The first memory that I have of being scared is from a reoccurring nightmare that I had when I was a kid. In this nightmare, ‘Little Caesar’ from the Little Caesar’s commercials would chase me around a sidewalk above a deep, dark pit screaming “Pizza! Pizza!” at me until I fell off the sidewalk and into the pit. Looking back on it now, I completely understand why this was so scary; you’d be scared too if a miniature, zombie-Caesar was chasing you around a pit with a spear full of nasty, $5 pizza screaming at you to eat it. That’s terrifying and not to mention a terrible marketing strategy if you ask me.
Every time I woke up from this dream, I’d be breathing heavy, covered in sweat and completely terrified. However, I’m not totally sure of what I was terrified of. I don’t’ know if I was really scared of zombie-Caesar or if I was scared of what was at the bottom of the pit. I never really knew what was at the bottom of the pit because I never got there. There’s just something about ‘falling dreams’ that don’t allow you to ever actually hit the ground. I never knew what was there, but I was still scared; I was scared of the unknown.
Deep down, I wonder if that’s what really drives our fears – the unknown. Ever since I’ve been old enough to have fears and know what my fears were, I’ve been scared of three things: death, being left alone at night in the middle of the woods or the ocean and Cold Case Files reruns. Those three are my bugga-boos, and just thinking about them gives me goose bumps every time. Death used to be a lot scarier than it is now. I used to be scared of it because I didn’t know where I was going to go when I died (Praise the Lord now I do). What’s scary about death now is that I don’t know where all my friends and family are going to go when they die. Being left alone at night in the middle of the woods or the ocean is still scary to me because I have ZERO idea what’s out there. For all I know, there could be a man-eating ghost deer or a shark the size of Texas swimming around. I don’t think I need to have an explanation for the Cold Case Files reruns; they’re serial murder cases that have gone cold because they can’t find the murderer! He may be right behind you for all you know. The point behind all of these fears is that there is an ‘unknown’ driving them all.
With that, I ask the question: Who do we fear more? Satan, who we know has the ultimate defeat, or Jesus, Who we know has the ultimate victory?
I think the easy answer is to say that we shouldn’t fear at all because how can one fear when we know the outcome; however, I think there’s more to it than that, and I think a healthy dose of fear is good because without fear, what reverence do we have?
I often seem to fear satan first. Culture has made a mockery out of my King, and it has turned satan and demons into movie stars that we should fear because they may be lurking under our beds and possessing our children. They have taken Jesus, Ruler of the Universe, and turned Him into a teddy bear full of love that sits on a cloud. I’m sorry, but that portrayal of Jesus isn’t much to be feared. What about the Jesus we read about in Revelation Who rides on a white horse ready to judge and make war with eyes like flames of fire, a sword coming from His mouth and His robe dipped in blood? That’s something to fear.
Romans 11:34 says “For who has known the mind of the Lord. . .?” No one. No one has every known or could possibly know the mind of the Lord and because of that there should be fear, not because He is an unjust dictator in the clouds ready to smite us, but because His ways are Higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He is personal, and we are to be in relationship with Him, but the mystery of His ways and thoughts should evoke a reverent fear of His all-powerfulness.
The Bible uses the word “fear” in reference to God something like 300 times, but it doesn’t say anywhere that we are to fear satan or his demons. We know what satan really is. Satan is a loser. He’s already lost the battle, and he’s only here to spread lies that he is something to fear when he’s not. There is no unknowing to satan. We know his final destiny, and we know what he is because God has exposed to us everything about him and how and why he works.
I write this because I don’t want myself or my Brothers and Sisters to ever fear the enemy. Whether it’s a group of ‘satanists’ passing out demonic coloring books to children in elementary schools or another group planting a satanic statue in the state capitol building, we shouldn’t fret. My home has recently been experiencing both of these obstacles, and it sucks to see it happen to the place I grew up in; however, it’s important to realize that in the end, Jesus wins. Even when a group says, “The coloring books give children the opportunity to see that devil worship is not what everyone tells them it is,” we shouldn’t live in fear because as scary as that statement sounds, it holds no weight compared to this promise:
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer . . .” – Revelation 20:1-3
Now that’s a dark pit to be scared of.
Let’s love the people we’re ‘scared’ of and fight this war with courage. We’re fighting from victory, not for victory, folks. Don’t be afraid as we fight this battle together as One Church, but only fear the unknown of which is the mystery of our Lord.
These are just some thoughts that right now I believe to be true in my Simple-Minded, Inexperienced Lifestyle Expert life. What are you afraid of?