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Conquering Fear

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Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” 

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Have you ever felt that nameless, unreasoning unjustified terror? I have. Sometimes my mind goes to dark places where I fear the worst, even when there’s no justifiable reason behind my fears. 

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I’m learning that this is a spiritual battle. Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). 

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When I am tempted to give in to fear, there’s a spiritual battle going on over my mind. If I let fear take over, I’m giving in to the spirit of falsehood (1 John 4:6) that tells me God is not trustworthy or He is unable to handle whatever it is I’m afraid of.

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In his first epistle, John assures us, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, ESV). John goes on to say, “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us … . There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:16-17a, 18, ESV). When I am afraid, I’m not allowing God’s perfect love to be manifest in me. 

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But this battle does not belong to me alone. As David said before killing Goliath, “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:47). And John reminds us, “He has given us his Spirit” (1 John 4:13, NIV). So I can rely on God’s Spirit within me to fight my spiritual battles, but I need to prepare myself for them. 

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To prepare for any spiritual battle, we must put on the armor of God: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:12, 14-17).

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God has given us everything we need to fight and conquer the spirit of fear. Just Between Us (JBU) wants to arm you with His Truth to do just that. One of the first things you can do is study God’s Word, starting with Eph. 6:10-20 and 1 John 4:1-18. Soak up His assurances that His Spirit in you is stronger than anything you might fear, and He has given you a full suit of armor to fight with. Then read some of the articles listed here, offering stories of others who have learned to rely on His faithfulness in the face of fear. 

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~ Marilyn Pritchard

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