Since the start of COVID-19, I have no doubt that there are some who are tempted to fear in one way or another, be it a bleak financial future, fear of the lack of food supplies, fear of ongoing isolation, or fear of contracting the virus itself, among other things. Why is this? After all, Scripture tells us, who say we believe, that we have not received the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear (Romans 8:15). So, what went wrong?
The answer lies in the things we believe in our innermost being.
Although humans were made in God’s image, our wiring from the onset is wired in Adam’s image, living in a world that is subjected to the prince and power of the air, who has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (2 Corinthians 4:1). So then, is it that we do not believe? If we honest with ourselves, we will admit that there are times in which we don’t believe God’s word. This is proved by our inaction or choosing our own path.
Let me illustrate. Suppose I was to tell you not to take the M1 to Pretoria because there has been an accident and all lanes are closed. If you believe me, you will take an alternate route. You see, belief in my instruction will cause you to avoid the frustration of being stuck in one place for a long time before you can move on to your destination. Of course, believing me would depend on the history of my character and it might be that my character has proven unreliable, which has caused you to turn down my instruction. Perhaps, by now, you see where I’m going with this.
There are at least two reasons for our inaction or taking our own path, which is a result of unbelief in areas of God’s word.
First, we haven’t grown to know enough of God’s character to the extent where we trust him by responding to his word (instruction) in faith. Because of this, we haven’t experienced his faithfulness as a result of that instruction. The bottom line is, our disbelief results in us not responding correctly.
So then how do we overcome this? The answer is to dig into God’s word to be assured of his character. There are many scriptures that describe his steadfast love, faithfulness, etc. In addition to these character traits being taught in Scripture, they are proven as Scripture unfolds. Unbelief is a lack of faith, and faith comes by hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17). We can fast track to the destination God wants us to be by trusting him and believing his instruction or we can get held up on the wrong road because of our lack of belief.
This works hand-in-hand with my second point, which I alluded to earlier when I mentioned that we have been wired in Adams sinful image, which we inherited, making us sinners, which leads to death. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
What, then, is the solution? The solution is to change our wiring from a wiring that leads to death to a wiring that leads to life. That process only starts once we are saved. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
We have been equipped with the tools, in Scripture, to change our wiring. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17).
We are instructed by Scripture to put off the old self and put on the new self—to change our wiring, if we stick with our metaphor (Ephesians 4:22–24). As we do this, we grow to be more like God and begin to realise his full image in us as he intended and will ultimately achieve.
This is the prescription that will draw us out of any fear and get us to the destination that was intended for us who are saved. Let us take God at his word, believe his instruction, take the route that he has prescribed, and avoid taking our own route, which will only delay us getting to the destination, depriving us of a peace that passes all understanding, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in.