Maybe you’ve heard the Bible quoted that God doesn’t give people the spirit of fear. What does that mean? Certainly it doesn’t refer to experiencing the emotion of fear because we all do.
The spirit of fear is what I call “fearful thinking.” It’s about irrational perceptions or having profound fears about death, injury or being put down by others.
I was in the Lava Caves in Bend OR with my six-year-old grandson. It can be a hundred degrees outside but in those caves, it’s cold and dark! We had to have a lantern. Nothing was wrong until we went a mile into the caves. For a moment I turned the lamp off to experience the darkness. Whoa! We both felt the emotion of fear. I quickly turned the light back on.
Then my grandson said he wanted to wait for more people with lanterns. His imagination got the best of him about bats in the cave etc and maybe he thought I’d turn the light back off.
I bent down toward him and said, “I won’t turn the light off again. Will you trust me?” He did and holding his hand, we started going deeper into the cave. Once we returned to the surface, he was glad. He was ecstatic. Actually I was too. We were warm again.
Lickety Split game players find ways to avoid being afraid at all cost. They won’t ever admit they’re afraid. They’ll avoid being held accountable for anything and feeling lousy if they can’t be in control. They trust no one.
Jesus willingly made himself nothing by entering a dark cave of death for our sins on a cross. Did he experience the emotion of fear? I think he did. Did he have the spirit of fear? No. There was a balance between experiencing the emotion of fear and understanding fearful thinking. How do I know that? He chose to trust the Father even when a question he asked wasn’t answered. Three days later the Bible states he arose from that grave.
Where do you find balance when feeling afraid verses thinking about being afraid?