Friday, June 26, 2009

The Power, Terror and Danger of Fear

A while back I once did a Bible study for my mum on how many times the Bible commands that "we do not fear". I can't quite remember the exact amount but I know for a fact that the Bible verses stretched to at least four A4 pages. That means that when Jesus said "Don't fear" - it was a command that carries the same weight under law as other more popular commands such as "do not murder". So essentially if you are living under an Old Covenant mentality or a mixture of law and grace - if you fear ANYTHING then you are as guilty as though you had murdered or committed adultery.

So thank God we are no longer under law!!! Because I don't know about you - but I fear ... frequently!

Why is fear so absolutely powerful and terrible yet so against all that God is? I learnt something about fear this week. I've been working at the Children's Hospital on the Swine Flu response team - and it has involved taking a multitude of phone calls from worried and sometimes frantic parents, staff and children who "fear" that they may have come into contact with swine flu, who "fear" that they have caught swine flu, who "fear" that if they have swine flu then they may die - a multitude of fears! And I confess I caught something of that burden upon them. Each individual I spoke to broke my heart hearing the worry and the concern in their tone. One person rang back frequently throughout the day desperate for an answer as to whether they were swine flu positive or not.

My dearest friend Ursula describes fear so vividly;

"I looked around and on about half of the church were these black demons. I'm going to try to describe it here. They were almost tar like, sticky, and they held onto the upper half of the peoples bodies. They clung with their legs around the bodies of their victims, their faces plastered over thier victims faces, covering their faces with black tar like goo, and their hands were plastered over their ears. I was so confused, and really concerned. I cried out to Jesus, "Jesus, what is this!!" ... Then the Holy Spirit answered me, in His beautiful voice of rushing waters He said to me, "Ursula, that is fear". I was like, "WHAT?". He explained to me that the demon I was seeing was fear. It clung like sticky tar, and stuck to everything that touched it. It was contagious. Transferable and imprisoning His people".

Ursula then went on (I believe) to prophesy;

"God is raising up a people who will throw off the shackles of fear, who are allergic to fear".

I think I sensed that today and quite surprisingly. I always wrongly imagined that getting rid of fear would involve "discipline" and "Bible study" and "quiet times". Pete Day blogs only when he has something to say - and boy did he have something to say about the glory returning! The same principle is true of getting rid of fear. I was driving through the torrential Birmingham rain home and I was listening to the Prom Praise album featuring Keith Getty. The assembled Royal Albert Hall crowds were singing the glorious hymn; "And Can It Be?". And the words blasted out (I never have my music quiet in the car!);

"I woke, the dungeon flamed with light - My chains fell off! My heart was free! I rose, went forth and followed Thee! No condemnation now I dread! Jesus and all in Him is mine! Alive in Him my living Head and clothed in righteousness divine! Bold I approach the eternal throne and claim the crown through Christ my own!".

Not familiar with it? Here's a choir singing it;

And I felt an awesome sense of light flaming the car as I drove. Suddenly I realised why the devil hates and fears the truth of grace so much. "Perfect love casts OUT fear". Once we grasp exactly how much the Father loves us so unconditionally and irrationally - then fear cannot keep it's "tarry, sticky" hold on us anymore. It just lets go. Why else does the Bible say; "Keep yourself in the love of God?". That's not a legalistic command! It's a life-saving call! Love isn't a nice, sloppy sentimental option! Love casts out fear. Love and fear cannot co-exist. If we know God's love, we just will find fear grows less and less.

How many of us can claim that we boldly approach the eternal throne and claim a crown!? To all those out there who like me have felt the sticky, revolting touch of fear and long for the dungeon to flame with light and find our chains are OFF and our hearts are FREE!!


Nick Cameron said...

Thanks for posting this Dan - I think I needed to read that today more than you may realise and it is not usual to be up this early on a Saturday with time on my hands - thank you for this fuel to pray and for today! Bless yer!
Nick x

Peter Day said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome!! No condemnation.

And what a testimony of grace to walk free from fear... even in the midst of many surrounded by fear. Glory to God. I pray a release of fire for boldness and healing right where you are, dear bro.

lydia said...

Amen Dan, what an awesome post!!! And I absolutely love that song, sang it all growing up, but never really understood the meaning of the word, or had them impact me so, until now.........Thanks!!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I really rate Ursula's vision, and although we understand it a bit now, I guess later as we are more experienced in this Kingdom boldness we're going to look back and really see the sticky tar that is currently all over us.

The above quote defines some of the opposite. Like everyone, I thought this was from Goethe. Apparently no.See But it is great.

There is also an even greater power in "bold teams".See my post Power of teams:

Just as it is hard for English people to get the pace of life, the buzz,the unrelenting drive of life in New York,without being there...

So it is hard to even imagine what it will be like as God opens this boldness vibe. It's one of the things in the aircraft cockpit that is not fully switched on yet.
1978 aircraft vision: