It was seen initially in the garden of Eden following the rebellion of man,which fractured man's intimate relationship with the God of Heaven Who had made man for Himself. When God asked them why they had taken the visible action of running away and attempting to hide from Him, their clear response revealed their motivation to be that of fear.
But, one may ask, what precipitated that first recorded emotion of fear? We know, from reading Genesis 3, that disobedience produced fear, and fear produced further actions of disobedient attempts to distance themselves from His very Presence. They found, as do we, that there is nowhere to hide from God, and thus, we need to see fear as a secondary issue to the primary area of need.
Fear, like the wind, is an unseen factor, but we easily can see its visible illustration in our attitudes, behaviors, and communications. It would often appear to be the "root" of unbiblical " fruit" in our lives. Sometimes we are afraid of not pleasing people, or losing face in the opinions that others have of us. Often, it may be a fear of the unknown future that lies ahead, especially in times of poor health or economic crisis.
But, the real question is, what is the deeper heart problem that precipitates the fear? The answer is seen, as discussed in Genesis 3, in that when we resist the divine design of God for our lives,the unbiblical response of fear is experienced. Subsequently, there are definable and visible actions as a result.
What is the solution? 2 Timothy 1:7 teaches us:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
In salvation, by grace, through faith, God displaces fear with the authority and responsibility to both please Him and profit others (Matt. 22:37-39). He provides perfect peace and stability of mind, as we keep our mind stayed on Him (Isa.26:3).
Thereafter, the fear of men is of no importance, since when a man's ways please the Lord, even His enemies are at peace with him (Prov. 16:7). The fear of the unknown future fades as we remember that our times are in His hands (Psa. 31:15). Even the fear of death loses its sting in recognition that Psalms 17:15 teaches that I will behold His face in righteousness, and I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with His likeness. Psalms 16:11 promises me that in His presence is fullness of joy.
As a child of God, failing to focus on God's promises will always bring human fear. Therefore, as the psalmist declared in Psa. 56:3, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee". May God help us today to recognize fear as the indicator for us to recognize our wrong perspective, respond to His limitless mercy and grace, and refocus on His promises to us!
(C) 1993, 2005 N.A.Collins. Copy permission for one personal file copy