I am part of a very lively, very opinionated Sunday school class. Most of us are in our 50s and 60s, which, of course, means there is also great wisdom in our class (or so we’d like to think!). There are many times when our class discussions veer off into politics, pop culture or current events. This almost always results in hand-wringing, head-shaking, and longing for “the good old days.”
A couple of weeks ago, one of my classmates, a father of two, told us how sad and fearful he had felt that weekend when he was watching his kids play, thinking, “What if this time, right now, is the best time of their lives? What if it’s downhill from here?” What a sad thought!
It reminded me of something I had read in “Fervent,” Priscilla Shirer’s book on prayer:
“If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation.”
Shirer says fear is one of Satan’s primary schemes for crippling God’s people. I’m not talking about legitimate concern or warnings of godly wisdom; I’m talking about incessant worry, up-all-night anxiety, and worst-case scenarios that become the only probabilities you can imagine.
These were the kinds of fears my friend in class was talking about. And it made me mad! But not at him. I was mad at the enemy for messing with him, for messing with me, for messing with all of us! In class that day, I felt compelled to tell him, “Don’t give Satan that power over you!”
Satan is NOT God, and he’s not God’s counterpart or peer. They’re not even on the same playing field! Stop allowing his “spirit of fear” to invade our lives. We need to pray fervently and strategically against the enemy, as Shirer writes in “Fervent.” You and I, coming to the Father through the mighty name of Jesus, can pray like the victorious saints of God we’ve been empowered to be!
With all that’s going on in the world, I totally understand where my friend is coming from. But I don’t want him to live with a spirit of fear. I will continue to remind myself and those I love to pray fervently.
He is my God, and I trust him. More than ever before!
Carole Doom is IBSA’s information specialist and a member of Living Faith Baptist Church in Sherman.