The Antidote to Fear

Famously President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his “First Inaugural Address” on March 4, 1933, said, “. . . the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

It sounds good, but is it true?

Many may agree there is a “terror which paralyzes” but would disagree that it is “nameless, unreasoning” or “unjustified.”  The Phobia List alone names 530 different terrors which paralyze.  Some seem unjustified–and even silly–such as Caligynephobia, a fear of beautiful women, or Linonophobia, a fear of string, or Logophobia, a fear of words.

Few fears are unnamed–and for those who hold them–unreasoning.  Achluophobia, a fear of darkness (#4 on Top Ten Fears see graphic below), and Acrophobia, a fear of heights (#3) are very reasonable.  I must admit, however, that Apeirophobia, a fear of infinity, Homilophobia, a fear of sermons, and Phobophobia, a fear of phobias are simply weird.Top Ten Fears

Taken literally then, Roosevelt may be right.  Fear itself is the culprit.  Fear is so much a part of our lives it has become a figure of speech.  “I’m afraid you’re wrong,” or “I’m afraid so,” we often say.

More than that, fear, as the proliferation of phobias attests, is a foundational emotion in our daily existence.

Fear drives both sides of the raging gun-control debate.  One side owning guns to foster safety; the other banning guns to foster safety.

The base emotion behind worry is fear.  “Will I still have my job tomorrow?”  “Will she still love me, when she finds out what I’m really like?”

And fear is a mighty motivator.  Most political ads of this past poisonous political season tried to motivate us through fear of America failing.  This is the fight of the famous fight or flight response.

Fear also drives us into deep denial.  Using the same example as above, many stuck their heads in the sand in response to the elections.  The infamous flight response.

But you know, don’t you, I’m not speaking of rational fear.  The car racing toward us.  The dark alley with a person skulking.  No, I am referring to that low-grade fever many of us are shuffling around with.  Generalized, unactualized fear.  Fear of things that may never happen or that have no answer.  The “what if” fear.  What if there is no God?  What if there is?  What if I said the wrong thing?  What if I didn’t say enough?  What if I’m too skinny, fat, short, tall, ugly, beautiful, smart, stupid, white, black, rich, poor, normal, abnormal?  Need I go on?

We may only have fear to fear.  But it is a powerful foe.  And it dominates our daily landscape.

I would wager that most of us make umpteen daily decisions based on fear.  And most of them, then, are bad decisions.  As Rosevelt said fear paralyzes or shifts us into reverse.  And it certainly prevents us from living spiritually.

What is it you are afraid of?

Personally I don’t fear death (#6) or disease much at all.  They seem largely out of my control, like being a passenger on an airplane.  I may dread a crash (#1), but even if I were to push the pilot out of his seat and take control, I would not do anything but make matters worse.  So, I sit back and enjoy the ride, bumpy or not.  (This does not mean, however, I don’t pursue healthy living)

My fear?  Disappointing people (Rejection #8), especially those I love or respect.  Not only do I feel (falsely probably) that I am in control of this but am responsible for it.  And my biggest fear is disappointing God.  At least occasionally I can bluff people into believing I’m more than I know I am.  Not God.  God sees through to the core.  Decision making based on either of those fears has been disastrous for me.

In short, I’m afraid of being judged, being deemed unworthy and rejected by others and God.  But God pushes back against this fear.  My “perfect love banishes fear,” God promises.  What does this love look like?  “Forgive them for they do not know what they do,” Jesus asked the Father for those who murdered him.  It looks like Jesus.  Being open to Jesus’ unconditional, perfect love allows us to live fearlessly.

But I’m afraid I don’t believe it most times.  And there lies the antidote to fear.  Not courage.  Not bravado.  Not control.  Not safety.  Faith.

Faith is at the heart of living spiritually.  Fear then is its enemy.  In coming blogs on The Year of Living Spiritually we will explore the role fear plays in destroying living spiritually and the role faith plays in destroying fear.

Maybe the phobia most of us have is one I coined: Fidephobia, a fear of faith.

But God is working on the antidote.

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Categories: authenticity, Eugene C. Scott, Faith, Fear Factor, God, God Sightings, Jesus, Living Spiritually | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “The Antidote to Fear

  1. The true antidote to fear is love. Not love like the world thinks about love, but love of Christ.
    1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    • Shelly: Well said. My struggle is believing in that love, not that it exists, but that it is available for me. Thanks for reading.

      • Eugene, God’s love is available to all of us – regardless of what we have done or haven’t done in our past or present. His love covers a multitude of sins.
        1 John 3:1
        How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

      • Georgie-ann

        Although it seemed to take forever, I believe that I came to a point of resisting the intimidating and encroaching effects of darkness — (which was definitely trying “on purpose” to overpower me — the devil is a real and personal enemy to those loving and seeking more of God — he would sure like to maintain his hold and control and influence over us, and keep us from finding what we are looking for!) — and was able to arrive at a new (for me) level of spiritual victory with regard to these things,… (and only by the infinite power and faithfulness and grace of God!),…

        James 4:6-8
        6 ” … ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’
        7 “Therefore SUBMIT to God. RESIST the devil and he will flee from you. 8 DRAW NEAR to God and He will draw near to you. … .”

        I think that some of the greatest spiritual warfare might occur in this very personal struggle to be released from satan’s habituated grip on us (in our human vulnerability) and his pervasive influence of cultural darkness and negativity, as we yearn to come into more of God’s spiritual freedom and light and rest,… how successful we might be, might also depend on how much of satan’s empty “goodies and promises” we are willing or desiring to forsake in the process,… (i.e., what are WE willing to sacrifice for gaining the fullness of Christ in our lives?),…

        James 1:5-8
        5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

        This problem of “sorting out” what influences we have inadvertently tied ourselves to in living — whether from the Good Kingdom of God or the false lures of the Prince of Darkness — helps us to identify (and hopefully escape from) invisible strangleholds that we might not have realized that we have holding us back. The evangelism of the “milk of the Word” — the Very Great and True Story of God’s Love and Grace, and His Love for us — does not negate the fact that we, ourselves, are in an on-going struggle with the powers of darkness, as also Christ was Himself when here. He proclaims that we will overcome, but it is not to be without search and struggle and valiant spiritual heroism,… “using our faith” is not the same as “waving a magic wand” or simply “thinking the right thoughts”,… it’s just not that “easy” or “a spiritual formula” or “plain to see.” I also believe at some point we each have our own special challenges and road to walk in finding our own personal spiritual victories and answers. It isn’t a “one size fits all” proposition by any means,… and here is one place where “listen to your heart” comes in,…

        Revelation 12:10,11
        10 “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.'”

        What are WE willing to sacrifice for Christ to be fully birthed in us?,… I think it’s a fair question & that it’s ok if each person’s answers are different,… & remember, God knows us better than we know ourselves,… why not ask Him?,…

  2. Linda

    Well that was certainly powerful Eugene. Thank you…

  3. Georgie-ann

    1 John 1:5 “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

    Since we can never be our own source of perfection and salvation, and we are continually vulnerable to being affected and afflicted by many negative things in the atmosphere(s) surrounding us, we do well to take stock of how to recognize what does come from God and what doesn’t,… Darkness and doubt and fear and pain, — (in short: negativity in general) — do not reflect our God to us, but rather our need for God, Who is ALL-powerful, ALL-light, ALL-goodness, ALL-positive, ALL-life-giving, ALL-loving, ALL-merciful,… When we learn to CHOOSE to shun “evil” and the compromises made with fears and negativity and criticism, and TURN away from these negative and destructive things and TURN instead toward God’s realm, we will find the greater source of Light and Life, a positive outlook, and the potential of healing for our damaged souls,…

    If we turn away from our fears, searching for another way, we just might be placing ourselves in a position to receive the gift of faith from God, as it does not come from our minds or feelings or dealing with the sense realm,… It is a gift to us from our trust in the Goodness of our Creator,…

    • Georgie-ann

      To continually gaze upon the negative (which is the manifestation of sin), is a way of becoming “hooked” or hypnotized by it’s seductive magnetic power,… captivated — (or frozen) — so to speak,… Instead, reading/studying God’s Word (and praying upon its meaning) can help to turn us away from our soul’s “natural” condition of captivity in fear and darkness, and towards the Light of personal spiritual and psychological freedom,…

      John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’”

      John 1:4 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

      Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”

      Job 33:29,30
      29 “Behold, God works all these things, … with a man,
      30 “To bring back his soul from the Pit,
      That he may be enlightened with the light of life.”

      • Georgie-ann

        2 Corinthians 3:16-18
        16 “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

        Our transformation from bondage in darkness to freedom in light is an ongoing process that lasts a lifetime,…

    • joanmary

      Truly Faith is a gift! Thank you G-A. for sharing this passage.

    • Georgie-ann

      edit, January 10: When we learn to RECOGNIZE and to CHOOSE to shun “evil” …

  4. Georgie-ann

    edit: … by its seductive …

    • Thanks, G-A. Love the light and dark references here.

      • Georgie-ann

        I must have clicked a wrong button,… my comment back to you just ended up in the wrong place!,… so sorry!

      • Georgie-ann

        Just a follow up on the misplaced comment: after the strenuously earned “breakthrough” that I was referring to above, negativity still tried (and tries) making personal attacks against me, but I seem better able to separate the influence from how God loves and treats me, than I was before. It was the overlapping confusion of how I was perceiving things in my own mind that allowed satan such close access to continue insinuating his negative thoughts and energies against me in an undermining way,…

        Now when these things come (often much like surprise “bad weather”), I’m most likely able to hold them off, rebuking them in Jesus’ Name, resisting (refusing to accept them) until they do flee (James 4:7) — which DOES take effort ! Then I just feel like God’s Child again,… it’s not that I feel superior or anything,… I just know that God loves me with all my (now aging) frailties and humanness, and faithfully delivers me from my oppressors, just as He has said He would do,… and I know that He knows that I love Him too, and really that’s all that matters,… This clarity has allowed me to feel much stronger on the inside, knowing that when needed, God’s forces are there to defend and protect me, when I do my part,…

        Song of Solomon 2:4 “He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love.”

      • Georgie-ann

        sorry, I’m a little bit frustrated: here is the misplaced comment (it should precede the last one), slightly edited:

        Although it seemed to take forever, I believe that I came to a point of resisting the intimidating and encroaching effects of darkness — (which was definitely trying “on purpose” to overpower me — the devil is a real and personal enemy to those loving and seeking more of God — he would sure like to maintain his hold and control and influence over us, and keep us from finding what we are looking for!) — and was able to arrive at a new (for me) level of spiritual victory with regard to these things,… (and only by the infinite power and faithfulness and grace of God!),…

        James 4:6-8
        6 ” … ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’
        7 “Therefore SUBMIT to God. RESIST the devil and he will flee from you. 8 DRAW NEAR to God and He will draw near to you. … .”

        I think that some of the greatest spiritual warfare might occur in this very personal struggle to be released from satan’s habituated grip on us (in our human vulnerability) and his pervasive influence of cultural darkness and negativity, as we yearn to come into more of God’s spiritual freedom and light and rest,… how successful we might be, might also depend on how much of satan’s empty “goodies and promises” we are willing or desiring to forsake in the process,… (i.e., what are WE willing to sacrifice for gaining the fullness of Christ in our lives?),…

        James 1:5-8
        5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

        This problem of “sorting out” what influences we have inadvertently tied ourselves to in living — whether from the Good Kingdom of God or the false lures of the Prince of Darkness — helps us to identify (and hopefully escape from) invisible strangleholds that we might not have realized that we have holding us back. The evangelism of the “milk of the Word” — the Very Great and True Story of God’s Love and Grace, and His Love for us — does not negate the fact that we, ourselves, are in an on-going struggle with the powers of darkness, as also Christ was Himself when here. He proclaims that we will overcome, but it is not to be without search and struggle and valiant spiritual heroism,… “using our faith” is not the same as “waving a magic wand” or simply “thinking the right thoughts”,… it’s just not that “easy” or “a spiritual formula” or “plain to see.” I also believe that at some point we each have our own special challenges and road to walk in finding our own personal spiritual victories and answers. It isn’t a “one size fits all” proposition by any means,… and here is one place where “listen to your heart” might come in,…

        Revelation 12:10,11
        10 “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’”

        What are WE willing to sacrifice for Christ to be fully birthed in us?,… I think it’s a fair question & that it’s ok if each person’s answers are different,… & remember, God knows us better than we know ourselves,… why not ask Him?,…

      • Georgie-ann

        so, I started thinking about my own question,… & I thought of a few “clues” as to the kinds of things we might consider giving up/”sacrificing”/forgoing in order to make more room for Christ in our hearts/lives,… especially in relation to the kind of “modern materialistic and suggestive, entertainment saturated” environments in which we dwell,…

        very first on the list is the quality of “very selfish” (habits or points of view),… occultic or obscenity should really go without saying,… any of these types of things can easily block the flow and awareness of God’s Spirit, unless maybe one has a prick of conscience,… constant critical and negative attitudes, or very controlling behavior, that one may actually take pride in, can be quite spiritually unhealthy,… there is a way to perceive things honestly (having discernment), but with more humility and less judgment and condemnation,… & etc,… there is probably a lot that we take for granted because “everybody does it”, but it is good to examine and question how spiritually profitable some of our commonplace behaviors really are,…

        just as there was “no room for Him in the inn” and so He was born in a stable, it is good to ask ourselves if we are really making room for Him in our own personal ways of living, doing, thinking, even breathing,… every once in awhile, we can be aware of our breath and the miracle of the flow of life, and praise the Lord for these good things that come from Him,… maybe we’ll feel His strength and His Love,… maybe we’ll lose touch with thoughts and ideas that make us afraid,… even if it’s just for a few moments,…

      • Georgie-ann

        thank goodness, I have to get ready for church!,… (this just keeps on coming),…

        last comment edited in CAPS and addendum:

        so, I started thinking about my own question,… & I thought of a few “clues” as to the kinds of things we might consider giving up/”sacrificing”/forgoing in order to make more room for Christ in our hearts/lives,… especially in relation to the kind of “modern materialistic and suggestive, entertainment saturated” environments in which we dwell,…

        very first on the list is the quality of “very selfish” (habits or points of view),… occultic or obscenity should really go without saying,… any of these types of things can easily block the flow and awareness of God’s Spirit, unless maybe one has a prick of conscience,… constant critical and negative attitudes, or very controlling behavior, that one may actually take pride in, can be quite spiritually unhealthy,… there is a way to perceive things honestly (having discernment), but with more humility and less judgment and condemnation,… & etc,… there is probably a lot that we take for granted because “everybody does it (THAT WAY)”, but it is good to examine and question how spiritually profitable some of our commonplace behaviors really are,…

        just as there was “no room for Him in the inn” and so He was born in a stable, it is good to ask ourselves if we are really making room for Him in our own personal ways of living, doing, thinking, even breathing,… every once in awhile, we can be aware of our breath (AND OUR BEATING HEART) and the miracle of the flow of life, and praise the Lord for these good things that come from Him,… maybe we’ll feel His strength and His Love,… maybe we’ll lose touch with (THE IMAGINATIONS,) thoughts and ideas that make us afraid,… even if it’s just for a few moments,…

        RELIANCE ON WORLD SYSTEMS THAT WE FEAR MAY FAIL OR MANIPULATE US,… ALTHOUGH WE ARE ENMESHED IN WORLD SYSTEMS AND HAVE TO DEAL WITH AND THROUGH THEM IN MANY WAYS, OUR RELIANCE SHOULD BE ON GOD,…

        Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; … “

      • Georgie-ann

        Oogene,… (-:

        God just gave me another descriptive thought about this,… Often in modern Christian circles, we hear “religion” being condemned, say, as opposed to being “born again”, being “really spiritual”, or “having true faith”, or whatever concept it is being compared to. I have always felt that this is a topic with much more going on below the surface than a simplistic judgment can possibly cover accurately. For centuries, “religion” (to its credit) has been the on-going cultural vehicle for communicating and keeping alive the very fundamental concepts and practices that turn our fixated focus off of the limited sphere of the life of the senses (and sin), and (re)directs our attention and awareness to the possibilities of the viability of great truths and realities that exist beyond this all-too-familiar (and often dreary and woeful and helpless) realm.

        And this is what God said to me, earlier this morning, as I continued to mull over some of these ideas: “Be sure that your (personal) religion is not wearing a shroud.” I knew then, instantly, what He meant:

        I have been wrestling for a long time with understanding what I consider to be the pervasive, (damaging), and endemic residual effects of the Celtic heritage and history on Christianity (as in catholicism, anglicanism, etc,…) in that part of the world (which has also come to our part of the world!). A very noticeable personality structure has become associated with some branches and practicioners of these forms of “religion”/Christianity, and it seems to be so interwoven with the established Christian matrix, that many people find them to be indistinguishable one from the other — lumping together the power of veritable and venerable eternal truths and realities, with attitudes and customs that have derived and remain from pre-Christian times, with definite pre-Christian roots.

        Since witchcraft, deception, sacrifice, intimidation, spiritism, domination and control were all part of the pagan/celtic mix, the source and effect and influence can be truly anything but Christian in its spiritual nature (“under the surface”),… so we end up “innocently” being programmed by and interacting with personalities, philosophies, and expectations that, in fact, often do not reflect or reveal clearly the Light and positiveness of Christ and the (Good) God of Love, which is Who He really is,…

        When “religion” is contaminated with pride, condemnation, guilt-and-fear inducing critical postures, structures and attitudes, high-mindedness, superstition, exalting suffering and unworthiness over joy and victory, controlling others by suggestion and intimidation, then the “faith” really isn’t real faith,… and the “love” really isn’t real love, and so on,… In actual fact, the “faith” may even be partially in a false god — (more or less unawares) — and the so-called “love” may have streams of jealousy, hatred and self-hatred hiding just below the surface. The “God words” may still contain enough religious moxie to be able to draw or point the searching soul toward God, but the practical and experiential reality becomes tainted, and sometimes very badly so. The false personality structures create a psychological and spiritual “prison”, an attitude of unworthy servitude and dependence “in a bad way”, and people “under this false spell” and conditioning find it very hard to find, experience and accept the Love and freedom and God’s acceptance, that the Gospel is really all about. This form of religion “is wearing a shroud”,… it has been culturally distorted (and may even indeed have become cultish in some places), but has been accepted and promoted “just so” for centuries,… “everyone has always done it this way”, folks will say and believe,… Often to escape the excessive programming of guilt and condemnation, fear and judgment, people feel they must leave the whole “God thing” behind,…

        But do we also sometimes throw out “the Baby” with the bath when we do this?,… and thereby lose the kernel of Truth which could ultimately lead us to true freedom and fulfillment?,…

        To be sure other pagan traditions have proven damaging to the true Christian Spirit, when culturally allowed to “mix in”,… (voodoo is an obvious example, and a very negative and superstitious invader in some parts of the world),… But, for us, I find that the celtic influence is one that is especially dangerous, because we’re just so familiar with it and accommodated to it, that its “down sides” often escape detection and/or proper evaluation,… sometimes it even seems as if it comes along with “the mother’s milk”,…

        In my own mind, — (being somewhat of a differing cultural transplant to the area in which I’ve mostly lived), — I have plenty of (to me) scary and frustrating stories which illustrate this phenomenon and also its extreme resistance to change, (like a bitter root), as it may show a very stone-like “fixed-ness and right-ness” in point-of-view, accompanied by a “tone deafness” to some of the best and glorious “good news” of the Gospel,… (& what a prayer project this has been!,… & really, I kid you not),… I’m always “studying” it,… I guess I’m trying to “crack the code” in order to keep trying to help “set the captives free”,…

        Hebrews 12:15 ” … looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled …”

        John 1:5 “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

        Mark 7:13 “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

        1 Thessalonians 2:13 “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

      • Georgie-ann

        So, basically,… “I have said all that to say this”,… and this IS probably at the heart of one of the deepest concerns that I have regarding Christianity as we find it “practiced”/lived out and promoted today:

        I feel that many of us are prone to, (kind of automatically or subliminally), attribute more negativity or “distance” to God — at least in His attitude and relationship toward us — than is true of Him, or that He even says about Himself in His Word. We doubt the full effectiveness of His Character and Being of Light to be the Powerful Love that can really “cover a multitude of sins” (Shelly above) — our sins.

        In the vanity of our minds, still tainted by that residual “old (possibly Celtic influenced) nature”, we incorporate a double message to ourselves, about ourselves and others, overlapping the Good News of His Great Salvation and Love, with our “infected” conditioning, remaining critical (actually prideful and judgmental), and basically doubting the fullness of His Goodness and Power to do and be Who He says He is toward us.

        This style of personal incrimination arises too often, too automatically and too repetitively to be worthy of our God. It is like a noxious smoke, an intervening darkness that interferes with our perception and reception of the Light.

        As I was attempting to demonstrate in the last segment, I think we suffer more from a very old inherited faith/light vs. mind/darkness patterning that often troubles us to this day. It can resemble having a debilitating spiritual disease, whereby we fight our own selves in receiving God’s Blessings, without even realizing that we’re doing it. Of course, we’ve been tricked into fighting our own selves with hidden weapons of mass spiritual and psychological destruction, that our spiritual enemy has implanted in our composite being long ago.

        I think if we become “more hip” to what’s actually been going on here, which is an essential part of “spiritual warfare”, we could “wake up” to experience more fully and completely the freedom and positive blessings that God has designed for us, and reclaimed with the sacrificial intervention of His Beloved Son, Jesus, Emanuel, God with us.

      • Georgie-ann

        edit: … Jesus Christ, Emanuel, God with us.

        John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you FRIENDS, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

      • G-A: I am glad God has stirred so much in you this last week. Very deep and profound it seems. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  5. Georgie-ann

    Thanks, Eugene,… I have been trying to understand “what gives?” with this phenomenon, both observable and personally experienced, for a very long time ~~ being especially perplexed by its staunch resistance to change, even in the face of the Joy of the Free Gift of the Light of the Gospel!

    edit/add (from above): Of course, we’ve been tricked into fighting our own selves with hidden weapons of mass spiritual and psychological destruction, that our spiritual enemy has implanted in our composite being long ago,… Which is the usual negative “psychological list”: self-hatred, jealousy, competition, cruelty and undermining destructiveness shown toward others ~ but ultimately coming back to bite one’s own self,… and on and on,… Obviously a carry-over and expansion of the guilt , loss and self-recrimination incurred in the human psyche from the Fall,… which ultimately, in personal denial, is turned outward against others, from the inability to bear the full conscious reality of the devastating Truth of the loss and shame that sin has brought, and still brings! Oh, the price man has paid for his sin!,… but, also, and even greater: Oh, the Price God has paid to redeem us from our loss!!!,… and yet it is so hard for us to receive our healing and deliverance in the fullness of its benefits and intended blessings,…

    and so often, even usually, we blame ourselves for this,… our “imperfect faith”, our hidden pride ~ we’re not humble enough, having a stubborn root of sin, asking over and over: are we really saved??, just need more time, etc,… but God has already overcome ALL THESE THINGS ON OUR BEHALF!,… and He invites us to enter His Kingdom of Light!,… now!,… so what really keeps us “stuck in the mud?” ~~ half in the darkness and half in light?,…

    Of course, as humans, we’ll never manage any kind of “perfection” in an absolute sense, but I submit that we are also being vilely tricked by satan’s mentally invasive whispers into our conscience/mental programming, that has become as debilitating a “stronghold” over us as many other more obvious sins,… and for some reason, we “feel obligated” to accept responsibility for this doubt-ridden thought-programming “as our own”,… truly it functions as a mental darkness and a last ditch stand to keep us from receiving, participating in, and rejoicing in our blessings and benefits of the Light and freedom that God says is ours, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ,…

    If we could really KNOW that even as imperfect human beings, we are GUARANTEED that GOD TRULY LOVES AND FORGIVES US, even in the middle of this earthly muddle that we find ourselves in, wouldn’t we finally be able to relax, enjoy, accept, and “let God have His way” with us?,… just like the birds, like the plants, like the stars, and like Jesus Christ, Himself?,…

    We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but if God is surely in our tomorrows, what more can we really ask?,… “He didn’t promise us a rose garden,” some say,… He says:

    Matthew 6:25-34 [Do Not Worry]

    25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

    28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

    31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

    I really really DO BELIEVE that God means exactly what He says,… (… and I’ve also always had a little soft spot in my heart for “Mad Magazine”‘s Alfred E. Neuman: “What?,… me worry??”,… (and smile!),… (waving, “Bye!, for now!”),… and, GOD BLESS us, everyone!

    (-:

  6. Georgie-ann

    I find it very interesting that English literature (including Harry Potter) and authors (as C.S. Lewis), often demonstrate a very acute perception and descriptive awareness of the “personality” of evil, of the devil himself,… (as in the “Screwtape Letters”, the Narnia Chronicles, and all of Harry Potter, and much more,…). The diabolical, twisted, vile and malignant, determined and unrepentant, murderous enemy of our Life and of our souls is exposed for what and who he really is, (a jealous and vicious torturer, a chasm of emptiness and torment),… when “normally”, these days by us, he seems to prefer to hide and dissimulate, pretending even to be “our very best friend” ~~ (which most certainly he is NOT!) ~~ (as in such as: the “smiling one” in the ad, wearing the slinky red skin-fitting dress, half-slithered all over a brand new swank car that is being “sold” to us),…

    I have come to attribute this obvious historical “familiarity” with the true nature and character of overt (and underlying) evil, to the long-shared and experienced celtic background and culture of the area, dating back centuries to the pagan era of pre-Christian times. J.K. Rowling attributed many of her (Harry Potter) “insights” into these matters, to being familiar with many centuries’ worth of “olde” English literature, that has descriptively recorded spooky and noble trysts and struggles with these roots of darkness since the beginnings of English recorded history,… a veritable “wealth” of bizarre, haunted, perplexing, and even sometimes incestuous, ghost stories,… and/or adventures of shining nobility endeavoring to deal with it, lingering cobwebs and all,…

    Another thought/”observation” about the English/Irish/British culture was provoked by observing the long-standing, very violent and devastating, present day heart-breaking feud going on between the English and the Irish ~~ a political and religious turmoil, struggle and turf war, with Protestant vs Catholic “hard feelings”, and issues of domination and control on both sides. How perplexing it was to see more or less “intelligent and educated” people ~~ that look and talk almost like “us”! ~~ behaving in such an out-of-control manner, exuding so much “pride” and destructive mutual violence!

    Conclusion: (a la Wm. Shakespeare): “there is something rotten in the state of Denmark” and elsewhere around there,… a “politely” concealed and rationalized chronic evil just might be lurking around “under the surface”,… Such “Politeness”, as the British are famed for, might even be a culturally devised cover and “practical shield”/defense against the eruption of an undesired subterranean Vesuvius, or a “Pandora’s Box” of nasty surprises,… (Gilbert & Sullivan’s): “Things Are Seldom What They Seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream” addresses such issues in operatic form and style,…

    It is one thing to be aware of chronic negative “issues”, another to be totally oblivious, still another to be “in denial”, but Christ came to REALLY “save, heal and deliver”,… so let’s let Him,…

    John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

    1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.'”

  7. Georgie-ann

    Matthew 13:24-30 [The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares]

    24 “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

    In life, God allows wheat and tares to grow side by side in a culture/society, but in our own personal faith lives, we are urged to “lay aside … the sin which so easily ensnares us”:

    Hebrews 12:1,2 [The Race of Faith]

    12 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    To be able to lay aside sin and spiritual hindrances, we also need to be able to recognize and identify them,… to wit, the things I have been referring to, about problems (psychological and spiritual) that may stem from a false embedded pagan psychological root, but that have become so humanly and culturally “familiar” as to be accommodated habitually,… and then we “wonder” why such strange things seem to have so much power and influence over us,…

    It is for these very influences, that the Lord has come to deliver us from our bondage:

    Luke 4:17-19

    17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

    18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
    19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

    Amen,…

  8. Georgie-ann

    And I should probably just add: that the devil really doesn’t mind so much if we are “fascinated” with him, ~~ perplexed, entertained, or trying to understand our “complicated relationship” with him, ~~ as long as he can continue to have his influence and subversive and subliminal connections maintained,… in order to keep “feeding off” the situations and us,… but he really doesn’t want us to wake up and realize that we can be waaay more free of him (personally and interior-ly), just as Paul was able to shake the besetting viper off into the fire:

    Acts 28:3-5

    3 “But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, ‘No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.’ 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.”

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