In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge (Proverbs 14:26).
I was conducting a conference for the leadership of one of America’s flagship churches. The pastor is one of the most gifted Bible teachers I know and his staff is among the best. I asked the 165 leaders present if they had ever experienced a direct encounter with something they knew was demonic, such as a frightening presence in their room or an evil voice in their mind. Ninety-five percent answered yes. I went one step further to ask how many had been frightened by something pressing on them that they couldn’t immediately respond to physically. At least a third raised their hand. Are these Christian leaders mentally ill? No, and neither are you or your children when you struggle against demonic influences in your life.
We warn our children about strangers in the streets. Don’t you think we should warn them about “strangers” in their rooms? Our research suggests that 50 percent of Christian kids have encountered an evil presence in their rooms. Most of my students at seminary have had such an experience, and by the time they complete my class on resolving spiritual conflicts, several tell about having such an experience that semester. Would you know what to do if you or your child was terrorized by a presence alone at night? Do you fear such a possibility?
Most people fear demonic things they can’t see, but have no fear of God. That’s just the opposite of what Scripture commands. We are told to fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:7), but we are never told to fear Satan. Fear of the devil is an inappropriate response to the reality of the spiritual world. Knowing his schemes and learning to resist him and take authority over him is the biblical response.
Isaiah 8:13, 14, reads, “It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary.” The fear of the Lord is the one fear that expels all other fears.
Neil Anderson Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers www.ficm.org