And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14.25-30.
Why didn’t the disciples recognize that it was Jesus walking to them on the water? Why were they troubled to the point of imagining that they were seeing a ghost? What happened to Peter, a professional fisherman, so that he forgot how to swim and had to cry out for help? All these questions have the same answer: the virus of evil that we will speak about today.
Virus no. 6 – FEAR
There are 2 types of fear: rational and irrational. The first is beneficial, comes from our intellect and helps us to react when faced with danger or a problem. E.g. A pedestrian that does not realize the danger of an out-of-control bus speeding towards him cannot expect to live to a good old age. A child that does not understand the danger of walking along the edge of a cliff could lose his/her life. The fear of marrying the wrong person… of breaking the law… etc.
On the other hand, irrational fear is deadly, comes from the heart, is emotional and gives rise to many problems. The devil has, and will continue to use this type of fear against you. The list of examples is enormous, but here are a few of the most common: The fear to… ask and hear “no”, to say “no”, to be alone, to step out in faith (What if I have faith and nothing happens?), do something positive and have it not work, surrender to God, serve Him, trust in Him, give the tithe, stand up for your faith in front of your friends/family, confront the devil (I think the devil will leave me alone if I just stop attacking him).
The devil uses the virus of fear because he is trying to:
- PARALYZE YOU: Because of fear, some people just wait. They don’t act or react while their problems continue to grow and worsen.
- DECEIVE YOU: Fear creates barriers and dangers that don’t truly exist, which are pure illusion. — The disciples thought Jesus was a ghost.
- BLIND YOU: When fear takes over a person, he cannot see possibilities, opportunities or solutions. He can only see the negative and what can go wrong. — Peter forgot that he could swim.
- TRICK YOU: The lies of fear… “This won’t work. Things are hopeless. You’re gong to die. No one likes you.” etc.
- CONTAMINATE YOU: Those infected by this virus generally want to infect others. “Be careful. Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Are you sure? I know someone who tried that and everything went wrong.”
The problem of fear is not necessarily your feelings or adrenaline. We all feel fear sometime. The problem is when fear starts to affect your decisions or faith — when you act (or fail to act) because of what you feel. “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid.” Matthew 14:30.
Get ready for Vaccine #6! See you tomorrow.