The Bible has a lot
to say about war, terrorism, and fear. Violence and fear are topics
the Bible spends a great deal of time giving us revelation about.
One classic example
was the constant conflict between the Philistines and the Israelites.
(Note Philistine is where we get the word Palestine. The
same spirits that worked through the Philistines are still in
that geographic region working through the modern-day Palestinians,
or PLO.) The Philistines were bigger, stronger, and usually had
better weapons than the Israelites Then there was the giant Goliath
who stood nearly 11 feet tall (1st
Samuel 17:4). He was the first instrument of terrorism. However,
Samuel 17:48 tells us, "It happened when the Philistine
rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly
toward the battle line to meet the Philistine."
This was a man without fear David ran toward Goliath.
The other Israelites had run away from Goliath when he came out
daily. And you know the rest of the story about the rock
even though it had "never entered Goliath's mind" before.
As a parallel illustration,
when I flew into Beijing to smuggle Chinese study Bibles and a
high-speed cassette duplicator in my 2 suitcases, God spoke to
me on the airplane after I had fasted 24 hours and He said to
me, "Run to the battle." Instinctively,
I somehow knew exactly what He meant. When the 747 jet landed,
about 300 people got off and started making their way towards
the x-ray machine inspection area. It was a very long way through
the concourse, so I hustled up a steel baggage cart and began
trotting along by the people, slowly passing one after another
as I headed for my appointment with destiny. By the time I arrived
at the x-ray machines, there were only about 20 people ahead of
me. To my total surprise and joy, the Chinese guards had the x-ray
machines turned off and were just waiving through the people at
the front of the line. I just pushed my cart right by them out
into the area where people catch the buses. The guards then turned
on the x-ray machines and began to check everyone's luggage! I
don't know if the guards thought people with something to hide
would hang back in fear, but that is the way it looked.
About Fear How to Live Fear-Free!
Terrorism is designed
to produce fear. But if you are not afraid of dying (the way every
Christian should be), then fear should not have any grip on a
believer. If you are not afraid of the worst thing that could
happen to a person, then why should you be afraid of something
less? Someone once said that you should not be able to scare a
Christian with the threat of sending him or her to Heaven! Sure,
you would not want to leave your loved ones behind in a lurch.
So buy some life insurance! (Now, I don't have a martyr complex,
but I think some Christians don't want to die because they are
living for the things of this world instead of Jesus &
eternity.) My grandfather was a spiritual giant, and he actually
bought his burial plot and put a headstone on it 15 years before
he went to Heaven at the age of 80. After he bought the burial
plot and headstone, he just went about living a full life. He
was not afraid to deal with the topic of death. Now that is great
faith just not the kind we normally think of.
In fact, one of the
most common Biblical qualifications for spiritual leaders is that
they do not yield to fear! When Joshua was being commissioned,
God told Joshua three times to be courageous and not afraid (Joshua
1:6,7,9). "Be strong and of good courage; do not
be afraid, nor be dismayed..." Then the people all
said they would follow him but in the last verse of chapter
1, they tacked on, "Only be strong and of good courage."
People want leaders
who are not afraid. No Christian wants to follow a coward. So
true leaders (including fathers and mothers) simply cannot allow
fear to influence their lives. And Ephesians
5:1 literally commands us to "Be imitators of God."
Well, God is never afraid. So that is a mandate about how we are
supposed to live!
It is said that there
are over 300 commands in scripture to "fear not". That
is what angels always said. So God does not want us afraid. Satan
uses fear to influence and control people. Fear is also a tool
of torment according to 1st
John 4:18. Therefore we should not allow it in our lives.
We should be fearless!
How can we achieve
a fearless life? There are three keys. First of all, we need to
have a revelation of how much God loves us. You might think you
already believe that, but do you have a revelation of it? That
verse in 1st
John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but
perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But
he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
If we will spend time in God's Word, we can grow in the depth
of our knowledge of God's love for us. Many fears will just naturally
melt away when the warmth of God's love floods our soul.
The second key to
living fear-free is to resist spirits of fear. Satan cannot be
everywhere at once, so he has sent out evil spirits to try to
influence and oppress people. Some of these spirits are "spirits
of fear". The Bible clearly tells us in 2nd
Timothy 1:7, "God has not given us the spirit of
fear", so He doesn't want us to allow spirits of
fear around our lives. The primary way God has designed for us
to release our authority over the enemy is through our words.
So if we feel fear, we should pray something like, "Fear,
I resist you, and you must flee in Jesus' name."
You don't have to tell the spirit where to go. You should just
not tolerate it around your life. And authority when praying is
not greater if you use greater volume it is greater if
you use greater faith!
And that brings up
the third key to living without fear. If people will feed their
faith, they will starve their fears. (Faith and fear are opposites.)
Too many Americans watch all kinds of junk and trash on cable,
videos, movies, and magazines. They have allowed the devil to
bathe their minds with images of fear and terror. No wonder the
devil is magnified, and they are held paralyzed by fear! If they
would read in God's Word everyday, their faith would be fed and
it would grow stronger and stronger until it squeezed the
life out of their fears! By watching horror movies and digesting
fear-producing material (often including the evening news), many
people have opened themselves up to strongholds of fear. They
need deliverance! (See key number two above!) In fact, our whole
society has been corrupted to the core, and fear is one of the
main acids that has eaten away the happiness and joy of many people.
We can live fear-free, and experience the joy of our salvation.
Faith is not just
for "receiving from God", it is also for keeping fear
away. "Without faith, it is impossible to please God"
11:6), "The just shall live by faith" (Hebrews
10:38), and "Whatever is not of faith, is sin."