The biggest weapon of the enemy against believers is fear. And beloved fear is not an emotion, or a feeling, but it’s a spirit. The enemy has paralyzed many believers in fear, so they are not able to walk out the call and purpose that God has for their life. As king Solomon states in proverbs 29:25, “fear of man brings a snare”. Fear is the opposite of love, because whoever fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18). But since God has loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son to pay for our sins and has given us power to become sons of God (John 1: 12),we no longer walk in fear but have the spirit of love, power and a sound mind.( 2 Timothy 1:7)
I’m going a different route for this blog post. I want to share a personal testimony of a time that the Lord taught me how to walk in boldness when confronted with the intimidation of the enemy. It was last spring semester when I was enrolled in a class that I was taking as an elective. This was not a religious class, but it was interesting in that the professor didn’t fail to mention Jesus, and the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac every class. He started the first day by bashing Jesus and making sacrilegious remarks. I was shocked but I thought, it’s only the first day. Maybe he didn’t have his coffee today it will be different next time.
The second class came later on in the week. To my shock and surprise, He didn’t tone it down. In fact, he spent the majority of the class telling us how we have grown up with preconceived notions about God and religion and reality and he was there to help us unlearn those notions. Under the circumstances that I was in, I had to stay in class and I didn’t have the option of dropping the class easily. I felt pressed. I felt I was in a tight spot. I felt like this can’t be God and it must be the enemy. I spent the next 2 days greatly distressed and sought an answer from the Lord in prayer. One day as I walking out from the class in great distress, I ran into a friend who gave me a hug and asked how I was doing. I told him about the class and that I didn’t know what to do about it. He listened, and just shared with me how God is a big God!
That shifted my thinking and perspective. My professor had seemed big and intimidating before, but now I was starting to see that my God was bigger. This class, my grades and how I had to let my grades suffer or be an unashamed believer in Jesus had seemed an unpleasant choice. But I was now seeing the God who is able to make a way in the dry land. As it happened when Elisha prayed, God opened my eyes to see the chariots of fire that surrounded me (2 Kings 6:17) and the cloud of witnesses that were cheering me on to press on by faith (Hebrews 12:1). I decided to stay in the class and see what God would do. I decided to test my faith and my God and see if it would stand against the wisdom and hubris of intellectualism and academia.
What if God put me in this class for “such a time as this”?
When God wants to take us to a deeper or higher level in our faith, He starts by stretching us. He often takes us out of the comfortable situations we are used to and puts us in situations where we’re not sure how to act. He takes us from a place of ordinary and regular experiences to places of extreme and uncomfortable situations where our only option is complete reliance and dependence on Him and His word. I had been asking God for an increase in faith, for Him to show me more of His glory and more revelation. I did not expect it to come this way though.
If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you are dying.”- Unknown Author
One particular day this professor was continuing as usual making fun of God, using profanity to blaspheme and walking around the classroom telling us about his Ph. D from a prestigious university and how he has studied the bible and he knows it well. Unfazed and unmoved, I would raise my hand and object to his ridiculous allegations against God’s character. This particular day though, he got really furious when I objected and started attacking me viciously. It no longer became about “the Christian God”, but now I became the target. He went on deriding me and making fun of me in front of the whole class. I kept my composure on the outside, but I was crying and screaming out to God on the inside. There were Christians in the class that i knew, but not a single person defended me, God or spoke up. I felt like I was alone and God didn’t care. He got so furious that he threw the chalk he had in his hand at me mid conversation.
After this day, I stopped responding to him in class. I realized there was a heavy spiritual battle that was going on and there was no point in confronting him every class. Plus, now I was concerned for myself and I didn’t want to be attacked every class anymore. I told everyone I knew that prays to partner with me in prayer and decided to go on a Daniel fast for 3 days. I asked God that He would show his mighty hand in this class and that everyone would see that He was God! That He would defend His name! There were a lot of people who encouraged me and prayed with me this time. I believed that God heard my prayers and went to class the following week. This time things were dramatically different. He is tall and big and would walk around the class and sometimes would stand in your face when he talks to you to be intimidating. But it seemed for some reason, he wasn’t able to come near my desk or stand in front of me. In fact he couldn’t even maintain eye contact when he talked with me.
Revelation 1:14 says “His eyes like a flame of fire” talking about Jesus! I guess this professor saw this Jesus and his fiery eyes inside of me and couldn’t stand His gaze! From that weekend on, when I held the Daniel fast there was a dramatic shift in the atmosphere of the class. He started to listen to me more. In fact he would even ask for my opinion on certain issues especially when they involved things about the bible and God. He went from viciously attacking me to respecting what I had to say. It didn’t stop there, during the last week of class when we were deciding on the format of our final exam I was able to come up with a few ideas. He listened and made me responsible with coming up with the final exam! So I basically decided the format, the grading and how the final exam will be conducted! Hallelujah! He even came and asked me how long I thought would be good enough for everyone to take the exam while we were taking the final exam!!! Isn’t that the favor of God?!?! He went from attacking me at the beginning of the semester to handing me over the whole class and the final exam! All glory belongs to God!
I passed the class with an A, but more than that more confident in my God and with my faith being built up more than ever! I could now confidently say like Job “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Friends this was new to me, but it is not new to our God! He honored Daniel, when Daniel chose to honor him. He gave Joseph favor and exalted him in Egypt, because Joseph feared and loved God. God is still at work today! Your God is bigger than your boss, your adversaries, your difficulties, your circumstances and even your own sins and weaknesses!
I hope this encourages you! Let’s press in and seek to see the full manifestation of God’s glory on the earth! (Habakkuk 2:14)
GOD IS NOT DEAD! HE IS SURELY ALIVE! LIVE BOLDLY! WALK IN POWER!