I have noticed lately how many people say they are dealing with fear and anxiety. A lot of people are dealing with very stressful situations in their lives, which can produce anxiety, and for others, it may actually be a spirit of fear. I have also had to deal with this a lot in my lifetime. I went back to school from 2007-2011 and studied psychology because after spending many years learning about spiritual warfare and dealing with that side of things, I still struggled with fear (or nervousness) and intimidation myself, and I wanted to learn more about the root causes of different types of psychosis, the affect of medications, and have a better understanding of how much of it is biological vs. spiritual. I went to a Christian College because I wanted to hear it from the view point of Christian professors.
There is a natural fear or warning system that God gave us to protect us from danger. That is why we feel fear when there is a perceived threat, like a poisonous snake or standing too close to the edge of a cliff, etc. This is not a spirit of fear, this is God’s way of helping us stay safe and alive, but sometimes our perceptions can be marred by excessive stress, trauma, PTSD, etc. and that causes the natural fear to become excessive, which can lead to a spirit of fear. The enemy plays on this until our thoughts can become consumed with fearful or anxious thoughts, which is how a stronghold is formed. II Corinthians 10:3-5 says: “For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, 5 (Inasmuch as we) refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (The Amplified Bible). A mental stronghold is set of reasonings or thought patterns that are contrary (or opposed) to the word of God and part of breaking that stronghold is identifying and rejecting the thoughts that are contrary to God’s word and renewing our mind with what God’s word says in that area. So, if the stronghold is in the area of fear and anxiety, once we begin to cast those thoughts down, we have to replace them with what God’s word tells us about this (and speaking it out loud is very powerful). Phillipians 4:6-7 says: “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace …which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (The Amplified Bible). Verse 8 tells us what kind of things we should think about: ..whatever is true, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. (NKJV).
I think a lot of what I have dealt with and still do at times, stems from having a melancholy/phlegmatic personality, because people with this type of personality are very sensitive, they are introverts, and tend to be more timid or shy by nature. We can be easily intimidated by those with stronger personalities, especially people who are quick-tempered. Melancholy/phlegmatic personalities are also very analytical and tend to be perfectionists, so we can become obsessive/compulsive, if we don’t stay in balance. Also, because I struggle with low energy, I take daily vitamins, B Complex vitamins, drink a cup of coffee or two a day and/or a small amount of soda and some times energy shots to help give me more energy and I know that this can definitely make me feel very jittery, when I over do it, but sometimes I can’t seem to get my energy level up any other way. With that said, I know that there is also a literal spirit of fear that has to be dealt with using the spiritual weapons that the Lord has given us.
I have come a long way as far as coming out of my shell and being a lot more friendly and talkative than I was when I was a child. As a child, I was very easily intimidated by others and tended to be very quiet around people who had strong personalities. I have been teaching the Bible for over 30 years, but I still prefer one on one or leading small groups or writing. I get nervous when I have to be the center of attention or stand up in front of the church and even though I bind and rebuke fear and intimidation from myself and repent for giving place to it in any way, I still feel very nervous when I get in front of people (sadly, you can cast out the spirit of fear, but you can’t cast out your personality, lol). At those times, I have to do what Joyce Meyer says and just “do it afraid.” In other words, you can’t go by your feelings, you just have to trust God and do what you feel He is leading you to do, even if you have to shake while you do it (lol). I have found that usually, I will begin to sense the anointing, at some point, then I start to feel more confident and the nervousness subsides. I also found out that I am not alone in this, the Apostle Paul also had this problem, at least at times, as he stated in I Corinthians 2:1-5: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (NKJV)
So the Apostle Paul, who wrote to Timothy in II Timothy 1:7, encouraging Timothy to be bold in preaching the gospel and telling him that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV), also stood before the Corinthians with fear and trembling, and yet the power of God still operated through him. The word for “spirit” in this verse means: spirit, wind, breath or attitude. I think that Paul was not saying that you won’t feel fear or nervousness or anxiety try to come on you, he was saying not to give into it or allow it to control you. He was saying don’t have an attitude of fear, don’t be in agreement with it, but then again, there is a literal spirit of fear that has to be rebuked and dealt with using spiritual weapons.
I remember reading in a book years ago that said that the spirit of fear, doubt and unbelief operate as a team and I have found this to be true, firsthand. Many years ago, I was going through a spiritual battle where I would have a spirit of fear come over me and wake me up at night. I kept having visions or dreams concerning a young teenager that had been murdered in the area where we lived at the time. When I would pray and rebuke the spirit of fear, it didn’t seem to subside, it kept returning. I couldn’t seem to feel faith when I prayed or sense any anointing, but only doubt. Finally, I realized that there was a spirit of doubt and unbelief that was acting like a blanket over my emotions, blocking me from feeling faith or confidence to pray against it. When I rebuked the spirit of doubt and unbelief, then I sensed the anointing and those spirits left. I was then able to rebuke the spirit of fear, sense the anointing, and that spirit went also.
I would also like to share another situation I read about. There was a man who was praying for a breakthrough in a particular area of his life. I think it was for either healing or financial breakthrough. He would pray out loud, speaking what the word of God says over his situation, but he would get attacked by all these thoughts of doubt and unbelief, so he would stop praying and speaking the word of God. Finally, the Lord gave him a vision where he saw that there was a demonic spirit trying to attack him. As long as he was speaking the promises of God concerning his situation, the demon would be pushed back further and further, but when he would stop speaking, the demon would gain ground. After that, he continued confessing the word of God over his situation until he got complete victory and defeated that spirit of doubt and unbelief.
When it comes to the spirit of fear, there are different ways that it may enter a person’s life. It could be through watching scary movies or horror movies or things pertaining to witchcraft, dabbling in the occult with ouija boards, tarrot cards, consulting psychics, etc. If that is the case, the person needs to pray a prayer of repentance, specifically for whatever they have done, or their forefathers have done (in the case of a generational curse). The person needs to ask for forgiveness for themselves (and their forefathers, if it is a generational curse) and then take authority over whatever kind of spirits they have given place to (fear, witchcraft, etc.), and command them to go in the name of Jesus. If they are very strong demons, then the person may need to fast and/or get other people who know how to pray for these kind of things to pray for them. I have helped a couple of people pray through to deliverance who had very strong demons and it was not easy. One lady had several demons and they kept manifesting (this person was not saved at the time and every time we tried to lead her in the sinner’s prayer, the demons would manifest). A team of us prayed for her three different times and every time we expelled at least one or two demon spirits, but it took some time. The person has to really want deliverance and sometimes, the demons can be so intertwined with that person’s personality, that it can make it more difficult (also being on medication (and I am not opposed to medication) or impaired can make it more difficult). Sometimes the demons can deceive the person into thinking that they are their protector, etc. Of course fasting and being really prayed up helps make the process go easier also.
In the case of a Christian, we are not talking about what people call possession, we are talking about demonic oppression or strongholds and this is usually much easier to deal with. I remember being at a party at a person’s house years ago with other people from our church. One young lady (who was a Christian) mentioned that she had been having nightmares on a regular basis for years. I asked her if she had ever watched scary or horror movies and she said yes. I then led her in a prayer of repentance, asking for forgiveness and then taking authority over the spirit of fear and commanding it to go. I sensed the anointing, so I knew the Lord had done something. I saw her again a few weeks later and asked if she had had any more nightmares and she said no. Once you remove the enemy’s right to be there (which was given to him when the person chose to open the door by giving place to the spirit), through confessing the sin, praying a prayer of repentance and asking forgiveness, then it is usually pretty easy to get rid of the spirits. I hope this will help those who may be struggling with fear or anxiety. God bless you all.