Adam Gave It Away
I was considering the fallenness of the earth and the fact that the earth is under the control of satan. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. (2 Corinthians 4:4) The world falls deeper into the chaos of sin every day. People think of sin as the big things (murder, assault, rape, etc.), but in fact the world is covered in sin when you compare us to the holiness of God. The world God gave us was covered in His glory, and it was very good! And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31) The world has fallen into darkness (away from God’s light) and its sinfulness is so prevalent that people don’t recognize it anymore. Sin has become normal and everyone is desensitized to it.
I began working through Genesis today for a group study and had a thought in regards to all of this. God gave the world to Adam and Eve. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion… (Genesis 1:28) Adam and Eve were given dominion over all of the earth and its creatures! But above we see that satan is the god of this world. We have to realize that Adam gave satan this world in original sin. In God’s light Adam ruled over all of God’s creation, but in sinful darkness, satan is lord. I say this to illustrate how sin gives the deceiver power. Sin gives him a foot hold in the lives of all people. When hearts are turned back to God and made pure in the blood of Jesus, satan is defeated. God’s light drives out darkness. The same goes for your mind, heart, and life. Give God control of everything and walk in His light. Satan doesn’t have dominion over you if you refuse to give it to him, in sin. Don’t make the same mistakes we see in Adam. Let him be our example and let Jesus be our way out. Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can you escape the darkness. The Spirit of God is yours in Jesus. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:17-19)
Fear as Depression/Sadness
Depression comes from a fear that things will never get any better. That fear fuels a hopelessness that reason cannot redirect. Allowing that fear to grow begins a downward spiral where the unrealistic fear builds upon itself. Eventually depression reaches a point that when things do improve, the emotion is so solidified that the good times are a lesser version of reality. This in-turn makes recovery even more difficult as the light looks dimmer as time goes forward. To curb depression we must attack that fear. The light of God can shine into the darkest depression. This comes from experience not a theory. It is unrealistic that things will always be hard. We cannot drift into hopelessness. This fear must be met with God and His reality!
Fear as Pride
Pride is fear of including the thoughts of other people into your potentially fallible position. People work hard to create opinions and positions on every topic that they are exposed to. They work even harder to make sure that their opinion is relevant and valuable. When an opposing opinion might prove theirs inadequate pride creeps in. They first have to attack the person expressing the opinion to prove superiority and then undermine the value of the opposing opinion. The opposite of pride is humility. How much better and well-rounded would we be if we took a position of humility and allowed potentially valuable information to help grow our ideas? Be open to ideas that contradict yours. Sometimes an opportunity for growth comes from the most unlikely source.
Fear as Greed
Greed comes from a fear that God’s provision will not be enough. People gather resources at the expense of others to ensure that their needs will be unconditionally met. They gather provision that will ruin over time. Just like in the wilderness when the Israelites were told to gather manna for the day. When they attempted to gather more it spoiled overnight. God provides more than we need. He does this in the hope that we will use that provision to provide for those around us. He could provide for them specifically but when His children do His work, the recipient can give glory to God. The world is full of people who prosper and refuse to give credit where it is due. Know that God gives abundantly for the purpose of His glory. He provides for His children. He promises this so there should be not room for fear reflected as greed in a believer.
Fear as Un-Forgiveness
A lack of forgiveness occurs when there is a fear of reoccurring behavior. Sometimes it occurs when a situation is too painful to be dealt with so an inability to forgive that person acts to create separation and safety. If we choose not to forgive we maintain a ‘safe’ distance from pain. We also isolate ourselves from people and unrelated situations and relationships. God desires reconciliation. He reconciled us to Him when we did not deserve or even ask for forgiveness. Being Christ-like is being willing to forgive, even in moments the other person doesn’t show remorse. Extending forgiveness sets the injured party free as much as the person who created the issue. The true goal should be to forgive as God does. Another valuable lesson is to learn from the inflicted pain and grow in unconditional love for people. That is the ultimate command of God.
Fear as Hatred
Hatred develops from a fear that there is no possible resolution. When things have become so bad that hope is lost, the safest emotion position is found when we detach. The easiest way to detach is to hate. Hate prevents any further emotional attachment. Hatred creates a selfish safety. While the heart of hate remains safe, the victim of that hate is left even more vulnerable. With that thought we can see how selfish and worldly a position of hatred is. Selfish and worldly are antonyms of what God is. Instead of hate, we must be children of God who seek resolution. Even if that resolution is not emotionally safe for us. Our God is a God of reconciliation proven when He sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him. When your emotion begins to develop into hate you have to rely on God to find resolution, and to give you hope. There can be no hate where there is hope. Don’t fall into a selfish position of hate. Don’t project your fear as hate and create a greater impedance to resolution and reconciliation. Be an example of God’s design.
Fear as Resentment/Jealousy
Resentment and jealousy can come from a fear of inadequacy. We see people either getting away with sin or excelling in their sin. We in turn become resentful that we live a life pleasing to God and they seem to be more abundant in God’s provision. That is not the case. These people are gathering worldly riches which are but dust in the eye of eternity. As God’s chosen we have become eternal beings. We must see their gain in the proper light. God provides for His children what they need to grow in a way pleasing to Him, a way that will benefit His eternal kingdom. When you are a child of God you are no longer able to be inadequate. You must view things in this new context. Do not envy the lives of others. Their path is not yours. God designed your path just for you. Use His provision to learn and grow into Christ-likeness: fearless.
Fear as Anger
Anger is a ‘go-to’ emotion. It’s easy. It takes the inward fear and reflects it outward, it makes other people victims of your fear. The majority of the time we are angry, it is fueled by another emotion that we are choosing to not deal with. We avoid dealing by covering it with anger and focusing out fear outward. There is justifiable anger described in the bible and shown in the actions of Jesus (flipping the tables of the money changers in the temple). We must be careful to accept the real emotion and deal with it instead of letting it turn into anger, and if we feel angry: stop, and be honest enough with ourselves to find the source. Our God is not an angry God! He is a God of love. Be a representation of God: exemplifying a love that cannot be explained. That love drives out anger, whose source comes from fear. (1 John 4:18)
Fear drives many of the emotions that cause us to try and work ahead of God. Fear drives many of the other emotions that we might not realize come from fear: anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, sadness, un-forgiveness, greed, pride, depression, anxiety… I’ve heard fear describe with the acronym: False Emotions Assumed Real. Many times we add more weight to a situation which in turn creates in us more emotion. Eventually the amount of emotion we attach to a situation becomes uncontrollable and the false assumptions creep in. These false assumptions act as fuel for the emotions that take us away from reality and toward the coping emotions where there is not truth and healing is impossible because the source is so far removed from the new reality.