“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
In the wake of COVID-19, the world is in a state of fear. The reports of the unprecedented spread of the coronavirus (throughout the world) and the increasing death toll has many people fearing for their lives and the lives of their family members.
As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we know that fear does not come from the kingdom of God but the kingdom of darkness. We are sure of the aforementioned because 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that our Father did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Furthermore, 1 John 4:18 tells us that: “there is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
As Christians, we have heard these scriptures countless times. However, how do we take hold of them when the enemy comes to torment us with fear? In those moments of crippling fear, how do we choose love over fear? How do we get in agreement with God and not the enemy of our soul—Satan?
The answer is found in the word of God—the Bible. Specifically, the answer is in the pages of the Bible that tell the stories of fellow believers of God who took fear head on and conquered it.
First, let’s look at the story of Moses and the children of Israel found in the Book of Exodus. The children of Israel had just left Egypt and God spoke to Moses and told them to camp by the Red Sea. Unbeknownst to anyone but Moses, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he would pursue the children of Israel. Scripture tells us that the children of Israel initially went out in boldness but when they saw the Egyptians marching toward them, they became very afraid and cried out to the Lord. Subsequently, the children of Israel began to castigate Moses—asking him if he had led them out of Egypt to die. They declared that it would have been better for them to stay in Egypt and serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness (See Exodus 14: 2-12).
Moses responded to the children of Israel and told them:
“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:13-14).
After Moses responded to the children of Israel, the Lord responded to Moses and said:
“Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it” (Exodus 14:15-16).
Don’t let what you see make you forget what God said
In Exodus 14:2-4, God told Moses about His plan to conquer the Egyptians. He told him how He would harden the heart of Pharaoh so that he would pursue the children of Israel. He told Moses that He would gain honor over the Egyptians so they would know that He is the LORD.
Now, when Moses saw the Egyptians marching toward them to destroy them, he remembered what God told Him. Although the children of Israel were afraid and in a state of panic, Moses told them what He knew—the Lord would deliver them.
We need to do what Moses did. Now that we are in the shadow of death, and the Coronavirus is threatening to devour us and our families, we must remember what God’s word says: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
The Lord is with us—correcting, guiding, and comforting us during this pandemic. We should not be afraid. He has promised us that He would never leave us nor forsake us (See Hebrews 13:5-6). He has promised us that He would be with us until the end of the age (See Matthew 28:20). Therefore, if our God is with us, who or what can be against us? God has given Jesus dominion (See Daniel 7:14) and put all things under His feet (See Ephesians 1:22). Thus, what is the Coronavirus to our King? Nothing. Jesus always and forever has the victory over all things. Since we are His, we have the victory too!
Therefore, why should we live in fear? During this time, let’s keep our focus on God and what He has said in His word. Let’s believe Him—no matter what our current circumstances say.
Do what you know to do
The Lord’s response to Moses: “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.” stuck out to me.
Ultimately, God was telling Moses don’t cry out to me to do what I have already given you the power to do. God had already worked many miracles through the same rod Moses already had. The Lord was telling Moses to use what He had and do what he knew to do. The same rod God used to perform the previous miracles in Egypt would work to divide the Red Sea so the children of Israel could cross over it on dry ground.
Therefore, as we journey through this time, let us do what we know to do. We know that we don’t “wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Fear is a demonic manifestation. Thus, when it or any other spirit from the kingdom of darkness comes to torment us or steal, kill, and destroy, we must put on the full armor of God: (1) gird your waist with truth, (2) put on the breastplate of righteousness, (3) shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, (4) above all take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, (5) take the helmet of salvation, (6) and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17).
I recommend that you put on the whole armor of God every day—especially during these perilous times. When fear comes, stand in the power and authority given to you by Jesus Christ and use your weapons to fight and conquer fear. Furthermore, don’t get anxious about the Coronavirus but stand still and wait for God to defeat what you can’t defeat in your own strength. However, don’t stop moving. God told Moses: “Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” God’s response tells me that we are to keep moving forward even when we are afraid. So, let’s put our hope and faith in the Lord—holding our peace. Let’s do what we know to do as the Lord wages the war against the Coronavirus and brings us out victorious.
Remember how God has delivered you before
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat was told that a great multitude was coming against him, and all of Judah, from beyond the sea. Scripture tells us that King Jehoshaphat was afraid and set himself to seek the Lord. He proclaimed a fast throughout Judah. King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah gathered together to ask the LORD for help. Specifically, King Jehoshaphat cried out to the LORD and said:
“Are you not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgement, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save” (2 Chronicles 20:7-9).
King Jehoshaphat’s faith in God to deliver Judah hinged, even if partially, on the fact that God had delivered His ancestors. He knew what God had done for the previous generation and because of that he had faith that God would deliver them too.
Let’s learn from King Jehoshaphat and conquer fear by remembering how God has delivered us and the people around us in the past. Stand on the fact that if God delivered you, and those around you before, He will deliver you again.
Cry out to the Lord
When King Jehoshaphat learned of the possible ambush, He cried out to the Lord and asked Him:
“O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. Now all of Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:12-13).
Let’s do what King Jehoshaphat did. Although you may be afraid, and feel like the Coronavirus will devour you and your family, cry out to the Lord like King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah did. After you cry out, wait for God’s response. The LORD will not ridicule you for being afraid. He will have compassion on you and respond to you as He did to King Jehoshaphat:
“Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17).
Praise and worship God
After God promised to deliver King Jehoshaphat and Judah, they went out the next morning going toward the people who were coming against them. As they went out, King Jehoshaphat appointed people to sing to the LORD. As they began to worship the LORD by saying: “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever,” the LORD set ambushes against the people coming against Judah. The enemies of Judah started fighting each other until they destroyed themselves. When Judah reached their enemies, they found them all dead. It took Judah three days to gather all of the spoils from their dead enemies.
We, as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, can learn from this. When fear comes, let’s turn on our worship music and sing praises to the Lord. When we praise and worship the Lord, He inhabits our praises. He invades and reigns in the atmosphere while driving out every unclean spirit. Therefore, when you feel fear, WORSHIP THE LORD!
Personal testimony regarding fear
There was a time that I greatly struggled with fear. However, there is one time, in particular, that taught me a lesson about the power of agreement. One night I was driving someone to my house. Prior to driving this person to my house, she had an encounter with someone that made her angry. During the drive, she vented her frustration to me. As she was talking, I simply said “mhmmm” to something she said.
She stayed at my house for an hour or so before she left. Later that night, I felt a presence. I could sense it was a demonic presence, and I was afraid. I commanded the presence to leave, but it didn’t. When it didn’t leave, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that it had a legal right to be there.
At that point, being led by the Holy Spirit, I renounced the agreement I had made. However, I was still afraid, so I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to help me. Afterward, I heard the word “surrounded.” The Holy Spirit then impressed upon me that there were angels surrounding me with swords in their hands. However, their swords were crossed and pointing downward.
In the moment, I didn’t know what the downward pointing crossed swords symbolized. The next morning, however, I conducted some research and found out that it meant that the battle was over and had been won. Amen! The battle against fear has been won because of what Jesus did for all of mankind on the cross.
Tips for conquering fear
Understand that fear is a demonic manifestation. When fear comes, there are some things you must do:
- Pay attention to what you’re doing when you feel fear. Satan could be using fear as a tactic to keep you from doing something that God has called you to do. The enemy could be trying to steal, kill, and destroy your destiny or a part of it.
- Put on the whole armor of God. Use the sword of the Spirit to fight back. Find scriptures that speak against fear and declare them aloud (i.e. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Confess, repent, and renounce anytime that you have walked in fear. You cannot drive out what you are in agreement with (See Matthew 12:25-28).
- Call out to the Lord and ask Him to help you. When I feel fear or an unclean spirit I say: “Father, I ask in the name Jesus, that you send your holy angels to drive out every unclean spirit in this place.” Please be led by the Lord regarding what you should say.
- Submit yourself to God. Resist the enemy, and He will flee from you (See James 4:7).
- Praise and worship the Lord. Satan and his demons cannot stand our worship of the Almighty God. When we worship Him, they flee because they hate it, and they know that God comes to dwell with us through our praise and worship to Him.
- Spend time in the presence of God. Bring your fears to the Father and ask Him to deliver you from them.
- Listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you regarding what you should say and how you should engage fear when it comes.