There are times when this short, middle-aged woman puts on her spiritual army boots and contends for the faith. No, I’m not in a “people” battle. I love people. I’m in a war against fear.
In Las Vegas, I love doing volunteer work. Let’s just say there are many broken people in this city. The tourists come and go, but the community is a melting pot of displaced souls. As I meet and talk with troubled individuals, I’ve noticed one common denominator, fear.
As a result, when I meet beautiful, talented, people oppressed by fear, it breaks my heart. It compels me to put on my spiritual army boots and pace the floor in prayer.
Fear of God is a healthy, awe-inspiring holy fear, and it’s not the same as the fear that comes from the pit of hell. Unhealthy fear is the enemy’s attempt to distort the truth—God’s truth. It’s a fear that causes us to mistrust God. It’s subtle and hideous.
Although the enemy is no match for our omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign God, we often need help recognizing these snares. Let me share some personal reminders that have served me well.
The 7 Secrets of Fear
1. Fear is not of God – Truth: 1 John 1:5
2. Fear is spiritually blinding – Truth: Proverbs 1:7
3. Fear needs permission to exist – Truth: Deuteronomy 30:19
4. Fear erodes faith in God – Truth: Hebrews 11:1
5. Fear requires constant attention to survive – Truth: Philippians 4:8
6. Fear minimizes your potential – Truth: Ephesians 3:20
7. Fear is not who you are in Christ – Truth: Romans 8:15
Faith isn’t Passive
Fear wants us to conform and strive; God wants us to transform and thrive. Faith is not passive, we wrestle.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV
The enemy of our soul is trying to steal what Christ has freely given us—freedom and abundant life. Why?
Okay, I agree that’s a loaded question, but let me offer an extremely simple answer. God’s framework for our lives welcomes an intimate relationship with God, a means for personal growth, and an invitation to serve in the expansion of His Kingdom. Fear attacks all three.
Contend for Our Faith
Beloved of God, Christ ascended. After his brutal torture, death, and resurrection, He ascended. He left His Holy Spirit so we too could ascend above fear, above depression, above insecurities, above hopelessness. We may feel weak, but that will not hinder the power of God working in you and through you.
We have to contend for our faith. It’s a God-empowered perseverance to believe and trust God when our thoughts come face-to-face with doubt. We can’t allow our thoughts to gravitate to an anti-God belief. We have to ask ourselves, what do I believe? Who do I believe? It’s a choice.
I have to make this mindful choice every day, sometimes hourly. I know life isn’t easy, but it’s time to choose, because what we think about eventually becomes our master. When we choose who we believe, we choose who we will serve.
Faith Over Fear
Although I may sometimes enter prayer wearing spiritual army boots, it doesn’t take me long to walk barefoot in His holy presence. By that I mean, my spiritual posture may be deficient of answers, but in my weakness, I find rest in knowing God is faithful.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10 KJV
God comforts my spirit with His love and steadfastness. I know He’s heard my prayers, and once again I choose to trust and release every person and situation into His loving hands. Fear would have me doubt, but faith reminds me that God’s power is unmatched, and fear can’t take that away.
Today, I hope you’ll choose faith over fear.