From Fear to Faith
By: Apostle Skhumbuzo Sangweni
Study Scripture: And he (Adam) said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself ” (Genesis 3:10).
It is in the above scripture that the word ‘fear’ is mentioned for the first time in the bible. There is a pure and holy fear of God, and there is an unrighteous fear of the Lord that leads us away from Him, this fear is rooted in corrupted knowledge of who God is. When Adam partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he received knowledge and wisdom which was established in both his fallen nature and the influence of the serpent, when God came into the garden in the cool of the day, Adam hid himself because he had received new knowledge that he was naked, this knowledge imparts an unholy fear of God, that condemns and distances us from the Lord.
The holy fear of God would never cause us to attempt to hide from Him. The holy fear of God is embedded in the knowledge that He is God and no one can hide from Him. It acknowledges that He is all knowing, and we at best know very little. The holy fear of God is the “beginning of wisdom” (see Proverbs 9:10) because it acknowledges that we need help from Him to know anything accurately.
Unrighteous Fear has its origin in rejection, one of the basic reasons for creation was fellowship, both with God and with one another. Rejection can be really painful and it distorts this basic reason of creation, causing us to always approach relationships either out of fear or out of always wanting to control the other person. Relationships are the most valuable treasures we have in this life, and being naked and vulnerable with those we are in relationships with, is a sign of redemption and restoration. Adam hid because he was naked, he could not be vulnerable with God, he was ashamed of his nakedness, by the way he always was naked both before God and his wife (Gen 2:25) And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. But when unrighteous fear entered him, his state of nakedness caused shame which in turn drove him to hide from God. It was for this very reason that Jesus hung on the cross naked, the Roman crucifixion involved total nakedness. So that at the cross the nakedness of man is redeemed, no need to run away from God any longer.
Jesus was the Lord of glory and yet He emptied Himself to become a frail human child. He made Himself utterly vulnerable, even allowing corrupt, fallen men to beat and humiliate Him before submitting to the ultimate humiliation of the cross. He became vulnerable to us so we would forever understand how much He loves us. When we begin to truly behold the cross, we will begin to come out of hiding. The cross alone will free us from our deepest fears and allow us to start being real again.
Fear was introduced to man when he ate the forbidden fruit. Generally, fear is one of the biggest open doors through which the evil one enters into the lives of people. The devil controls men with fear; but the Lord leads men with faith. This battle for the heart of man is basically the determination of whether fear or faith will rule. Faith begins by knowing God’s acceptance of us through the cross. This acceptance has nothing to do with what we have done or have not done, but on what Jesus did for us. One of the great testimonies of God’s grace is the way it has been extended to even the most grotesque murderers and transgressors. the grace we can find at the cross is enough to cover any who seek refuge in Him. In fact, the Lord Himself said that those who are forgiven much will love Him much. Therefore, as we read in Romans 5:19-21:
For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Does this mean we should sin so that His grace will abound and we will love Him more? This is an ultimate deception—which Paul addressed in the verses that followed, Romans 6:1-4:
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
If we have light in us, we will walk in the light, not in darkness. However, when we do make a mistake, let us flee to His grace and love, which is more abundant than we could ever exhaust.
Prayer: Father I pray that you deliver me from unrighteous fear that is not based on the true knowledge of your word, roll away the shame of my nakedness and forgive me from operating from a false knowledge that causes me to run or hide from you each time I have sinned or failed. Deliver me from the fear of rejection and help me to have healthy relationships with us. Lord give me faith that allows me to connect and appropriate all that Jesus accomplished for my life at the cross, thank for the grace that I have received and that through it I can always run to you. I pray this in Jesus’ name!
Confession: I confess that I walk by faith and not by sight. I renounce all unrighteous fear that has held me bound in rejection and condemnation, I’m the righteousness of God in Christ, I walk in the newness of life. Grace reigns in me through righteousness, I have the faith of the son of God. In Jesus’ name!