Fear is powerful. It generates strong emotions for fight or flight. Fear brings about not just emotional responses but physical as well. For the most part we work very hard at mitigating the fear that we feel and experience on a regular basis.
The time within which we live is filled with people telling us everything that we are afraid of or should be afraid of. Fear and promotion of fear is everywhere. It seems to be the currency by which those in power trade.
Do you want to consolidate power? Create fear.
Do you want to grasp power? Create fear.
Do you want to dethrone the powers? Be not afraid.
That’s right. You read that last bit properly. Be not afraid.
When you refuse to be afraid you don’t feed into the powers hunger for domination and control. When you refuse to be afraid you take their power from them.
It is fascinating to me that in the Scriptures there is the command, “Do not fear.” Also, when God or God’s emissaries show themselves they state, “Do not be afraid.”
God does not trade in fear.
Unlike the powers of the world, God does not leverage fear. God leverages kindness and love and mercy and grace. God invites the creation to the throne of grace to know their Creator.
The early church leader Paul writes, “Do you not know God’s kindness leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)”
How do we live without fear?
We acknowledge the presence of God in our midst. Not just, acknowledge but embrace, know, and experience this reality.
The prophet Isaiah writes to the people, on behalf of God, as they are on their way to exile, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand. (Isaiah 41:10)”
If we in our time could begin to embrace the reality of the presence of God with us, in us, around us, then we might have a fighting chance to press agains the fear of the age. When fear is banished the powers lose their power. They are exposed for the emptiness and nothingness that they are.
God does not trade in fear. Neither should we.