The Bible tells us in II Timothy 1:7: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. This tells us plainly of a fear that is not just an emotion caused by circumstances or weakness of the individual. There is a fear that is a spirit, a spiritual being. Since it is not sent by God it must be sent by someone else since no being lives under its own authority. The only other being with authority is Satan who was given a measure of authority over this natural world after the fall of man. But he was only given a measure of authority, not all authority like God has. So, what he can do to frighten us is limited as well.
We do experience things that are frightening. We experience the emotion of fear when a monster storm causes massive damage and loss of life. We experience the emotion of fear when we are attacked or when we become seriously ill. These fearful emotions are circumstantial feelings of fear and subside after a time once the circumstances are over. Some fearful experiences take longer to ease than others, sometimes hours, days, weeks, months or even years. But, they are still circumstantial. This is natural fear, not the spirit of fear that Paul is talking about here in II Timothy.
The Spirit of Fear that Paul is teaching about has nothing to do with circumstances. It can rear its ugly head in the calmest of circumstances. Some people recognize it, know that it is a spiritual being trying to influence them and merely cast it off. Other people may be more upset by it, usually because they don’t know why they are afraid at times for no reason or why they feel fear that is magnified in comparison to their situation. Just like in war we must know our enemy so we can recognize an attack no matter how subtle. To learn this we must study scripture and this we will do as the Lord leads me.
My experience with the Spirit of Fear came first through my late mother. She was the embodiment of fear itself. She feared everything and everyone. I don’t know if she had a traumatic experience in her life that might have caused her to feel fear all the time or not. She said her father was mean but I know my father was gentle and loving to her. She didn’t talk a lot about her childhood. She only socialized with a few rare people and lived closed off to the world, especially after my father died. She spent the next 20 years alone and afraid to venture out into the world despite living with me and my children for a time before she went into a nursing home. I tried to coax her out of her hiding place to no avail.
Since I know that this kind of fear is a spirit and not just circumstantial I know it can be fought with spiritual weapons. We will look at that a little more next time.