These days everywhere you look there seems to be something to fear. Images and messages of fear are broadcast over the television, over the internet and over social media. It’s easy even as a Christian to become fearful and worry about being safe. Now is it just a sign of the times or is there more to this thing. Are the images being broadcast on television just something we are supposed to accept and now live under the tyranny of fear? Now yes, obviously I know the things that are happening around the world are real and they are tragic. We need to be aware of what is happening and pray. We are to pray for the people who have been effected by evil and pray that those perpetrating these evils would be stopped and brought to justice. We need to pray for the Love of God to break in and put a stop to the evil that is going on in the world today.
Saying that though, we as Christians need to be careful that we don’t allow fear to be secretly mobilized in our lives every time we watch, feed on and mediate on the things that the devil is doing around the world. Yes things are bad and yes we need to pray.
But we are to pray from a position of authority and not from a position of fear.
As God’s people, everything we do is supposed to be from a position of authority. We have Jesus living inside of us and He has been given all authority in heaven and earth (see Matthew 28:18). We have been given authority to trample on all the plans and purposes of the enemy and nothing will harm us (see Luke 10:19). This is the position from which we are to live in the world that we find ourselves in.
This may sound easy in theory but how come it is so hard to do and live like this from a practical point of view?
This is something that I sometimes struggle to walk out on a day to day basis.
When I watch the news of some terror attack, why does fear rise up in me and not faith that God is my father and he will protect me?
Why do I feel like I need to be careful, fearful and anxious, that somehow I’m outside of the protection and safety of my loving God?
Why as a child of God do I have these annoying thoughts that perhaps what just happened to those people on television will someday happen to me?
Why is there an almost overwhelming fear that if I step fully into the things that God has for me, I will be a bigger target to the devil and at greater personal risk?
No the closer I get to God the further I get from the devil not the other way around.
All these questions may seem real to me and sometimes even rational, but are they the truth? I don’t believe these thoughts of fear are the truth. As a Christian we are not supposed to live with fear or in fear. 1 John 4:18 tells us that God’s perfect love for us casts out fear.
So if God is love (see 1 John 4:8) and his Holy Spirit lives in me (see Ephesians 3:17, 2 Timothy 1:14), then His perfect or matured love in me should cast out all fear in my life.
How come then fear still tries to make its way into my life?
Well I would like to make some suggestions. I believe for me and as I’m sure you may realize for you as well, it’s about what we submit to and what we resist. What do I mean by submit and resist?
Well submission means to come under someone’s or something’s authority. In a war when you surrender, you submit under your enemy’s authority and you acknowledge that they are more powerful than you and so you give up and become their prisoner of war, so to speak. For me personally I find there is often a temptation to submit to some form of fear, worrying about the things that are getting closer and closer to my door step. There is a temptation to not go out, not do anything in case I too may become a victim of some horrible crime or disaster. But I have realized for me, that is like living in captivity to an enemy that God said I needed to resist, not submit under. Instead of submitting to fear, I am to submit to God and come under His authority and as I do that, the devil (and fear) will flee from me.
We come under the authority of what God says about us in His word.
So what are some of the things God says about us?
- He will never leave us, he will never forsake us, so everywhere we go God goes with us. We do not have to be afraid of what people may do because God is with us always and He is bigger than any foe (see Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6).
- God will protect us, a 1000 may fall right next to us, 10 000 right near us but no harm will come near us. We will be hidden under His shadow and under His wings we find refuge. Terrible things may happen all around us but we have a promise to hold on to that the Lord will protect us and no harm will come to us (see Psalm91).
- We are hidden in Christ and the devil can’t see us. As long as we continue to stay in Christ and focused on Him, the devil can’t harm us because he can’t see us (see Colossians 3:3).
- We will trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm us. We have authority over the devil and everything that he is doing around the world (see Luke 10:19).
- God will not allow our foot to stumble or fall, and he never sleeps, so His protection is 24/7, 365 days a year for us (see Psalm 121).
- Those that are for us are greater than those against us. When God is with us who can be against us. There is no need to fear because God is with us and He has our backs (see 2 Kings 6:15-17, 2 Chronicles 32:7, Romans 8:31).
- We are in the palm of God’s hands and no one can snatch us out of his firm grip (see John 10: 28-29).
- As long as we keep our minds on God, He will keep us in perfect peace in any situation, there is no need to fear (see Isaiah 26:3).
Now I realize that we live in a fallen world and there are real dangers out there. But while we should be wise and take precautions, we certainly don’t have to live in fear. We do not need to be afraid to live out our lives and do the things we are called to do. We are children of God and in the midst of chaos in the world, we can have perfect peace and we do not have to fear.
John 14:27 NIV: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Lots of love
If you would like to read my post about walking through a fiery trial in my marriage lately http://www.livinginvictoryministries.com/marriage-fire-proof/
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Byron is also author of Testimonies of a Good God, a true story of great struggle and yet tremendous victory in Jesus.