An interesting discussion I had the the other day led to a consolidation of thoughts about fear and how we as Christians should be fighting and overcoming it. In fact the principles could be applied to a variety of forms of negative thinking as well as spiritual attack.
Fear is one of those giants we encounter in life that can cripple us and even destroy us if we let it. Due to its often enormous all-consuming size it is virtually impossible to ignore and we can very easily feel overwhelmed and defeated by it let along thinking about how we might be able to overcome it.
An almost knee-jerk reaction is to try to stay in the driving seat – to stay in control. So we try to overcome fear on our own. We think of ways we could minimise it or its effects, we try to suppress it – squeeze it down somewhere inside us – then quickly paper over the cracks and pretend it isn’t there and it isn’t going to hurt us anymore.
The problem is it hasn’t gone away.
It’s still there and it will come back again.
And we know it. That’s why it continues to remain at the forefront of our minds. We end up constantly thinking about it: ‘Don’t do this. Don’t think that. Remember to always do this’ – in order to try to keep fear at bay. Our focus is fixed on our fear and it continues to control our lives.
The Bible teaches that as Christians we are no longer slaves to fear. We will still get afraid, but we no longer need to be controlled by it.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”- Romans 8:15
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The Bible also gives us helpful advice about how we are to fight our battles, including how to fight fear.
For many years I did not really understand what our spiritual weapons were that help us to fight spiritual battles. I thought when I prayed louder, or even shouted, or I did extra things ‘for God’ like praying more or reading the Bible more, I was fighting and using my spiritual weapons – whatever they were.
However having heard some great sermons on the topic I know believe that our spiritual weapons are things we already possess. The fruit of the Spirit and believing and applying what the Bible teaches us is how we are called to fight spiritual battles, including how we fight fear.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
The source of all these things is God. The strength to do all these things comes from God. Without Him at work in us it is impossible to truly embody all these virtues all of the time.
The Key to Fear Fighting
Since being diagnosed with cancer in 2016 (I am in remission now, praise The Lord) I had to fight fear in a big way!
I have since come to realise that in moments when we need to face our giants, when we need to fight, we need to let Jesus do the fighting for us. We still need to be active in turning to Him and trusting in Him but ultimately we relinquish control into the safety of Jesus’ hands and he fights for us.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
The key is to fully acknowledge that we are afraid yet deliberately choose to not let it steal our focus. Focus is key. Turn your eyes away from the giant you are afraid of rather than trying to suppress it or rail against it.
Just let the giant be.
Rather, turn and focus on Jesus.
Work on building the fruit of the Spirit in your life: peace, patience, kindness… Read the Bible and communicate with Jesus through simple conversation.
Give Jesus the control.
Hand the situation to Him.
You need only to be still and Jesus will fight for you!