The Only Thing to Fear is…
Note: This article is not for the spiritually immature. I do not apologize for it.
It seemed extremely fitting to be writing this post. It’s late October now, and things are beginning to become…for lack of a better term…very Halloweeny. This is the time of year when all things dark and creepy are embraced as everyday practice. Decorations are up, costumes come out from a year-long slumber in department store storage rooms. We watch movie marathons that are specifically designed to scare us, and we go through haunted houses that bring our worst nightmares to reality
With all this darkness running about, I’m left with one question.
Why can’t we be like this all year round?
Before you say, “You’re insane; I don’t want it to be Halloween all year round,” hear me out. Don’t miss what I’m about to say. Each year, for a moment in time, we don’t fear the things that make us afraid; we embrace them. We aren’t afraid to admit what makes us afraid because during the Halloween season, it is just popular culture to be scared. It’s interesting to see that people don’t lock themselves away, throw the TVs out, or keep all the lights on because of all of the extra dark activity being given attention to. We go outside, we read scary stories, we bring as much attention to the darkness as possible, and Satan hates it.
Contrary to what you might believe, darkness doesn’t enjoy exposure.
I am fully convinced that evil much more appreciates subtlety, than it does a parade. You see, when we’re silent, when we’re alone, darkness can do its worst damage. When we are alone, we are most vulnerable. We let our guard down, we become complacent, and our enemy knows when we are at our weakest. In my short 22 years, I have personally felt spiritual warfare happening around me. I can tell you, with full confidence, that it always happened when I was alone. Why is this, you might ask? Why does evil attack a lone wolf more that it would an entire pack? Let’s turn to Scripture for help.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8-9 ESV)
I don’t know about you, but that sure puts a lot of things into perspective for me. The devil prowls; he hunts you. If you’ve ever hunted before, you should know that the key tactics to a hunt are to wait, watch, and strike when the moment is right. Satan operates in that way towards us. He waits and has much more patience than you’d think.
I think it’s also interesting that the devil chose to take on the form of a serpent when mankind fell in the book of Genesis. The thing about serpents is…it is never the bite that kills you; it’s the venom. It’s the toxic seepage from the fangs of the serpent that destroys you from the inside. The physical bite is very minimal in comparison to the inward damage that the venom brings. Satan works in this way, as well with his venom. He waits for the opportune moment to strike, and when he does he uses his favorite poison. A poison that is planted like a seed. And it can grow to eventually control you.
I have seen fear bring the strongest people I’ve ever known to their knees. I have watched fear silence those whose words could have changed the world. Fear has an extremely potent crippling effect that makes people want to collapse inside of themselves and hide from the world. Fear is an internal numbing agent that can make a person go from a sprint, to a crawl, to a full stop. Have you ever heard the expression, “Crippled in fear?” Ever think there was a reason why that phrase is so popular? That’s exactly what fear does…exactly what the enemy wants it to do.
I have to be honest…Even sitting here alone in my apartment writing this article, I feel fear inside of me. For the sake of transparency, I was bitten by fear a long time ago, and I do not need to use sources at all for this post. Fear and I have been long time acquaintances. We’ve done this dance for many years. Over time, I have learned that what fear wants most is for you to constantly live in it. Fear desires nothing more than to control your every thought, your every action. It wants you to feel like you’re not good enough, like you can never measure up. Perhaps the worst part of having fear is that no one wants you to know they struggle with it because they’re simply too afraid to ever tell you. Do you see the interesting grip that fear can hold? Like an anaconda that squeezes the life out of you with every breath.
But what if I told you there’s nothing to fear? What if I told you that in fact you can make fear FEAR YOU. It’s not too far out of line to think that Satan can become afraid. In fact, you have the power within you through the Holy Spirit to strike fear straight in the heart of the enemy. Would you believe me? As sons and daughters of the God of the universe, you and I should never fear fear. Your mindset on the idea of fear will forever change the way you react to it. Fear can either be a paralyzing poison, or it can be straight up rocket fuel! If you know, undoubtedly, that the Spirit of God lives within you, then you can take fear and turn it into a means of propelling motivation. Learning this critical skill is what separates those who dream and those who turn their dreams into a reality. My friends, this fight against fear has already been won. Christ has made the way to turn what was once wicked into a means of pure light that furthers His kingdom. If it wasn’t for that fact, then I wouldn’t be able to write this article right now.
Fighting Fear is Spiritual Warfare
Overcoming fear may seem like an impossible task, but that’s probably because you’re just afraid. Know this: God has given you the means to overcome.
Ephesians 6:11-17, 19-20 (ESV)
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Child of God, it’s time for you to pick up your sword and win this one.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Challenge: This week, I’m challenging you to live in the victory that was won for you on the cross. No longer do you live in chains of fear. You are bound to God, and He alone has won the war. So, just like Paul says in verses 19 and 20, I pray that you may declare it fearlessly. Fearlessly.
Exposing Worship in Spirit and in Truth,
Recommended Track: “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathan and Melissa Helser