If you follow the news even a little, you’ve most likely been tempted to be alarmed. Every day there is something new reported that has the potential to cause wide-spread panic and/or unrest. But it doesn’t stop there. On the opposite spectrum, confrontations among Christian friends, family, or employees and employers, are avoided because we don’t want to cause offense or hurt someone even though the situation is pulling us apart and creating unnecessary stress and division.
All of these (and much more) are the strategies of fear.
The Bible says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). The word strategy describes a plan, method, or series of maneuvers for obtaining a specific goal or result. It’s also a military term defining the war techniques in planning and directing large operations.
Now, understand this: God is NOT behind the strategy of fear.
Your adversary, the devil, is the author and strategist behind ALL anxiety, despair, dismay, distress, doubt, dread, fright, panic, suspicion, terror, trepidation, and worry. Or we could say, fear.
But this is also why I talk to you so much about righteousness. It is who God has made you to be in Christ. The Bible describes righteousness as your right-standing with God and your actions as a child of God (because of your right-standing and the Holy Spirit within you). “In righteousness, you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you” (Isaiah 54:14).
This is the strategy of God.
In other words, God has conquered and overcome all the strategies of fear for the person who accepts and understands what God has given them in Christ. This is the truth, but I’ll be the first to say it’s not easy. But why should it be? These are strategies of war. As much as God wants you to overcome in Christ, the devil wants to defeat you in fear. But the good news is, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment” (1 John 4:17-18).
[Tweet “When fear of people, situations, or just fear of fear knocks on the door of your heart, STOP YOURSELF.”] And remember God has not give you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). And then get bold! The love God has shown you and put in your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) is enough to cast out fear and at the same time, give you wisdom.
But the first step is believing God’s love for you. One of the greatest strategies the devil has ever used against God’s people is condemnation for poor choices, which then results in a “fear” of being rejected by God. Let me be clear: God doesn’t like our poor choices, but He will NEVER cast away a repentive soul. What I mean is, God’s love far outweighs your mistakes. He will receive you. Jesus gave us the story of the prodigal son for the sole reason of illustrating this beautiful truth.
So my prayer for you today is that you will first recognize the strategies of fear, and secondly, you will resist the devil. God is not the author of fear or confusion. He is the author of righteousness, love, peace, joy, wisdom, and the like. Therefore, you CAN have victory in your storm.
So, don’t let the devil defeat you.
Lean on God’s strategies instead.