Whenever I take my kids out snorkeling, there is one peculiar fish I’m always on the lookout for. The pufferfish is one of the strangest little guys out there. When threatened, the pufferfish inflates to up to 3 times it’s normal size. However, other than this odd ability, he doesn’t have any real defenses. It’s just a facade of size and strength. His only weapon is intimidation.
The devil plays the same game against the church. He doesn’t have a lot of defenses against a blood-bought, Spirit-filled believer commissioned by God to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” But he plays a great game of intimidation.
He makes certain areas look too dangerous, or certain people seem too intellectual. He’ll tell you they wouldn’t be interested or that they will attack you. He’ll make you feel inferior or not well enough equipped. He will question your authority and your ability. Whatever the situation, he will use fear and intimidation to make the task seem impossible. He’s been using the same tactics for thousands of years to suppress the spread of the good news, and we are not ignorant of his devices.
How do we overcome? Simple! Like a pin-prick deflates a balloon full of air, we use the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to expose those fears for what they really are, and expose the devil for what he really is, a defeated foe.
Jesus gave his authority to us when he commissioned us to take the message of the gospel into the world. After telling them that he was sending them out as lambs among wolves, and giving them authority, he sent out his disciples to preach. This is what happened next: “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
Jesus gave that same authority to you and me when he gave the Great Commission. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Have you been shrinking back from God’s call to reach people in your life because of intimidation? Don’t be fooled by those scare tactics! You have all the power of the Holy Spirit within you.
Here are some more scriptures to know and believe, that will release you from fear and embolden you to GO!
He will give us utterance (Matt 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12)
He will go ahead and convict the world (John 16:8)
He gives illumination that men might know the Lord (Matt 22:43;Mark 12:36, John 16:8)
He gives us power to do the works of the Lord (John 14:12)
Makes us clean through the Word and set apart for service (John 15:3; 17:17; Eph 5:26)
He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13)
He will show us things to come (John 16:13)
He will teach us what we need to know (John 14:26)
He helps us pray (John 14:12,13; 16:23,24)
He glorifies the Son by taking the things of Christ and making them real to us (John 16:14,15)
He will be with us forever (John 14:17)