Boo! What scares you? When I asked my small groups what kept them tied to their burdens, most of their answers boiled down to fear.
- disappointing someone
- the future
I certainly can relate to all of these. Last week, a shadow of fear crept over me. I usually don’t spend much time thinking about our spiritual enemy, but I had recently discussed spiritual warfare in two Bible studies and written a blog on it. My suspicion that the devil was aggravated I’d exposed him was alerted when I tried to save my first draft. BAM—my work turned to Chinese characters. Nothing I tried would retrieve it.
Coincidence? Perhaps, but it made me smile. Maybe someone needs to read this, I thought.
The night “How to Win at Spiritual Warfare” posted, the intimidation factor intensified. I returned home to find my son urgently herding the dogs inside.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Look in the backyard,” he said.
I trotted to the back window expecting to see a big deer or maybe a fox. Chills ran up my spine when Brant pointed to a three-foot copperhead with its head raised menacingly.
Brant had taken our two poodles out before heading to bed. They were walking in the pine straw when he spotted the snake on the edge poised to strike.
The next morning when my husband was leaving for work, he inexplicably walked around his truck before getting into it. And do you know what? There lay another snake—in the garage—in between our vehicles, on the driver’s side of my car! If Larry hadn’t found it, I would have been the one zipping past it when I left later that day!
I hate snakes. Just watching Larry pound the copperhead with a shovel gave me the shivers, and I was inside, behind a window with the doors closed! If the devil wanted to intimidate me, having snakes invade my territory was working.
An invitation to speak on spiritual warfare arrived on the tails of the snakes. (Pun intended.) My first thought was, I don’t want to face more snakes! After exposing the enemy’s schemes, I’d obviously fallen prey to fear.
Another fear taunted me. This summer I’ve been super sensitive to fragrances. Twice, coughing attacks have caused me to walk out of groups I was leading. On top of this, I ended the week in Urgent Care struggling to breathe. What if I’m sick on the day I am to speak?
As I prayed for wisdom, I sensed the Lord reminding me to live by faith—not by fear. My daughter reminded me of a verse we’d discussed that very evening: “‘I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people’…I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities” (2 Corinthians 12:9, TLB).
This Scripture infused my faith. I want to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). I want people to see Christ’s power. Once I affirmed that, I got excited about the opportunity!
What fears hold you hostage? Whether it seems sensible or irrational, the best way to overcome fear is to take it to Jesus. Ask for His perspective. Then boldly do what He shows you. Even when the first step feels scary, walking by faith conquers fear.
“But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38, NASB).
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Debbie W. Wilson
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