It is the bug in every brain – fear. Somehow, somewhere and in some or other circumstances it will paralyze you, give you that hollow feeling inside, even sweaty hands and palpitations with an added dread of rumination, visualizing the scenarios over and over in your mind. Who can say they are not familiar with every symptom of fear?
The next two shorter pieces are focused on some Biblical teaching on fear, but they are by no means exhaustive. Every circumstance, every state of alarm or constant anxiety should be directed to our loving Dad in prayer for His Spirit-guidance in the Word for those miraculous “life” -words of “peace that surpasses all understanding”. (John 6:63; Philippians 4:7)
Somewhere I have heard that the phrase: do not fear, is repeated 366 times in the Bible; one for each day and en extra. I don’t know exactly how I can confirm this, but it makes so much sense. One of the most important strategies of our enemy is fear. It will rob you of a meaningful, joyous life. It will overwhelm your thoughts and limit your potential in so many ways. It is a trap set in hell to trip you up and make you suffer in the cruel, sharp, iron claws of your own thoughts.
When we talk about a strategy from hell, we have to remember that the devil is not creative and cannot do anything new. We have all his plans and actions recorded in the Bible for our knowledge and equipping. The Bible is truly our textbook for life.
The stories of the Old and New Testaments are the examples of men and women living on this earth with the same life issues that we have to contend with so many centuries later.
- Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had to live the consequences of disobedience to the directive of God.Eve has not heard from God directly, only second hand through Adam. Satan approaches her to plant doubt in her mind as to the exact words of the command from God. He will always sow doubt about what God said and promised and whether God will do what He has said He will do.
- Abraham gets impatient with God’s timing in giving him the son he so desires. He takes action himself and Ishmael, Hagar’s son is born with all the complications that action brings.
- David is tempted and weakened when he should have been on the battlefield with his men.
- The kings of Israel are a study in pride and arrogance, succumbing to sin in the pursing of greatness and standing.
- All his sneaky tactics to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4 where he quotes Scripture out of context to make it a lie of motivation and purpose.
If we can dissect his strategy and prepare ourselves to withstand the temptations of evil, we might be able to live more boldly.
One of his most successful traps is fear. So much of our modern illness and physical symptoms of discomfort is related to fear and anxiety. Our toxic thoughts make us sick.
We can give it many names, label it in any which way and prescribe the pills and therapy to fight it – all of which is good and necessary as we fight on all fronts against the destruction of life, but in the end we know we cannot fake inner peace. We know what that tight grip of cold fear feels like.
Let’s go back far, back to Abraham. God promises him:
Do not be afraid, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. (Genesis 15:1)
This is a covenant promise. God said that all the nations of the world would be blessed through Abraham. In Romans (4:13) Paul states that this promise is ours, not through our good works measured by the law, but through FAITH.
The promise covers our past and future. God’s shield is our protection for today; His reward is the guarantee for future success. There is nothing that can happen in this life that God cannot turn around for good. Nothing is too hard for Him. This is the first principle for victory over fear.
You are safe in his hands. In Exodus 34 God describes himself as abounding in goodness and truth. Jeremiah 29 confirms his plans for our future. The Psalms is full of promises of outcome and protection and so are the prophets and epistles. Just think for a moment about the life of Jesus. He healed and encouraged the lowliest of society.
However,our God turned the curse into a blessing. (Nehemiah 13:2)
And we know that all things work together for goodto those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.(Romans 8:28)
These are promises to remember and live by when things go “wrong”. I deliberately write that in quotation marks, because things might look “wrong” in our eyes when God in his mysterious wisdom works them out for our benefit.
Could we live in the knowledge that when we have surrendered our ways to the Lord, our lives are governed by the principles of God and will never end in defeat. So many times I thought my life has taken a wild side road, when I realize that this is the way God has made as I recognize his loving guidance.
We have a guarantee:
Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present you unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation, with unspeakable, ecstatic delight — (Jude 24)
The first fear defeating principle is: Rest in the arms of God and his plan for your life.
Next time: Do not fear – the command of God that should be the foundation of our life.