Jesus spoke these words in the context of His description of the last days. Although many of the biblical prophecies about the end times have begun to be fulfilled, this post is not about that subject. Rather, I want to focus in on His instruction here: “See that you are not frightened.”
Even in the midst of the intense chaos prophesied for the closing years of this age, God’s intention for us is that we wouldn’t be frightened or afraid. The phrasing “See that” is striking. Apparently, we share in the responsibility for living fearlessly.
This is another area where God invites us to join His dance. We weave in and out between receiving the gift of courage, and purposefully engaging with it. I know. A dance seems almost too delicate of a metaphor for the subject of fear. However, the deeper we go into His heart, the more even the most distressing circumstances truly do become places of intimacy with Him. He can teach us to sleep in the boat with Him, even when the storm is howling around us. He can even teach us to dance in His arms on top of the waves, while we wait for Him to calm them.
Intimacy with God and victory over fear go hand and hand. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8, NKJV). The more we seek out the presence of our Father, the more victorious we will find ourselves in our battles with the spirit of fear.
Here’s another way of looking at the spiritual battle facing us. Right now, during this pandemic, we are in an intensive Holy Spirit training process. These daily experiences are combat drills. Through them, we are learning to reject fear and live above it. The lessons we are currently absorbing are going to be vital for the rest of our lives.
As we push forward through this intense training, sometimes the learning process involves some harrowing spiritual conflict. But if you are willing to fight, you cannot lose. As you fight in His strength, you are guaranteed to always ultimately move into the victory that Jesus purchased for us. Remember, He already triumphed over the devil.
“God stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority. With the cross, he won the victory and showed the world that they were powerless” (Col. 2:15, NCV). Yes, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords triumphed over our enemies at the cross, making a public spectacle of every last one of them!
This includes the spirit of fear. That spirit was stripped of authority at Calvary. Jesus has joyfully handed you and me the victory over it. Now, we are learning to wield that victory that is already ours. It’s like Philippians 3:16 expresses, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (NIV). Through the cross, we have already attained absolute triumph over fear. Now let’s live up to it. Let’s push through our combat drills until we have mastered them. And most especially, let’s dance with Jesus until the storm grows still.
If spiritual battle is so unpleasant, why does God call it “the good fight” in 1 Timothy 6:12?