“And he (Adam) said, ‘I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself,'” Genesis 3:10.
The first mention of fear in the Bible is in the above verse. There is a pure and holy fear of God, and there is an unholy fear. This is the unholy fear of God that leads to further corruption of the soul, and causes us to run from Him instead of to Him.
The holy fear of God would never cause us to attempt to hide from Him. The holy fear of God is rooted in the knowledge that He is God and no one can hide from Him. It acknowledges that He is all knowing, and we at best know very little. The holy fear of God is the “beginning of wisdom” (see Proverbs 9:10) because it acknowledges that we need help from Him to know anything accurately.
The unholy fear of God is rooted in the poisonous fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This fear is not rooted so much in who God is, but in our own self-centeredness. This is the fear that causes us to try to hide from God and one another. This causes the facades and pretensions that so dominate the relationships of fallen men.
Unholy fear is rooted especially in the fear of rejection. Because man was created to have fellowship with God and one another, rejection is one of the most painful human experiences, and one of the most crippling fears that dominates the human race. Rejection will either cause one to cower in hiding, or try to dominate others so you will always be the first to do the rejecting. Therefore, it takes great faith in God to come out of hiding in spite of our own nakedness. It takes great faith to be vulnerable, but this is the first step toward redemption and restoration.
Jesus was the Lord of glory and yet He emptied Himself to become a frail human child. He made Himself utterly vulnerable, even allowing corrupt, fallen men to beat and humiliate Him before submitting to the ultimate humiliation of the cross. He became vulnerable to us so we would forever understand how much He loves us. When we begin to truly behold the cross, we will begin to come out of hiding. The cross alone will free us from our deepest fears and allow us to start being real again.
Fear was introduced to man when he ate the forbidden fruit. Generally, fear is one of the biggest open doors through which the evil one enters into the lives of people. The devil controls men with fear; but the Lord leads men with faith. This battle for the heart of man is basically the determination of whether fear or faith will rule. Faith begins by knowing God’s acceptance of us through the cross. This acceptance has nothing to do with what we have done or have not done, but on what Jesus did for us. One of the great testimonies of God’s grace is the way it has been extended to even the most grotesque murderers and transgressors. It is understandable that men would be skeptical of the notable death row conversions, but the grace we can find at the cross is enough to cover any who seek refuge in Him. In fact, the Lord Himself said that those who are forgiven much will love Him much. Therefore, as we read in Romans 5:19-21:
“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Does this mean we should sin so that His grace will abound and we will love Him more? This is an ultimate deception — which Paul addressed in the verses that followed, Romans 6:1-4:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?
May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
If we have light in us, we will walk in the light, not in darkness. However, when we do make a mistake, let us flee to His grace and love, which is more abundant than we could ever exhaust.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|