by Kenneth Copeland
In Old Testament times, many of the enemies of God’s people were the “ites”—Amorites, Amalekites, Moabites, and so on. In recent days, it has been the “isms” that have tried to oppress and dominate the lives of God’s people.
We’ve seen Nazism and communism. Now, another “ism” has raised itself up—terrorism. It’s the most recent force of the enemy and, if given the opportunity, Satan would use terrorism to dominate mankind through oppression.
A dictionary definition of terrorism is very revealing: “The planned, organized use of fear as a weapon in order to terrify or paralyze the victim to the place they cannot resist oppression.”
Notice what the real weapon of terrorism is. It’s not hijacked public transportation, bombs, or guns. It’s not chemicals or germs…it’s fear.
So if you remove the fear, you remove the only real weapon the terrorist possesses.
To put this in perspective, think about someone brandishing a weapon as a threat, but that weapon has no ammunition in it. We read about a character doing just that in the book of Revelation—the Antichrist. And Jesus had already disarmed him completely.
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer (Revelation 6:1-2).
We know that without any arrows, this bowman is totally ineffective. But imagine for a moment that a spotlight is shining on this horse and rider at night and a shadow of him is cast on the side of a large building. What would be your first impression? You would see a much larger than life-sized form of that rider and his bow. And you would probably assume that he had arrows for his bow and consequently take steps to protect yourself.
In direct light, however, you would draw a much different conclusion. The archer wouldn’t be nearly as big as the shadow image he projected. And, you would be able to see that he had no arrows. In fact, you would laugh at that character sitting there trying to be a threat, when he had no ammunition for his weapon. In reality, he is no threat at all.
The Terrorist’s One Weapon
What we have just described is a perfect picture of how fear works, and why a born-again child of God is not to control fear but rather eradicate it—all of it—from his or her life.
That’s an important point, because controlling fear is a common topic of the day. And sometimes if we work at it hard enough, we can control specific fears in our natural strength. But that falls far short of the victory Jesus won over death and all fear at the cross.
Let’s clarify the difference between coping with fears and totally eradicating the spirit of fear. For the purpose of illustration, let’s use the example of a professional rodeo cowboy…a champion bull rider.
What this man does for a living is something the average spectator would consider very frightening. He gets on a beast that weighs thousands of pounds and that bull is mad at every thing that moves. Seconds later, he’s trying to ride the thing with all kinds of opposition from the bull. And when the cowboy’s ride is over or he gets thrown off, the bull does his best to gore him or stomp him.
Though it’s very dangerous, the cowboy has trained himself and ridden enough that he is not afraid to get on that bull. Yet the same man, while driving to the next performance, can be worried sick about his finances, his family, his own life and everything around him.
Why? Because fear is still present. Through logic, training and using various mental techniques, he’s learned to put down fear when riding a bull, but it still runs rampant in other areas of his life.
Now if that same cowboy locks into the Word of God and discovers how to receive total deliverance from fear and begins to walk in it, it’ll be an entirely different situation. He will respect the danger, but he won’t be afraid of the bull because he will know God and know how to walk free from fear in this and every other area of his life.
The Law of the Spirit of Life
Maybe you are thinking: Is it realistic to talk about walking totally fear free?
It is if you understand that fear is a spirit. Once you learn the spiritual law that governs fear and learn to operate it to your advantage, you can eliminate fear—all fear—from your life.
We see this in Romans 8:2-4:
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (in the Anointed One and in the Anointing of Jesus) hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
We see here that two laws govern all spiritual life: the law of sin and death and the law of the spirit of life in the Anointed Jesus and in His Anointing.
The nature of a law is that it works 100 percent of the time when the elements of that law are put in proper order and put to work. For instance, when the elements of the laws of physics are properly applied, they achieve a desired outcome in the natural, physical world.
But a greater law than natural law exists—the laws of the spirit govern the laws of the natural. What we just read in Romans 8 tells us what happens when the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (the Anointed One and in His Anointing) is put into effect. It makes us free from the laws that govern fear and the laws that govern death—the laws of sin!
How Fear of Death Operates
Now pay close attention to how fear tries to keep a foothold in our lives. Let’s take just a minute to look at fear in its rawest form. And keep in mind that the fear of death is the root of all fear. Let’s look at some of the fears people have concerning death, and the different ways a person can die. There are basically four ways a person can die—at the hand of another human being, by starvation, as the result of an accident, or from sickness and disease.
If we examine the fear of death at the hand of another human being, we will discover other fears associated with that basic fear. “What do other people think about me?” and the fear of “Will I be able to protect myself?” are two such associated fears. If we don’t deal with these fears, it won’t be long until we are worrying constantly about being the victim of a drive-by shooting or some other violent crime.
The Terrorist Plays on Fear
To understand how the devil would try to use one of these four basic fears to his advantage, imagine a man who beats another person within an inch of death. Then he picks up his victim, brushes him off and leaves.
A few days later, when the victim is just barely recovering, the attacker returns and asks, “How are you doing?” The dumbfounded victim doesn’t know what to say. He’s so afraid he can hardly move.
“I’ll tell you what,” the assailant continues, “for $100 a week I’ll see to it nobody ever does you that way again.” Still speechless, the battered victim is thinking: Well, who else would do me that way?
“You know the same thing could happen to you at almost any time,” the attacker threatens.
Notice the attacker constantly promotes fear of himself. Then the victim begins reading between the lines: He’s the one that’s going to come back and do it! Or maybe his thugs are going to come back and kill me.
So what has the attacker done? He has used terror and fear to try to extort money. He took a basic fear—in this case, fear of death at the hands of another person—amplified that fear and used it as a weapon of oppression and terror to take what does not belong to him.
In the same way, a variety of worries can spring out of the basic fear of death by starvation. For example, the concern about not having enough money to buy food may lead to the thinking: I don’t want to offend my boss because he’s the one who gave me this job and I have to work for him. Taking my Bible to work might offend him. If I offend him, he’ll fire me, and I’ll wind up without any income. Then I won’t have any money. And if I don’t have money, I won’t have enough to eat!
Do you see how your mind will run away with you if you don’t attack fear at its root? You’ll see the same pattern develop with any of the fears we’ve mentioned.
One right after another, the devil introduces every possible method of dying in order to paralyze people and keep fear on their minds all the time. This strategy is designed to make their witness as Christians ineffective. And pretty soon, if unchecked, he will have undermined their faith. And once that happens, his ultimate goal is possible—to get the Word that has been sown into the believer’s heart:
…when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful (Mark 4:17-19).
Affliction, persecution, the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things are all tools Satan uses for one purpose—to steal the Word out of the heart of the person who has received it with gladness.
All five of these tools depend on fear to work. And Satan himself is behind every one of them. But when we shine the full force of the light of God’s Word on his devices, and renew our minds and words to what God has said—we expose a defeated and weaponless enemy. Satan has already been defeated and stripped of the only real weapon he ever had—the power of death and the fear that power created.
Now, in the light of God’s Word, this weaponless foe is being exposed for who he truly is. Without his deceptions, he cannot stop the Word. And if he cannot stop the Word, he cannot stop you!