From the Shadows of Fear into the Light of Freedom By Babatunde Olugboji
There are ways that the spirit of fear, could seek to control and undermine us. Fear can quickly put even spirit filled, tongue talking, devil cursing believers in a jail house. Events in Genesis 3 illustrated how fear sneaked into the world when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and partook of the forbidden fruit. Thereafter, they heard God walking in the garden as the evening breeze was gently blowing. What did they do? They hid from God among the trees of the garden (Gen 3:8).
Isn’t it shocking that the people God created so that they could have a relationship with him were hiding from him? Before the fall they walked freely in the garden, having, I believe, hearty conversations with God, but after they ate the fruit, sin set in, and with it fear.
Once they sinned and disobeyed God, their sin created a prison of fear, making them cover their bodies and becoming uncomfortable in God’s presence. Fear put them within an oppressive wall of captivity. They feared God’s response to their sin. They feared their newfound awareness of sin. Fear kept them from experiencing the freedom of their relationship with God. Fear seized their freedom.
When we are steeped in fear, it takes over our thought processes, pushing us into bondage. Whether it is a fear of not knowing what the future holds, of becoming ill, or experiencing job loss, fear has the capacity to control us to the point of turning us away from God.
The Covid-19 pandemic which in a way reminds us of the story of Noah shows that fear also makes us take our focus off Jesus. Noah’s family was in forced social isolation for 40 days. And while his family was in quarantine on a massive boat, God destroyed everything outside (Gen 7).
God decreed that there would be rain for 40 days, which at that time was an unfamiliar concept. It was the first time the world would see rain. Before then, the people of that era were only used to water coming from the ground, not the sky. Rain was a novel spectacle.
Despite all the strange circumstances, the word fear never came up. God did not even ask Noah not to be afraid as he told many other people in the Bible. This man who found favor with God, walked with God, did everything the Lord commanded, and was righteous before God was probably afraid, as we all would have been if we witnessed such fearsome event. But he did not allow fear to be his focus. Noah simply fixed his gaze on God.
The enemy is happy to use the instrumentality of fear to take our focus away from God, especially when we are facing challenges. But instead of focusing on fear, this week, I beseech you by the mercies of God, to put on the eye of faith and keep your focus on God and what he is doing in your situation. He is the one who can move you out of the shadows of fear into the light of freedom. Isn’t he who rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves?
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column is written by Dr. Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.