“And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” (Nehemiah 4:14 NKJV).
The devil will employ any agent, strategy or means in his attempt to frustrate, dissuade or discourage you from pursuing and fulfilling God’s vision and purpose for your life. The devil often uses fear to paralyze believers from taking the first step of faith towards the colourful destiny God has ordained for them.
Fear is the master key the devil uses to open the door of your life for him to come in to steal your peace, to conceal your potentials, and to abort your dreams. Whatever you fear will eventually become your master, controlling, dominating and ruling your life – words, emotions and actions.
Fear always attracts evil. It is what you dread in life that will eventually befall you!
Job testifies to this truth in Job 3:
25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.” (NKJV).
All through the Scripture, God’s people are commanded not to fear. Fear is simply passing a vote of no confidence in God and His promises. Any prayer or action of a believer that is borne out of fear is a sin in God’s sight (Rom. 14:23).
A believer walking in fear can never please God, for without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).
The Lord Jesus expressly warns, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28 NKJV).
Unfortunately, there are many believers today running from one church to another, from one prayer meeting to another, and from one prophet to another for the fear of their adversaries. Consequently, they fall prey to false prophets who specialize in manipulating, exploiting and defrauding gullible and undiscerning souls through frightening negative prophecies and visions.
In the first part of this piece we began to examine how Nehemiah and the Jews in Jerusalem confronted, defied and overcame the massive arrows and missiles of fear their adversaries fired at them to deter them from completing the rebuilding of the broken wall of Jerusalem.
First, Nehemiah recognized fear as a sin.
When the false prophet hired by Sanballat and Tobiah counselled Nehemiah to flee to the temple to hide himself, he declined to “act that way and sin.” (Neh. 6:13).
You cannot overcome fear by defending or excusing your fear; you must treat fear as a great sin and disobedience to God, and genuinely repent, confess and forsake it.
Second, Nehemiah overcame fear because he was not dull in the spirit.
Nehemiah was able to discern that God did not send all those prophets who pronounced frightening prophecies to him. He rightly perceived that the motive of those prophets was to manipulate and control him through fear, for they were hired by his adversaries (Neh. 6:12).
Without a sound knowledge of God’s Word and spiritual discernment, you will be manipulated, controlled and defrauded by many agents of the devil today who are parading themselves as God’s prophets and prowling our streets today for preys.
Third, Nehemiah and his work force confounded their enemies by their spiritual alertness and preparedness.
While they were rebuilding the broken wall of Jerusalem, they were fully armed with weapons of war, watching and praying. When their adversaries heard about their alertness and preparedness, they gave up on attacking them (Neh. 4:9-15).
Fourth, Nehemiah overcame fear and fulfilled his purpose in life by the fear of God.
Nehemiah was unmoved by the threat of his adversaries because he feared God (Neh. 5:15). The fear of the Lord is to hate evil (Prov. 8:13). Nehemiah conducted himself in the fear of the Lord. He refused to walk in the path of unrighteousness, so no threat from his adversaries could erode his confidence and boldness in God.
Righteousness emboldens a man, but sin weakens and paralyzes a man with fear. A sinner is a lawful captive of fear; he is under a spell of fear and he has no rights to true peace and confidence.
The Scripture states, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1 NKJV).
You cannot be living in sin and still retain your confidence. Sin always erodes confidence. Sin will always put you to flight before your adversaries. Many believers today who are running from one prophet to another are not being chased by any demons, but by their sins which they refuse to confess and forsake.
Fifth, Nehemiah overcame fear by his revelation knowledge of God and of his true identity in God.
When some people brought frightening news of the evil plans of Nehemiah’s adversaries to him ten times, he said to the Jews with him, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” (Neh. 4:14 NKJV).
Even when a prophet told him to flee for his life, he retorted, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” (Neh. 6:11 NKJV).
Apparently, Nehemiah was bold because he knew that his God was far greater than all his adversaries and that his God would protect him and his work force, for “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Dan. 11:32 NKJV).
Instead of being afraid of their adversaries and their threats, Nehemiah and his workforce offered incessant prayers to God (Neh. 4:9).
Beloved, when your life is dominated and controlled by fear of death, fear of failure, fear of witches, fear of men, angels or demons, it is a clear indication that you do not really know Christ and who you are in Christ.
Your revelation knowledge of Christ and your spiritual identity and position in Christ will embolden and strengthen you. Your spiritual strength and boldness is a function of your depth of revelation knowledge of Christ and who you are in Christ.
It is as you spend more time in deep and personal communion with God in prayer and in God’s Word that you will grow in the knowledge of God, increase in spiritual discernment, in spiritual understanding of your true identity in Christ, and in exercising boldly your spiritual authority in Christ over the spirit of fear.
Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ has set you free from the spirit of fear, so don’t remain in the bondage of fear. Like Nehemiah, don’t give in to fear!
Therefore, arise today, taking hold of the shield of faith to quench every fiery dart of fear fired at you by the enemy to stifle your creativity, to conceal your potentials, to arrest your progress, to abort your dreams, and to discourage you from stepping out in faith to pursue and fulfil God’s purposes for your life.
The spirit of fear is not from God, so reject it, bind and cast it out of your life today!
The Scripture states:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7 NKJV).
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 NKJV).
The spirit of fear is the spirit of bondage. Don’t accommodate or tolerate it in your life!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me how to confront and overcome fear today. I refuse to be deterred, distracted and discouraged by the spirit of fear from pursuing and fulfilling my God-ordained destiny in life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.