For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:6-7
During the 1970s and 1980s, before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, I had a friend who made a number of ministry trips behind the Iron Curtain into East Germany. The East German border guards were notorious for their intimidation tactics and ruthlessness. These guards could imprison or kill people on a whim.
I’ll never forget his report after his first trip there. He and his traveling companion had been singled out at the border crossing. They were taken into an interrogation room and went through a gut wrenching grilling that lasted hours. At the same time their car was on a hoist being disemboweled as well.
As he shared his experience and described the fear that had gripped him, I broke into a cold sweat. And then he said a startling thing. He said “I can’t wait to go back. I want to face that demon of fear and cast it out!”
He did go back – numerous times – and returned with glowing testimonies of the peace and victory he found in the name of Jesus over that spirit of fear. His attitude and approach not only inspired me but taught me a valuable lesson.
Fear is more than just a stream of thoughts and accompanying emotion. In many cases it is a spirit. And if fear is a demonic spirit we need to treat it as such. The apostle John tells us that “perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) That perfect love of Jesus gives us power over all the enemy’s power. (Luke 10:9)
I have said many times that the acrostic of fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and that is true. The strength of fear is predicated on a lie – that God is not who He says He is and that He is not with us. We need to understand that the source and father of lies is the devil. As a result fear brings with it panic and confusion. The best offensive weapon against a lie embedded in confusion is the truth of God’s Word. (Ephesians 6:17)
So here is the bottom line. To deal properly with fear we must speak to it as if it were a person; because in most cases that is what it is, a person without a body called a spirit of fear. From personal experience in over 30 years of ministry, I can testify that there are some attacks of fear that can only be defeated by dealing with them as spirits.
We must speak to the spirit of fear and command it to go, quoting the Scriptures. And while having done so, stand our ground against its intimidation. “The LORD is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) “God has not given me a spirit of fear!” (2 Timothy 1:7)