Summary: This was a two part message on conquering our fears and was loosely based on the TV show Fear Factor
So, what are you afraid of? What it is that sends Goosebumps up and down your spine, brings your heart to your throat and makes you want to throw up just thinking about it? Snakes, heights, spiders, enclosed spaces? Most to those things have been explored at some point or another on ¡§Fear Factor¡¨. Have you seen the show? A normal show begins with six contestants, three male and three female. And it would appear that these contestants must first pass through a whole series of interviews to assure that ugly people don¡¦t get on the show. During the next hour these people will compete to see who will win the $50,000.00 prize that¡¦s given away each week. Since the show began last June the contestants have jumped between moving trucks, have leapt out of twelve stories buildings, bobbed for plums in a tub of snakes and been buried in 300,000 worms. Add to that they¡¦ve eaten eyes, brains, bugs and body parts we don¡¦t discuss in polite company. When Franklin D. Roosevelt said ¡§The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.¡¨ He obviously hadn¡¦t watched this show.
I would last about 27 seconds on the show. I am terrified of heights, scared to death of snakes and really my idea of exotic foods is putting onions on my hamburger. So what are you afraid of? Now don¡¦t tell me nothing; an article in one Medical Journal once stated ¡§The man who knows no fear is not only a gross exaggeration, he is a biological impossibility.¡¨ You know that¡¦s the truth with ¡§Fear Factor¡¨ All you have to do is watch their faces to understand that in many cases it¡¦s not a matter of not being afraid as much as it is a matter of conquering your fear. And sometimes it¡¦s fear that does the conquering.
Fear will always be with us, it¡¦s one of the base emotions along with hunger, love and hate, and it¡¦s not just limited to the human animal but is instinctive and crosses throughout the animal kingdom. You might even say that fear is a gift from God, it keeps us alive. Leonardo Da Vinci made this comment, ¡§Just as courage imperils life; fear protects it.¡¨
We are told that the four greatest impelling motives in life are fear, hope, love and faith, we are also told that the greatest is fear, that it¡¦s first in order, first in force and first in fruit. Not in everyone of course, but in the majority of people. And the Bible talks about fear, the word fear is mentioned 266 times and the word afraid is mentioned 223 times. The first time fear is mentioned is in Genesis 3:10 and the last time it¡¦s seen is Revelation 19:5.
In the New Testament there are actually seven different Greek words that are translated as fear in the English language. We¡¦ve mentioned before that English is a lazy language. We¡¦ll take one word and make it mean a dozen different things. My favourite word like that is Fast. A simple word, how many meanings can the word fast have? Well if you were to make a boat fast it could either mean that you make it quicker or you tie it up. If you said a person was fast it could mean they were quick or that they had loose morals. If you said a colour was fast it would mean that it wouldn¡¦t run as opposed to saying that Bruce was fast that would mean he does run, but if he was fast asleep he wouldn¡¦t be moving at all. If a pool table is fast it means that the balls bounce well when they hit the edge. But fast can also mean to go without food, it can mean that your watch has gained time, or that a film is designed for a short exposure time. It can also mean the shaft of a column or that a person is a close friend. More recently fast has become an acronym for an organization called ¡§Federation against software theft.¡¨
Now I said all that to say that the Greek writers used a little more imagination when they were trying to describe something. In this case trying to get across the concept of fear. And while there were seven words used to express fear in the New Testament we are going to focus on three of them. The first word that is used is ƒÖƒßƒÒƒÕƒæƒç Phobeo and it means to be in awe of, or to revere or respect something. This is a natural fear. In the Bible it is used of the Fear of God, or fear of death.
Columnist Dave Barry wrote "All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears--of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required."