The Connection Between Fear and Deception

All true believers should understand the words spoken by God, Who said many times in His word, “Fear not”! There is a reason why He told us all to reject fear, but few actually look deeply enough into the matter to fully understand why that is a not a ‘suggestion’, but a ‘command’ of God to His people.

I believe very few people understand just what fear is, how it works and the results it produces. If God says to “do this” and “do NOT do that”, He is NOT saying it just to hear Himself speak; HE knows exactly what fear is and how damaging and destructive it is and He wants us to live free of fear.

We are told NOT to fear.

We are also admonished by the Apostle Paul when He said, “Let no man deceive you by ANY means” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV). Again, I believe few people truly understand deception, how it works and what it leads to. If allowed, it can reach a level in a person’s mind from which there is no return, a state of delusion that is totally destructive.

Is there then a connection between fear and deception? Let’s look into the matter and seek God’s wisdom in it.

Fear, What It Is, Where It Comes From and How It Works

First, What IS Fear?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, fear is a noun, meaning, a)“an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger”; and b) a state (of being) marked by this emotion

Fear is also a verb, meaning, “to be afraid of; to expect with alarm”. It is important to understand both the noun and verb meanings to understand what fear does.

Where Does Fear come From?

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8 KJV). From this passage, we understand the nature of God, and we know that “God is Love”. There is no fear in love (God); but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18 KJV). Since God (love) exists without fear and actually casts out all fear, we can surmise that fear comes from a source other than  God.

How Fear Works

When fear enters a person’s mind, which is the center of man’s awareness and the response to all incoming sensory information, a level of discomfort is experienced that MUST produce either a response based on one’s beliefs, or a reaction, like ‘flight or fight’. In either case. man must find a way to deal with the ‘fearful’ info that causes discomfort.

Fear is a highly developed spiritual weapon that Satan, the exact opposite of God, uses to torment his enemies. In using fear, Satan tries to force a reaction that will cause a wrong decision to be made, giving Satan what he wants: the potential to control the person he aims that weapon against.

Let’s look at the difference between two words, response and reaction, that many seem to use as though they are the same, mean the same and can always be used as though they ARE the same., when in reality, they are very different.

First, the word response which has as synonyms, answer, response, reply, retort. Answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call or need. Response may imply a quick or spontaneous ‘reaction’ to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus (fear). Reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points or questions raised. Retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack.

While all could be used when confronted with, or attacked by, fear, we have as THE example for our action in such situations, Jesus, who was often attacked and/or confronted by fear in His time on this earth. In those instances, what did Jesus do? He spoke the words that His Father had already spoken and allowed those words to provide the perfect answer, response or retort against His attackers. He was able to do this, successfully, in every situation because He was thoroughly attuned to God’s word. To follow the example of Jesus to counter fear, we must also KNOW what God’s word says and be prepared to use it just as Jesus did.

He consistently taught His disciples to understand why they were being attacked by our adversary and how to counter the fear he was using against them. As damaging as fear itself can be, leaving mental scars that may linger for many days, He was aware of an even more damaging aspect of fear: that fear leads people to seek relief from it, and many will choose the wrong way to get that relief. If not dealt with properly, the fear will lead to making decisions which may allow the enemy to increase his attacks, a primary means of trying to deceive the hearer.

Where Does Fear Lead?

Aside from being a primary weapon used to frighten and frustrate believers and unbelievers alike, fear has a ‘destination’. Fear always leads to deception, a state  in which the deceived is caused to accept as true, something that is false or invalid.

Once established in the mind of the deceived, the falsehood becomes a part of that person’s belief system and he or she will defend it vigorously even though it is false. That dogged adherence to a lie will further erode the mental capacity to determine what is true and what is a lie in any situation. This demonic state then leads to delusion.

Paul spoke of this progression from fear to deception to delusion in his letter to the Thessalonian believers: “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Where Does Delusion Lead?

The verses above clearly state that because people are captured by delusion, they are headed toward damnation, the eternal kind from which there is little hope of recovery. The Oxford Living Dictionary defines delusion as: An idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument.” So it becomes clear that a person suffering from delusion is one who might never accept the truth because the lie produced by deception has become ingrained in the person’s mind ‘as truth’ that cannot, or should not be refuted.

Thus, people who have allowed fear to cause them to make seriously bad decisions are similar to the people of Germany who were led into a disastrous war in which many millions of people died. After World War II, during the Nuremberg trials, many failed to comprehend how so many Germans were convinced of the ‘rightness’ of Hitler’s Third Reich and were so easily led  to support him. During the trial, Hitler’s right hand, Hermann Goring, explained how they accomplished that feat:

It’s easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and… they will follow their leader. This works in every nation.”

“Just make the people afraid and they will do whatever you want”.

Unfortunately, that fear led to the deception that Hitler, the demonically influenced German leader, was doing something good for the German nation and that deception/delusion led to the near-destruction of Germany.

How to Counter-Attack Fear

Remember that fear does NOT come from God. We are told in 1 John 4:18, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

So when fear attacks, what should the believer do? First, remember where the fear comes from and recognize it as a spiritual attack from Satan. If you allow fear to remain in your presence instead of immediately counterattacking it, Satan will almost immediately present the deception he wants you to accept. The best example of a perfect counter-attack against fear is that of Jesus, Who when approached by Satan, using his weapons to deceive Jesus into worshipping him, used the words that God had already spoken to Him. Satan, knowing he was defeated by the word, then  left Jesus alone.

We also can use God’s words against Satan, against fear and make him flee. Read James 4:6-7 KJV and you will see God’s weapon He has given us to defeat fear and Satan:

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. True humility, the act of confessing the Lordship of Jesus over our lives and submitting wholly to Him for our entire subsistence allows the grace of God to flood our lives and also gives us the courage to face Satan and use God’s spiritual weapon of His Word to defeat the enemy of our souls.

If we are faithful to follow this process, w can not only live free of fear, but we can avoid all deception, which is pleasing to God.

Blessings! And Maranatha!

budaroo@twc.com

©Bud Hancock. All rights reserved.

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