Fear is one of Satan’s biggest weapons. Demons are often behind 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 and he started sinking. He 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? What difference would it have made? 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 be in control so we wouldn’t fear. Control is a poor but often necessary substitute for love and trust. It may have been necessary in your past but isn’t necessary any more!
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? What do you expect of them? It’s exactly the same. 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.
Anger comes from mishandling hurt and pain. Instead of feeling it as hurt we turn it into anger. Demons are behind and use anger, too. They made Saul angry at David, so much so that he tried to kill David (I Samuel 18:10-11; 19:9-10). Paul says there is a very close connection between anger and demonizing (Ephesians 4:27).
As I said before, anger comes from pain and hurt that is buried inside. You can’t bury something alive and think you are getting rid of it. The hurt must be dead – faced, admitted, healed, removed, forgiven. When a person buries hurt alive it keeps poising everything until it is dug out and destroyed.
While there is a legitimate use for anger (‘righteous indignation’) most of what we face is not right. Anger is a secondary emotion, unlike fear which is a basic emotion. Wrong anger is always the result of mishandling another, deeper emotional like fear or pain. Let’s take pain, first of all. When a person hits their finger with a hammer what do they do? Usually they get angry. What they feel is pain, but it comes out as anger because anger is a much easier emotion to handle than pain. When someone says something critical or threatening it hurts, but the natural response in many is to get angry. That way they don’t have to face the pain – but it stays and causes more and more anger. That’s where fear comes in. It’s not just pain that causes anger, but fear of pain. Fear is at the root of anger in other ways as well. To seek to manage our fears we try to control our lives and circumstances (thus the control emphasis part grows). We feel that is necessary to prevent pain and other things we fear. We use anger as a control tool. The adrenalin rush makes us feel in charge instead of a victim. We learn that people can be manipulated and controlled by our anger (or the threat of it) and we use that to control as well. This is another reason why it’s important to deal with and get victory over the fears down inside. When they go the anger and control issues will become much more manageable. A person can’t stop their anger as long as what causes it is still inside pushing it out. They must get the root cause out, and that is where dealing with the fear comes in.
What do you fear most? When you are most open to fear? Since fear is the opposite of faith, confess your fear to God and ask Him to forgive you of it. Ask Him to help you trust in Him and recognize when attacked by fear. Ask God to give you His peace instead.
Do you have a problem with anger? Confess that to God and ask Him to show you how Satan uses anger to defeat you. Be aware throughout the day of the very first start of fear in your mind and confess it. Ask God to give you His self control instead.
(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.)