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Staff Sergeant Josiah Green
T he name of my message is called "Fear Factor." God has been talking to us about fear a lot within the last four days. Every [prophetic] Word that's of considerable length, that He's been giving us, is on fear—and how He's not called us to that, and how He's not wanting us to live in that frame of mind.
But, fear is an important subject; it's a big deal. There are different kinds of fear: God was talking about fear, and how it—the world's fear—is not meant to be for His true people.
You know, there's the FEAR OF GOD, and that's what we're meant to have as Christians—the fear of God. Then, there's the fear that the devil controls, and there are so many different forms of that. It's as if it never stops; I mean, it depends on what you're scared of; that's your spectrum of fear.
Fear has a lot of different uses—people use it as a WEAPON. It can be used as a means of CONTROL: fear can be a definite controller of people—if you have people in fear, you can control them a lot easier—everybody knows that. The more people fear you, the less they do what you don't like; I mean, people don't bother you as much if they fear you.
That's how all the dictatorships, even America works—because they try to put everybody else in fear—every other country that they know of, they try to put them in fear so that way they'll do what they say. And that's not a good thing, but that's one of the ways fear works. It can also work as a PSYCHOLOGICAL INFLUENCE on people.
You know, you'll do things when you're super scared that you wouldn't do normally. Like if you know something bad is going to happen, and you're afraid of that, you'll do things, say things, and think things that you wouldn't normally do—feeding off of just fear alone. Every good communist knows that!
They know when they're going to torture somebody, the fear and the individual knowing that they're going to be tortured, works a lot more, most times, than actually torturing a that person. Just the fear of them knowing that at anytime they could possibly get hurt really bad or maimed for life works on their brain—the fear of that.
And like I said, fear has many different uses, and that's one of them: to break people, to make it where they say and do things that they wouldn't normally—because of fear. So you see, fear has a huge spectrum of uses. Also, there are many ways that fear works—it can work subtly, overtly, or through many shades of fear, to work on your brain.
But in all that right there—even without including the fear of God—that's just humans and the fear that the devil controls. That is just us humans, without
God, being worked on by the fear factor—by the thing that is called "fear," the devil's fear; he owns all that.
And when you accept God into your life, that just adds another something to fear. But,when you add God to your life, when we serve God and fear Him how we're supposed to, when we're in that state of serving Him, IN THAT STATE OF BEING LOVED BY HIM, AND WE LOVE HIM BACK, THAT REMOVES THE NEED TO FEAR ALL THE OTHER KINDS OF FEAR.
That's real easy to say. I mean, it's nice to say, "If you're serving God, then you don't need to fear anything else"—that's easy to say—but it's a lot harder to do, and to keep doing, and to practice consistently, everybody knows that. But as Christians, the devil will shoot fear at us; he'll put that over us and try to get us to take it; he'll use it as a weapon.
That's one of the devil's favorite weapons against us as Christians—not necessarily favorite, but for some people, it is, because it depends on where you're vulnerable. The devil knows where your weak spots are, and if fear happens to be your weak spot, he'll use it, and he'll shoot that at you.
It doesn't necessarily hurt you. Oh no, if he gets you to bite his fear-bait, to concentrate on how scared you are and everything that contributes to your scary fears, if he gets you to bite that, all you're doing is just getting distracted…and he knows it. AND THAT'S WHAT HE LOVES DOING: DISTRACTING US FROM WHAT WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.
You know, it's similar to how kids behave…but I'm not even going to necessarily say kids; instead, I will use MYSELF as an example. If I'm doing a job, and I get distracted, then the job doesn't get done. For me, talking is a distraction. Everybody's noticed that if I'm working and I start to talk, the job slows down bit by bit, and more emphasis goes into my talking, and more emphasis goes into me thinking about what I'm saying, trying to make a good conversation, rather than actually getting the job done.
The devil knows that, I know that about myself, and I know that about other people; that's just a fact of how humans work—if the devil can get us distracted, to where we want to put more emphasis into our fears, into what we're scared of, rather than doing the job that God's called us to do, then the devil's got one over on us. We're not necessarily headed to Hell, but WE'RE NOT PUTTING AS MUCH EMPHASIS INTO WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING FOR GOD; INSTEAD, WE ARE FOCUSED ON OUR FEARS OR other things that we're looking at.
In the Bible, the word "fear" appears about 355 times—355 times—that's a lot of instruction on fear. There are many verses on fear, or verses that relate, that talk about our relation to fear as Christians—including verses about those who serve God and fear.
As Christians, God wants us to fear Him and nobody else because, like I just said, the devil will definitely try to put fear in us as a distraction. It's crazy how many bad things there are to fear; it's endless. Fear can distracts us from our work and walk for God, and, eventually, we don't get the job done. The decisions that we make while we are preoccupied can cause us to really mess up and waste our time.
Look at Israel: they were doing good; they were ok with God. They were brought out of Egypt and got to the promise land. The 10 spies who saw the giants, got scared. And they came back and gave everybody a bad report because they were scared. They said, "Look at the size of those guys; we'll never do it!"
So, Israel was shut out of the promise land for 40 years because of fear and unbelief. They were scared, and that led them to doubt God. It's the same way with us—if we're scared, you can start doubting God. I mean, that's how it is for myself.
I START THINKING AND GOING ON THE MENTAL TRACK OF FEAR, THEN I JUST START DOUBTING GOD BECAUSE THEY'RE SO INTERTWINED—THE FEAR AND THE UNBELIEF IN GOD. THEY'RE RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER.
And you may not be openly saying, "God, I don't believe that"; it's a more subtle thing: you're just not trusting God, or you are saying, "God, how could this happen? How could these bad things be going on when you're the Almighty God who can stop it?" Oh, He lets them go on because it’s up to Him, and it's none of our business; we're just supposed to live and do what He says, and not worry about the rest.
And the devil, like I said, knows that if he can get us to swallow his bait, he's got us distracted. Then distraction leads to distraction, leads to distraction, leads to distraction. You see people who say that they're serving God, yet they're so far off track that you don't know where their distractions first start; it just leads from one thing to another, and fear is a good starting point to getting off the track with God.
Let’s go to psalm 31 real fast, verse 19. It says, "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!" (Amp.).
And just keep that in mind because it says all those good things are FOR THOSE WHO FEAR GOD. In the same way, we have to take that verse and reverse it. We need to see that if we're Christians, and we're not practicing the fear of God, if we're letting all the other fears overwhelm us and encompass us, we're not going to be gaining God’s goodness; we're putting ourselves in the open for all the filth that is in and of the world to come on us.
And when we do that, all we're doing is showing our distrust of God. We're not necessarily maliciously inventing reasons to distrust God, but when we start looking at all the evil, we can't help but take on wavering attitudes and ideas—rather than looking at situations with the attitude and idea that, "God is in control."
There are so many things to fear that once you start, you never stop. Like I said, FEAR IS ADDICTIVE, very addictive. That's another facet of fear: it's very addictive. Why do you think horror books, movies, themes etc. are booming? People are addicted to fear, and they love watching that filth. They just can't stop. They know they're going to have nightmares, and they know it's creepy. Then you see people who develop a fetish for fear because of taking in all that weird horror stuff—because they're addicted to all that perverse fear.
That is just one of the many facets of fear. But once you get started, you just can't stop. And it's hard for some people to break-out of their fear fetish. Many of these conspiracy buffs strive off of fear—fear of what the government is going to do next.
They're addicted to it. You have to destroy their computer or put duct tape over their eyes and maybe plug their ears up so they can't hear anything; then maybe you have to leave them in a padded room for 10 years to make them forget that there are that many conspiracies, because the second they can get a hold of anything, they're looking for materials that make them feel fear, "Oh my God! Who's after me now?!" Perverse fear.
God hasn't called us to perverse fear. God has called us to fear Him. Jesus said, "Don't fear those who can kill your body; don't fear those who can torture your body; fear Him who is going to put you in the cooker—after you leave your body." Now that's something to be scared of. We pave our own way to Hell when we're not doing the job that God wants us to do.
GOD WANTS US TO FOCUS ON REPENTANCE REVOLUTION and telling other people about repentance, letting them know that He's angry and if they don't repent, they're going to Hell. It's a lot nicer, I think, to know that you are right with God by staying away from the forms of perverse fear, knowing that you're on the right track by warning other people about God's anger so that they don’t go to hell. There's nothing worse than thinking you're right with God when in fact you are under His judgement the whole time; it's horrible.
It's like when you're driving and you get lost. I haven't done too much driving, but I've been with people when they are driving, and it is very exasperating when you think you're on the right track and you're actually not, and you have to get off the path you were on, go back, and find your way to where you were trying to go again. You end up wasting 20, 30 minutes, sometimes hours. It's the same way in our Christian walk. When we get off the plain path that God has set for us, and we think we're okay, all we're doing is wasting valuable time on this earth.
God is telling us constantly that "He hasn't called us to waste our time looking at what we're scared of. If we keep our vision single on Him, we will overcome ever form of fear that the devil shoots at us." It says in psalm 31, "Goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!"—Before the sons of men"—that means that you trust in the power of God more than that of mere men.
People are and will always be inherently evil. Evil in people is nothing new, and GOD WANTS US TO TAKE REFUGE IN HIM IN THE FACE OF ALL THAT, AND HE'LL PROTECT US. Those who fear Him and not everybody else, He protects them so they don't need to fear anything else.
As Christians, we're supposed to be redeeming the time because the days are evil. Ephesians chapter 5, verses15 and 16 says, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." It says: "Redeem the time because the days are evil."
It says, "Don't fear the evil, because the days are evil," It says, "Redeem the time because the days are evil", which means, "Don't get weighed down by the wrong type of fears and cares, but look at our job and strive to do our job the best that we possible can." The less we do our job, the more everything around us is going to seem evil.
So the more we do our job, the more God works bit by bit, whittling away the evil in us. People want obvious results, fast; many times, it doesn't work that way with God. Our life in Christ is a work of patience, and so we might as well get used to a slow trod uphill.
Quickly, let’s go to Proverbs chapter 1, verse 33, this is Wisdom speaking, she says, "But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil." You know what Wisdom is: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. It says, "The fear of God, and the fear of the Lord, the reverential fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 9:10). And so if you hearken to that, then you're going to dwell in safety without unnecessary fear and dread.
Go to Proverbs 19:23, it says, "The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil." You see right there the true fear of God is satisfying; it makes you realize, "Why do I need stuff and things? Why am I worrying myself about acquiring this or that to feel safe and comfortable?"
People are insecure because they're scared of everything; they're paranoid of one thing or another. You know, people are scared of some of the strangest things, but there is no need for fears for those who are truly serving God, and it is a fight to stay in the right fear of God.
The devil will shoot the wrong kind of fear at us, and we have to choose whether or not we're going to take it. It's easy to say, "Fight fear; don't be scared we don't need all that." Yes, we can have faith in our spiritual armour, but when the devil attacks us with fear, and his fiery darts are flying at us, it is much harder to have faith in our spiritual armour because we begin to think, "What if it doesn't work?" That is just how it is.
WE HAVE TO FIGHT, and we have to make sure we don't accept fear from the enemy—because it's a daily battle, and it's a choice for every one of us every day—whether we want to accept it or repel it. We have to choose to run into God.
Let’s go to Proverbs 29:25: "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high." That Scripture means that you are gravitating evil to yourself, for one, and that you will then get snared in the fear. That's what it means—you get snared in the fear. It's a snare; it's a sticky-trap of distraction that the devil sets for you—just hoping you, the dumb mouse, will walk in it.
Have you ever seen a mouse that got stuck on a sticky-pad? I've seen them before and getting the mice off is really hard. I mean they don't come off once they're stuck there. I pulled a mouse in half once, trying to get it off of there. They don't come off easily.
It's the same way with us—once we walk into the fear sticky-trap, and we let ourselves get nice and stuck down to that pad, we are not getting off very easily—because it sticks its tentacles into us. Then one fear leads to another, and they branch off into other fears like roots. There is always something to be scared of, and we can get addicted to it and forget about God eventually. You stop worrying about doing His true work; instead, you're just more interested in feeding on fear and feeding everybody else on fear—spreading the fear. God has protection for us; He wants us to run into Him, and He doesn't want us to be scared of everything else.
Go to psalm 111, verse 10; it says, "The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]. Their praise of Him endures forever." That is how we are supposed to live our life in Christ.
And I know for me, it's a fight every day because generally, fear hits me and then I tend to look at the fear and get depressed. I begin to think, "Oh God, now what?" And it's one more thing that the devil can distract me with. If he can distract me, and get me to go into depression, then I'm more focused on me and how I feel, rather than focusing on doing what God wants and thinking what He wants me to think, which is praying for souls, and trying to keep repentant before Him.
When you get depressed, you begin to worry about you and how I feel; you’re not thinking about repenting. You're thinking about yourself and pleasing YOU; You’re wondering how to make yourself feel better, not repenting.
We've got to repent because that is not what God has called us to. We need to repent and walk circumspectly if we want to be wise, if we want to truly take the wisdom that God has for us and grow in that wisdom.
A lot of people who are sucked into the wrong kind of fear think that they are so smart because they know what evil people are doing, but is that really what’s important?
Are we fearing God the way He has called us to? Are we doing what we're supposed to be doing? That's what makes us wise—that is what makes us wise before God. It doesn't matter if we think we're smart or not; it matters what God thinks!
And if God thinks we're walking in the way of wisdom, then that's what matters. Fighting off the fear that the devil tries to put on us on a daily basis, that's true wisdom before God; and that's where God wants us walking. Amen.