“I recognized the spirit of fear from my experiences in Asia. Massive and arrogant, he boldly swaggered through my mind’s eye, even while our little group prayed fervently for our world. As I watched, he suddenly began to shrink, smaller and smaller, until he became microscopic.
Suddenly, a single, diseased cell appeared in the scene, and this spirit of fear swiftly hid within it. The organisms energized and grew, multiplying quickly on land, sea, and air. I somehow knew this was the Coronavirus. Collectively, our little group joined our hearts and voice to stand firm against this world-force of darkness.”
It’s been about a year since I wrote these words. The image, impressed upon my thoughts and heart, is still as real today as when I experienced it. Since this time, I have witnessed the spread of the virus and the fear, dividing families, friends, and believers.
It would be my preference to report that I remained “anxious for nothing” throughout the year, but it’s not true. Since I felt forewarned, I expected that the gates of hell would not shake my faith, but it did. Yet, as I look back over the year, I have learned a few things about dealing with fear.
- Fear is more hype than reality
Satan isn’t called the prince of the power of the air for nothing (Ephesians 2:2). This liar has become quite adept at using the airwaves to multiply his whispers of doom. Since he has a monopoly upon much of our current media sources, anxiety quickly lodges into our thought patterns through what we hear. Like a roaring lion, fear doesn’t have to kill, steal, or destroy; merely rumoring about it is usually enough to cause havoc.
I’m learning once again to be careful what I listen to (Mark 4:24). I’ve joined many thousands of people who have turned off the negative sources to seek for that which is honorable, pure, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
- Fear hates to be confronted
Fear’s strongest superpower is to trick you into believing that you cannot defeat him. His best friends, hopelessness and despair, quickly add their voices to his banter. Together, their purpose is to inhibit any movement on your part. When anxiety takes over more than 25% of your thoughts, decisions are skewed and cheerless.
Although loud and seemly iron-handed, fear has a dreaded secret. As a demonic spirit, fear is true to its name. He doesn’t want you to know that he is timid in character. The weakest Christian can put him to flight with a series of feeble praises. Although you may not be aware of the power of Christ within you, fear never loses sight of Jesus’s strength at your core. When I’m at my lowest, I spend five minutes shouting “Hallelujah!” and have never failed to feel a surge of strength.
(Note: The word hallelujah is one of the very few that is recognizable across languages. It is aleluya in Spanish, halleluja in Afrikaans, 哈利路亞 (Hā lì lù yà) in Mandarin, and 할렐루야 (hallelluya) in Korean. Coincidence? Probably not).
- Fear hates prayer
Heaven opens to those that pray. The Spirit of love falls fresh into any heart in honest conversation with God. His Presence of Love expels fear and fills the resulting void so that our impulses align with God’s will (1 John 4:18: 2 Corinthians 3:17). Prayer’s power is not in words but in weakness. Your weakness becomes a portal to God’s power (2 Corinthians 12:10 The Passion Translation)! Only believe.
- Fear is annoyingly persistent
Even minutes after one victory, fear will flank to prick anxiety in another area. This is normal and not a fault in your defenses. Fear doesn’t mind tweaking the topic of his whispers, as long as he can find a way to shake your resolve.
Remember, you know his weakness. Remain on the alert, asking the Lord to give you strength and endurance for this fight. “He (Jesus) who lives in you is mightier than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 Amplified).
Join me in this prayerful meditation:
“O our God, will You not judge against this fear that has come against me? For I am powerless against this huge enemy that is coming against me. I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on You.”
“The Lord says this to you: ‘Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. You need not fight in this battle; take your position, stand and witness the salvation of the Lord who is with you. Do not fear or be dismayed; for the Lord is with you.’”
“And when (you) begin singing and praising, the Lord sets ambushes against the enemy of fear who had come up against you, and he will be struck down in defeat.” (Based on 2 Chronicles 20:12,15,17,21).