“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ … and not frightened in anything by your opponents.”
The authentic Christian life operates by faith, not fear.
Throughout scripture, the Lord says to his people some form of “Do not fear” or “Be not afraid.” This is because the Lord sends us into a fallen, broken world that is under the influence and control of the enemy, and courage is required in that hostile environment.
2 Cor 4.4 calls Satan “the god of this world.” John 12.31 describes Satan as the “ruler of this world.” Ephesians 2.2 calls him the “prince of the power of the air.” This means there will be battles. Living and working in a fallen world includes conflict with the enemy.
As we saw in the devotional series on the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul spoke about the reality of spiritual warfare.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6.12-13)
Understand this: The enemy wants you to walk by fear. The Lord wants you to walk by faith. Understand this, as well: You give the enemy access to your life through fear. You give God access to your life through faith.
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?“ (Psalm 118.6)
Faith is a condition of the heart and mind. So is fear. Whether we walk by faith or by fear is a matter of what we choose to focus on. Faith and fear are opposite ways of thinking. The mind of faith focuses on God’s presence, principles, and power, and it seeks the Lord through prayer. Faith expands and widens our perspective. It clarifies our thinking and produces wise decisions.
The mind of fear focuses on problems, threats, and anxieties. Fear restricts and narrows your perspective. It derails your thinking and produces poor decisions. Fear distorts what you see, disrupts how you feel, and limits what you do.
It’s a timeless principle: Where your mind goes, you go. For this reason, when we begin to descend into fear, it is imperative to press pause and redirect our focus. This is why scripture repeatedly talks about renewing the mind.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1.7)
The Lord is calling.