The death and resurrection of our Saviour wholly disarmed the devil and his minions. “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” we read (Colossians 2:15). Against the believer, fear remains their only weapon. What combats fear? Most people would respond, “Bravery!” or “Courage!” But, the arch-enemy of fear is not courage. The arch-enemy of fear is faith! It is only faith that has the ability to truly fight fear – and win.
Consider the story of Jesus calming the wind and waves in Matthew 8:23-26: “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Note how Jesus addresses their fearfulness by calling out their faithlessness. He does not say to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little courage?” but “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” And so, if we are to combat fear, we need to activate our faith. Remember, fear is no mere emotion but rather a demonic force. 2 Timothy 1:7 decrees: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Anyone who has felt genuine fear, will tell you that it is overwhelming in its intensity. It is dark and oppressive, straight from the pit of hell. And, we must fight hell-fire with faith-fire. Praise be to God, the latter is infinitely more powerful that the former!
And so, how do we activate our faith? In Hebrews 11:6 we read: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Having faith is defined here as a two-fold action: First, knowing who God is; Second, knowing His care towards us. When these truths are embraced, faith is born. What does it mean to believe that He is? He is Saviour, Healer, Deliverer, Provider and Protector. And, in all these functions, He is a loving and faithful Heavenly Father who comes to the aid of those who trust in Him. What does it mean that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? Simply put, we must know what He has promised His children. As Saviour, He has promised to forgive our sins and save us from eternal damnation. As Healer, He has promised to heal our broken bodies and emotions. As Deliverer, He has promised to deliver us from demonic oppression and any foul snare. As Provider, He has promised to meet our every need. As Protector, He has promised to hide us under His wings.
Now, how do we attain this knowledge? There is only one way to grow in our knowledge of who He is and His care towards us. We need to spend time in His word. There is no short cut here. God and His word are one. Jesus is called the Word made flesh. Do you want to know God? Know His word! The only way to have faith that He protects is to read those passages about Him being Protector and protecting His own. The only way to have faith that He heals is to read those passages about Him being Healer and healing His own. Such passages should be read slowly and intently, allowing them to go from being head-knowledge to becoming heart-knowledge. This is how we acquire faith, dear friend. This is how we believe! And consequently, this is how we fight – and conquer – fear.
Consider Joshua 1. The Lord spoke this to Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-9). Here the Lord links knowing the word of God with strength and courage. He makes it clear that courage cannot exist without that firm foundation. In other words, if Joshua comprehends who God is and what He has promised the children of Israel, he will have faith and consequently, he will be strong and very courageous. We love quoting this passage concerning Joshua when we are rallying people to do the work of the Lord. However, we tend to focus on the “be strong and very courageous” bit rather than the “know the word of God” bit. If we focus on the former, many will say – if they were honest! – “But how can I be courageous? I do not feel courageous at all.” But, if we focus on the latter, faith with arise and courage will follow quite naturally. Hallelujah! Below are some actions steps that will assist you
with two examples of their application.
PINPOINT what is causing you to be afraid.
IDENTIFY what divine function – Saviour, Healer, Deliverer, Provider or Protector – best vanquishes the challenge causing your fear.
FIND and READ passages in Scripture in which the Lord shines in that function and promises to fulfill that function for those who trust in Him. Remember to read slowly and intently, involving your heart in the process.
MEMORISE a verse or a few verses that spoke to your heart. On a side-note: If you struggle to memorise, feel free to simplify the wording slightly, while keeping the meaning intact e.g. Psalm 91:10, “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” becomes, “No evil thing or disease will come near me or my family!” The heart and meaning is the same.
REPEAT the memorised verse/s throughout the day. WORSHIP the Lord and praise Him for fulfilling His promise/s. CONTINUE READING passages in the Bible in which He shone in the relevant function and in which He pledges to do likewise for us. After a short while, dear friend, the shadow of fear will disappear before the brightness of your rising faith!
PINPOINT: Threat of bankruptcy.
IDENTIFY: God is Provider!
FIND and READ: Exodus 16 in which God miraculously provides manna and quail; Psalm 23 in which God promises that we shall not lack.
MEMORISE: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” (Psalm 23:1-2).
REPEAT, WORSHIP and CONTINUE READING
PINPOINT: Threat of disease.
IDENTIFY: God is Protector and Healer!
FIND and READ: Exodus 12 in which God protects the Israelites from the death of their firstborn; Matthew 9 in which Jesus heals the paralysed, the blind, the mute and raises a dead girl back to life; Psalm 103 in which God promises to heal all our diseases; Psalm 91 in which God promises that no plague will come near our dwelling.
MEMORISE: “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” (Psalm 91:10) and “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:2-3).
REPEAT, WORSHIP and CONTINUE READING