“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune
Common sense tells me that the world is full of fright and fear. We have endless war, we have a disastrous economy, and eventually, we wake up to discover that the people we voted into office, and the people who run things all over the world have only one desire: Our Destruction. And that those who they do not destroy, they intend to enslave.
In combat training, the biggest thing a soldier has to learn is to keep fear from locking his brain into immobilization. Nothing makes life as real and scary as having a bunch of people you don’t know shoot at you. That is why soldiers are put through an almost interminable set of training methods that break that fear. You learn to step into a different place in your mind where fear may still present itself, but it is no more a bother to you than a gnat trying to hijack a freight train. You learn to acknowledge the fear (It keeps you alive), but not to let that fear rule your heart.
When I fought in the Martial Arts, and faced an opponent that, from all visual signals, could mop the floor with my face, I used this as an opportunity to fall back on my training. Part of that training was the comfort of knowing that I know all the skills and techniques that my worthy opponent knows. I just have to tell fear to go sit in the corner while I fall into combinations I understand, that my opponent doesn’t. I can honestly say that I have lost as many fights as I have won. Most of the fights I lost were because I let fear confuse me to the point that I forgot my training.
Those two examples describe having to face extreme fear. Then there is the daily “Worry”, “Anger”, “Anxiety”, and basic hand wringing we all experience. Trust me, these fears seem to me, at least, much more difficult to face than combat or Tournament Fighting. Even Street Fighting has a basic set of rules, and I always fall back on my training. The Fear is real, but does not rule me. And when I am able to work beyond the fear, fear loses all power over me.
Having recently joined God‘s army, I am learning a new set of skills to help me face my fears. These skills exist to help me face the same fears I was facing anyway, but using a different set of techniques.
Fear is the prime motivator in the secular world. Fear motivates greed, lust, power, and preservation. The fear of losing is what drives this world. The fact that fear is the prime motivator of secular life is an indication of a severe psychosis in our world.
We fear losing our homes, our status, not being able to pay our bills, not getting the respect from our spouses or children in the manner we think they should show. We wonder what to do when we have overspent our limit on our credit cards. But we use those cards because we want to maintain a lifestyle that is not maintainable otherwise. Life becomes about things, and the things become our masters, and our masters are afraid of loss.
We are fearful of the punishment of a society that will think you are a failure of you do not march in the same lock-step manner it marches. The biggest fear we have is the conflict over the loss of our uniqueness while trying to conform to an unforgiving world that demands you follow it’s rules. And it rules by fear. The World punishes, without mercy, anyone who cannot keep up.
The worst part is, the world insists that you achieve through debt. The world wants to loan you what you already have, and charge you interest for it. We are a debtor society who are about to see the final bill come due. The world wants you to think that there is no escaping this system.
Anyone who tries working outside the boundaries of this debtor system will be punished. Just try to buy, sell or rent or get a job with a poor credit rating. The credit system tells the world just how much you are able to play its game of slavery. This system makes life more expensive than it really. The fear of not keeping up, and the fear of losing all your status and stuff, drives you like a slave into deeper debt.
You will never be free as long as you wish to play this game. You will be punished by this system. There is seldom any real reward or freedom in this system. What reward you receive is a bribe to keep you in the game. Any freedom you have is an illusion used to make you happy you are in debt up to your eyeballs.
In the mean time, fear keeps gnawing at you because you are falling behind. You fear the ultimate rejection of this system, and fear the punishment it will bring. This wold only has illusions of love and joy and freedom. And these are also tools that are driven by fear…fear of loss.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. I John 4:18
Knowing that “The Lord disciplines the ones He loves…”, I have learned that I must be taken to the point of surrender.
It is not at all what I am trained to do in the secular world. It is not what is taught if you want to succeed on the world’s terms. And surrender is one of the very top “bad words” in the military. In the worlds way, there is only move forward, don’t hesitate, be decisive, rely on your strength, knowledge and courage. And it is brutal. You have to kill your opponent in order to win. You get to keep all the spoils of that killing.
In God’s army, the very first thing a warrior has to learn to do is surrender; Not to fear, not to the enemy, but to the sovereignty of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Surrender to the way and will of the Lord is the very first lesson in God’s boot camp.
It is Jesus who said this:
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much ore clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mat 6:24-33 NASB
I have prayed for this faith. I have asked to know the Love of God. But I had never had it vigorously tested until recently. I am faced daily with the hard questions: “Is this nonsense?”, “Am I INSANE?”, “Shouldn’t I just take matters into my own hands?”, “Is it true that God will supply all my needs, or is it true what the world says, that God will only go so far with me and I have to do the rest on my own.”
The hardest battles I have to face today is the uncertainty of not knowing outcomes, but learning to put my trust completely in God, who loves me. I am learning that God is in control of ALL the outcomes. The game is rigged in God’s favor.
I have to surrender all my doubt to Him. I have to place all my trust in Him. I have to surrender my pride, and my own resourcefulness, so that God will fill me with His faith, His love and His provision for my life.
The conundrum is that, left to my own strength, I cannot do any of these things. Even in my surrender, I need God to work in me, via the Holy Spirit, to assure me that surrender is the first step to victory.
These past 5 months have been a real trial. God has used it to teach me that He is in control. He breaks my pride, and drowns my arrogance. He shows me that His love, for Him and for Others, is the cure to fear. He shows me that He is all my provision, that defeat is not what God has in store for me. But for me to walk into the victory He has planned for me, I have to get out of His way.
I now know that, when things get real, and I want to fear, the thing that will defeat me is NOT the circumstance I am in. What will defeat me is my fear of the circumstance I am in. It is FEAR that defeats us. Fear is unbelief. It is anticipating a punishment that doesn’t exist. Fear is its own punishment. Fear is the willful disregard of the evidence of the love God has for me.
Fear made Peter sink into the sea when Christ was willing Him to walk on the water. I am defeated when I lose sight of faith and love. Faith that God has my back, no matter how ugly things look. Love is from God. When the light of the love of God resides in me, fear runs away, like a roach who has been exposed. God’s love never leaves. It is my perception of His love that changes, based on my faith and trust in Him. But His love never goes away. I just have to look at Him, instead of the waves of circumstance.
I affirm and avow that it is God who is sustaining me through my trials. It is God who proves He is more powerful than any thing the World can throw at me. It is God who shows me daily that, no weapon formed against me will prosper. It is God who embraces me in His arms when I want to fear. He does not judge me for being afraid, He loves me because He has become my first resort. His love makes my fear vanish.
Where the World judges me as not fit for them, God has said I am perfect for Him. I am redeemed through the Blood of Christ. In God’s eyes, I am complete. He is teaching me that, as my heart exchanges its attitudes for Godly values, I know that I can trust God to deliver me from anything that I face.
He may not make all my problems disappear, but He will be there to walk me through it. He will be there to be my strength when I want to faint from fear. He will carry me, He will sustain me. I have learned that, no matter what, God is my provision.
All this is true because I have accepted the free gift of Salvation from death. I accept that Jesus Christ IS the only begotten Son of God, and that Jesus took on all my sin and died for them in my place. I know and confess that Jesus had the power to raise Himself from the dead, and that the Lord Jesus, having demonstrated that power, has proven that, if I will follow Him, I too will know the power of God.
When Jesus becomes my Savior and Lord, I see that the Love of God resides in me. And I see that, as I submit to God, through the Holy Spirit, my heart will be transformed from doubt, fear, anger, selfishness, lust, and my will, and into a vessel that carries all the character and power of Jesus.
From God’s point of view, Armageddon has already happened, and Jesus is already on the throne of this world. But from my perspective, that is in the future. Even though all things are complete and finished from God’s point of view, I still have to experience time and life on this planet. During that time, as I live this life, I have to learn that the only way THIS warrior will win is by surrendering – To the Love of God.
“Perfect Love casts out ALL fear.”
Let’s be about it.
I love you
David G. Perkins