Fear is one of the main spiritual roots of sickness and disease. It runs deep, requires enormous emotional energy, and demands action. We all have roots of fear that begin with the first man and first woman. Let’s go back to Genesis 2:20-25.
Adam and Eve had it ALL…the food, environment, shelter, companionship, and they felt no shame (they were naked and shameless). Wow, what a scene! What happened next messed up their paradise. Remember in Genesis 3:1-10 where the serpent (the devil) tricked Adam and Eve into thinking God was holding out on them. They began to FEAR not having enough when in actuality they had it all.
Their fear caused them to eat to the apple from the tree of good and evil. Shortly thereafter, other fears set in….fear of being naked and fear of God finding out there disobedience. Fear became a powerful root of sin in the heart of man.
Now, we tend to walk around in a state of FRAUD.
That fear has blossomed and now we now walk around routinely in what we call: F-R-A-U-D (fear, resentment, anger, unforgiveness, and disappointment). Each of these represents a separate root system that stems from the first. Together they create a forest of disillusionment and lack of understanding of who we are. This FRAUD “masks” us from the world and ourselves.
We are so addicted to busy that we become afraid to reveal who we really are. We are literally afraid to show our true identity to anyone. This is the life of many today with no close relationships, no authenticity, and consequently no vulnerability. Facebook and texting have become our families.
Now let’s dive into fear a bit more. Fear is a human emotion that is triggered by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism that signals our bodies to respond to danger with a fight or flight response. As such, it is an essential part of keeping us safe. It is a NORMAL emotion that drives the Sympathetic Nervous System (fight, freeze, or flight). However, people who live in constant fear, whether from physical dangers in their environment or threats they perceive, can become incapacitated.
How Fear Affects Our Bodies
Fear prepares us to react to danger. Once we sense a potential danger, our body releases hormones that slow or shut down functions not needed for survival (such as our digestive system) and sharpen functions that might help us survive (such as eyesight). Our heart rate increases, and blood flows to muscles so we can run faster. Our body also increases the flow of hormones to an area of the brain known as the amygdala to help us focus on the presenting danger and store it in our memory.
Once the fear pathways are ramped up, the brain short-circuits more rational processing paths and reacts immediately to signals from the amygdala. When in this overactive state, the brain perceives events as negative and remembers them that way.
It also stores all the details surrounding the danger—the sights, sounds, odors, time of day, weather, and so forth. These memories tend to be very durable, although they may also be fragmented.
Later, the sights, sounds, and other contextual details of the event can become stimuli themselves and trigger fear. They may bring back the memory of the fearful event, or they may cause us to feel afraid without consciously knowing why.
Because these cues were associated with previous danger, the brain may see them as a predictor of threat. This often happens with post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD). For example, a soldier who experienced a bombing on a foggy day might find himself panicking when the weather turns foggy—without knowing why.
Impact of chronic fear in our lives is catastrophic.
Living under constant threat weakens our immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. Fear can impair formation of long-term memories and cause damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. This can make it even more difficult to regulate fear and can leave a person anxious most of the time.
To someone in chronic fear, the world looks scary and their memories confirm that. Moreover, fear can interrupt processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions, read non-verbal cues and other information presented to us, reflect before acting, and act ethically. This impacts our thinking and decision-making in negative ways, leaving us susceptible to intense emotions and impulsive reactions.
All of these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately. Other consequences of long-term fear include fatigue, inflammation, yellow fat accumulation, type 2 diabetes, clinical depression, accelerated aging, and even premature death. So whether threats to our security are real or perceived, they impact our mental and physical wellbeing.
As you can see, chronic fear is the driving force behind the cause or the continuance of common disease conditions.
How Fear Impacts Our Relationships
Fear can further impact our behavior with others where we fear admission or even condemnation. It can impact our own lives with the following: constant paranoia, losing, success, giving up routine, not having enough money, not being good enough.
Where does fear really come from?
2 Timothy 1:7 tells us clearly that this spirit (yes fear is a spirit) does NOT come from God. Instead God gives us power, love, and a sound mind. Therefore, when we are driven by fear, this blocks our ability to be all we can be for God. Understand that He sees us as perfect even when we see ourselves with shame and inadequacy. We must see ourselves as God sees us!
What do we really have to fear? After all God gave us more than adequate power, unexplainable love, and a perfectly sound mind. We have assurance of this and our responsibility lies with simply letting go of the fear and letting God become our personal healer. We MUST let go and quit trying to do it on our own.
To receive healing from the roots, we must let go of the fear that prevents us from receiving all of God’s blessings. Blessings require obedience. How many have asked God for healing? Maybe He is waiting for you to drop fear and embrace faith.
The ONLY fear we should have is reverent fear of our Heavenly Father. When our relationship with Him is in a state of dis-ease, we open ourselves us to physical disease. Healing rests in the recognition of God as the healer. Recognition of God as the healer begins with surrendering to Him.