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Strategies of the Enemy (Intimidation and Fear) — Part Three

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By Rod Nichols

In the previous two messages, we have identified the first two strategies that the devil will use to keep you from fulfilling your God-given purposes. The first was distractions, where the devil will put all kinds of things in front of you to keep your focus off of God. Next was offenses. If the devil can’t effectively distract you, then he will try to get you offended at the church, your Pastor, God’s people, or even God. Now, if this doesn’t work, he will move on to his most dastardly strategy – intimidation and fear.

Strategy #2: Intimidation and Fear

Let’s go back to our text for this series, Nehemiah 6:1-14. In verse 9 we see this strategy in effect:

“They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

When the devil is desperate, he will motivate people to threaten you. Let’s look at Daniel 3:13-15 for an example from the Word of God:

“Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would not be distracted or offended away from worshipping their God, so the devil motivated Nebuchadnezzar to threaten them with death, if they did not turn away from God and worship him. Now, it’s unlikely that you will be faced with a life or death situation like that, however, the devil will come at you the same way. He will bring people from the world to tell you that if you continue your godly ways, you will lose friends. Parents and siblings will come against you and threaten your relationship with them. Friends will also give you ultimatums.

When the devil tries to intimidate and create fear, there are four things you need to do:

1. Remember who you are and who you belong to. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then your spirit has been born again and you are now a son or daughter of God. That also makes us co-heirs with Jesus. (Romans 8:15-17) You are a part of the body of Christ and God has put everything under his feet, which means that the devil is under your feet. (1 Corinthians 12:27, Matthew 22:44). The devil has no power over you, unless you acknowledge that he does.

2. Laugh at the devil. If you really analyze what the devil does; most of it is absolutely ridiculous. If you have read the Bible, you know that Jesus defeated the devil and made a public mockery of him. Revelation tells us that he will be thrown into the pit. He loses and we win. Apparently he doesn’t believe the Bible, as he still thinks he can win and that is laughable. So, when the devil comes at you with intimidation and fear, laugh in his face. Yes, do it out loud – a great big belly laugh. In fact you should just get in the habit of laughing at him every day. The devil hates it when God’s people laugh at him and he will start to avoid you.

3. Counter attack with a statement of faith. When the devil tried to intimidate Jesus out in the desert, He spoke the Truth of the Word back to the devil. You need to do the same thing, which means that you need to have scripture buried in your heart, as you will not always have your Bible when the devil attacks. Internalize the scriptures that teach that you are a son or daughter of God, co-heirs with Jesus, beloved children of God, blessed and favored. Know those scriptures, so that when the devil comes after you, strike him with the Sword of Truth. As you resist him, he will flee.

4. Refuse to bow. Even though Jesus had been in the desert without food for 40 days, he refused to bow to the devil. Many of the martyrs have been faced with life and death situations – deny Christ and live – and they chose to die. In Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow and were thrown into a fiery furnace. However, the Lord covered and protected them, as he will you. They knew that if they bowed now – turned away from God – they would burn for all eternity in hell, but if they refused to bow, their fleshly bodies might burn for a short time and then they would spend eternity in heaven with God. You must remember that, when the devil tries to intimidate you – never bow to anyone or anything but God.

That is the end of this series. I pray that God has enlightened you through these three messages and that you are now better prepared to face your enemy.

©2010 Rod Nichols. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Bio:
Rod Nichols is a pastor, author and speaker as well as a professional writer. He’s written nine books and hundreds of articles. He and his wife Karen have been married since 1988 and have five children and five grandchildren. They make beautiful Washington State their home but enjoy traveling to other parts of the country.