Sometimes it feels as if the enemy has me in his cross hairs and I am like the slow, fat kid in a game of dodgeball. Sheesh! Not that I am complaining or anything but some days it really does seem as if I have a target on my back. It’s all good, I have a Redeemer, one who is far bigger and badder than anything life can deal us.
The other morning I was walking with the Lord in prayer, speaking to Him about the enemy and how absolutely fed up I am, when this huge snake suddenly appeared in my path. And by “huge,” I mean slightly bigger than a pencil. He startled me and so I jumped back, lost my footing, and went tumbling into the abyss. And by “abyss” I mean a six inch incline and a 2 foot embankment.
It’s kind of funny, I didn’t see him coming, I wasn’t paying attention and my fear based instinctual response landed me on the ground directly in this snake’s territory, staring him right in the eye. He promptly slithered across my tennis shoe and over my leg, which of course was my biggest fear in the first place.
There is nothing quite like tripping over your own feet and allowing fear to lay you down flat right in front of the enemy. There on the ground I suddenly got it, it all clicked and I knew God was trying to teach me something important. He was answering my prayers in that very moment and revealing something to me about fear that I never realized. Fear turns a little pencil necked snake into a monumental beast that can take down a full-grown woman.
“Fear not” is the most mentioned commandment in the bible, “fear not,” some 365 of them, or so they say. I’ve never actually counted, but I do know we are told over and over again, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Even when facing God Himself we are told, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Fear is not of God, it is a powerful tool of the enemy and it turns us into cowards. It fills us with deceptions. It causes us to react irrationally. It sends us tumbling into the ditch. It can paralyze and cripple us, or cause us undo worry and stress. Fear is the opposite of faith. If one is being fearful, one is not being faithful. “Perfect love casts out fear.”
As if to confirm God’s words on this matter, Pastor Wilson just wrote a post reminding us of the book of Revelation, of how the first people mentioned even before the “murderers, idolaters, and sorcerers,” are actually the “cowardly and faithless,” AKA, “the fearful and unbelieving.”
For those who don’t know, I can be downright fearless. “The worst that can happen has likely already happened to me,” kind of fearless. “You can only kill me once,” kind of fearless. Just the same, I do have some fears. My fears are much deeper, more subtle, more rooted in dark places. They are all fatalistic fears, fears that tell me that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Fears that tell me not to get suckered by false hope. Fears that whisper, “you will sow all the hard work and the enemy will just steal your harvest like he always has.”
It’s sin, fear is sin, no matter how understandable, no matter how justified, no matter how it got there. If one is being fearful, one is not being faithful and if it isn’t from God, it’s from the enemy and doesn’t belong to us.
And so I sat there in the gravel as the little snake moved away thinking, what kind of mad woman asks God to search her heart and actually rejoices when He finds sin there?? A very blessed woman indeed, because I have learned that He came to set the captives free, to sever the strongholds that keep us bound.