George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece “1984” paints a chilling portrait of prolonged fear and anxiety that many of us can relate to in 2022. The opening words of Orwell’s book sets the stage: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
The proverbial clock struck thirteen for many around the world with the onset of the coronavirus plandemic. It was our first experience with mask mandates, travel restrictions, lockdowns, and financial uncertainty. It seemed like the spirit of fear was unleashed without warning. Confusion and despondency had hitched a ride on a train bound for hopelessness.
The Origin of Fear
The Scriptures inform us that everyone has been held in bondage to fear at one time or another. When we are afraid, we do crazy things, like run away from our Creator and cook up our own solutions to the problems we face. This is nothing new. It started in Eden almost immediately after Adam and Chavah (Eve) transgressed divine law. Remarkably, this event is the first time fear is mentioned in the Bible.
And Yahuah Elohiym called unto A’dam, and said unto him, Where are you? And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.Genesis 3:9,10 Eth Cepher
Before they sinned, the notion of fear was foreign to the first couple. All of their needs were met and they were spiritually in-sync with their Creator — able to hear His voice. They were one (echad) with the Father and reaped the benefits of that spiritual union with the blessings of peace of mind, provision, and happiness. That all changed when they were seduced into believing that the Father’s promises weren’t enough. The appeal to their carnal nature by the serpent was too potent for them to overcome.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For Elohiym knows that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as elohiym, knowing good and evil.Genesis 3:4,5 Eth Cepher
Sin has a way of stripping us of our armor and removing the hedge of protection given to all believers in Yeshua who are walking in covenant obedience. We are exposed when we rely on the “arm of the flesh” to rescue us. Our solutions to life’s problems become an idol of our own making. Uncertainty of what will happen to us in the future has a way of turning us all into cowards.
The Spirit of Fear
The spirit of fear is usually triggered by imagined threats to our future or well-being. If you’re a parent you worry about the welfare of your children. Singles and Senior citizens wonder how they’re going to make it alone if something really bad happens. And when we live in a prolonged state of constant fear, it not only incapacitates us but puts our emotional and physical health at risk.
Prolonged fear weakens our immune system and creates a hormonal imbalance that brings on the very health issues we worry about. Cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal issues, impaired thinking, clinical depression, and fatigue are just a few of the problems created by long term anxiety.
But Yah has not given his sons and daughters a spirit of fear. He expects us to trust Him when life goes south.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7 Berean Study Bible
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”Romans 8:15 Berean Study Bible
Believers in Yeshua have been given the Spirit of power, love, and self discipline. Our Father expects us to tap into that power when confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in life. But we have to exercise these spiritual gifts like King David. When he confronted Goliath, his confidence had been built up over time by his successes in killing the lion and the bear that had threatened the sheep of his flock. Like in the past, David knew that the Most High would be there with him when he faced the giant from Gath in the valley of Elah.
Conquering Fear Through Faith and Trust
The only proven way to conquer the spirit of fear is to believe what our Heavenly Father says about it.
Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for Yahuah Elohayka is with you whithersoever you go.Joshua 1:9 Eth Cepher
It’s really that simple. Either we believe that Yah will see us through any catastrophe — real or imagined — or we don’t. The Word is either true or it’s not. You have to decide whether to put faith in your fears or in the promises given every believer that we will not be forsaken in our time of testing.
In every example of faith given in the letter to the Hebrews, action was also present.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.Hebrews 11:7 Berean Study Bible
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, without knowing where he was going.Hebrews 11:8 Berean Study Bible
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after his birth, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were unafraid of the king’s edict.Hebrews 11:23 Berean Study Bible
Remember, faith is active, not passive. Faith requires action in the form of obedience. For example, you want to get out of debt. You pray and expect to receive a plan from the Holy Spirit on how to get it done. You take action by drawing up a budget and devising a plan to pay off your debt. Your faith (belief) in the promise of Yah to give you wisdom, coupled with the “works” of budgeting, discipline, and perseverance will result in becoming debt free one day!
Now, you can also choose to spend your money buying lottery tickets, hoping for a quick fix outcome. But the latter example is a “pie in the sky” means of relying on “luck” and is fleshly.
Trust in Yah’s Promises
Yah will do for us what masks, gloves, storable food, and vaccines can never do. He alone is our protection. When we abide in Him no evil or plague will overtake us. Yah says when we call on Him he will answer and be with us during times of trouble. When we look to Him during times of pressure and crisis our reward will be His salvation and long life.
We should never bow to the spirit of fear, no matter what form it takes. When we do, we are participating in a type of false worship; putting ourselves at the feet of timidity and cowardice. We are setting up unclean spirits as idols (authority) to be worshiped. If we listen to the voices in our heads that tell us we’re not going to make it, or that Yah doesn’t care, what will we do when the real pressure comes under the rule of the anti-messiah?
When we understand that fear is akin to worship and is a tool used by the enemy of our souls to exert control, we can break free from it and be released from the expectation of impending doom. When we seek wisdom (in faith), then the solution to any problem or situation we face will be made known to us.
Meditate in the fear of the Most High, and think upon His commandments continually: Then will He instruct thine heart, and He will make thee wise (in that) which thou desire.Sirach 6:37 R.H. Charles Translation
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.Matthew 6: 31-33 Berean Study Bible
Of course there are times when fear works to our advantage by preserving life. This is the fight or flight response. But living in a state of constant fear and worry weakens our immune system and can damage our heart, accelerate aging, and lead to premature death. Fear interrupts the brain’s ability to regulate emotions, which can have a negative impact on decision-making. Other consequences of prolonged anxiety are post traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, and fatigue. There is also evidence to support the notion that it is possible to inherit trauma. In spiritual terms this equates to generational sin passed down to us from our ancestors.
Brothers and sisters I am not saying do not prepare for emergencies. It is always a good idea to do those things you know to do in order to protect your family from natural or man-made disasters. To the best of your ability put away emergency funds, food, water and other things you will need. But don’t put your faith in them. Only the Most high can protect us and shield us from events that are prophesied to occur in these last days.
God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.Jim Elliot
For those of you worried about your children’s future, consider that Noah lived during times of incredible spiritual darkness. Knowing that men and beasts were going to be destroyed by a coming flood, he chose to have children anyway — 3 boys — when he was 500 years old.1 He, like Abraham to come, put his faith in the One who had the power to save. King David said…
I once was young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread.Psalm 37: 25 Berean Study Bible
So, be wise. Prepare your souls for the coming of our High Priest and King Yeshua2 by living righteously. Study and practice what you read in the Scriptures. It will keep you from living in fear.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear.Psalm 46: 1, 2(a) Berean Study Bible
1 Genesis 5:32
2 Read The Gospel Worth Dying For, “Yeshua Our High Priest”, Chapter 4, page 35
Brenda Ross is a co-author of the book, “The Gospel Worth Dying For.” She is a former major market radio and television broadcaster who has served as Single’s Ministry Director at one of Houston’s Memorial Drive-area churches, a Jews for Jesus staff volunteer, and participated in mission outreach activities in Costa Rica, Mexico, and China. Urban mission experience includes volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity and catering to the homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.