Not long after writing to the Corinthians Paul wrote to the Romans. He had been wanting to minister in this great center of civilization for many years but God always has kept him from doing so. Eventually he arrived as a prisoner after a shipwreck, but for now he wants to let them know he won’t be coming and why. Instead of speaking to them in person, again he is limited to sending a letter. But what a letter it has been for mankind! The book of Romans is a very key part of God’s Word to us through the centuries. Paul’s loss is our gain. As would be expected, Paul refers to demons and spiritual warfare in this great epistle several times.
Fear. Paul reminds his readers that God does not give us fear (Romans 8:15). Any fear we entertain comes from the flesh, our sin nature, the part of us that tends to sin. We had this before salvation and still have it after salvation.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Fear is one of Satan’s biggest weapons. Demons are often behind it and use fear (Romans 8:15). If it takes the form of insecurity, anxiety, worry, preoccupation with problems, or whatever, it is still fear. Demons put fear of David into Saul (I Samuel 18:10-15) and put fear and terror into Eliaphaz by gliding by his face (Job 4:15). Anything not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). God does not give us fear (II Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15), so if you experience fear realize it is not from God but from Satan. This doesn’t mean it is always through demonizing, for you can be attacked with fear without being demonized.
Fear takes root when we choose to focus on circumstances instead of God. Peter walking on water is a good example. When his eyes were on Jesus his faith was strong, but when he looked at the waves they grew (in his mind) to be greater than Jesus’ power. Thus he started sinking. He then did the right thing, though, and put his eyes back on Jesus.
Dream with me for a minute. Suppose as a young child you had a father who loved you more than anything and constantly showed it. He was always there for you, always showing his love, enjoying you and laughing with you. Whatever you needed he was there to help and supply. How would that make you feel? How can such a relationship benefit a child as they grow up? There is something down deep inside all of us that would love to have someone we could trust, someone to take care of us, someone to always be there no matter what. Then we wouldn’t need to try to be in control of things we fear. Control is a poor substitute for love and trust. It may have seemed necessary in your past but isn’t necessary anymore!
Trust is the antidote to fear. How can we understand trust, what it means and how it works? I think understanding how a family should work is the best answer. God established a family relationship to answer all those questions. He is the Father, we are the children. Do your children trust you? What do they have to do to earn your love? What do you expect of them? It’s exactly the same with us and God. Jesus says we are to be like little children in order to learn faith and trust. Let your children teach you. Put yourself in their position – with a Perfect Father.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)