Throughout the scriptures we see persons being encouraged or instructed “do not be afraid”, “fear not”, “be of good courage”. This certainly gives one the impression that as human beings fear is something we are constantly grappling with. Intimidation or fear comes from the Greek word deilia meaning timidity and cowardice. Fear is not an attitude or disposition but a spirit (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear is not of God. It is in fact a controlling evil spirit as seen in the example of Jezebel and Elijah in 1 Kings 19:2-4. When we fear we are in fact saying that we do not trust God for fear is the opposite of faith.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, Which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:2-4)
This is the same prophet who had just trusted God to rain down fire on the burnt sacrifice, drenched with water no less, and caused 450 prophets of Baal to be executed.
Purpose of Intimidation
Satan seeks to intimidate you to take you out of your God given place of authority.
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Mt. 28:18)
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Lk. 10:19)
By taking you out of your God given place of authority, the enemy knows he will restrain your spiritual ability and action to coerce and force you into submission (Romans 6:16). Ultimately, he wants our gifts to become dormant so we will miss the purposes of God (2 Timothy 1:6-7).
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Rom. 6:16)
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:6-7)
Forms of Intimidation
We see in Genesis chapter 3 verses 1 – 10, exactly how the enemy attacks you and those around you through fear and intimidation. He does this through our thoughts, imaginations, visions, circumstances, and people under his influence. He operates through words of judgment and criticism; anger and strife; belittling words, ridicule, mocking; threats (blatant and subtle); lies, deception, and false prophecy; sowing seeds of doubt about what God has said; and picking arguments (“pulling your tongue”).
Root of Intimidation
At the root of fear and intimidation is the love of self! “What about ME? What will happen to ME? What will they think of ME? Woe is ME!” Pride is at the root.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom. 1:21)
Who is affected by Intimidation?
1. Fear and intimidation gains expression through any person who will yield to it.
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” (Eph. 4:26-27)
2. Believers are specially targeted, particularly those who are operating powerfully in the spiritual realm.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Tim. 3:12)
3. You can be pure of heart and still be attacked. In 2 Timothy 1 verse 5, Paul speaks of Timothy’s upright character and again in Philippians 2 verses 19 and 20, but he still had to be reminding him not to allow his gifts to become dormant through a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7)
4. You can be bold and anointed one moment and succumb to intimidation the next as we saw earlier in the case of Elijah (1 Kings 18 & 19).
5. Believer’s should expect attacks.
strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)
Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked WHEN it comes; (Prov. 3:25, emphasis mine)
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (1 Cor. 2:11)
Join me next time as I share signs/symptoms of intimidation, effects of intimidation, and how to overcome intimidation. See you then.