One of the most frequent commands given by God throughout the Bible is to “fear not.”
I have to admit, I am horribly guilty of this sin. Yes, sin.
Jesus did not merely tell us to “fear not” as a way to console us or make us feel better about the cursed lives we live. No, Jesus told us not to fear because fear is a wretched parasite that plagues and corrupts the entire body.
How often are you fearful? How many times a day do you allow viral thoughts to enter into your mind?
Don’t think you experience fear on a daily basis? Let me ask you this: do you worry?
Worrying is a Sin
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear… Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest (Luke 12:22, 25-26)?”
Worry is fear that has been normalized. I would venture to say that “worry” is one of the most rampant and damaging sins in our culture, yet, it’s a flaw in our character we rarely address.
Fear and worry seem commonplace and normal in our society, but there is nothing normal about subjecting ourselves to the adverse effects of stress that results from chronic worrying.
If Jesus commands us not to fear or worry, then we are sinning every time we ignore Him and allow worldly concerns to plague our mind.
The Antidote for Fear
In 1 John 4:18, the disciple John says,“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” And in verse 8 he says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Fear keeps us from God. We can’t be filled with the Holy Spirit to our maximum capacity if we have fear and worry plaguing our bodies.
John goes on to say that, “fear has to do with punishment.” And I say that punishment has to do with the enemy. For far too long, we have allowed the enemy to use fear and worry as silent but lethal weapons to steal the peace and joy that Jesus came to bring.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).”
By normalizing fear and worry, the enemy may not be able to conquer our souls, but he can certainly keep us from being filled with God and being effective in His Kingdom.
But there is good news!
God tells us in 2 Chronicles 20:15, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s.” And in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.”
We have the antidote for the fear virus: love. God is love, and perfect love casts out fear. If His Holy Spirit is living inside of us, then fear has no right to us. We get to choose who rules our life: fear or love.
Where in your life is worry taking over and stealing your joy and peace? What tangible step can you take today to fight back fear with love?