Updated: Nov 30, 2019
What is the war within?
There are internal battles in our soul which can keep us from being who God had called us to be; unique expressions of Christ as well as a people who in unity have His nature and emulate His character. These battles keep can us distracted, weary and unable to fully step into what God has called us to do. In this series we’ll discover the weapons of our warfare to pull down strongholds and overcome the spiritual oppression we may be experiencing.
Overcoming Fear & Intimidation
Fear; a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain etc, whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Intimidate; to make timid (lacking in courage or bravery); fill with fear.
To overawe (impress someone so much that they are silent or inhibited).
To frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants.
Fear and intimidation can affect us deeply in so many areas of life. It is a spirit that seeks to paralyze and torment us mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is the cause of dreams unfulfilled and even overachieved. If we do not learn to confront the work of this spirit in our lives we can find ourselves living in timidity, feeling inadequate, insignificant and powerless in our walk with Christ.
Manifestations of the struggle with fear can look like;
Being afraid to make a mistake so rather than stepping out and doing something, you do nothing.
Being afraid to do new/unfamiliar things.
Worrying about what others will think or how they will react, and being afraid of their rejection of you/your endeavours.
Anxious thoughts and feelings over present circumstances, perceived problems or future events.
Being unable to speak or act freely because of fear and/or intimidation.
Feeling discouraged, inadequate and timid in your calling.
Feelings of inferiority leading to the inability to confront in Love, say no to people or express your concerns.
Rushing into relationships/opportunities or settling for abusive/dysfunctional situations for fear of the future (being alone or overlooked).
Equipped for battle
No matter how intense the battle may get, we can be encouraged knowing that we have the victory in Christ over fear and intimidation;
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind - 1 Timothy 1:7
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down strong holds - 2 Corinthians 10:4
Tool 1: The power of ‘No’
John 14:27AMPC reads; Peace I leave with you; [My own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (Bold emphasis added).
In this scripture we can find assurance that we are capable of choosing to hold on to our peace and courage. We do not have to permit fear; we can choose self-control - a characteristic of Love. Overcoming fear can be as simple as saying no. No to fear, yes to Love. No to the lie, yes to the Truth we know. But we must choose to confront fear as it arises in each instance.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you - James 4:7
If we submit to the will of God, and determine to follow through in obedience, we will effectively be resisting the devil and his weapon of fear. The more we choose to stand firm against fear in a particular area the more we will find ourselves gaining freedom. It doesn’t mean fear will never try to come against us again, but we will grow sharper in our response to resist it.
Tool 2: The power of Wisdom
Let's look again at one of the definitions of intimidation; to overawe, which means to impress someone so much that they are silent or inhibited. We'll go further and define inhibited; unable to act in a relaxed and natural way because of self-consciousness or mental restraint (bold emphasis added).
Ever been in a time of worship or seen a miracle and been so in awe of God that all you could say was 'wow', and nothing more? Awesome. But when it comes to being in overawe of people as opposed to Christ in them, we're playing a dangerous game.
To be overawed by a person means that we've most likely elevated/idolised them mentally, and so when we go about being obedient to God we can find ourselves unable to speak, unable to freely be our true selves, unable to actually move ahead in acts of obedience because we have become so aware of everything we are not, or can't do, in comparison to that person.
It's great to be inspired by others, by their obedience, their walk and journey in Christ. But if we are not careful that inspiration can easily turn into intimidation. We must lean to celebrate and be inspired by the work of God in and through another life, and let that inspiration spur us on to keep running our own race.
The power of wisdom is not putting a noose around our own neck through comparison & other fear-filled thought processes. Otherwise we allow dis-empowering thoughts to run wild in our minds and take root in our hearts.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (emphasis added)
...but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise - 2 Corinthians 10:12
Tool 3: The power of Love
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love - 1 John 4:18
In order to say no to fear, and exercise wisdom in guarding our thoughts, we must position ourselves to be poured in to..
Filled with fear...(thoughts)
The beautiful thing about God is that we can actually be honest with Him despite Him knowing us fully. In the moments we feel full of fear we can share our thoughts and feelings with Him and receive the Truth (Love) as He exposes the lies we have meditated on.
Fear truly works to obscure our knowledge of God’s love and faithfulness. But the more we allow His love in, the more we can rest in the truth that He is good. He has a good plan for us, His timing is perfect, He will not leave us out nor pass us by, there is room for us at His table.
Love is stronger than any fear we face, and when we choose to confront fear, our trust in God's love for us can be strengthened. We experience Him empower us to overcome the very things we thought we couldn't.
Even when we experience things like rejection, we find God restoring, encouraging, strengthening our hearts and we realise that we made it through that experience, because of His Love. We come out the other side more satisfied in His Love for us.
Made perfect in love...
Coming to a place of a mature understanding of Love is a process, and Abba is gentle. Many of us have endured years and cycles of what the world calls love; lust, abuse and dysfunction. Being made perfect or complete in Love isn’t an instant moment of revelation that frees us from fear but a daily, little by little unravelling. It’s in the abiding, the quiet times, the heart to hearts, the serving and loving others and being poured into by our community. It's also in the enduring difficult seasons and having our character developed to a place where we genuinely trust God.
So let us keep meditating on the revelation we do have of His Love, and keep a posture to receive more. Let's keep abiding and growing in our experiential knowledge of God until His love leaves us fearless, and enables us to love, fearlessly!
Prayer: Abba may we be empowered to confront and overcome every fear we face, by the power of the Holy Ghost residing in us. Remind us in each moment of our authority in Christ, and of Your perfect Love toward us. Thank You that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Thank You that You are a good and trust worthy Father, and in You we have nothing to fear. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Be blessed X