These days, it seems like fear is everywhere. Even so, God’s word is filled with scripture telling us “do not fear”. But how are we supposed to achieve such a tall order? Who are we, against the powers-that-be? Who are we, against the wickedness that permeates this world?
Royalty, that’s who.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. We are betrothed to the King of kings and Lord of lords and are His co-heirs. We are also a royal priesthood. And as royalty, we have been given authority, by the Maker and Master of the universe.
How much authority? Jesus Himself tells us in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (emphasis mine) Don’t miss this, folks. That’s a lot of authority! He even admitted in the next verse that, although we are not to be doing fist bumps and victory dances over the fact that the demons are subject to us in His name, nevertheless, they are subject to us in His name.
Do any of the political leaders in the highest offices, or the world’s most powerful kings, have this kind of authority?
Not if they don’t belong to Jesus. And if any do belong to Jesus, they have this authority only because He gave it to them as royal children of God.
We tend to forget who we are in Christ – or worse, have never been taught in the first place. We also tend to forget or have yet to be taught that there’s a colossal, unseen war going on in the spiritual realm, twenty-four seven. The servant of the great prophet Elisha experienced this truth firsthand.
Do Not Fear
The king of Syria had made the mistake of going to war with the king of Israel, but each time he outlined his plans to his servants, including where he intended to place his camp, Elisha would go and warn the king of Israel, who would then avoid the king of Syria. After his plans were foiled several times, the Syrian king called his servants together and declared that one of them must be traitor.
But one of them explained that the prophet Elisha was to blame, pointing out that, “… Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” (2 Kings 6:12, NKJV)
Thinking to pluck out this thorn in his side, the Syrian king had Elisha tracked down to the city of Dothan. He then proceeded to send a great army, including plenty of horses and chariots, to surround the city by night.
When Elisha’s servant got up the next morning and went out, he was greeted by a terrifying sight – the Syrian army had them surrounded! Horrified, the servant cried out to Elisha, “What shall we do?”
Cool as a cucumber, Elisha told him do not fear, because those who were with them were more numerous than those who were against them. To make his point, the prophet then asked God to open the man’s eyes so that he could see into the spiritual world. God did so, and the servant saw that the mountain was full of horses and not just ordinary chariots, but chariots of fire.
And in the tenth chapter of Daniel we see another glimpse of the ongoing war in the spiritual realm. An angel who had arrived to speak with Daniel recounts his experience of having been ambushed by a powerful spirit, the prince of Persia, while he was on his way to Daniel. The angel battled with this evil spirit for 21 days, until Michael, whom he describes as one of the chief princes, arrived to help. At the end of the conversation, the angel tells Daniel that he must leave and take up the fight with the nasty prince of Persia again. (Daniel 10:13, 20, NKJV)
But what about me? you may be thinking. I can’t see into the spirit realm. I can’t see the warrior angels who serve God fighting the evil ones. And God has yet to send a visible angel to personally speak with me.
Well, you could always ask God to give you a quick peek behind the curtain. You never know – He just might do it. More likely, the spiritual realm will remain invisible, but like the wind, sound waves, and so many other things, just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. And just because we don’t see the cosmic battles going on, doesn’t mean we can’t fight, too.
And fight we must. Yes, Jesus is the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, and He fights on our behalf. But He also gave us a set of armor, along with a shield and sword, for a reason. In Ephesians 6:11-17, Paul reminds us who we are fighting against (hint: they’re not human), and to make sure we’re dressed for battle and armed.
So, we are to do our part and not sit passively on the fence, wringing our hands in fear. Take aim and swing that sword.
But what about our lives in the here and now? As we look around, we may be dismayed, as it seems the world is going to hell in a hand basket (it is). And we may wonder, but what about that house I wanted to buy? What about that vacation I’ve been saving for? What about my new relationship? What about my kids, I want to see them married and have kids, and what about my career, and…
Do Not Love the World
The apostle John tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
Does this mean that wanting a happy life and nice things is bad, and we don’t have the love the Father? No, wanting these things is not bad in and of itself. After all, what God has in store for us is riches and a life so awesome that we can’t even begin to comprehend it. First Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Fear and the Red Herring
But the world and, to some extent, the things we desire – houses, vacations, jobs, security, relationships, etc. are like a red herring thrown out by Satan. While there may be nothing wrong with wanting these things, we must remember, they are all passing away.
It’s when we make these things into idols that we get into trouble. The devil knows this, and in order to get us to take our eyes off the eternal prize, that’s what he goads us to do, then he packages up the worldly desires into pretty boxes and throws them out like red herrings to distract us. And our distractions are two-fold; not only do we get distracted from focusing on the things of God and eternity, but we get distracted from seeing Satan’s wicked chess game, with humanity as his unsuspecting pawns.
And we fear. Sometimes to the point of being paralyzed by all the what-ifs.
Don’t buy into the devil’s lies and do not fear. This world is toast. It is passing away.
But for those who abide in Christ, there is a better world to be had, far better than our wildest imaginations.
Look up. Your redemption draws near.