ISAIAH 36:18-21: “Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘ ADONAI will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, when did they deliver Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their country out of my hand? So will ADONAI deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” But they were silent, and did not answer him a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” TLV
OBSERVATION: What do we do when fear strikes? We all face fear in our lives. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear of calamity, and the list could go on and on. And as believers, it is not simply a matter of quoting a Bible verse. To overcome fear we must understand the nature and the source of fear. Fear has both an emotional and spiritual component. And unlike many struggles we face in life, fear also has an insidious aspect to it. Fear is the direct work of the enemy trying to cripple us from growing in Christ and engaging in the will of God for our lives.
Hezekiah was a godly king who had restored the nation of Judah to the true worship of the Lord. He was not perfect, but he had removed many of the idols and high places that were a continual stumbling block to the children of Israel. Hezekiah, and the City of Jerusalem, found themselves in a precarious situation. The King of Assyria’s army had surrounded their walls, and the Chief Advisor began to shout out threats to all those who stood guard upon the wall. He attacked the very foundation of their strength – their trust in the Lord!
This is where we see the insidious nature of fear. I don’t believe that there is an evil spirit behind every struggle we face in life, but there surely is when we struggle against fear. This is why Paul told young Timothy,
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7 NKJV
Paul was not simply talking about an attitude or emotion, he was talking about the insidious work of the enemy and his emissaries. The power, love, and sound mind that we are given in Jesus Christ comes through the indwelling work and power of the Holy Spirit. The crippling effect of fear comes from the spiritual forces of darkness. This is the nature and source of fear.
To overcome fear we must engage in spiritual warfare., and we must be captivated and transformed by the perfecting love of God!
There are normal fears in life that we all experience. I am not talking about these momentary and passing fears. The fear of getting on a roller coaster, only to be replaced by the joy of the ride, is a normal experience of fear. What I am talking about is the crippling and faith stealing work of the enemy in our lives. This is the fear we must overcome. This is the fear that tries to steal our faith and limit the power of God in our life. So how do we overcome this kind of fear?
I don’t believe it is by shouting at the enemy. In fact, I like to give him as little attention and recognition as possible. I know his crafty plans, and I will not fall for entering into dialogue with him. The Chief Adviser of the King of Assyria (a type of the enemy), wanted the guards on the wall to enter into dialogue with him, and in doing so to begin to shake with fear. They did not speak, under the command of King Hezekiah. What they did to was turn toward the Lord in humility and fervent prayer!
The first thing we need to do when fear strikes is to place ourselves humbly under the mighty hand of God!
- “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” I Peter 5:6-11 NKJV
Notice, it does not say to resist the enemy by entering into a shouting match with him. It says to resist him by running in faith under the mighty hand of God, crying out to the Lord in fervent prayer, and holding up the shield of faith until the battle is won! It is all about Jesus, not about us. Our victory is in the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Our testimony is – “Greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world!” The battle has been won on the Cross of Jesus Christ. There is no need to negotiate with anyone. We but need to run under its full provision and care!
The second thing we need to do is begin to be perfected in the love of Jesus Christ. This is the purpose we were called, justified, and are in the process of becoming partakers of His glory!
- “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30 NKJV
If God is love (I John 4), to become like Him is to grow in and be in a continual process of being perfected in His love. The more we grow in the love of Christ the less we will have to deal with fear. Why?
- “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” I John 4:15-19 NKJV
This week I woke up with an irrational attack of fear. The Lord has been leading me into some new areas of discipleship and direction. As I meditated upon these I was attacked with that all too familiar whisper – “What if it doesn’t work?” I faced fear again straight in the eyes and it was right after I had read may devotional verse for this day. I knew I had only one choice – to keep silent, to run and position myself under the might hand of God, and to ask for His empowering love to overflow in my life. As I did the fear lifted and these thoughts filled my heart.
Dear one, if you are reading this and find yourself being crippled by fear, know that you are not alone. We all face these attacks in our life, and it is not because we are weak in our faith, or we have failed God. It is solely because we belong to Christ and we have an enemy who is trying to destroy God’s purposes in our life. Don’t engage the enemy. Engage Christ through faith. Raise up your shield of trust in Jesus and stay there under His mighty hand. Stand on His promises steadfast in the faith and know that He has won the battle. The Cross is our victory. When you place yourself under the rivers of His perfect love both fear and the enemy will flee!
Lord, thank you for your overpowering victory in my life through Jesus Christ my Lord. May every one who reads these words be ushered into Your Grace, Mercy, and Love!
In Jesus Name!