Essential Faith Volume 2: God challenged me to make a list of those people I fear—you know, the ones who give you the sick feeling in your stomach when you have to be around them. After I made the list, it was interesting to note that not even one of the persons on my “feared” list was a person who fears God. The element which made them feared was created by their evil, not their good. God challenged me: Am I a child of good God that I should fear those whose father is not God? Fear is a prison, but it is a prison to which we hold the key to freedom. When we allow ourselves to be enslaved by fearing bullies and tyrants, we check ourselves into prison and put the key to freedom in our pocket. How, therefore, do we change our most basic instincts and automatic reactions and learn to not be afraid? Well, the answer is so simple than anyone can do it–we must know and respect God Who is more powerful than any evil person or force of this earth. Jesus said: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.” (Matt. 10:28) It’s so easy to overlook the power of God when the bad guy is standing in the flesh right in front of you cussing, bullying and terrorizing—right? However, the more time we spend with God, the more we experience the power and wisdom of His presence and–the less afraid we are of evil. God IS perfect love and He “casts out fear.” God’s power guards our imperishable, undefiled and unfading gift of salvation and we can pity—not fear–those who do NOT have this precious gift! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet. 1:4-6) “Living hope” will never be overpowered by “dead fear.” God doesn’t live in a prison of fear and we don’t belong there either! It is our daily choice to spend quality time in His magnificent love and infinite wisdom and gain peaceful courage for the day ahead. The treasure of His Word reminds us of His powerful promises for us. “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.” (Ps. 62:11) I can hear Him say to me: “Fear not, my daughter…power belongs to Me and–I love you. Go now, face the tyrants and bullies with My courage and wisdom for they can never touch your soul. They will never have the peace that you do and their only hope is in Me. Come now, walk with Me, My precious child!”