Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Evil Of Fear

Not many of us need to be informed that one of Satan's most successful and powerful weapons against the children of God is fear. 

He drives, he harasses, he torments, he worries; yes, he does many things for the undoing of God's people by means of this weapon of fear.

How many of the Lord's people are found in a state of weakness, impotence, and paralysis, because of fear!

They are afraid, they fear.

How many are found in a state of indecision, incapable of taking any definite, deliberate, strong step, because of fear. 

They are all the time moving so cautiously, so uncertainly, because they are afraid, because of fear, and multitudes of the Lord's people are in a state of positive spiritual defeat because of fear working in some way - foreboding, dread, apprehension. 

Fear, John rightly says, has torment, and it is possible to get into such a state that you are almost afraid to leave your home for half an hour lest you might come back and find that something has gone wrong, to take a journey without all the time wanting to keep in touch with things.

You are afraid. It is a terrible thing, this fear, and in countless ways the enemy lashes the children of God by this rod, this whip, of fear.

The Word of God is very strong about this matter. "God has not given us a spirit of fear", and let us once and for all get this kind of fear defined and disentangled from the other fear of which we have to speak, the right kind of fear.

I think that failure to discriminate in this matter is perhaps at the root of a very great deal of the defeat.

We, somewhere in the back of our minds, in an undefined way, have got muddled up and confused.

Fear - yes, but we are commanded to fear, the fear of the Lord. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

We must fear lest we make mistakes, lest we go wrong, lest we grieve the Lord; we must fear this and that.

Oh, but let us drive the wedge clean in between the devil's fear and the fear of the Lord!

They are two different things, and let us settle it once and for all that this kind of harassing, driving fear comes straight from the pit; it is born in hell, a weapon forged there by the devil himself against the children of God.

Let it be settled in your heart forever that this kind of fear is not from God. This fear is from Satan.

Oh, I do feel that it is so important that the people of God should nail this matter of fear.

When you find yourself in this state because of fear, you say, "This is not from God!"

Fear is a master weapon of Satan, and you have got to free yourself in the Name of the Lord from his awful drive by this means.
What is he after? It is always good to ask ourselves what is the effect of a thing in our lives.

I can very well discover where it comes from if I recognize what the effect is.

If a thing paralyses me, if it takes all certainty and confidence and assurance out of my heart, if it takes the steady firmness out of my walk, my tread, if it holds me up in weakness and paralyses so that I am afraid to move, then that is not of God. 

God wants His people to go forward with assurance and confidence, with a firm and steady tread, not to have in their hearts everlastingly a paralyzing doubt.

So what is the effect? Recognize that and you know where it comes from.
What is Satan after? You say, to paralyze me, to destroy me, to hold up. Oh yes, but that is only secondary! 

He is after dishonoring God, and God is dishonored in His people.

It has ever been that Satan has aimed at the work of God's hands, aimed his blow to dishonor God, and God is dishonored when His people are, in the wrong sense, fearful.

What is fear, after all? Well, it is mistrust, it is lack of faith. 

John says that it is the opposite of love. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear, and he that fears is not made perfect in love.

Fear is the opposite of love, and what is love if it is not trust? 

None of us would agree that we were loved if we were not trusted.

We demand absolute confidence as the hallmark of professed love.

It is only feigned love which has reservations about an object which it professes to love.

It is mere empty sentiment and pretense which says, "I love you but I am not sure of you".

Oh no! That is the only kind of love that we really, in our hearts, can accept and believe in.

A lot of people tell me they love me, but I know all the time they have got big questions about me and they are suspicious.

I say that kind of love is not much good, it does not help me very much.

It does not get us anywhere just to keep that shadow all the time in between.

But carry that into the divine realm. Can that be tolerated in relation to God?

I love God, but I do not trust Him, I am not sure of Him. I am afraid to go out tomorrow lest something should go wrong, lest the Lord should let me down. You see, it is very practical. 

Perfect love casts out all fear. It is by this fear and fearfulness that Satan is seeking to dishonor God in us by keeping us in a state of uncertainty about God, a reservation of confidence and trust.

Fear is the opposite of trust. If we trust, we are not afraid.

It is put quite simply: "I will trust and not be afraid" (Is. 12:2). 

These two things cannot live together - trust and fear. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 27:1). 

Oh, the gain to the enemy against the Lord along the line of fear!
But, of course, this is a very real thing, this fear, and although the Word of God may not use the phrase, we have reason to believe that amongst the hosts of evil spirits, there are definitely the spirits of fear.

For very often this thing is something extra to ourselves; it comes upon us. 

It is something that happens to us at times. We find ourselves afraid.

The enemy wants to make us afraid and his spirits of fear are sent forth to do that.

There needs to be a very definite and strong attitude taken in spirit before the Lord to resist the devil in this form.

When we say the devil, we mean all his hosts as well; however he may come - to resist fear.

It is a resolution - "I WILL trust, and not be afraid - for the Lord...".
Well, that is all I am going to say for the moment about the evil of fear.

I want you to take that word and keep it in your heart; dwell much upon it, because I am convinced that the enemy is pressing very much along this line.

Do you notice what Nehemiah said? Oh, it was a significant thing! 

Nehemiah said something more than he knew he was saying, I am quite sure of that!

He said a thing which embraces a great deal of the New Testament. He said, "For this purpose were they hired that they might make me afraid, and do so, and sin".

Yes, but that is only half. And then what? "That they might have an evil report, a case, against me".

What the enemy is after all the time is, first of all, to make afraid, and then to get us to take some step, to do something out of fear, and then to come right round on us and accuse us before God.
How cruel, how subtle, how wicked! - but that is of no consequence to him.

What he is after is to cast the saints down by accusation, and if he can only get them either to do or to refrain from doing through fear, he has got a case, and it will not be long before he comes back on that very ground and makes accusation, condemnation, and distress.

~T. Austin Sparks~

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