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WEEKLY REFLECTIONS

~ Satanic Faith ~

        The Scriptures explain faith as the assurance or substance of the invisible, of what exists but has not yet been given form in the visible world.  Faith brings the unseen into physical manifestation.  Hope, faith, and love are the three vital elements upon which all reality rests.  And "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6)

        Fear does a similar thing in the physical world, used by satanic powers to manifest or give form to undesirable, destructive and painful imaginings in the physical realm.  Thoughts, infused with power by fear, turn into strongholds of evil. "For though we walk in this world, we do not use the weapons of this world.  The weapons of our warfare are not physical, but mighty power through God.  That pulls down the strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing under control every thought into the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

        Fear is the devil's faith!  The fear of one man named Goliath kept a formidable army from gaining any ground.  Goliath's threatening words did not keep the Israelites paralyzed.  Rather the fear that the Israelites themselves gave to those words provided Goliath power over them.  Young David proclaimed words without fear: "You've come out to fight me with a sword, spear, and dagger.  But I've come out to fight you in the name of the Lord All-Powerful... Everyone here will see that the Lord doesn't need swords or spears to save his people.  The battle is the Lord's and he will help us to defeat you." (1 Samuel 17:45-47).  With the single source of fear now defeated, "The soldiers of Israel and Judah let out a battle cry and went after them [the Philistines]..." (17:52)

        There are so many times when the defeat of fear by God's power instantly broke apart the strongholds of evil.  There are so many admonishments to defeat fear:  "God's Spirit is not of fear.  The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control." (1 Timothy 1:7)  "There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear..." (1 John 4:18)  "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15)  "No weapon that is forged against you will prevail, and every tongue that will speak against you, you will condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me, says the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17)

        Faith calls the power of God into action.  Fear attracts the power of satan.  That is why it is so vital to use God's power to "cast down imaginings and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God" and to "bring under control every thought into the obedience of Christ."

        Many know the destructiveness of fear to our emotions, bodies, personal effectiveness and our prayer lives.  Many are frustrated because they feel powerless in "casting out" this fear; hopeless in being able to control it, feeling controlled by it.  Indeed, this is biblical reality as it isn't our power that casts away fear, but God's.  Many are frustrated and angry at themselves because they can't seem to grow themselves into the image and mind of Christ.  Of course they will fail since we are not to evolve the "old nature" into the new.  Instead, we are to kill it, die to it.  "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation... all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)  "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God..." (Psalm 51:10)

        Being reborn in spirit means starting new.  It doesn't mean improving upon the old.  "Old wineskins cannot contain new wine without breaking apart."  Deny, crucify, give up your "old nature."  Embrace, nurture and allow God to completely possess your new nature.  His power casts out fear, not yours.

        I suggest that fear and satan are mutually dependent, just as faith and God are.  Entertaining fear is to entertain satan.  The fear of satan and "things going wrong" is the counterpart of faith in God and "all things working together for the good."  Fear is satan's welcome mat to your soul.  Fear is satan's hold on your mind.  "He that fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18b)  What love is that?  "God is love." (1 John 4:16b)

        Given all this, I am certain I cannot pray effectively or dialog with God meaningfully while harboring fear in my heart.  "Deliver us from evil" is one way of praying "deliver us from fear."

        Revelation, Chapter 11, provides an account of two witnesses who will preach the Gospel during the great tribulation.  "Any enemy who tries to harm them will be destroyed..." (11:5)  When they are finished with their mission three and a half years later, they will be martyred.  After allowing their bodies to be dishonored by public display for three and a half days, God will vindicate their honor by resurrecting them and teleporting them into heaven.  "At that moment there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city.  Seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were frightened and praised the God who rules in heaven." (11:13)

        Notice the many elements portrayed in these few verses:
        1) As a witness of God, you are living in His will.  Whenever you are living in, acting in, speaking in, the will of God, you will be guided and protected from evil and fear.
       2)  When your mission is finished, another may be given, or God may have you rest "beside the still waters" here on earth or in heaven.
       3)  Even then, God will continue to use your witness as He has with every single witness and martyr who ever served Him.  Personally, I find this quite exciting and reassuring.

        Finally, many people lament they just don't know what God's will is.  In the earthly realm, children who have an intimate relationship with their parents will also have a very good idea of their parents' will for them.  Why should this also not be true between God and His children?  It is!  "God's Spirit has shown you everything... People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others... But we understand what Christ is thinking." (1 Corinthians 2:10, 15, 16b)

        God's will need not be a mystery!  He wants you to know it.  If you don't, ask for that essential knowledge and the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you.  He most likely will not reveal the next ten or twenty years of it, which would be quite unnecessary.  But He will show you His will for today, for this week, this year, as much of it as necessary for you to constantly live in it.

        Then rest assured (faith is the assurance, the substance) that God will impart to you His power that casts out fear and is your fortress against all evil.  Let Him make you perfect in His love and renew your strength and your spirit.  Only God can do that kind of work, and I thank Him for that!  Above all, I trust Him for that!

John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
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Weekly Reflections © January 20, 2001

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