“It left me like a wet noodle.” Those are the words my younger sister used to describe the end result of giving in to past fear. She was encouraging me; exhorting me to rise up and defeat the anxiety that has held me captive for the past few weeks.
Never mind the cause of it. The object of our fear is never the real issue. Every situation, every circumstance is an opportunity to respond. My sister was reminding me that our response to a frightening situation is always a choice; and our choices come down to what we truly believe.
The power of the mind is a formidable force that can be either constructive or destructive. Even when our flesh is weak, the spirit can lead to victory over our circumstance. Conversely our mind can be our worst enemy if we choose to believe the lies of the adversary. Ultimately, our perception of the situation and resulting actions are determined by our thoughts.
The battle always begins in the mind. The enemy knows this and can be counted on to employ his most trusted weapons —the fiery darts that besiege our mind. Satan is the master of ‘inception’ and the thought he plants is always a lie, for he is the father of lies.
Yet “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God promises me that “no weapon formed against me will prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). He has already defeated the enemy and won the victory for us!
I know all too well the potential power of fear. More than once I have been caught in the death grip of terror and anxiety. Attempting to conquer fear in our own strength is guaranteed to leave us, as my sister so aptly put it, like a wet noodle every time.
I am learning that the battle against fear cannot be won with conventional weapons. Spiritual warfare requires the use of spiritual weapons.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Our weapons over the spiritual battles we encounter are described for us in Ephesians 6:10-18.
Belt of Truth [only God’s truth]
Breastplate of Righteousness [Jesus is my Righteousness]
Feet shod with the Gospel [the reality of my security and peace]
Shield of Faith [Proclaiming God’s word builds my Faith]
Helmet of Salvation [the JOY of my Salvation]
Sword of the Spirit [The Word of God]
According to this passage, the protective armor for my head (a.k.a. my mind) is the knowledge of my salvation. The sound mind promised to us is a mind fortified by the Truth of what Jesus Christ accomplished on my behalf through His death on the cross.
but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
We are promised that this arsenal—the eternal Truth of God’s word— is all I need to fight the battle against fear. David stated that the wisdom of God’s word is “health to your flesh and strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8), and that God’s law will add peace to us. The absence of fear and anxiety is PEACE.
The word of God proclaims that we are already overcomers and more than conquerors. Our job is to put on the helmet of salvation, to meditate on the amazing gift and promises of our redemption. We must determine to “take every thought captive”, and to make no provision for the enemy. Peace in the face of fear is to keep our mind on Jesus (Isaiah 26:3).