We can DO HARD THINGS when we believe no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17 ). But in order for them not to prosper we have to understand how they operate. The Bible challenges us to not be ignorant of the devil’s schemes or devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). The enemy has weapons which he uses to keep us from believing we are powerful…deceived into underestimating our own spiritual strength.
You see, if we believe we are weak, even if we possess strength, we will still act weak. The devil knows if he can deceive us in our weakness, in our brokenness, and in our guilt, we will never be effective for the Kingdom of God. The devil doesn’t have many weapons, but the ones he does have he uses often. The Bible says that the serpent was the most crafty of all animals (Genesis 3:1). He had an ability to dupe Adam and Eve out of the promises of God. Let’s be honest, if he can do it to Adam and Eve, he could definitely do it to us.
Today, I want us to look at the weapon of fear. It’s a stronghold that likes to come and wrap its arms around our heart, mind, and strength, to keep us bound from operating in the strength we possess. Fear says ‘we are not going to make it’, ‘things are not going to work out,’ ‘we are never going to live a good life’, and ‘if the worst happens, you will not be able to survive.’ These are lies that come straight out of the devil’s mouth to keep us from being all we’re called to be. 1 John 4:18 tells us tormenting fear never comes from God.
One thing that helped me early on was understanding that fear increases in the same way faith does (Romans 10:17) Faith increases by listening and believing, as does fear. If all you’re listening to is fear-based, eventually, you will begin to believe it. Once you understand this, you can start to value what you’re listening to and letting into your life.
We need to increase our faith and not just reject fear. The best weapon against fear is increased faith. Don’t just tell yourself to stop fearing, tell your inner man to start believing! Read, listen to, and say faith-filled statements. Practice speaking like a spirit-filled person. If you would normally say something that is fearful or worrisome, stop yourself. Remember, we believe what we hear…even from our own mouths. Yes, it’s going to take practice. It’s a spiritual exercise and it doesn’t come overnight. But I promise you, and, more importantly, the Bible promises you, that Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Fill your mouth with the Word and your faith will grow. Guaranteed!
Fear means to shrink back and run. That’s why the Bible says, “Fear not!” (Isaiah 43:1) It means don’t run, shrink back, or give up. It’s important to understand when fear comes, our first objective many times is to run. We want to get as far away from the pain of the unknown as we can.
We have to go after fear and not allow it to immobilize us. Don’t be surprised if it feels awkward at first. Remember, we are learning to operate in our spiritual authority and with our spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18); it won’t come naturally at first, but like that classic quote says, “Practice makes perfect,” and it is true with this.
How do we stop from running when fear hits us? I like to think of it this way: we have to have a plan to deal with fear! Remember, when fear comes, initially we feel paralyzed, dumbfounded, and overwhelmed. It’s important for us to plan for these emotions and understand it is just anxiety. These emotions cannot dominate us. The first thing we need to tell ourselves is, “This is anxiety. I have done nothing wrong, and I am not in trouble. I can do this!” Once we talk ourselves down, we need a plan to get out of fear. It may be planning to read a certain passage in the Bible, listen to a certain worship song, or pray out loud and declare truth over ourselves.
Transformation is as practical as it is spiritual. Sometimes, we have to practically set up objectives for our success and that is spiritual. Don’t let the enemy lie to you that you need to have some sort of spiritual high to get you out of the pit. All you need to do is listen to the Holy Spirit, obey exactly what He’s asking you to do, and set Godly boundaries to keep yourself safe. You can do this! I promise.