Episode 3 : Three Greatest Commands
Yes. There are 10 Commandments in the Old Testament. When asked, Jesus said the greatest command was to love God first with everything you are and the second greatest command was like it - to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39). So what's the third? The one I would argue that most people have trouble with. And I would also argue that it's one of the biggest things that keeps them from fulfilling the first two...
I believe the third most important command is the one most repeated throughout the entire Bible. It goes something like this: Fear not. Do not be afraid. Have no fear. If it wasn't so important, why does God feel the need to say it over and over and over and over?
I'm not going to capture all the scriptures and provide them here. If fear is a challenge for you, then you should really take the time and put forth the effort and energy to seek out His Word for yourself. And it doesn't matter what you call it. Concern, worry, anxiety, panic... they're just all different words to express fear on some different level or in some different form. Fear is fear. Period.
You were made in the likeness and image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God doesn't have any fear in Him. You weren't created to have fear either! And I'm not talking about Biblical "fear" as in reverence for God. I'm talking about that psychological state of dread or terror that can and will have physiological effects on your body.
If you're a born-again, Bible-believing, Jesus-following disciple of Christ, then when you were born again, old things passed aways and all things were made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). That includes your fallen, broken, imperfect spirit. God put a new spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:26). God didn't give you a spirit of fear (Romans 8:15), He gave you HIS Spirit! (Isaiah 59:21, Ezekiel 36:27, Ezekiel 37:14) The Holy Spirit Himself lives in you (1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Timothy 1:14, Ephesians 5:18 among others)!
Contrary to popular belief, there's no such thing as a "healthy" fear. All that's going to do for you is open the door to more. I'm not saying you shouldn't exercise some caution in certain situations. If you're crossing the street, use caution, but don't be afraid of getting hit by a car. If you're walking or hiking through the woods, use caution so that you don't take a wrong step. But fear should not be a part of anything you do or your motivation to do or not to do something.
Look. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior and has conquered sin, death, and hell for you, what's left to fear? Not a single thing. If you haven't made the decision to believe in and follow Him, if He's not your Lord and Savior, then you're just going to have to get used to fear. Learn to live with it. Or you can choose Him.
Fear is faith in the lies of the devil where peace is faith in the promises of God.
Again, you get to choose. Meditate on the thief coming to steal, kill or destroy (John 10:10) or meditate on the promises of God which in Jesus are yes, and they will be done for you (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus came that you might have an abundant life - a quality life (John 10:10). So you can choose to think about all the "what ifs" and focus your energy on the curse coming to fruition in your life, or you can choose to believe God and that His blessing will manifest in your life. God said the choice is up to you (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Don't let fear stop you from fulfilling the first two greatest commandments. Don't let fear stop you from loving God with all you are. Don't let fear stop you from loving others. Fear is a thief of joy, a destroyer of lives, and killer of dreams. Fear belongs to the devil and you don't have to receive anything from him. Remember, fear is a spirit (Romans 8:17). Don't do anything (including watching scary movies or horror films!!!!) to invite that spirit into your life. I could go on and on and on, but maybe I'll write a book instead.
And getting rid of fear is another important reason to practice the love of God. Why? Because there is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18) God's love for you is perfect. If you're living in fear of anything or anyone, you're not fulfilling the first two greatest commandments. You're not perfecting your love. If you're not living in the love of God or others, you're going to be subject to fear.
Practice the love of God.