Monday, January 7, 2013

Fear—The Deadly Enemy

I've been re-reading some of the posts on this blog...there's some great stuff here, full of hope and faith.

What stops the wonderful intention of God to bless us in our lives?

I think doubt and unbelief are probably at the root of the problem. Remember, Jesus almost always said to the people He delivered, "Your faith has made you well" or "Be it done to you according to your faith."

But when you take a good look at what's behind doubt and unbelief, you almost always find fear.

And fear is the real problem.

Isaiah 54:14 tells us "In righteousness you will be established; you will be FAR FROM OPPRESSION, for you WILL NOT FEAR; and from TERROR, for it WILL NOT COME NEAR YOU."

We know, from many New Testament scriptures, that we've been made the righteousness of God in Christ and that we were created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. We're call saints, which in the Greek means most holy ones. And we're one Spirit with the Lord.

According to God [and He's the only one that matters] we are righteous. Even Abraham, that scoundrel, was considered righteous because of his faith in God!

We may not feel righteous because, in the flesh, we're not perfect. Maybe we've just finished screaming at the kids or kicking the cat. Maybe we've just listened to a sermon that has told us what sinners we are.

But in the Spirit, we've been perfected in love! One Spirit with the Lord—crucified with Him, buried in baptism, raised up and seated together with Him in heavenly places! [Ephesians 2, Galatians 2, Colossians 2]


So we see that our righteousness is not the problem. Jesus becamerighteousness to us! [1 Corinthians 1:30]

Yet many of us feel oppressed and defeated—joyless, trapped, alone.

Back to Isaiah 54. " will be FAR FROM OPPRESSION, for you WILL NOT FEAR; and from TERROR, for it WILL NOT COME NEAR YOU."

Oppression comes from fear! Fear, which we know from Job 4 and 2 Timothy 1, is a spirit. This is a Bible fact, not conjecture from a small group of wackos! [Read Fear]

Now, the interesting thing about this verse is the phrase '...for YOU WILL NOT FEAR...' If you recall, another thing Jesus almost always said to those He was about to deliver was "Fear not."

It seems, from the verse in Isaiah 54 and from Jesus' own ministry that 1) our fear—our response to the spirit of fear—is optional, our choice; and 2) both fear and faith have a direct outcome on whether or not we receive our requests.

So if you're feeling oppressed, you're probably in fear about something. That fear is the root of doubt, which turns quickly into unbelief. And since faith is how we access the blessings that God has already provided, this is a real problem.

The Holy Spirit, writing through John, has some interesting things to say about the connection between love and fear.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. [1 John 4:15-18]

Okay, so let's put it all together. Fear is a spirit as well as an internal response to that spirit, and it brings oppression. I John 4:18 says it involves punishment.

Fear, like faith, is an attractive force—Job said "For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me." [Job 3:25] And we all know what happened to him!

That's why fear brings oppression—it attracts that which is feared!

According to Jesus, fear is a choice. According to Jesus speaking through John, fear is cast out by perfect love. And love is perfected in us if we abide in God and He abides in us!

So where's the problem? In our spirits, we are One with Him, seated in Him in heavenly places, with authority over all the power of the enemy. Love is perfected in our reborn spirits and we have the power not to fear.

The problem is deception. Christians, for the most part, reject any part the imagination plays in our lives. We point to New Agers and say because they believe in the power of imagination, it must be wrong.

But they got it from us! I've already written lots on that topic...suffice it to say that we use it every day and it is a powerful component of faith. Satan knows this—he also knows that he has no power over us. So he uses our own power against us.

How? By deceiving us. By showing us pictures of bad stuff happening, by whispering in our ears and telling us it's not going to work for us this time. [Job 4:12]

The concept of agreement is an important one in the Bible. Adam agreed with Satan instead of God and fell. The people agreed to build the tower at Babel and God said " nothing they purpose to do will be impossible for them."

God said that! Nothing will be impossible to those who purpose and speak in agreement! And He was talking about mere men, not those reborn of His Spirit!

Jesus said if two agree about anything it would be done for them by His Father!

Faith is agreeing with God. Agreeing that His Word is true and settled forever...already accomplished. Faith believes that what God says is finished, settled, true and available for us in the earth.

Ditto for fear, but in reverse. Fear believes that the deceptions and lies of the enemy are truer than God's word, a kind of inevitable reality. Fear is faith in evil—faith in being abandoned or neglected by God, faith that His Word isn't for us today, faith in the lie that He sends sickness and poverty to teach us something. Fear is faith in His being a capricious tyrant...good to some and awful to others. Whatever will be will be, God is sovereign.


Yes, God is sovereign, and what He decided to do with His sovereignty is to give us the power to reign in life through the One Christ Jesus! He gave us the power to talk to mountains and trees and storms and heal sick bodies and raise the dead!

He's sovereign, that's true...and His plan is for us is to be His Body in the earth, to be kings and priests and to reign on the earth! [Revelations 5:10]

Agreement is key to walking by faith and defeating fear. Agree with God, even if it's not what you learned in Sunday School, even if your pastor and church friends think you're blaspheming. Agree with Him in your imagination—see yourself blessed, healed, rich, joyful and protected by angels. See the angels ministering to you like they did to Jesus because you are an heir of salvation! [Hebrews 1:13,14; Matthew 4:11]

Agree with His forever settled word in your heart and in your mouth and enter into His rest. Then and only then can you 'fear not' and be far from oppression

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