During the Sunday online service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘Defeating fear’. Her main text was taken from the Book of 2 Timothy. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2Tim 1:7; NKJ). She said that this is a season of spiritual warfare. Fear is an unpleasant, uncomfortable emotion that has spiritual roots. Just like doubt, fear is an evil spirit, often attached to a religious spirit. The devil uses fear to attack all people, especially the Christians. Fear is deceptive. It may pretend to be ‘wisdom or strategy’. You need to be born again and Spirit filled to be able recognize the attack. Listen to the Holy Spirit! He will tell you the truth; that this is a demon of fear. Immediately, you should put on the whole armor of God and take your stand against it! You should raise the shield of faith thru which you can quench the fiery darts of fear and intimidation (Eph 6:11, 16). Remember! Faith in Jesus is always stronger than any fear (of sickness, poverty, failure, or untimely death). Fear can never be your friend! Fear is your enemy. Do not ‘settle’ with your enemy. In the name of Jesus, fight to finish. Like David fought and killed Goliath, you should do the same with fear. Identify your enemy; by faith, fearlessly confront it and totally reject it. God is on your side. Stay in the center of God’s will. Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand. He will give you more grace. His grace is always sufficient for every trial, battle, or challenge in life! “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jam 4:6, 7; NKJ). You resist the demon of fear by the power of the Holy Spirit! Quote scriptures to yourself! Pray in English and in tongues, to encourage yourself! Keep the fire on until the peace of God is restored to your heart. The victory is sure and sweet. I have tested of it and I know!
THE FEAR OF GOD
The only fear permitted to live in you is the Fear of God. The more you fear God, the less you fear men and other things. This is the Word of God: “For in this way the Lord spoke to me with His strong hand [upon me] and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people [behaving as they do], saying, “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ I regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear nor be in dread of it (not be troubled by it). “It is the Lord of hosts whom you are to regard as holy and awesome. He shall be your fear, He shall be your dread [not man]” (Is 8:11-13; AMP). The fear of God is an important aspect of biblical faith and life. The fear of the Lord leads to obedience and service: to fear God is to do His will. The Lord as King demands and deserves the awesome respect of His people, a respect that issues in obedient service. The Fear of God lies at the heart of successful holy living in the world. The fear of God is clean, pure, and eternal (Ps 19:9). When you fear God, your conscience is at peace with God and man. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a fear equated with the “knowledge of the Holy One” (PV 9:10). Such healthy fear enables us to praise God (Ps 22:23 ; Rev 14:7); to enjoy the benefits and blessings at His hand (Ps 34:9; Ps 103:11, 13) to rest in peace and security (Ps 112:7-8 ); and to experience length of days (PV 19:23). But the fear of God also produces fear of wrath and judgment in those who do not know him or who refuse to serve him. There are, thus, two sides of the fear of the Lord — that which produces awe, reverence, and obedience, and that which causes sinners to live in terror in anticipation of His displeasure.
Few days ago, I was attacked by a demon of fear. I defeated it many years ago. This was a new attack. This is the story: I went to the parking lot without my mask. This was unusual because I always use mask when I go outside. There was a Christian brother there who greeted me. He too did not have his mask on. We were more than ten meters apart, in the open air. When I saw that I forgot my mask, I started going back to the house. Immediately I entered the house a voice spoke to me: ‘Because you went outside without the mask, you will be sick with Covid19 and you will die’. Immediately, I stopped, thinking ‘whose voice is this’? I knew that there are only three options: 1-God speaking, 2-me speaking to myself or 3-the devil. I also observed that I started feeling very uncomfortable. Remember that fear always comes as an emotion that makes you feel bad and restless. Your spirit reacts to the demon and tells you to fight back. I started praying in the Spirit. Soon I knew that this voice came from the devil. God’s voice always calms my fears. He is my Father. He never makes me feel uncomfortable. But fear is wicked, a liar, a tormentor, and an accuser of the brethren. The devil is crafty. Fear took advantage of my weakness, my mistake, of breaking ‘the law of the mask’. Fear tried to make me feel guilty about going out without the mask. But this so called ‘law of the mask’ is not God’s law but man’s law. The Holy Spirit encouraged me to stand fast and fight back. He told me: “My daughter, you can never be perfect in your own power or wisdom. I am your Covering. I am your Shield. Trust Me! I overrule your mistakes. Fear not! Fight back the enemy of your soul!” This is exactly what I did. With all my strength I started shouting at the thief, at the demon of fear! I rejected it from my house! I prayed in English and I prayed in tongues until he ran away, and peace was restored in my heart and in my house. Fear is a coward! Fear is a liar! Fear has been disgraced and totally defeated at the Cross! The Blood of Jesus was shed for me to save me! Fear has no place in my heart or in my home! This testimony of victory against the demon of fear is to the glory of God! At last, I asked the Holy Spirit, ‘what was the purpose of this attack and this victory?’ He said that I needed a fresh reminder of how wicked fear is, because many are struggling with it. He also said that now, I can prepare my sermon and I can encourage the brethren even more. His anointing will strengthen me to preach and pray! “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” Ps 56:3; NKJ).
DEFEATING FEARS – FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
“I remember your sincere and unqualified faith [the surrendering of your entire self to God in Christ with confident trust in His power, wisdom and goodness, a faith] which first lived in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am confident that it is in you as well. That is why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, [that inner fire—the special endowment] which is in you through the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]” (2Tim 1:5-7; AMP)
Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. The threat may be genuine or just imagined. But the emotion of fear is very real. Anxiety is a general fear. You cannot point to what you fear. But fear is more defined. It has a focus. The enemy can be described. The demon of fear comes in different ways: fear of sickness (Covid19), fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of divorce, fear of poverty, fear of what men can do to you and fear of untimely death. This is God’s Word: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (PV 29:25). The devil attacks with fear when we make mistakes or fall into a sin. The devil uses our guilt as a point of entry to attack. You need to resist all external demonic fears. No matter how close they come to you, you need to shut your heart to them, resist and reject. You do not compromise with the devil Fear is an enemy. Do not settle with it. Fight for your soul! Fight for your testimony! This is your responsibility! God will help you! As you stand in the evil day and fight back, God will give you more strength and confidence! Weakness is failure and it is not an option! Once fear goes away, faith is established. This living faith manifests as ‘power, love and sound mind’. The word ‘power’ in Greek is ‘dunamis’. It is the same as the word ‘dynamite’. It is the miraculous power of God able to destroy any hindrance to your faith. The Holy Spirit works strength to fight the fight of God, power, not only to patiently endure, but also to strike good blows against the devil, for Christ’ sake. Power is emphatically the attribute of the Holy Spirit and that which He specially imparts to the servants of Christ. Fear, or cowardice manifests itself by timidity and shrinking in the daily difficulties which the Christian meets within the warfare for the kingdom of God. This fear is an evil spirit! The Holy Spirit never works cowardice in men. The word ‘love’ is ‘agape’. It is the sacrificial, never failing love of Jesus. The word ‘sound-mind’ is better translated as ‘self-control’. God will give you the power to resist the attractions and the lusts of this world. Even when you are exposed to various temptations and pleasures, you can regulate your spirit and keep all passions, desires, and impulses under subjection. This is real power! “Power pass power!” (Nigerian saying).
Let us go back to 2 Timothy! Paul is in a prison in Rome. He is on death row. He writes to Timothy who was his son in Christ. He left him as the pastor of the church that he founded in Ephesus. He is concerned for him. Paul knew that his departure to heaven was at hand. His love for Timothy made him to write this letter. Timothy was shy. He needed to pastor men who are older and wealthier than him. Paul says ‘I know your troubles. Nevertheless Timothy, hold fast! Stand strong!’ Timothy was thinking: ‘This ministry is too big for me. I cannot pastor in the place of Paul!’ Paul says: ‘I know your problems and your personality! There is Someone greater than all! The work of God must go on! Be strong Timothy! Failure is not an option!’ Many Christians say: ‘I know I am going to fail. This work is too big for me! The troubles are too many’. Even before they start something, they fear that they will fail. They already plan to crash. I am not talking about never making mistakes. The righteous man falls seven times, but he gets up again! Many people fear failure even before they marry or start a business. They complain: ‘This business is too hard for me. It is too hard to stay sexually pure … To be a pastor, to sing in the choir, to stay married with this man (woman)… I cannot do it!’ But for a believer, ‘I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me! I am not going to quit!! I know that I am not worthy to be a servant of God. But I will not use my weakness as an excuse to quit. God knew me and my weakness and He still called me to serve Him. I must obey His call! I must obey Him!’ Reject the demon of failure and spiritual inferiority complex. Rest, peace, and power is what God gives even in the middle of the storm. Trust God! Paul says: ‘Timothy, you cannot fail. I pray for you! Do you know why you cannot fail? Many people are praying for you! God answers their prayers. Timothy remember that there is a gift, a promise, a potential in you! You must develop this gift of the Holy Spirit! Fulfill ministry! Stir the gift. (If you do not stir the stew on fire, it will burn). Develop a holy passion! Be a man of revival! Be an example to others! Timothy, you can do it! God is with you!’ Dear brother and sister stand for Jesus! Serve God! Teach, preach, work with the children, clean the house of God, help the work of God financially, marry well, be a good parent! Do not blame God for hardship in life! The spirit of complain and fear is not of God! May God strengthen you to stand and fight, in the name of Jesus! His Banner is lifted high! The same God who helped me win the battle, will help you too. I expect many testimonies! Be free and free indeed! Glory to God! Worship the Lord!
Prophetic scriptures: Gen 15:1; Ps 23:5; Ps 46:10; Ps 105:37
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh 09-08-2020