Kingdom Dynamics Weekly (KDW): Fear is not from God (1) -Tunde Olugboji
This week, we will start a series addressing the subject of fear. Many believers are not only living in fear but are defined by it: fear of what the future holds, fear of failure, fear of this, and of that. In the grand scheme of things, there are broadly, two kinds of fear. One that comes from the devil, which I will label Type 2 fear, and the other that should be accorded to our father in heaven, Type 1 fear, aka reverential fear.
This week, we’ll open with Type 2 fear, the kind of fear Apostle Paul talked about: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). We all face situations where we could be fearful, sometimes irrationally. Medical professionals often use the word ‘phobia,’ which is an exaggerated fear of something that is unlikely to cause harm and it comes from the Greek word ‘phobos,’ which means fear or horror.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, categorizes phobias into five:
1. Fears related to animals (spiders, dogs, insects).
2. Fears related to the natural environment (heights, thunder, darkness).
3. Fears related to blood, injury, or medical issues (injections, broken bones, falls).
4. Fears related to specific situations (flying, riding an elevator, driving).
5. Others (choking, loud noises, drowning).
A 1998 survey published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that some of the most common phobias include: acrophobia, fear of heights; aerophobia, fear of flying; arachnophobia, fear of spiders; astraphobia, fear of thunder and lightning; autophobia, fear of being alone; claustrophobia, fear of confined or crowded spaces; hemophobia, fear of blood; hydrophobia, fear of water; ophidiophobia, fear of snakes and zoophobia, fear of animals.
Beyond the above, we sometimes have the fear of the enemy, of what tomorrow holds, of failure, etc. So, how do we confront these Type 2 category fears? For believers, the first step is to understand that fear is not from God. In 2 Timothy, God wanted Timothy to know that the fear he was experiencing was not from the God he served. If it is not from God, it must be from the devil, and we shouldn’t accept what God has not given us, but humbly receive what he has given us (a spirit… of power and of love and of a sound mind).
The second step is to have a good understanding of what God has given us: a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. When we do his work, proclaim his word, represent his kingdom, we have all his power supporting us. We are safe in his hands. This power is expressed in how much we can love others. He has also given us a sound mind. The ancient Greek word here had the idea of a calm, self-controlled mind, in contrast to the panic and confusion that comes in a fearful situation.
I want you to declare this week: God, I am aware that you are not an architect of fear. Whichever fear I am experiencing may be from a weakness of the flesh, a demonic attack, or any other source, but definitely not from God. As such, I reject Type 2 fear vigorously, this week and always.
Have a great week.