You don’t need me to tell you that at this point in history we have more reasons than ever before to be fearful, anxious and to worry. Our economy is nearing collapse (if you listen to certain political parties), we are running out of oil and natural gas (if you listen to certain people) and then there is the ever present clamoring over the theory of global warming. That leaves out entirely the wars, cost of living and other natural disasters.
Last time I gave you some examples of OT saints who struggled with fear and worry. There are many more than I took the time to outline for you. We didn’t even touch on Moses (Ex. 3:11, Ex. 4:1, Ex. 4:10, 4:13), or King Saul (1 Samuel 15:21-22).
I cited Eve and her struggle with the serpent as an OT narrative of being afraid she was going to miss something by not eating of that tree in the center of the garden. Let’s pick up her story today after her and Adam both partook of that fruit. In Gen. 3:8-10 we see Adam displaying a new kind of fear.
They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:8- 10
They became afraid when they knew good and evil. When their eyes were opened and they understood things they were not intended to understand. They became afraid of discovery, afraid of punishment, afraid of God.
Thankfully, a believer in Christ we have no reason to fear God in that way. Scripture has no references to their being any sort of punishment from God for a born again believer in Christ. What would God punish us for? Scripture teaches us that all our sin- past, present, future was paid for on the cross. Romans 8:1 tells us there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! When God looks at the blood bought saint, all He sees is Christ. If there was something for God to punish us for, then it would mean that Christ’s sacrifice and His redemption of our souls was incomplete.
There is no punishment for our sin coming from God dear reading friend. Do we experience consequences for our sin? Yes, of course we do and sometimes it feels like punishment but it is not. God will never punish His own children for that would make a mockery of the death of Christ and His full payment for our sin. Living in fear of a God who waits to punish is living in fear of an unbiblical God.
If you live in fear of a condemning, judgmental God something to ask yourself is if you have a real reason to be afraid. Any fear that continues beyond actual danger is an indication of a lack of faith. Is it possible you are laboring under a false salvation? Because, the greatest fear of an unbeliever should be death and judgment.
It is possible to have an understanding of your sinful condition and still be in stubborn rebellion before God. It is possible to have head knowledge of salvation, know the right words to say, what you are supposed to believe and still be unregenerate! Once you place your faith and trust in Christ that fear will dissipate.
What about participating in some known sin? It is a nervous person indeed who is willfully involved in sin and is unrepentant about it. When you are convicted it is wrong, the course of action is to stop it because you know sin does not glorify God. Then repent of the sin and be actively involved in the renewing of your mind. Memorizing Scripture and making application of what you memorize.
Are you simply enslaved to your feelings? Are your thoughts consumed by fearful thoughts that lead to the feelings of panic and anxiety and worry? If so, you must begin to keep track of your thoughts by writing them down.