It has long frustrated me that followers of Jesus (which would certainly include me) seem so hesitant to follow Jesus through uncertain or turbulent waters. As long as our path is fairly smooth and our direction is somewhat certain, we have no problems dedicating our lives to Jesus. When uncertainty enters the equation, however, we hesitate. When following Him means giving up some sense of our security, we flinch and falter. We become fearful of the unknown. Of what are we truly afraid? The God who walks with us through the good times is the same God who will be there in the bad.
The fear comes from the enemy. When we are compelled to walk along the narrow path, through darkness and uneven terrain, Satan is there to immediately cast doubt on our ability to traverse the chosen path. He injects worry, fear and anxiety into our minds. He does not want us to move forward, as he realizes this will bring defeat to his intentions. When you feel most paralyzed by fear, rest assured that your obedience has placed you on the cusp of accomplishing something significant for the Kingdom of God.
The paralysis comes from our fear. Yet this fear is totally irrational. Scripture is full of examples of God giving victory over extraordinary circumstances; we need only to trust Him. If God is for us, nothing can come against us. (Romans 8:31) We have everything we need at our disposal, we simply need ask (John 14:13-14). All of Hell itself cannot prevail against the people of God (Matthew 16:18). Again I must ask, “What are we afraid of?” How ridiculous is such fear! As a matter of fact, this fear turns out to be just another lie of Satan. Once again he is subtly altering the truth; he is shifting our focus ever so slightly in a way that blinds us to what is really going on. The truth of the matter is it is Satan himself who is trembling in utter fear of us! The entire time that we are immobilized by fear, it isn’t even our fear we are feeling; it is the trembling cowardice of Satan being reflected into our minds. He knows he cannot defeat a follower of Jesus who is walking in the power of God. It is all too obvious to the devil that he is about to suffer yet another crushing defeat. It infuriates him to lose, so he is in panic mode; he is scared to death that you will stay focused on Christ and obediently follow Jesus.
The key to victory, the key to overcoming fear is to realize from where that fear is originating. Don’t let Satan put the stench of his own fear onto you. Don’t be deceived into believing the lies of the enemy. He tells you that you are not strong enough for the battle ahead. Jesus tells us that in our weakness, through Him, we will be made strong. Satan will tell you that you are too young, too old, too uneducated or too damaged. Jesus tells us that we are the exact person for the job, we are His unique and beautiful creation; He has equipped us perfectly for the task ahead. As followers of Jesus we have access to the power of God. This same power has already repeatedly defeated Satan. The devil cannot win, and he knows it. His only hope is to deceive us into believing that his fear is our own. He is a liar, and we must call him on it. We must obey and follow Jesus; doing so makes us very dangerous indeed to Satan and all of his plans. This is why he is so frightened of us. Don’t be deceived, don’t buy into his lies. Instead, walk in the truth and in the strength of the power of Jesus. Surrender everything to Christ and follow Him anywhere, at any cost; we have nothing to fear, because we have Jesus. Move forward with courage and strength; don’t be paralyzed by someone else’s fear. Reject the lies of Satan, engage in the battle and watch the Kingdom advance as a result of your obedience. Satan fears an obedient disciple of Jesus more than anything else, so follow Jesus; doing so will cause you to become Satan’s worst nightmare!