Fear Not by Fred Bischoff

Fear Not

by Fred Bischoff  |  April 7, 2017

Fear is a tricky thing. In the biblical worldview it originated—of all places—in a garden named pleasure. It is the child of insecurity, the product of removing one’s heart focus from the all-powerful, benevolent, pleasure-giving Creator God, and trying to lean on a broken branch. Not safe! Such a position seemed right at first to Eve, and then to Adam, but the results are obvious, around us and in us.

Have you ever noticed that the prime setting for fear is an encounter with the supernatural? From Adam and Eve’s first meeting with God after their fall to story after story of people encountering angels, fear is usually the first reaction. You can read the non-verbal emotion, “Oh, my! What is going to happen to me?”

God and His team understand our insecurities. That’s why their first words were often, “Fear not.” It’s why we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” not the end of it. What I hear God saying is, “Put your heart’s focus on Me, with all your insecurities. Be afraid of losing Me more than anything else, including your life.”

God and His team understand our insecurities. That’s why their first words were often, “Fear not.”

That’s why Jesus said plainly, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. . . . Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luke 12:4-5). But do you recall what Jesus said next? “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (verses 6-7).

Did you notice it—”fear” and then “fear not”? As we keep our focus on Him who is love, and His love matures us, anchors us in our God-given value, perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:16-18).

I’ve been thinking a lot about the supernatural forces in our universe. We’re immersed in a battle much bigger than we are. It can be very frightful. Our real enemies are not even human! I encourage you to study the “armor” we need for the encounters (see Ephesians 6:10-18). We’re going to need every piece of that armor more and more in the days ahead.

Fred Bischoff Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers
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  • Maryann Lee

    Amen. On front line one “sees” and “hears” the devil and his angels, for real. It’s so overwhelming that one could hardly believe it’s real, but is, and long term, over 15 years of it w/o any religious or bible knowledge, it is very frightening after all the body damages, losses, etc. It’s real! Hard to return back fully into front line. Hard to rid post traumatic stress, to regain courage.

  • Marianne Myhre

    Please address this verse as well: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Rev 21:8)

  • Fred Bischoff

    Marianne, that text describes the end Jesus warned us to avoid, in Luke 12:5. Unless our hearts’ focus is on Him, and His love casts out the fear (a process He walks us through), we will be among those fearful your verse mentions. There is no future for them. Let us put on “the whole armor of God”–to stand with Him through the final battle.

  • Fred Bischoff

    Yes, Maryann, I agree it’s easier with “religious or bible knowledge”, so let’s immerse ourselves in the Word–that “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) that is part of the “armor.” We need regular R&R from the front line in quiet time with Him, for the healing each of us need.

  • Marianne Myhre

    Thank you for your reply, sir. The reason I asked is that I have begun to think that love and hate are not opposites, but rather love and fear are, because hate seems to be rooted in fear. It seems that unless we grant the Lord permission to change our hearts (the seat of emotion) to take away the hard (stony) heart and give us a soft (heart of flesh) allowing him to infuse his love (which is the fulfilling of the law) in us so as to eliminate fear, we will find ourselves outside. This understanding seems much simpler than the myriad of do’s and don’ts I grew up with. Comments?

  • Fred Bischoff

    I sense the evidence points to selfishness being the opposite of love. Note that “selfishness took the place of love” when man fell (SC 17.1). It is selfishness that produces fear (through insecurity) and hate (through devaluing the other). I agree on the change of heart you described. But recall that a responsive love will continually search for things to “do” and “don’t” do that will please Him and more effectively reflect Him. This love is the purifying and empowering motive.

  • Marianne Myhre

    I think we agree, with the exception perhaps with what comes first the chicken or the egg. My psychology background makes me think of fear as being the root of selfishness and hate, and perhaps your ministry background makes you think of selfishness as being the root of fear and hate. Not a big difference. Its for the most part a package deal. I think we agree that without love for God and man, we can’t enter heaven. And sin which produced fear, selfishness and hate (in whatever order) has made it impossible to acquire that without God’s intervention. This has been his work for 6,000 years, but culminated at the Cross. I praise him for his unspeakable sacrifice to get his love across to us. Thank you, for indulging me, Mr. Bischoff. I was raised in a very works oriented community and it helps me to discuss these things to make COR more clear to me. Please have a terrific day and may God go with you as you travel.

  • Julie Ward

    thank you Fred for this timely article. The Holy Spirit brought it to me to share with my friend taking to doctor for her cancer diagnosis details. So appreciate the power and guidance from Lightbearers blog.