What is the greatest fear of all? It’s not really death, or pain, or suffering. The greatest fear of all is the fear of loss.
Everything someone is afraid of comes down to the loss of something: loss of life, loss of financial security, loss of friendship, loss of companionship, loss of job, loss, loss, loss. When I was in sales, I learned you don’t close the deal because someone wants what you offer as much as because they don’t want to lose the opportunity to get it at a good price, or to get it before it’s not available. Building urgency to buy is what we call it, but what it comes down to is fear of loss, the fear of losing the “deal.”
Being afraid isn’t, in and of itself, a bad thing- fear of pain is what makes us cautious and helps to avoid hurting ourselves. Fear of financial loss is what directs our decisions in investing to use discretion. Fear of death is what keeps us from doing those stupid things you see on TV and YouTube.
And fear of the Lord is what makes us courageous enough to overcome the human, fleshly fears that plague us. Fear of the Lord is trusting in God, it is honoring Him by obeying His word, it is the confidence that we receive knowing that He is always faithful to those who are faithful to Him, and that, unlike human promises, God’s promises are so trustworthy and dependable that what He says He will do is already historic fact.
If you tell people you are Born Again but still allow fear to control your life, stop being afraid, already!
Cowardice is something to be ashamed of; fear is natural, and courage is the ability to overcome fear. We are all afraid of something, of losing something, and that is not the problem: that is being human. What we need to do is overcome that fear by trusting in God.
If you are afraid of dying, remember what Shaul (Paul) said in Philippians 1:21:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
He knew that death only meant coming into the Kingdom and attaining eternal joy and peace. Heck- he was more willing to die than to live.
By listening to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) we can show bravery and confidence, not so much in ourselves as our confidence in God. In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are told:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
That “sound mind” is what reminds us to listen to the spirit of victory we have . We can feel confident, also, in what we are guaranteed in 1 John 5:4:
…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Therefore, if you are ruled by your fears, your faith is weak and you do not honor God, or demonstrate the power and the strength God gives us. Shaul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
The bible is rife with expressions of bravery in the face of our human fears, and it all depends on our faith in God.
If you are afraid of what people will think of you (fear of loss of stature) then think about what God will think of you if you do things that are meant to please people and not to please Him. Now that is something to be afraid of! To upset and dishonor the Holy One of Israel; to dishonor the name of God by telling everyone you are Born Again, then showing them the fear and cowardice that they, the unsaved and faithless, have. To allow those who reject God to say, “What difference does it make if I believe or not- you’re no different than I am! I don’t see anything special in you.”
God is special; God is wonderful; God is great, powerful and those who have God in them are able to overcome the world. That which is in me is greater than that which is in the world (look that one up on your own) and when we demonstrate that to the world through our faithful courage and perseverance, we glorify God, Messiah Yeshua and His kingdom.
So, nu? Are you glorifying God or disgracing His name? Yeshua said when we see Him we see the Father- that is because He said what the Father told Him to say, He did what the Father wanted Him to do, and He did it fearlessly. Everything Yeshua did glorified His Father in heaven.
We can’t be the same way Yeshua was, but we can certainly be more like Him than like ourselves. And that is the testimony we show to the world about God.
God told Joshua to be brave and be bold because God was with him- that’s good advice for all of us.