Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hello, My Name is Fear

Overcoming the Spirit of Fear
             Ebola. The Bird Flu. Islamic Jihad. Terrorism. Radical Islamic Beheadings. Cancer. The Plague. AIDS. Earthquakes. Floods. Tsunamis. Famine. Wildfires. War. Pestilence. On and on and on. There is no shortage today, nor has there ever historically been a shortage, of words, phrases, and local or world events that all invoke the Spirit of Fear.

             So what are we to do when fear raises its ugly head?  

             It is a biblical maxim that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places . . .” (Eph. 6:12). This passage sets out what perhaps can best be termed as  the “military hierarchy” of Satan’s demonic army. Few of us will ever directly encounter principalities, or generals, during times of spiritual warfare, and that’s a good thing, because most of us are ill-prepared to wrestle against even his foot soldiers, those demonic spirits who comprise the category of spiritual wickedness in high places.  However, if we are to become over comers as we walk the narrow road of sanctification, or being set apart for His glory, we must learn how to put on the “full armor of God,” and take back territory that has been stolen from us.
            One of the devil’s most successful strategies for millennia has been to convince those who believe in God and have purposed to serve Him faithfully that demonic spirits don’t exist, or, alternatively, that they have no power over those who belong to Jesus.  These are two of his many lies whispered into the unguarded spiritual ears of Believers.
            My wife and I have a teaching and equipping ministry. Part of what we’ve been involved in for over a decade is the ministry of deliverance.  We have ministered to an eclectic group of people including pastors, their wives and staff, men and women in the secular business world, and the laity.  The strategy the Lord showed us is based upon Matthew 12:28-29: “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil the house.”  Holy Spirit gave us a dramatic dream involving a chessboard and instructed us to remove the pawns, rooks, knights, and bishops, in that order, exposing the King and Queen. The Queen is the demonic ‘strongman” and the King is her top general.  Once the King is taken, the Queen is forever vanquished and her house “spoiled.”
After more than one hundred deliverance sessions, a trend has become evident.  The individuals who meet with us have a number of things in common, one of which is that they all have similar ‘strongmen.” In almost every deliverance we’ve facilitated under the guiding hand of Holy Spirit, the Queen is either Fear or Rejection, and the King is whichever one the Queen is not.
Today, I’d like to offer insight into the Spirit of Fear.
2Timothy1:7 tells us: For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.”  Let’s break this down as if this scripture is a metaphor for how we recognize that we’ve “caught” a spirit of fear, much in the same we “catch” a cold.
The first “symptom” of a spirit of fear is we lose our ability to think clearly. The soundness of our mind is the first thing attacked by the enemy. Our mind becomes clouded as confusion shrouds our thoughts.  We feel anxious and uncertain. Concern escalates rapidly into worry.  Next, we lose our power to resist and fight. Anxiety overwhelms us as we feel backed into a corner with no place to run or hide, or no way out of the situation. Despair becomes a constant companion, perhaps even our master.  Finally, when we are fully in the grip of this demonic “cold” we lose our ability to walk in love.  We withdraw and become irritable, even angry.  The smallest transgression causes us to lash out at those around us.
We are now completely under the influence of a Spirit of Fear.
What’s the remedy?

Ideally, we need to discipline ourselves to recognize the onset of this demonic, spiritual “cold” just as we’ve learned to recognize the onset of a natural cold.  If we recognize the symptoms of this demonic attack immediately, prayer is very effective at preventing its escalation.  If we ignore the symptoms and find ourselves with a full-blown, debilitating, perhaps even chronic, case of “fear” then deliverance might be in order. 
Keep in mind that fear is a demonic spirit before it becomes an emotion.  In an earlier blog, entitled Can a Christian Have a Demon?, I discussed at length how demonic infestation works.  Our soul is comprised of our mind, will, and emotions. Demonic spirits only have access to Believers in the realm of the soul, and fear attaches itself in the emotional realm.  Fear gains access in a variety of ways, including trauma, curses, vows, witchcraft, and even in the womb, prior to birth.  If fear is chronic, the deliverance strategy is the same as for all other demonic “parasites.” 
First, we ask Father for generational forgiveness for anyone in our bloodline who operated under the influence of fear, especially where it impacted us.  We also need to give those generational individuals our forgiveness.  Next, we ask Father to forgive us and we need to forgive ourselves wherever we’ve operated out of a “spirit of fear.”  Then we ask Father to put all of it ‘under His blood.”  Now, we’re positioned before Him with “clean hands and a pure heart.”  We can “come boldly unto His throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” and ask “whatever we will in His name” and it “shall be given unto us.” (Ps. 24:4; Heb. 4:16; Jn.14:13).  The final step is to break, or annul, our covenant with the Spirit of Fear, tell it that it’s no longer welcome in our “temple,” and command it to depart from us never to return by the authority of the Name of Jesus and the power of His Blood.
Fear might not be your “strongman.” It might not even be the King on your spiritual chessboard.  If it’s only an occasional irritant, recognize it early and refuse to give it any power over you.  On the other hand, if you suffer from a generational curse in your family, or if the Spirit of Fear is a stronghold in your life, stronger measures are called for.  In either case, we have an advocate Who sits at the right hand of Father ever interceding on our behalf.  He will never leave us or forsakes us, and He walks with us through every storm, every fire, every calamity that the enemy of our souls attempts to use to discourage us and convince us that our God is capable of saving us for eternity, but unwilling, or worse, incapable, of delivering us from the “snares of the fowler.”

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