by Barbara Latta
Halloween. What more do we need to say to think of fear?
In some ways we want to avoid fear and in others we pursue fear for fun.
According to an article in healthline.com, when we are in a situation like a scary movie or haunted house, our minds know we are in a safe environment. The threat is not real so our bodies release chemicals and hormones that produce a high much like when we are happy or excited.
When I was a pre-teen, I went to see Frankenstein Created Woman. I had been forbidden to go, but, of course, being an almost teen-ager I went anyway. I don’t think I made it all the way through the movie before leaving the theater and I spent the night with my head under the covers and my eyes wide open.
Crowds flock to haunted houses and horror movies and some of them, like me, double lock the doors when they get home and jump at every creak of the house. Others go back for more. The reason could be that different personalities produce different amounts of dopamine which jump start the mind thrill. Obviously, I wasn’t one of those.
But in real situations of danger, the brain must determine if we are in a safe place or not. Without having time to comprehend that this is not a thrill moment, we run and scream. If we are being chased by a wild animal or being mugged in the park, the scary high wouldn’t be fun. It’s the warning needed for protection.
Where did fear come from?
There was no fear until sin came upon the scene.
The first fear was when Adam and Eve sinned and hid from God. Adam said, “I was afraid…and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10). He had never experienced fear before, but his conscience knew he had transgressed God’s commandment. He was afraid of judgement. And they should have been afraid. God told them what would happen if they disobeyed. The penalty was death. If you have never seen death, you aren’t going to know what it is, but based on the fear they felt, they knew it wasn’t going to be good.
But God’s mercy killed an animal in their place. And several millennial later, God’s mercy killed His Son in our place. Physical death still happens, but spiritual death has been done away with.
That fear factor has been passed down to all humans since Adam. And the enemy of our souls, Satan, uses that factor to incite fear and use it against us to make us afraid of God.
After all, aren’t there oodles of verses in the Bible telling us to fear God?
Yes, there are. And I discovered that the verses telling us to fear God and those where he tells us not to fear are using the same Hebrew word, yawray. That sounds confusing until the actual meaning of the word is discovered. It means to revere.
Fear God – hold in reverence
Fear not – do not hold in reverence
There will be a final judgement and those not ready to stand before God should fear and tremble. But until that day, He is extending mercy and grace for those who don’t know him to have time to repent so they will not be included in that sentence.
That day will not be the thrill-seeking high of fear. It will be real to those who have refused the payment Jesus made. It will be a fear like nothing on earth has ever rendered.
While on earth, there is still time to repent. If you haven’t done so, He is holding out His hand to you now. The tab on this blog page titled “Knowing God” can help you make that decision.
And may you live a fear-free life!
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