FEAR IS A VERY INTERESTING SUBJECT!--It's a lot of amazing things! And you don't realise so much of it is subconscious until you try to put it in words and try to analyse it! I suppose being afraid to talk about your fears is one of the worst fears of all, because to confess your fears is really to expose your innermost self--the part you hide from everybody--even those dearest to you!--In fact, the part you're even trying to hide from yourself, because you're afraid to think about it. You don't even want to confess it to yourself that you're afraid because that would be admitting you're a coward, and you don't want to confess you're a coward for fear of being exposed, I guess!
I GUESS IT'S KIND OF LIKE A DISEASE: You can't very well find the CURE unless you confess you HAVE the disease and you reveal the SYMPTOMS. It's one of those secret, dirty diseases that you're ashamed to confess you have, because you know it's the result of sin. Because if you're honest, you know your fears are results of doubts, and usually your doubts are the results of disobediences or feared disobediences or failures--feared failures, past failures or possible future failures!
AND I THINK THE FEAR OF FAILURE IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE GREATEST FEARS anybody could possibly have!--The fear of failure in life, love, labour and the Lord! If you're failing God, I think that's one of the worst for a Christian. And it's perhaps second only, I think, to the fear of failing others, because you KNOW that GOD will forgive you, but others find it hard to forgive! The fear of hurting them because of your failure, fear of letting them down, disappointing them, hurting their faith, disillusioning them, discouraging them--the fear that because of your failure others will fail too!--This is hardest to bear! It's the kind of thing you don't even want to admit to yourself!
THE FEAR OF FAILING YOURSELF is least of all! Really, in a way, it's a fear of the truth about yourself! But now here's where it pays to FACE your fears, because you have to draw a line of distinction by facing them--between that which is the TRUTH and those fears which are the LIES of the Devil!
IT REMINDS ME OF WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID DELIVERING PAPERS and handbills, and there were all these big dogs that were always chasing me and nipping at my heels. Sometimes they actually bit me, and they really hurt! But most of the time their bark was worse than their bite! But I soon discovered that, if I ran from them, they really ran after me and they were more apt to bite me if I turned my back on them than if I faced them!
I had to go into a certain yard to get to a house in the rear, and out from the back yard came this huge Great Dane, barking and growling furiously and coming at me full speed, leaping and bounding, and I thought, "This is it!" But I knew I didn't dare turn my back on him or he would bite me for sure, yet on the other hand, he was a little too big for me to face and I was invading HIS territory!
SO I THANK GOD I REMEMBERED TO CRY OUT TO THE LORD, and I did something that I've even tried since then with people!--I suddenly jutted my hand out toward him and I yelled, "I rebuke you in Jesus' name!"--And did he put on the brakes! He skidded to a stop and looked absolutely startled!--And turned tail and ran!
SO IT NOT ONLY PAYS TO FACE YOUR FEARS and TO ACKNOWLEDGE THEM--even confess them--but to take a positive stand against them, especially in the power and Spirit of the Lord with the promises from His Word!
IT DOESN'T PAY TO TRY and SAY THERE'S NO DEVIL and NO DEMONS and NO SUCH THING AS EVIL, sin or sickness and just try to ignore the facts! It would be like trying to ignore that you have a disease when you've really got it, because as long as you have it and try to hide it, you can't very well find the remedy!
YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REALITY and THE IMAGINARY--the Truth and the lie--because if it is reality, it doesn't do any good to try to tell yourself it isn't there--to just shut your eyes and hope it goes away, and when you open them again you'll find out it didn't exist--it was just your imagination!--And in that case, the best thing in the World to do is to face it and take some kind of action and do something about it to eliminate the danger by taking the initiative and launching an attack!
AS ANY MILITARY STRATEGIST KNOWS, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO WIN A DEFENSIVE WARFARE! Defensive war is doomed to defeat! To win a war you have to launch an attack--you HAVE to go on the offensive! You HAVE to set him back on his heels! You HAVE to take the initiative! You HAVE to be positive! YOU have to attack and invade and overpower! You can't just sit there and try to ward him off while HE attacks and invades or he'll finally overpower YOU.
THIS IS WHY COMMANDO and GUERILLA WARFARE IS SO SUCCESSFUL, even with such few numbers and very little manpower.--By sudden surprise attacks in unexpected places and weak spots in the enemy's armour you can do a lot of damage! You can hit and run before the enemy even knows what happened--before he even has a chance to retaliate. You can choose the time and place of attack, with lightning strikes, and disappear as quickly as they appeared, like little David with Goliath.--One little guerilla defied a whole army, like Gideon and his little band, a bunch of guerillas who defied a whole army; like Jonathan and his armour-bearer, a couple more guerrillas who defied a whole army! And boy, if you've got God with you, you're unbeatable, no matter how small you are! Jonathan said, in that particular attack of his, "God is not limited by few or by many!"-- 1Samuel 14:6 .
SO IT PAYS TO FACE YOUR FEARS, recognise they're there, decide between the real and the unreal, the Truth and the lie, and go to the attack to dispel the vaporous fiction of the fairy tale and to drive away the genuine reality of real threat!
WE'RE IN A SPIRITUAL WARFARE, and our weapons are not carnal but spiritual--mighty to the tearing down of strongholds! This is a picture of your attacking the strongholds of the Enemy and ripping them apart, destroying the opposition! Jesus said of the Church, in Matthew 16:18, "The gates of Hell shall not prevail (withstand) against it!"
THE PICTURE IS NOT OF THE CHURCH STANDING FAST BEHIND ITS CLOSED DOORS WHILE ALL HELL ATTACKS, but the picture Christ painted was of HELL trembling behind ITS closed doors, while the CHURCH was in an all-out ATTACK against Hell's gates, which were collapsing and crumbling under the weight of the power of God through His Church!
JUST LIKE YOU DO WHEN YOU GO OUT WITNESSING--right on the Devil's ground--right into HIS strongholds! YOU'RE launching the attack, YOU'RE picking its time and place, YOU'RE taking the initiative, you're overwhelming the Enemy by surprise and suddenness and often he doesn't even know what happened until it's all over! You've come, you've struck him, you've wounded him and you've carried off some of his prey before he had a chance to get organised or retaliate or call the cops or decide what to do about you--because you came, you saw, you conquered!--And you hit him so hard he didn't have a chance to recover until you were already gone!
THE ENEMY NEVER KNOWS WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO NEXT! He doesn't know what kind of a shenanigan you're going to pull next and you've put him on the defensive! He rocks and reels from sudden blow after sudden blow, so that he has no time to organise an attack on you, he's too busy defending himself! In this way, tiny guerilla forces and commando units can keep an entire numerically-superior conventional army at bay, and an army continually on the defensive will never get anywhere!
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A WAR WHICH IS NOT WON OR LOST! You're either winning or losing! And if you're not winning it, you're losing it!
IT'S ALMOST LIKE A SIEGE OF A CITY in olden days. Sometimes the city would last several years--a city surrounded entirely by the enemy's armies, cut off from the rest of the World, from reinforcements and supplies which finally dwindled down to nothing, in food, manpower and ammunition, and became so weak, while the enemy just sat there and patiently waited and didn't even have to attack--because the city wasn't attacking!
YOU GET WEAK FROM SITTING STILL! YOU GET WEAK FROM DOING NOTHING, as the church has for generations now. You become totally incapable of even defending yourself, much less launching an attack, while the Enemy gets stronger and stronger from one attack after another--from action, aggression, movement, invasion! You become weakened by a false sense of security, behind barred gates and closed doors and blinded eyes and the desire just to hold on to what you have without gaining any ground!
YOU CAN BE DESTROYED BY DEFENDING, INSTEAD OF ATTACKING! NEVER LET YOURSELF GET PUT ON THE DEFENSIVE! Never let THEM do all the talking, ask all the questions, give all the answers! Sock it to them with the Word of God! Survey their condition, find the chinks in their armour, the weakness in their defense, then launch the attack with the Sword of the Spirit! Don't let them put YOU on the defensive or you're doomed to defeat!
SURE, WE'LL HAVE CASUALTIES! Sure, we'll have losses! Sure, we'll have wounds!--But we'll win, because we cannot lose! It's impossible, for God is with us! And we're on the offensive! We're moving! We're attacking! We're active! We're DOING something, getting things done!--ACTING, not just talking!--SAMPLES, not just Sermons!--ACTIVISTS, not just theorists!--Converting, changing, conquering!
ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR OUR SUCCESS HAS BEEN OUR WILLINGNESS TO FACE THE FACTS, to tell it like it is and know where it's at!--To refuse to continue to drift along in that dream-world of religion, but to stand like a tree against the storm, like a rock against the floods, and then to move to the attack!
WE'VE FACED THE FACTS, FACED THE FEARS and DECLARED WAR ON HYPOCRISY--war on their lies--war on their deceptions and delusions--and we are determined to destroy, to cast down, to uproot that which is false!--Actively!--Offensively!--That the Lord may plant and build the Truth and His True Church in its place! Hallelujah! "Onward Christian Soldiers, marching in His War, with the Cross of Jesus, going on before!"
HE'S TAKING THE WEAK THINGS TO CONFOUND THE MIGHTY, and the things which are not as though they were! He's made something out of nothing--you and me! "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit!" "Not of works" but "by grace through faith", and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against us! Hallelujah!
LET'S GO! ATTACK! YOU CAN'T LOSE, because they don't know how to fight! They don't have the right kind of weapons and they aren't facing the facts! They don't know the Truth!
FACE THE ENEMY! ATTACK HIM! "Resist the Enemy and he'll flee from thee!" Praise God! Face the fear of Man in the power of His Spirit on the promises of His Word and you cannot fail! Praise God!
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