Last Sunday morning, I was sitting in the living room of my house, drinking coffee, and reading my Bible. I knew I would be speaking at church that morning and that I needed to spend some time in the Word of God.
On a side note, just like our physical bodies need nourishment to sustain us, our spirit man needs nourishment, as well. We understand that our flesh needs proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and water. Without food, the body can only survive a little over a month. Without water, it is less than a week.
Jesus, in His response to the devil’s temptation, explained the importance of daily devotions: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God’” (Luke 4:4 [NKJV]). Just like our bodies need food and water, our spirit man needs the Word of God.
Back to last Sunday …
Instead of reading anything related to the topic of my message, I found myself reading in Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, as some call it. It was while I was reading in this chapter that the Lord revealed to me what it feels like to live in fear.
Allow me to explain what I sensed, but first I have to set the scene.
My home is my refuge. It is a place of peace, a place of comfort, a place of love. As I have said before, I bought my wife a house and she has given me a home. I can sit on my couch, with my Bible and coffee, and I am at perfect peace.
The Lord interrupted my peace by asking me, “What if someone threw a rattlesnake into the room with you?”
I knew I was going to talk about fear and faith Sunday morning. I have studied faith intensively over the past 35 years. I know when I am walking and speaking in faith. And, if I find myself speaking contrary, I simply modify my speech and my behavior. Faith is my normal mode of operation.
Consequently, I have no point of reference for sustained fear. But with one question, the Lord revealed to me the fear with which some have lived for the past few months.
If there were a rattle snake in the room with me, my feeling of peace and comfort would immediately dissipate. My senses would be at attention: I would be watching every move that snake made or, if it was hidden, I would be looking at every possible place it could reappear. I would be listening as close as I could, wondering if it would soon begin rattling its warning. Every thought in my mind would revolve around that snake and what it was doing, where it was located, when would it strike, and how dangerous would it be to me.
There would be no relaxation, no peace, no other focus. As long as that snake was there, it would consume my thoughts.
Unfortunately, this is the life of some Christians today. They have allowed a snake (called fear) in their room, as it were, and instead of casting it out, they are learning to live with it.
The Apostle Paul made it clear that Christians were not supposed to live in fear: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
“But Brother Tim, I don’t know how to deal with the fear.”
Jesus, in His Great Commission, said signs would follow the believers, “… In my name shall they cast out devils” (Mark 16:17).
Paul told us fear is a spirit (reference 2 Timothy 1:7) and, as such, we have authority over it.
To exercise your authority, you are going to have to speak to the fear that’s trying to keep you in bondage. But it’s not your words that will work; you are going to have to speak God’s Word over your situation.
When Paul was writing about our spiritual armament, God’s Word is the only offensive weapon listed.
He commanded us to take, “… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17b).
You can deny fear’s right to exist in your life by simply personalizing and quoting 2 Timothy 1:7, saying something like this, “God has not given me a spirit of fear; fear you have to go. I have a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of a sound mind.”
You may need other promises from the Bible if fear is attacking in a certain situation in your life.
For example, if you’ve taken a hit financially and the devil keeps telling you bankruptcy is on the way, you may have to constantly remind your adversary, “my God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (reference Philippians 4:19).
Maybe he’s telling you sickness awaits you at every turn and death isn’t far behind. You should stand on God’s promise like King David and confess, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17).
Perhaps it’s a fear of hell itself. You’re unsure of your salvation and, in combination with a fear of death as a result of a global pandemic, the devil has you completely bound.
If that’s the case, then you’re going to have to declare your righteousness through the substitutionary act of Jesus.
I recommend saying something like this: “I thank you Lord, that you made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for me that I can be the righteousness of God through Him” (reference 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Fear may have you feeling like there’s a snake in your room, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Take your authority over fear and make it leave.
God’s peace is promised to us, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3 [NKJV]).
Believe me, you’ll never have peace with that snake there.
Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at email@example.com