1 Peter 3:6 Weymouth, “You have become Sarah’s children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.”
We all know that healthy fear for preservation is God given. But there are also deceptive fears, and Satan uses these fears as one of his big tactics. You’ve got to watch out for them.
One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to bind us up with fear even when there is no valid reason for the fear at all. Have you ever read Psalm 53:5? It says, “There were they in great fear, where no fear was.” The margin in my Bible says, “They feared a fear!” Isn’t that ridiculous? Satan deceives us to fear a fear! That’s right. It’s not reality. It’s just the fear of a fear. What deception!
When you understand Satan’s schemes, you can guard yourself from being hoodwinked. Let’s read some more Scriptures:
Job 15:21, “The sound of fears is in his ears.” It was not a real fear, just the sound of a fear.
We constantly hear the sound of fears. We hear a negative verdict from the medical profession. We hear that you may have a Downs Syndrome baby if you are an older mother and so on. These negatives are not always facts. They are speculations as to what “might happen”. We have to decide. Are we going to base our life on what “might happen”? Are we going to be tortured by the “sound of fears”, or are we going to trust in God, who is sure, steadfast, and able to deliver us in any situation?
Job 3:25 says, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” Let’s look at the Hebrew words more closely. “The thing (pachad) which I greatly feared (pachad) is come upon me.” In other words, he “feared a fear!” He didn’t fear a reality, but a fear! But the fear had power to overcome his life.
Fear can overcome your life – even a fear that is not real. E Stanley Jones says, “Nothing that can happen to you will be as bad as the fear itself.” Francis of Sales said, “Fear is a greater pain than pain itself.”
Whooping cough was an epidemic when one of my daughters was a little baby. I feared that she would get it, and she did! What I feared came upon me. Another time an epidemic was going through our city. I was at home with my children and somehow I didn’t even hear about it until after it was all over. None of my children came down with the sickness. I believe it was because I didn’t hear about it and therefore I didn’t fear it. It’s amazing the power that hearing words can have upon us if we let the fear take hold.
1 Peter 3:6 tells us that we will be Sarah’s daughters if we are not afraid. The word for ‘afraid’ in the Greek is ‘phobeo’ which means ‘to run away, be frightened, trepidation.’ Is this where we get the word, ‘phobia’?
Isaiah 51:12-13 NAS, “You fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor…but where is the fury of the oppressor?” Don’t get trapped by deceptive fears. Do you fear a fear that is not valid? Stamp out your fears in the power of the name of Jesus. “God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Oh Father, please help me to be aware of the deceptions of the enemy. Please show me when I fear a fear that is not reality. Help me to remember that fear does not come from you. Your truth sets me free; it doesn’t bind me in fear. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
“Fear is self-centred, faith is God centred. Fear turns you toward yourself, faith turns you toward God. One is in-growing, the other out-growing. One is illth, the other is health. Fear nervously tries to hold your world together; faith surrenders your world to God.”
E. Stanley Jones