The Paralyzing Grip of Fear!

Fear1Ten out of the twelve spies who went into the Promised Land saw the inhabitants and were gripped by fear. It was a tormenting fear that not only skewed their vision but spread to many others. The Biblical account that we read in Num. 13:26-30 continues to let us know that the other two, Joshua and Caleb, had an attitude of a warrior. These two did not succumb to spreading fear but kept their eyes on God’s promises and declared with boldness, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it,”. Their tenacious heart revealed their victorious attitude for the battle that lay before them. Yet, the majority of the spies were affected by fear just like a big part of God’s people.

Let me share with you six facts about fear that every believer should know: First, fear is a tactic of the enemy that will grip and paralyze you. Fear is your imagination running wild. It asks the question, “What if?” and answers with the worst-case scenario, picturing a future without God’s Intervention.


Fear is a lack of understanding in who God is, as well as, a lack of trust in Him. (tweet)


     Second, fear will stop you from being effective for God. Have you ever seen someone who is afraid to try anything new? What about your child and broccoli? All the disciples were in the boat but only Peter ventured out and walked on the water (Matt. 14:29). Fear held the others back from having that same supernatural testimony. Too often we are hindered from moving forward in God because of this enemy.

                  Third, fear can spread to other believers and limit their impact. In Num. 14:1 it reads, “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried”. Why did they cry? Because fear had spread to everyone who heard the spies say that they lacked the strength to go up against their enemy. Fear will sweep across others like a wildfire on a dry prairie.


Fear held the other disciples back from having the same supernatural testimony as Peter who walked on the water.   (tweet)


              Fourth, fear is a serious defect in a warrior. In Deuteronomy 20:8 the commanders were suppose to ask their troops, “What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.” Being fearful and faint-hearted will affect and impact many. The fainthearted Christian will melt in the face of a spiritual battle.

Fifth, fear brings bondage. Romans 8:14-15 declares, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear…” Many Christians walk around in bondage because they live in fear. Fear is a lack of understanding in who God is, as well as, a lack of trust in Him.

                  Sixth, fear is a torment that can hold you back from fulfilling God’s purposes. Elisha’s servant was overcome by fear when he thought he was outnumbered by the encircling enemy (II Kings 6:15). The apostle John assures us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love,” (I Jn. 4:18). A Christian who is tormented by fear is a Christian who is not grounded in God’s love.

Knowing these six crucial points about fear will help you not be distracted from serving the Lord. A prayer warrior must be aware of the effects of fear in the realm of intercession. If fear grips us as we move into spiritual warfare then we will be limited in our prayers and impact to those around us.

 

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What’s Wrong with Just one Wink?

103923348“It all started with one wink”, he said with tears. He had come to my office devastated from falling into the trap of the enemy. Unfortunately this wasn’t the only time I had heard this same confession. So let me be frank, it only takes one wink to begin down the slippery slope of being ensnared in sin. James 1:14-16, says that it is our desires that leads us astray from the ways of God. Scripture reveals that desire conceives sin and sin un-dealt with will progress to ultimately a death.

Job’s friend counseled him by saying, “why does your heart carry you away and what do your eyes wink at, that you turn your spirit against God…” (Job 15:12-13). Eliphaz insinuates that Job’s heart was moved towards sin causing him to wink at sin, which caused Job’s heart to be turned against God.


It only takes one wink to begin down the slippery slope of being ensnared in sin. (Tweet)


 

What causes a person to have a twinkle in their eyes for things that are against God’s statues? It’s a heart issue. We open up our heart for other things to entice us. Years ago I knew a husband and wife who loved the things of God. But over time the wife began to watch her husband be drawn away from God through his intellect and pride. His eyes were being fascinated by knowledge and the attention it was getting him. It was a gradual process over time. Yet, the wife would not confront her husband’s heart being turned from God. She began to squint or allow her spiritual eyes to grow dull towards God. The shocking thing is that her spiritual condition started being manifest physically. She went from having good vision to her eyes dimming and eventually becoming blind.

It reminds me of the story in 1 Sam. 3 of Eli, the man of God in his generation. It starts off letting us know that his physical vision is becoming faint as well as, the spiritual climate was fading and darkening. The lamp or fire of God was on the verge of going out. One would ask the question, “Did it just happen over night?” Not at all for the previous chapter reveals it’s a process! Eli’s sons were corrupt and did not know the Lord. Their sins were affecting the people of God causing them not to desire the things of God and walk in His ways. Therefore, it says their sin was great before the Lord.

The interesting point is seen in verse 13-14 where God is raising up young Samuel in the midst of such darkness to spiritually see and speak a word of judgment to Eli and his family because of his sin. What was the sin that would bring such a harsh judgment? It was not refraining his sons in their sin. The definition of refraining in this text indicates Eli was winking or dimming his eyes at the sin of his sons. Not rebuking them but allowing them to continue in their vile conduct. Therefore the result of narrowing his eyes at sin caused the heart of many to turn from the ways of God. Maybe, Eli’s excuse was “It was just a wink?” His story deserves our attention! The casual wink or spiritual apathy led way to a physical dullness and ultimately death to him and his family and the presence of God to be taken out of Israel.

Have we allowed our heart to turn from the things of God because we are winking at sin?