Have you ever been on a roller coaster? Do you remember your emotions right before going over the first hill? Your heart races, your muscles are clinched and regrets are probably running through your mind.
Have you ever been sound asleep and awakened by a sudden noise? Do you recall the physiological response you had? When that happened to me years ago, I was scared spitless.
Do you remember being in a car with someone who was driving fast and recklessly? Did you press imaginary brakes, with one hand on the doorknob while praying silently? I have.
If you are human, you have undoubtedly experienced fear at one time or another. This type of fear operates as our “spidey sense” when danger is imminent. It allows our fight-or-flight response to kick in at a moment’s notice.
But there is another type of fear that is not natural, called terror. This kind of fear or terror is a gripping force that seeks to paralyze its victims into submission to its will. Terror is not of God.
Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.” The enemy of our souls, Satan, uses terror to create fear within the individual as well as among the masses. He aims to stunt personal growth and contradict our faith.
Terrorists (either spiritual-like demons or natural, as in human) generate small attacks and events that act as catalysts in creating huge fear among the masses and individuals. The United States spans more than 3.79 million square feet with a population of roughly 315 million people. Despite the vastness of our country, acts of terror can carry such an impact that people in remote areas change their daily routines.
The tragic terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon that injured hundreds and killed three shut down a city because of terror. Reporters interviewed runners who were encapsulated by fear and vowed to never run a race again.
Do you realize that our country has spent the last 12 years without a successful terrorist attack? I don’t believe any American will ever forget 9/11. The attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., resulted in a catastrophic loss of life. I can remember flights being grounded because of fearful passengers canceling plans. But I chose not to allow that spirit of terror to enter my heart.
On Sept. 12, I was on a flight and about the business of the Lord. I remembered that God had not given me a spirit of fear. We must not allow the enemy’s threats to veer us from the will of God.
Fear will hinder and bind your personal growth. In 1933, President Roosevelt stated, "Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and prosper. … Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Simply stated, don’t allow yourself to be consumed by thoughts of the unknown. Fear of being fearful is nothing more than anxiety. Scripture tells us that we should not be anxious for anything (Phil. 4:6).
Fear or terror is a direct contradiction to our faith. Where faith builds, terror destroys. Where faith provides hope of an expected end, fear declares there is no hope left.
The enemy is going to hit you with situations on a personal level. You may receive a prognosis or even a diagnosis, and fear will try to seize you. But remember that diagnosis is a small assault to stifle the Word of God that says, “God is your healer.” Trust me; you will not leave this earth a minute before the Lord is ready to receive you.
Financial troubles may have you in a state of fear of how bills will be paid. Be reminded that God is your supplier according to His riches, and He won’t allow you to beg for bread.
Whatever may arise in your life, be confident in knowing that God has your back! Don’t be scared! Dwell in your secret place! Psalms 91:4-8 reads, “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, thought ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.”
So, here’s how you should begin to overcome a spirit of terror:
- Be vigilant and aware of God’s promises—they are sure!
- Ask God to break the stronghold of fear over your life.
- Confess God’s Word when life’s unpredictability strikes you.
- Live! Mountain climb, skydive and keep on running—or at least walk if you don’t run. But by all means, live!
Learn the difference between natural fear and enemy-induced fear in your life. Don’t waste time; eradicate it immediately. Unnatural fear has no place in the heart of the believer. God has not given you a spirit of fear!
Kyle Searcy has a passion for developing a new generation of leaders. He serves as senior pastor of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, Ala., and Norcross, Ga. Learn more at KyleSearcy.com.