Fear is Satan’s favorite weapon
Satan uses fear to rule and reign in this world. Fear is his primary method of control over humanity. Fear is a bi-product of Sin and came into the world as a consequence of death. Now that we live in a realm where death is not only possible but inevitable, fear comes along to try and keep us alive. Satan uses fear the tremendous power of fear to his advantage and attempts to hold us hostage to this ruling force.
How Satan uses fear to control and manipulate believers
Satan uses fear to control and manipulate us by getting us to focus on the sensation of fear and the possible negative outcomes. The more violently we experience fear the more convinced we become that the possibility of the worst case scenario is practically guaranteed. In other words, the more afraid we are, the more convinced we are that the fear is real and justified.
For example a child who is scared of a monster under the bed.
The more the child thinks about the monster the more she experiences the sensation of fear. As the fear increases so do the size and ferocity of her imaginary monster. Eventually, she is completely convinced that the monster under the bed is bigger than the house and has eaten mom and dad. Until mom and dad show up turn on the lights and lift up the bed nothing will persuade her that the monster was a figment of her imagination.
In our broken worldview, it is fear that keeps us alive. Not God. It is our ability to outwit, outmaneuver and outrun danger and our enemies that allows us to see another day. Not goodness and grace.
Fear came into the world through Sin and Death, and all of creation has been reeling from the effects of that moment ever since.
Why Satan uses fear.
Satan uses fear because it’s powerful and highly effective!
We are so in tune with our bodies and fear causes major physical reactions
- The death sweat
- Your heart wants to escape with or without you.
- You shake
- It becomes hard to breath
- You feel like throwing up
These are extremely unpleasant sensations and we will do a lot to avoid experiencing them.
My husband is a brave man!
One day when we were younger and busy showing off for one another, he decided to jump on an intertube being pulled behind a little speedboat. I am an excellent swimmer and had been enjoying this activity every summer with the kids we worked with. He cannot swim but believed that he would not get bumped off that tube.
Things went really well for the first few minutes as we happily bopped up and down on the waves behind the boat. But we were working with kids who want nothing more than to see the staff go flying into the water. So the driver of the boat decided to give the kids what they wanted and started creating and then crashing into our own waves. We both held on for as long as we could but eventually, it was too much and we both went flying.
At least I did. When I came up I looked around for him and I didn’t see him. He was wearing a massive life jacket so I wasn’t worried about him sinking, then I saw the inner tube splashing and realized he was still underneath. But he wouldn’t let go. He trusted being close to the surface holding onto the tube even if he was still under water, more than he trusted his life jacket.
Eventually, we got his head above water and but he was still awkwardly holding onto the upside down tube. We needed him to let go and grab the ladder of the boat. If you’ve ever tried to give a cat a bath, you might be able to imagine the look on his face right now as he both reluctantly and frantically lets go of the tube to scramble aboard the boat.
Now, whenever we go past that lake he tells the story of how he almost died.
Of course, he wouldn’t have died because he was wearing the life jacket. But he didn’t trust it, so in his mind, his life depended on him holding on to the tube. Which if he had done that for too long would have been the very action that could have potentially killed him.
Sometimes as Christians we treat God the same way. We are living in Christ. Wearing the armor of God. We are protected, but it doesn’t feel like it, so we resort to what we know instead of relying on the protection God gave us.
Courage is all about trusting God and letting go.Courage is all about loving God and letting go! Click To Tweet
Fear is an emotion that’s extremely primal. It helps us run away from tigers and fight off angry bears. And you’ve probably heard people say that this was handy for when humans lived much closer to nature, but I would argue not so. Because if fear fools you and you overreact to caterpillar because you thought it was a snake, you could potentially ruin your chances of catching any food that day. Because you screamed and scared dinner away.
Lies Satan tells believers
Satan wants you to trust your instincts and validate your fears. He wants you to believe that your fears are a gift and you should respect them, listen to them and allow them to help you make decisions.
Trust your gut.
Satan actually uses fear to make you feel safe.
Sometimes fear shows you what you shouldn’t do. Ex: don’t swim on the edge of a waterfall. Usually fear shows you what you should do.
Where does the Spirit of Fear come from?
Fear comes as a result of death. When Adam sinned he shifted the paradigm in which we live from being a perfect creation operating according to God’s design to a fallen imperfect one where everything is broken.
When Adam chose to eat the fruit, it’s not like he was choosing between apples and oranges.
He chose between a perfect world or a broken world.
We can either do it God’s way, which is perfect. Or our way, which is by default- imperfect. We will surely die. Why? because the perfection is gone. There can only be one perfect way.
Fear is Satan’s weapon of choice. Satan uses fear to operate undercover. It’s easy for him to go incognito because the focus is never on him. It’s always on something else.
There are so many phobias.
There’s basically a phobia for almost everything under the sun. Not just spiders, snakes, heights and public speaking. People are also afraid of:
- getting fat
- losing money
You name it and someone is afraid of it.
Fear is a manifestation of darkness
Fear is a manifestation of Satan’s kingdom of darkness.
Satan uses fear to blind us.
But Jesus tells us that we must walk in the light if we want to avoid stumbling.
“Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light.” John 11:9
Darkness blinds us and we can no longer see the truth, blessings, or nearness of God.
When we are afraid and overcome by fear we can’t see God’s hand and how things are working for our good.
Why are we so afraid?
The primary reason we experience fear is that we are creatures who can die and we are living with and believing in a scarcity mentality.
Satan uses fear to reinforce our fears. We feel it, we see the consequences, it’s self-perpetuating. Our fears become our reality. Some people are in desperate need of deliverance because their worst nightmares have become their reality.
Freedom from fear requires a paradigm shift. This is one of the things Jesus was talking about when he told Nicodemus that we need to be born again.
Examples of fear in action
- Cain kills able- why? He is afraid that that Able is better than him.
- Joshua’s men refuse to go into the promised land – why? They’re afraid because they feel like grasshoppers
- Judas kills himself – Why? Because he is afraid that what he has done what is unforgivable.
What happens when we are afraid?
Here is the beauty of why Satan uses fear;
When we are afraid we use the most basic part of our brains to make spontaneous decisions. This part of the brain makes impulsive decisions to try and keep us alive. Therefore when we are afraid;
- Our decisions are based purely on survival
- We can’t be creative
- Opportunities and blessings are missed
- We rely on ourselves or our resources; horses and chariots. Not on God.
- Mistakes are made about who to trust and it’s easy to make alliances with the wrong people.
What is the Solution to Fear?
Jesus Christ the Messiah is the ultimate almighty solution to fear. He is the perfect embodiment of courage. When we focus on God through Him we have the power to overcome fear in every area of our lives.
The bible tells us to keep our eyes fixed on God.
To say that Jesus is the only man who walked on water is incorrect. If we review the story we will see that Jesus called to Peter and said
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” -Matthew 14:29
It should encourage us to know that there was nothing special about Peter that allowed him to walk on the water except his trust in Jesus. However, his walk was very brief only because Peter became distracted by his circumstances. The reality of his actions conflicted with what he had previously known to be true. Fear took hold and he slipped back into his previous logic that told him that men cannot walk on water.
At least he had the wisdom to reach out to Jesus instead of trying to swim for the shore.
God knows that Satan uses fear and God has provided a solution.
The Bible is basically a daily pep talk to be courageous and not fear. Ironically God tells us that we should fear one thing, and that is Him alone. But this is not the same kind of manipulative tormenting fear that Satan uses against us.
The fear of the Lord is reverent astonishment and His awesome power, righteousness, and holiness. If we will respect love and honor God and accept Salvation through Christ, that there is nothing in the world that we should be afraid of.
How to actively overcome fear.
When we get a thought or a feeling that sparks fear there are 6 steps that we can take to actively overcome fear and fight back against the fear Satan is trying to use to control us.
6 Steps to conquer fear
- Test the assumption
- Go back to God
- Express gratitude
- Shine the light
- Connect with stronger believers
- Do it anyways
1. We must test our assumption
Fear lives in false assumptions. – Satan is the father of lies and a murderer.
Fear wants us to rely on our previous experiences and beliefs. Peter tested his assumption of not being able to walk on water by getting out of the boat. We have a long list of assumptions that we live by every day. Some are simple and others complex.
- If I eat this pizza I will get fat
- If we attack the giants we will get killed
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- How could I recover if the worst thing happened?
- What can I do to make this a little safer?
- How can I reduce the risk?
- What is the Best thing that could happen?
- Is God for me in this?
2. Go Back To God.
Take a step in faith and look at God. Take another step then eyes back on God.
Whatever your plans and goals are in life, keep progressing but also keep checking back in with God. He is the light for each step.
If you want to overcome fear the only way to do that is by loving God more than you hate Satan. You must love God more than you resist fear and death.
Ultimately you have to love God more than yourself.
That’s what it means to use faith, to relax, abide and surrender.
You can’t be afraid and relaxed at the same time. You can’t look at God and the rising waves at the same time. Keep your focus set on God. Do this through prayer and meditation on the word. Making this your daily habit and automatic response to fear is what we call unshakable faith.
3. Express Gratitude
Fear is all about scarcity. Satan uses our scarcity mentality to persuade us to act greedily. Storing up resources for ourselves, hurting and killing others so that we can get our needs met.
The truth is that there is more than enough for everyone.
The problem is that we can’t rationalize this truth in our minds. We know that there are only a finite number of apples on earth at any given time. And if the number of apples is less than the number of people then not everyone can have an apple.
When Jesus fed the multitudes He showed us that God is more than capable to provide for his people. He is not limited by our laws. When Jesus lifted up the loaves and thanked His Father in Heaven, the loaves multiplied and there was more than enough for everyone.
Learn to appreciate.
Give thanks to God and be prepared to share your resources as they become available to you. Refuse to live with the mentality of scarcity.
Meditate on the word of God and be like Paul who said
” I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Instead of allowing fear and worry to overtake you, purposely build up the power of your spiritual weapons by harnessing the power of the word. Become skilled and trained in it the same way a soldier would learn to use his weapons. You must be equally familiar with the Word of God and the power it has.
Give thanks for all that you have been given and all that is being done in your life through the power and love of God.
4. Shine the Light.
Fear thrives in the dark. Ask Jesus to illuminate the truth.
A simple prayer asking Jesus to come into your situation and shine the light will simplify and eliminate so many problems. Jesus is the light of the World. Never hesitate to ask Him to help you see a problem through His eyes. There are solutions that He is waiting to expose that will give glory and honor to His Father and will be far more effective than any plans you could have come up with on your own.
5. Connect with Stronger Believers
I love the story of Jonathan and his armor-bearer.
“Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” 1 Samuel 14:6-7
Just like Johnathan we all need people in our lives who will encourage us to do difficult things. Find those people who will challenge you and build up your relationships with them.
6. Do it anyways.
Ultimately true courage comes not by never being afraid, but by doing difficult things scared. That’s what Jesus did on the cross. We know that he was experiencing all the feelings of fear. He was sweating drops of blood when he prayed the night before. But He went to the cross anyways. At any point in time, He could have brought the entire crucifixion story to a quick end and set tens of thousands of angles loose upon the world. But He never did. He kept his eyes and heart focused on God. And He walked in faith and He died confident in the goodness and love of God.
If you know what you should do, but you’re scared, do it anyways. Look for more opportunities to do the right thing as frightening as it might be over and over again until fear loses its grip on you. Even though Satan uses fear to try to stop you from doing God’s work, that doesn’t mean you have to let him. Do it scared. Do it anyways.
You have the power to stop Satan from using fear against you.
Maybe you’re scared to talk to someone about Jesus. Do it anyways.
Perhaps you’ve been avoiding a difficult conversation that you know needs to happen. Speak up.
If you’re struggling to make a major change in your life, but you know it’s God’s will. Surrender to the process and change.
Satan uses fear to keep us under his control. But God used Jesus to set us free. While it is important to study the enemy and be aware of his tactics. It’s by far more important to know and focus on the truth of Jesus Christ and to accept and receive what He died to give. To live fearlessly and victoriously.
God Bless You!
Satan uses fear, but we have an even greater tool to fight back.
In this article, I showed you 6 ways to have victory over fear.
You can use them individually, but when you use them in combination with one another, you become unstoppable.
In the comments below please share 2 things you’re going to do to become fearless today.
If you enjoyed this article, please be a blessing to some you love and share it with them.
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