This post is part of the #RealWomenPray online Bible study: “Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, Strategic Prayer” by Priscilla Shirer. To get information on the next Bible study, visit Bible Study. To be notified when registration opens for the next study,click here.
“The only thing keeping me from receiving everything God wants to give me is the fear tactic the enemy is using against me.” -Priscilla Shirer, Fervent
Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion”. But doesn’t God say in His word we are to fear Him? In fact, Psalms 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”
How can fear of the Lord be the beginning of wisdom? If fear of God is good and the beginning of wisdom, then how can it be a tactic of the enemy?
There are two types of fear—health and unhealthy; or as the scripture likes to define it Fear of God and spirit of fear.
When we have a fear of God it is not an unhealthy, unpleasant emotion that causes anxiety, panic, and stress. A healthy fear is when you respect someone or something.
For example, I have a healthy fear of fire. I know to respect fire by being sure it is contained in an appropriate container and to keep my body away from the flames.
When we say we have a fear of God, we are really saying that we respect Him and His authority. We are saying that with God in control we have a healthy fear combined with TRUST. We may feel an emotion of fear, but we TRUST God in the situation and allow Him to have control.
If when we feel the emotion of fear and allow it to enter our mind, consume our thoughts, and manipulate our emotions, we are now allowing an unhealthy fear, or the spirit of fear, to control the situation.
A spirit of fear often brings a heavy, oppressive feeling where we panic, show signs of anxiety, depression, and even at times, physical illness because of our fear and worry.
The enemy will use this type of fear and anxiety to paralyze us and keep us from moving forward to the place of our calling.
The harder he tries to keep us from moving forward, the greater the blessing waiting ahead.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Why does God mention fear and our mind in the same verse? Perhaps it’s because when we perceive fear it’s easy for us to engage the feeling with our thoughts, giving permission to the spirit of fear (a satanic attack) to overrun our mind. Fearful thoughts turn into fearful emotions and those emotions grow into full blown anxiety and keep us from our miracle. Fearful thoughts often come in the form of “what if”.
What if I don’t get that promotion? My spouse cheats on me? My kids make a bad decision? I didn’t really hear God calling me to that ministry? Someone doesn’t like me? The treatment doesn’t work? What if I can’t pay my bills this month? What if I’m rejected or abandoned? What if I fail?
All these thoughts will paralyze us because they take us down a path of thinking that leads to hopelessness and away from believing in the power of God in our lives. Too afraid to try, we will give up, keeping us from our purpose.
This type of fear is not from God. He brings to us love, a sound mind to reject the lies of the enemy and chose trust in Him, which will bring us power because we allow Him to fight for us.
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but tells us over and over in His Word—do not fear.
“When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
The children of Israel felt fear when they saw the Egyptians coming. And, in essence, they began to “what if” Moses. What if we die in the wilderness? What if you would have left us alone like we begged of you in Egypt, wouldn’t we be better off than right now? What if God doesn’t help us?
Moses’ reply was to “fear not, stand firm (Ex 14:13; Eph 6:13)…the Lord will fight for you.”
Although the children of Israel were feeling fear, Moses encouraged them not to engage fear in the their mind allowing “what if” scenarios to play out in their thoughts and causing panic and anxiety. Can you imagine what would have happened if millions of Israelites would have had a panic attack at the edge of the Red Sea? Chaos!
Yet, when we allow God to bring us peace in our mind and to fight our battles for us, we receive miracles in our life and are victorious 100% of the time.
Again, Psalms 111:10 says, ”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”
Earlier I asked the question, how can fear of the Lord be the beginning of wisdom. Can you see now when we have a healthy fear of God combined with TRUST in Him we are wiser because we know this type of respect will bring peace and give God permission to fight our battle for us? That’s a pretty smart decision!
*Is unhealthy fear keeping you from moving forward in a certain area of your life?
*What are the lies the enemy has told youth keep you in fear?
*There are over 300 scriptures where God tells us not to be afraid.
See if you can find 5 that speaks to the fear you are facing
Let’s chat: Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Call to Prayer
Prayer makes the difference between fear and faith.
Let’s be honest in our prayers, confessing our unhealthy fears. Then use scripture to craft a prayer strategy that will banish the spirit of fear and increase our faith in Jesus.
Write out your prayer using one of the suggested scriptures in the book or choose another scripture that speaks to you. Use the P.R.A.Y. points on pages 21-22 to help you write personal, specific prayers.
You can use your own prayer journal or download and print this journal page
Father, thank You for Your love, power and sound mind You freely give to me, especially in times when I am afraid. Forgive me when I let my thoughts and emotions take control of my situation causing me to be open to the attack of the enemy. But, thank You for Your grace and mercy to help me remember when I feel this heaviness I should call on You to fight my battles for me. Thank You for the peace and rest You give to my mind when I give my fears to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen