Welcome to the final part of our current series. Just to give a quick recap of what I have shared so far. In Part 1, I shared the meaning of intimidation and pointed out that fear is a spirit (2 Tim. 1:7). I also shared on the purpose of intimidation, forms of intimidation, the root of intimidation, and who is affected by intimidation. Overcoming Intimidation (Pt 1) In part 2, I shared on the signs & symptoms of intimidation as well as the effects of intimidation. Overcoming Intimidation (Pt 2)
As we reflect on the serious consequences of allowing intimidation to gain a foothold and become a stronghold in our lives, we should recognize the urgent need for us to be equipped with the knowledge to overcome it. This is the topic of this third and final part of this series.
How to Overcome Intimidation
We cannot overcome intimidation simply with positive thinking. Positive thinking deals with the effect but not the root. We cannot just ignore it either, thinking that it will just disappear if we don’t focus on it. Since we have already established that fear is a spirit (2 Tim. 1:7), it can only be dealt with in the realm of the spirit. In fact, we may miss it if we are not spiritually discerning and deal only with its side effects.
James 4:7 says “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” This is echoed in 1 Peter 5:8-9. “Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” We can only resist when we have truly submitted to God, laying aside our own agendas and trusting Him sufficiently to take Him at His word. We actually open the door of our lives to the enemy when we are not fully surrendered to the Lord and have no power to resist. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who what? Fear the Lord! (Ps. 34:7). When we are completely submitted to God’s will then we have the power that is required to resist the devil. It says he WILL flee not he MAY flee. When we are not completely submitted to God’s will then the enemy has the legal authority to overpower us and then a stronghold of fear comes and we have to be delivered. The best defense is offense. Confrontation rather than compromise will break the enemy’s influence. God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). He has made available to us weapons of warfare that are not carnal but are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4). Three of the antidotes for a spirit of fear are listed in (2 Tim. 1:7).
The Spirit of Power
We need to put the enemy’s power in the right perspective. Remember there is none stronger nor greater than God (Ps. 27:1; 1 John 4:4). Trust in God’s power not your own (Zec. 4:6; Heb. 13:6; 1 Cor. 1:27; 2 Cor. 3:5). Recount and declare the faithfulness of God (1 Sam. 17:34-37; 2 Cor. 3:11-12). Seek God’s proceeding word (Rom 10:17; Mt. 4:4). The source of our power is the Word of God. This is how Jesus resisted the enemy’s temptations in the wilderness. Speak the word of God to flatten every intimidation of the enemy. If we review the whole armor of God listed in Ephesians 6, we will notice that the word of God is the only offensive weapon mentioned. This is insightful!!
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (Eph. 6:17)
The Spirit of Love
Jesus’ power to resist temptation was rooted in what He loved and didn’t love (John 14:31). Love is not simply an emotion. Love is obedience and love is action. If someone says they love you then this is manifested by their behaviour towards you and in response to you. Our knowledge and belief of God’s love for us should make us immune to the attacks of intimidation from the enemy. Love of the Father conquers love of self and casts out fear (1 John 4:17-18). So, when the enemy comes with his intimidatory tactics we must confess and believe that God’s love is going to give us the power to overcome and make us more than conquerors over the enemy (Rom. 8:31-39). We need therefore to die to self (Mk. 8:34-35). A dead person cannot be tormented (Rev. 12:11). The love of Jesus must be shed abroad in our own hearts such that there is no room for the spirit of fear to enter in. If we love the Lord enough we will want to obey Him and not be distracted by the enemy (Acts 5:29; Jas. 1:22-25). Our love for Christ and our belief of God’s love for us will cause us to be rooted and grounded not only when it’s smooth sailing (Eph. 3:17-19; Mk. 4:16-20).
The Spirit of a Sound Mind
Nothing intimidates more than ignorance/lack of knowledge (Prov. 24:5; 11:9). The spirit of a sound mind is not the same as natural wisdom or special training in Scripture (Acts 4:13; Lk. 2:25-30, 33). Again, it comes back to the Word of God. When we meditate on the word it transforms our minds (Rom. 12:2; Eph 5:26). The spirit of a sound mind comes by having the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:13, 15-16). Knowing what God is saying and doing right now as revealed by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-14). We are admonished to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6; Lk. 21:14-15) and not to yield to fools (Prov. 26:4). The quickened word builds our faith therefore we must pray for Holy Spirit’s revelation as we read the Bible (Mt. 17:20; Heb. 10:38). To have authority we must be under authority (John 5:19, 30; 12:49; 14:10; 20:21). A sound mind is a humble mind, a teachable mind (Phil 2:5-8). A mind that can therefore remain steadfast in faith and have tenacity in the face of every form of intimidation (1 Pet. 5:9; Phil. 3:12, 14). A sound mind is able to stay focused despite efforts at distraction (Neh. 6:2-4; Ps. 1:1-3; John 4:4-10).
So, in closing, I encourage us to be sober and vigilant. It is not a matter of IF the enemy will attack it is WHEN he will attack (1 Pet. 5:8). We must always be ready ahead of time (Eph. 6:11, 13). Have your sword sharpened at all times and your armor in place. Know that you have an adversary that will stop at nothing to intimidate. But know also that God has equipped, empowered and enabled you to overcome.
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)