The Torment of Fear

By Fred Pruitt

A friend sent me the following email:

I know I just emailed you earlier but since then I’ve talked with my friend about your “Cry’in Time article”. She is concerned about preparation for what she fears is happening to our country and wonders if we are to just sit like “dummies” or if we are to make preparation for our money, food, etc. in case of disaster. You have been talking from a Heavenly aspect which I explained but she wondered why you didn’t talk about this subject. I tried to explain about where our minds are to be focused but she is still in fear. Are you, as a Christian preparing in any such way for the possible economic decline ahead or do you just trust the Lord and do nothing?

(Before I share my reply, I wanted to talk briefly about the “predictions” by many that the world, especially perhaps the USA in particular, is going to be having great difficulties on a cataclysmic scale in the near future. The predictions range from Armageddon and the physical return of Jesus, or crack-up due to natural disasters such as pole-shifts, global warming, or mass economic failures bringing about a greater “depression” than the world experienced in the 1930s, which would in turn threaten all sitting governments since they couldn’t control the decline, so that it leads to the mass breakdown of orderly society, anarchy and the like. And so on and so on. I’m not immune from consideration of some of these things, and from the standpoint of human society and the future of it, it can look pretty grim from where I sit.

(At the same time, however, I am not without hope. I have no clear picture of what is to come. Many people are expecting cataclysmic events, and who knows, some of them may happen. There are many points of view of the status of the world today and the human society that populates it. But I still hope in the Lord God! I am not ready to throw in the towel for the human race, in its current state. It is clear to me in scripture and by the Spirit, that God has a plan, but its times and implementations remain in the Father, until such time as He reveals and enacts them.

(Until then, He said, “Occupy until I come.” (Lk 19:13). That means to me we live to the fullest in the current moment. It means that “to live is Christ.” It means that as long as the world stands, and I have breath in my body and the Spirit to move me, that I would plead for the world for the Lord to not destroy it, for at least for the sake of the righteous who are still in it. As Abraham pleaded for Sodom down to its last hope, for the Lord agreed with Abraham, that He would not destroy it for the sake of ten righteous who could be found in it. [Gen 18: 23-33]. But outside the family of Lot, there were no others found righteous there, and Lot and his family were taken out and destruction came to Sodom and Gomorrah, for their sins had filled up and “reached unto heaven.”

(While on the one hand I expectantly and joyfully say, “Maranatha, even so, Come, Lord Jesus!,” and am ready at any time the trumpet blasts, still on the other hand I say, “O Lord, delay your coming, that we may invite many more guests to your Great Feast. There may yet be the hundreds, the thousands, the millions for the harvest. Did not Jesus say, ‘Look up, and see that the fields are white for the harvest. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send forth laborers to reap.’” [Jn 4: 35-39]. The rest of what it means to me is in the reply below.)

Reply:

To answer your question am I preparing for economic decline, no, I am not. We each do as we are led or believe we are led. My living comes to me miraculously, since I do not work a regular job. By God’s call, I have been well exercised as to where my daily living comes from, and if and when such calamaties come, I trust in the Lord’s supply then, in exactly the same way I trust in the Lord’s supply now. I believe that can apply to anyone, since where would we think there is any security in anything whatsoever, outside of the security and provision of God?

How would one prepare for these possible calamaties? Stockpile food, water, weapons for self-defense? Or hoard gold or silver, some precious commodity that can be traded in the marketplace for goods and services? Certainly not the stock market, which is as fickle as a teenage girl. If we stockpile, how much would be enough? Would we be prepared to “defend” our stockpile, in case others who did not stockpile hear that we have it and come looking to take it?

That’s why I live free. In Christ, we have all things, because we possess nothing (2 Cor 6:10). Now, I’m not talking about being a monk or a communist or something like that. I just mean that since our lives are not our own, but bought with the price of the precious blood of Jesus, it follows that all that we “have” belongs to Him also, and we further recognize that all comes from Him as His daily sustenance. Everything we have is a gift from the Lord.

Now, if our primary concerns are about losing our possessions, lands, houses, cars, etc., then it will be hard for us to trust God for His supply. It is an absolute with me – if God does not supply, I don’t live. It is that way with everyone, but they just don’t know it for the most part. It is God Who supplies us with a good job, benefits, etc., and if it should so be that that good job is eliminated so that we can no longer have the “lifestyle” we were accustomed to, then we learn God’s adequacy and His gifts in that. I am not saying these things will happen, but even if they do, who are we? For what purpose have we been born?

Let me be plain. This is not about protecting ourselves against loss and hardship. This is about the salvation of the world. “God so loved the world that He GAVE His Son …” And in Him, rather than being just “beneficiaries” of what He has done, we find we are now participants with Him in His purposes. Living unto Him only, simply means that in our, “not I but Christ” life, we are joined in oneness with Him in His Lamb’s purpose, which is to “give His life as a ransom for many” (Matt 10:45).

To realize that is the Life we have received from the Father, a life which loves so ardently and purely the Father and the Son, is to “know” this same Lamb’s life. We are joined with Him in His purposes, which is not self-protecting itself, but self-giving-itself, which is the new self in Christ, which we ARE, if we are in Christ.

So questions of what will we eat and where will we live are always answered in Him. He feeds the sparrows, and knows when each of them fall to the earth and die. He knows how many hairs are on our heads! He arrays the lilies of the fields, “which neither toils nor spins,” how much more will He clothe and feed us, His flock, for as He said, we “are of more value than many sparrows”? (Matt 10: 29-30)

I know a lot of people are living in fear these days. I am sure that has been the case for a long, long time.

Well, we all fear. It just comes up and seizes us sometimes. It can be about anything.

But we do not have to live in the things we fear. In a sense, the more we “fear” a thing, the more life we give it. We battle it and it battles us back.

We can speak reason to the fear, as if that will calm it, but fear of this type is irrational. (As opposed to a “rational” fear of a grizzly bear!). It has no foundation except itself and what it has imagined and can’t see out of its imagination. So what to do?

Of course there is always nothing else to do but to press into God in these things. This is not meant to be a “teaching” that you can apply. It won’t work. This only “works” because it is God Who works it. And no human person can cause or make the final divine connection inside the being of another. That is sacred ground, Spirit to spirit, and this we leave solely to the Holy Spirit as the final full Teacher. The “answer” to tormenting fear is in each of us.

In my own life, fear dominated my conscious daily life for many years. I kept saying, “Perfect love casts out fear,” but it did not seem to go away. I heard a line in a Tom Petty song, “Most things I worry about, never happen anyway,” and I thought, yep, that’s me. But even though most imagined things did not happen, knowing that did nothing to ease the fears that surrounded me.

To combat it, I tried to have no fears. Job said, “that which I feared most has come upon me,” (Job 3: 25,26). and I thought, “Oh, I see, all I have to do is have no fears, then “what I fear most will not come upon me.” (I did not see the irony in my reasoning at the time.) Anyway, eradicate fear – how do you do it?

You can say, “He’s done it,” but what if it doesn’t go away?

As it so happened in some of those years, quite a few of the things I feared came upon us, and some I hadn’t even thought of. And that’s when I began to see it, what this “fear” thing is about. Things I “feared most” came upon me, and not only did I survive, but had the unexpected reward of the riches of Christ which reside in Himself, yet here is this increase in me! All that “fearing” all those years had been to this purpose, to know* that He was greater still than them all, and through that exercise of the Spirit, we learn and know* we can trust Him in all things, are content in Him in all things, because we “know”* the Love of the Father and the Son. This is the Love that casts out fear. If we know* the Love then we can believe in His love purposes in all things in our lives, even things brought with evil intent by man or devil. *(This “know” means “mixed with as one,” as in “Adam knew Eve his wife, and they became one flesh.” [Gen 2:24].)

In answer to the other phrase in your question, “and do nothing,” it seems like right now is a good time to bring it up. Understand, “content” in all things, does not negate action or activity. There are always many things working in us in the kingdom of God simultaneously, most of which we have no idea of what part we are playing. So, on the one hand, while we are learning, “I do nothing of myself,” we simultaneously may be in another arena of our lives, an arena which requires action and activity – results!

Can the these two things work simultaneously? When I say I “don’t prepare” for the future possible calamities, understand, I am really not talking about my business in the world, but according to the Spirit. We are alike in the Spirit, and each led by the Spirit, and I am certain that the Spirit is using it all, whatever “preparations” any of us make for those possibilities, or lack of preparations. I am not talking necessarily about what we do physically, in the necessary business of the world, but rather “where is our heart?” (Matt 6: 19-21).

We are all His, and thus led individually by Him. I trust Him in all of us. He is our safe passage across life. There is no other. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (Jn 14:6).

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8 thoughts on “The Torment of Fear

  1. Living in the temporal of the eternal “now of God” is like looking around and seeing yourself in a beautiful coffin; designed like no other and then at the same time realizing, realizing it’s a womb always overcoming by the one who overcame.
    Thank you for being you Fred.

  2. Dear fred,
    I am reading this article .. and rereading again .. and again. I received it somewhat and all you have to say about battling fears .. I am battling fear over committing to purchase a home when there is no guarantee of any future income ( i am a real estate agent with no salary only commission) and it is a fearful thing indeed, granted it is only in my imagination. But many times when there is NO business activity, there is much reason to be fearful .. the idea of facing hefty monthly mortgage payments
    Perhaps, like you said, God has to ‘do’ something for (or in me) which will allow me to trust him completely .. is so confusing. Is one thing to understand the mechanics of it, but quite another to take the step of ‘faith’ (?). Wish there was another solution.
    Will read your article again tomorrow .. hoping for something to click. I need to act.
    thanks for the article though ..

    andrew

    • Andrew, it does sound like you are at a juncture, but it is God’s juncture and He will bring you through. He is the Life and His Life precedes yours, and He leads you purposely in His ways. So I’ll watch with you as you see His workings even while all your dis-ease is going on. It is God Who is our prize and gift, and the other things are always supplied in Him. All we can do is trust, and trust that when action is required, He is the heart and instigator of it, and that we will know it. It is a bit hurtful to be stripped in a sense of every hope except the Invisible God, but the upside is Life from the dead. Rejoice!

      Blessings!!!
      fred

  3. Thanks fred for your prompt reply. I am encouraged by your words.. ” i ll watch with you..” yeah sometimes .. it feels good someone will come alongside and say that .. (will drop you a line in your email.) I know Jesus is my closest companion,but sometimes the journey seems lonely .. (will read some of your other posts, thanks again)

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