Let’s be honest, America is freaking out. Grocery stores are packed. People are fighting with wine bottles, stealing paper towels off each other’s carts, and buying pallets (yes, pallets) of hand sanitizer. Why? Not because we are scared of getting sick (if we were we wouldn’t be standing in a packed Costco) but because we are overwhelmed by fear… fear of the unknown, fear of the “what if,” fear of lack. We have given way to the spirit of fear, a real operating power. Ephesians 6:12 says “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
So how do we conquer it? How do we not let ourselves fall victim to the tactics of the enemy? We don’t give it authority over our lives.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Yes, you’ve got the power! The same power that healed the sick, multiplied fish and bread, raised Jesus from the dead…. that same power lives in you! So start using it and believing in it. Pray powerful prayers for your family, for your community, for our nation. Declare divine protection over your home and family members. Speak the words, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper” Isaiah 54:17. There is a great power living in you, a power that has defeated the enemy and given you full authority through Jesus.
Along with great power, comes great responsibility – like the responsibility to love. Galatians 6:9 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” How do we continue to combat the spirit of fear? We bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, starting with love.
Have you asked God how you can show love during this time? Maybe, just maybe, He’s asking you to give away some of your toilet paper. But for real, check on the people around you like the elderly and single moms. Knock on the door of your neighbor and ask them if they need anything! Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.
Lastly, we acknowledge that God gives us self-control. Another way of saying this is that the Holy Spirit can give us a sound mind. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We have to combat the thinking patterns of the world by clinging to God’s Word and seeking Him in prayer. When you have moments of anxiety, chaos, worry, and fear, don’t go to Google… control yourself, open your Bible, receive from God’s word and ask Him to replace fear with peace.
God has given us everything we need so we can be a people that operate differently than the world does. Now that doesn’t mean we should be licking grocery carts (we still have to be wise) but we have the authority and the ability to not give way to the spirit of fear. So stand firm in your faith, trust God is who He says He is, let the Holy Spirit be your comforter, and do. not. fear.
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(For more great verses for this season reference Psalm 91, Psalm 23, Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:6-7)To continue learning more about conquering fear, check out the series I Changed My Mind from Jimmy Evans on XO Now.