for God the Father and you understand His integrity, you don’t need to claim specific promises for every situation. You rest on the entire essence and integrity and person of God. If you love God, you therefore know God. Therefore, once you have virtue-love, you’re not afraid of anything whereby you need promises, for now you know the One who makes the promises. You understand God’s integrity, and therefore, you are dependent on Him.
If you are dependent upon God and His integrity, then having fear is not only an insult to God, but it is blasphemous and sinful. Fear actually causes two categories of punishment. First, you punish yourself through self-induced misery. Then when fear gets into arrogance, divine punishment follows.
So you can be punished three ways by fear: by yourself, by your peers, and by God. Mature believers are not afraid. Virtue-love, mentioned three times in this passage, represents all the problem-solving devices. So the great problem-solving devices of spiritual adulthood eliminate fear by equating living with dying and adversity with prosperity. Fear of death destroys capacity for life; it is a sign that you are still in spiritual childhood.
HEB 2:14-15, Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Death is the last thing in the world that should concern you, for you have no control over the manner of your death or time of your death. When you realize your death is strictly in the Lord’s hands, the one time when the Lord’s wisdom will prevail over your volition, there is no excuse for having fear of death. When you understand there is nothing to fear in death, then you begin to realize there is nothing to fear in life.
Fear is a great motivation in life for most people. Yet fear is totally destructive; it destroys love. Making wrong decisions out of fear destroys your capacity for life. Many people spend so much time being afraid of death, or of dying, or of starving, or of being poor, etc., that they do not enjoy life. They have no zest for life and no capacity for life. The one person in this world who has zest and capacity for life is the spiritually mature believer.
Fear of adversity destroys capacity for prosperity. When prosperity comes, you’re so afraid that you will lose it, and with that fear, you have absolutely no capacity for that prosperity. You may stash it all away for a rainy day. That’s no capacity for life. Therefore, you do not enjoy prosperity when it comes.
So fear is the enemy of the PPOG. It destroys any possibility of suffering for blessing in its three stages. Fear makes you herd bound so that you come to depend on others. The Church-age believer cannot think, apply doctrine, or solve problems through the thinking or mind of another believer. You must have the doctrine in your own soul and solve your own problems. To the extent that you depend upon others for your spiritual application to life, to that extent you are a loser.
People are simply afraid of too many things. The fear of being wrong or making a mistake is the prime inhibitor of the creative process in man. Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. Winners are those people who make a habit of doing the things losers are uncomfortable doing. Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something. If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.
And only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart. It is far better to attempt to do mighty things and to win glorious victories even through failures than to join the ranks of those poor boring individuals who don’t enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live a life that knows no victory or defeat.
One man with courage can affect the majority.
1SA 17:8-11, Goliath stood and shouted to the soldiers of Israel, and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
1SA 17:20-23, So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the circle of the camp while the army was going out in battle array shouting the war cry. And Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array, army against army. Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers. As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them. When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid.
1SA 17:26, Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
By the way that’s what happens in your life every time you let fear take over. That thing or person is taunting the people of the living God, you! It is an insult to your Father when you allow the circumstances if life to produce fear.
You wouldn’t want your children to live in fear!
MAT 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
So you know the rest of the story so I just want to skip down to 1SA 17:45-51, Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Now notice how one man with courage can affect the majority.
1SA 17:52, And the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron.
The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.
Fear is crippling, it shackles those who could do great things and keeps them from even attempting that which they could possibly achieve. The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in not having a goal to reach for.
a. Fear is met and destroyed with courage.
b. When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all.
c. Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
d. Most of our problems would be totally solved if, instead of fearing to face them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
e. Whenever we’re afraid, its because we don’t know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid.
f. Whenever we fear something, we give that which we fear power over us.
g. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
h. Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.
And so, we begin this subject by noting that fear is used two ways in the Bible.
Fear is used for a mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation as well as intimidation. Fear is a painful emotional distress aroused by impending pain, danger, disaster, evil or by illusions regarding the same. It can be fear of something that is real or imaginable. But the point is fear will torment you and punish you.
Fear is self-induced misery. This is why John said in 1JO 4:18, There is no fear in virtue-love; but mature love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not matured in love.
Fear is worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Consternation is when a person becomes paralyzed toward their problems. Usually they run away from the problem like a frightened horse or they close their doors and hide from society. In fact, it’s not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. That’s what fear will do it will paralyze you. Fear is also an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees.
Another way that fear is used in the Bible is for reverence, respect, or awe. It is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience. In this respect, fear is a Christian virtue, 1PE 2:17, Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
So the meaning of the word fear in the Bible is determined by the context in which it is used. Neglect or rejection of the mystery doctrine of the Church-age and failure to utilize its fantastic problem-solving devices result in many problems, including fear. Fear is also lack of thinking under pressure. It is a general problem in life. We are designed by God to be rational creatures but fear makes us irrational.
Fear is an irrational and emotional sin. In fact, many believers have discovered that when you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. For the believer, fear is failure to learn and apply Bible doctrine to the problems of life, and failure to learn and utilize the problem-solving devices. Fear is also a part of the emotional complex of sins.
Fear is made up of a whole system of sins which include worry, anxiety, insecurity, incapability of doctrinal application, and therefore inability to use the problem-solving devices. The word worry comes from the word to choke, to strangle, and it is an extension of fear. By the way, we always have to throw this in, if you have fear, worry, anxiety or insecurity in your life, you are sinning in those areas.
ROM 14:23b, whatever is not from faith is sin.
Fear includes all the problems of emotionalism, for fear is an emotional sin. Many sins involve only thinking but fear involves emotion and no thinking. The Christian loser is bogged down and hindered from his advance by various categories of sins and arrogance related to fear. Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.
HEB 4:1-3, Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to really live. Look at HEB 13:6, so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?”
This is a quotation of PSA 56:4, In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
To face your fears and not be afraid is the final test of maturity. Fear is crippling, it shackles those who could do great things and keeps them from even attempting that which they could possibly achieve. Fear chokes and kills dreams and creativity and the most interesting thing about fear is that it is a learned behavior. A subject we all have to deal with from time to time. Then there is what we call the snowballing principle of fear.
The more things you surrender to fear, the more things you fear. Today you may be worried about only one thing; tomorrow about two things, etc. Soon you become so emotionally involved in fear that you have no identity. Irrationality means loss of identity, which means the accumulation of fear until you are afraid of life. Fear is something that, if not controlled, continues to develop in your life until you have no capacity to enjoy life and as a believer you become a loser.
Speaking of the ungodly David said in PSA 53:5, “There they were in great fear where no fear had been;”
You see fear is irrational thinking, there was no reason to fear. One of the motivations for becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is fear of life, anxiety, worry, and tension. So the extent to which you surrender to fear, the greater is your capacity for fear. To the extent to which you surrender to fear, to that extent fear controls more and more of your life. And increasing fear means increasing insecurity, which destroys your capacity for love, life, happiness, and blessing. And no set of circumstances in life will ever make you happy.