I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people’s entire lives disrupted and ministries of God completely destroyed when people are moved by fear to do things they would never do without it. We humans are suckers for this spirit of fear. It paralyzes us and takes us over like a tsunami takes over a coastline village. The heart rate can go from 60-150 in a matter of seconds and this new and elevated stress causes the brain to make irrational decisions that can be as devastating as a category 5 hurricane.
2 Timothy 1:7 says that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
In order to be qualified to carry the power and the throne of the Almighty with us everywhere we go, we must maintain the course that the Spirit decides to take. Ezekiel 1:20 says, “Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went…” It’s not where we want to go. It’s where the Spirit wants to go. Where the Spirit is, there is “power, love and a sound mind.” If someone is not being led by the Spirit, they are being led by the flesh, which leads only to destruction.
THE PURPOSE OF FEAR
The purpose of life’s obstacles is to increase our faith and cause us to be more intentional about where we’re looking. It prevents us from being lazy since there are only two ways to grow spiritually: through prayer or through pain. And because most of us do not spend enough time in prayer, using that spiritual eye within us, we must learn through pain. Ultimately, obstacles are good, from the Creator, and are designed to cause us to cleave to Him in ways we would not have before the obstacle appeared.
Fear, on the other hand, is a demonic spirit that hovers around the obstacles the Creator sends for the sole purpose of causing an individual to doubt the Creator’s goodness and benevolence. The Spirit cannot exist in the same dwelling place as a heart that has doubt. When the Spirit senses doubt, it immediately begins to separate from that individual since doubt is corporeal and of this realm and faith is the only air the Spirit breathes. James chapter 1:6-8 says that “…he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the LORD; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” The enemy uses fear to change the atmosphere around us so the Spirit of Yahweh will be forced to retreat from the choking smoke of fear. From there, the enemy climbs into the chariot and drives the person wherever he wills.
WHAT IS FEAR?
In its most basic definition, fear is simply the dread of losing something we currently have. It can be fear of losing our jobs, finances, loved ones, reputations, homes, or a host of the other corporeal things we have on this earth. In this regard, fear is connected to our “will to receive.” There are ultimately only two wills from which a man operates. Either he operates like the Creator and works within the will to give, or he works within the will to receive and works only for himself, whether consciously or unconsciously.
The Creator can never have fear because He lives only to give. If we as His image-bearers would operate with this same mentality, then when something is threatened to be taken from us, we would not fear because we would understand that nothing is ours to begin with. All things are His and anything we have is only of this earth and will ultimately be taken from us when we pass.
Fear tests men’s hearts to see the strength of their faith. The Creator allows an obstacle to enter his path and it must be faced head on. His faith will be increased significantly if he recognizes that the Creator allowed the obstacle for that purpose and that he cannot give in to the spirit of fear that will no doubt be sent to prevent such an elevation. In other words, we are to acknowledge the obstacle as being from the Lord and thank Him for providing a path around the hurdle that will increase our faith at the same time. We cannot look at the obstacle itself. That’s the same as looking directly into the eyes of that mesmerizing snake, the spirit of fear. Like the cherubim, we are to focus on where the Spirit wants to go and keep all eyes on Him. And this only happens through deep prayer.
Unfortunately, most of us aren’t trained to look at obstacles as from the Lord or to know what to do to defeat them. Most of us are so used to living our lives for ourselves, satisfying the will to receive, that the very thought of losing anything paralyzes us. I remember sitting in front of a Federal Judge for sentencing in a case in which I was being falsely accused of intentionally defrauding my clients of their investment back in 2007. The fear I had of losing my freedom and my family was so severe that when I was asked to speak, I broke down in tears and almost collapsed at the weight of all that was happening. I was paralyzed by fear because I held my freedom and my life in high regard.
Since then, the Spirit has taught me that I am bought with a price and am not my own. I had to learn the hard way that although it might seem “normal” to buckle under such pressure, it’s not supposed to be normal. Fear is completely reasonable and “normal,” but, as the sages say, faith is “above reason.” The Spirit had to teach me that my comfort and security was not His highest priority. He had a plan. And in order for me to accomplish that plan, I had to be trained in a very intense environment. If I had known then what I know now about how these things work, I would have understood that He had it all under control and that this was just an obstacle in the road designed to train, equip, elevate, and increase my understanding of and intimacy with Him for the sole benefit of teaching others. The obstacles we go through are there so we can learn to help others navigate the same kinds of things which are also meant to increase their faith. In doing this, we are transformed from only being concerned about how we feel and constantly adding to the will to receive, into the real image of the Creator, who only lives for the benefit of others.
The Spirit of the living Elohim was what caused the cherubim to go in whatever direction they were instructed to go. Although they had eyes everywhere and faces in all four directions, they went in a straight line according to the instructions of the Spirit. If anyone had the right to get distracted, it would be a creature covered in eyes with four faces. I can barely stay in my lane when I’m driving and I only have two eyes!
The purpose of fear is to get your eyes off what the Spirit is saying above reason in the realm of faith and get you to focus on the obstacle and how it will make you feel to hit it. It often tries to move us to make decisions out of fear instead of faith. It uses logic, reason, and facts to steer the individual in the direction that appears to be best for “the individual,” thus satisfying his will to receive.
Most often, the direction fear would have you go is the opposite direction of where the Spirit would go. When the Israelites were faced with the giants standing in the middle of their road, logic and reason said to stay on this side of the river and protect themselves from pain. But the voice of the Spirit had already said that the land was theirs. Therefore, Joshua and Caleb believed in His promise, refused to look into the eyes of the giants, and lived “above reason” in the realm of faith. That realm of faith is what caused the Spirit to dwell among them and enable them to defeat the giants with ease.
Young king David operated in the same capacity. He did not see Goliath as an obstacle, but rather as the stepping stone to defeat all the Philistines with one blow. He did not give in to the spirit of fear, but instead believed in the name of Yahweh in the situation. Names carry authority. And David knew that Yahweh’s name was more powerful than Goliath’s. David chose to enter the realm that was beyond logic, that was above reason, and the Spirit met him in that place by guiding the stone directly into the giant’s forehead.
I am convinced that we rarely see the power of God anymore because we’re so focused on fear and on fixing our situation through logic, reason, and our own human ability that we choke out the Spirit and are left to fight the giants ourselves. What if there was a new generation of Joshuas and Calebs that refused to live by sight, refused to even acknowledge the giants, and looked at every obstacle as the key to receiving the crowns they were destined to receive? What if there was an army of kings that understood that every battle was not for themselves but to increase their faith to give to others weaker than they? What if the people of God refused to give in to fear but instead closed their eyes and decided to walk on the water that fear says is impossible? What if there were people who actually believed that every step is ordained by Him and that ALL things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according His purpose? Maybe, just maybe, we would start seeing seas split wide open, mountains move from their foundations, fear turned into opportunity, and the giants fall before our eyes. Some might say that hell will freeze over before that happens. I say that hell will freeze over WHEN that happens!
When fear tells you to not go in that direction….GO IN THAT DIRECTION!
For more on this topic, I encourage you to watch the video called “Fear Not!” which can be found here: https://youtu.be/xv6gznvI1No