Fear has the power to keep even the most dedicated believer from stepping out in faith toward what God is calling her. But God has not given us a spirit of fear, Warrior Princess! Proclaim the power with which God has equipped you and march against the enemy's lies! Fear is a LIAR!
Fear. According to Mr. Webster, fear /’fir/ is a noun defined as:
True Fear is an Oxymoron
So, as we see in Webster’s definition, fear is an emotion, a concern, a reason for alarm. As you see in number three, there is also a holy fear, a reverence and awe felt toward God, but we aren’t going to look at that today. That is a healthy and good fear and really needs its own discussion.
Today, friend, we are going to dig into and expose this powerful weapon the enemy loves to use against us called “fear.”
Fear is almost as unique as the one experiencing it. One fella has compiled a list of more than 500 fears or phobias! Of course, the list could be endless because people are afraid of so many things. Some are afraid of spiders (arachnophobia), others are afraid of the darkness (myctophobia). The site lists phobias from the ridiculous (anatidaephobia – fear that a duck is hiding and watching you)
to the understandable (panthophobia- fear of suffering and disease).
We are afraid of rejection, solitude, failure. Many of us are afraid of disappointing others or being disappointed by others. We may have an unhealthy fear of God, believing He could never love us and is just waiting to smite us for every little mistake we make. Just as this gives the enemy unbelievable power over us, so does being overly fearful of our adversary.
No matter its root, true fear can paralyze. True fear acts as a prison, capturing and torturing us by forcing us to watch reel after reel of films of our past sins, mistakes, and failures; taunting us and assuring us we will never be worth anything. True fear can hold unbelievable power over its victim, preventing one from being able to live life with the freedom God desires we live in. True fear is one of the enemy’s favorite weapons to use against God’s children. But hear this, beloved! “True fear” is an oxymoron because fear of this kind is a liar!
The Truth about the Lie
Why is the enemy so hell-bent (pun intended) upon making us afraid? If you are a Christ follower, the devil knows he can’t have you because you belong to Jesus. So why doesn’t he just give up and leave you alone?
The Truth is…he cannot afford to. You, mighty warrior, are too big a threat to the devil’s schemes for him to write you off and focus on the lost soul or complacent believer. Since he can’t have you, he makes it his goal to make you less effective for the Kingdom. One of his most efficient tools for this is…you guessed it, fear.
Throughout history, evil people have utilized terrorism as a means of warfare. In modern times, terrorism is a word with which we are all, unfortunately, very familiar. The terrorists’ methods of warfare include inflicting fear upon their victims with or without the actual act of violence. If you don’t believe this, just check the Google machine for “doomsday prepping.”
A “prepper” can often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on items ranging from food and water supplies, to weapons and ammunition, to high-tech bunkers. This is not a new phenomenon, though. Consider the fallout shelters of the 1950s.
Being prepared for potential danger is not inherently wrong. In fact, Proverbs 22:3 says, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” And earlier in Proverbs chapter 6, verses 6-8, we learn we are to be more like the ants, preparing for hard times without having to be told to do so.
The enemy is victorious when we are controlled by that fear of potential danger. This is exactly how terrorism works. The purpose of terrorism is to invoke such fear into the hearts of the victims as to drive them to submission, rendering them helpless.
What are You Afraid of?
When we fall prey to the terroristic threats of our spiritual enemy, the devil, it prevents us from doing what God calls us to do. You see, our enemy wants us to believe we are weak, defenseless, and worthless. He knows our insecurities and fears, whispering them in our ear at every opportunity he gets:
- You aren’t good enough!
- No one will listen to you.
- You’re a joke! No one will take you seriously!
- You have never succeeded at anything in your life. What makes you think you will now?
- Did God really tell you to do that thing?
Perhaps he whispers the same lie to you that I hear in my ear – What a phony you are! If you tell (write) about all your “junk,” you will be exposed for the fraud you really are. (I wrote about this in a previous post.)
What’s Bugging You?
I have a beautiful raised bed garden overflowing with yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants.
Each plant is filled with yellow blooms, tiny vegetables, and…squash bugs. Those pesky critters can destroy my lovely plants in no time flat if left unattended. They are quite stealth, too. Upon first inspection of my garden, all you would see is the large, green leaves of those plants scattered with the yellow flowers. But raise up a leaf to look underneath, and you will find those darn bugs!
Now, getting rid of those squash bugs is often as easy as sprinkling a little Sevin Dust on those leaves. This is never a “once and done” effort, though. We must repeat this treatment frequently in order for it to be effective.
Fear is often like those squash bugs. If you look at the surface of our lives, we seem to have it all together, but lurking underneath is an enemy whose desire is to destroy us from the inside out. Like those squash bugs, fear creeps around in our souls, devouring our dreams, our hope, our calling.
(I tried to snap a photo of a squash bug, but just like the lies of the enemy, they ran away when exposed to the light!)
Squashing the Lies
Squashing the lies of the enemy requires frequently reading, believing, and applying God’s Truth found in the Bible. There is nothing more effective than the Word of God to defeat our enemy. In fact, his Word is the only offensive weapon mentioned in Ephesians when Paul describes the armor of God.
“Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:13-18)
Notice in these verses that Paul says to take up the whole armor of God. Each piece of this armor serves a purpose and loses its effectiveness when used alone. Prayer, the most powerful weapon of all, ties all the pieces of the armor together!
Take Up Your Armor, Mighty Warrior!
In the verses before Paul described the armor of God, he defined our enemy. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6: 11-12)
It is essential to know who your enemy is and what motivates him as you prepare to head into battle. “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8b).
Here is the good news, friend! In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Are you sick of being terrorized by your adversary?
Do you long to live that life abundantly?
Are you ready to squash the lies of your enemy and walk in the Truth God speaks over you?
Put on your WHOLE armor, mighty warrior! It’s time to take back what the enemy has stolen from you and live fearlessly for God!