Fear Works on Current Pandemics and Future Calamities, Too
Over a decade ago, I heard a teaching series titled “Pulling the Plug on Fear.” I listened to the series several times to get the message drilled deep down into me. I have practiced the Biblical precepts of that teaching on fear for so long it has become my primary nature in life to, simply, give no place to fear. Fear is no longer a factor for consideration in any matter of my life.
The command to “Fear Not” (in its varying forms) is recorded in scripture, perhaps more often than any other. It’s as clear as “thou shalt not steal,” or “thou shalt not kill.” Therefore, fear is as clearly sin (i.e., error, or missing the mark) as to lie or commit adultery as it deviates from our maker’s design for us.
Not only is fear a clear violation of a direct command of our king and the laws of his kingdom, but it’s one of the most spiritually dangerous activities in which we can engage. Fear is a chief tactic of Satan that he uses to bring people into bondage and subject them to torment (Romans 8:15, Hebrews 2:15, 1 John 4:18). Faith and fear are direct spiritual opposites that are mutually exclusive. Fear negates faith. Therefore, yielding to fear renders the lives of born-again believers spiritually ineffective. Any Christian endeavor impregnated with fear will be stillborn.
Fear is a belief in the power of evil to harm us and expectation of its doing so. Faith is the belief in the power and promises of God to deliver us from evil and expectation of His doing so.
Thanks to that teaching about pulling the plug on fear, and decades of practicing it, the thought of fearing coronavirus hasn’t even been a consideration for me. That’s not boasting. That’s a testimony as to the effect of a lifestyle of practicing what God says.
However, as I was driving down the street one day, a few weeks after the onset of full-blown coronavirus panic pandemic, it occurred to me that simply not fearing is defensive in nature. I found myself questioning whether there was an offensive course of action that I should also be taking.
After hitting the fast-food drive-through window for a breakfast burrito, and the gas station for a cup of coffee (the gas station has stronger coffee), I began to endeavor to describe to God what I thought would be a long and complicated question and prayer project of asking what proactive, offensive measures to take. However, before I could finish framing the question, the Lord interrupted me with Psalm 91 playing in my head. I’ve become so conscious of the Holy Spirit’s leading, and quick to respond, that He only had to interrupt my prayer two or three times before I caught on and realized He was giving me the answer.
Praying Psalm 91 is the offensive measure to take against coronavirus and the fear it’s engendering. For that matter, it’s an effective weapon to use on any pandemic or general calamity coming on the world around us. Of course, any and every promise of God’s word can be used as an offensive weapon as per Ephesians 6:17, which calls the word of God, “the sword of the Spirit.” But for the present matter, the Lord directed me to Psalm 91.
When Jairus received the news that his daughter was dead, Jesus told him to “Fear not: believe only” (Luke 8:50). In every peril of life, the goal is first to avert the impending disaster, then overcome it and achieve victory. God is telling us that the way not to be destroyed, but to overcome, is first to say “No” to fear (“fear not”) and its expectation of evil, then say “Yes” to faith (“believe only”) and its expectation of good through God and the promises of His word.
So, we’re not just looking for ways not to fear, but also to activate faith as our offensive weapon. Being a collection of some of the most potent promises of God’s deliverance, Psalm 91 fits that bill. Let’s do a close reading of the text and consider its conditions and provisions.
Psalm 91 (KJV)
1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Highest shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
2 “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
3 “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
4 “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
5 “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”
7 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
11 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”
15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”
While it’s appropriate to rejoice over the wonderful provisions promised in this Psalm, and of course, to let those promises stir our faith, the real power, and key, is in living the Psalm 91 lifestyle – a lifestyle of setting our love upon the Lord and giving Him our full allegiance, seeking and abiding in His presence in the secret place, letting the knowledge of His name bring faith alive until we shout aloud in the face of every circumstance “the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
To be continued…. Look for Take the Cure for the Coronavirus, Part Two!
Robert Peck lives in Spokane Valley, Washington. As a Christian man who finds himself compelled to take a stand in the civil arena, Bob has served in political campaigns, promoted Constitutional education in the community, provides technical assistance to various Constitutional causes, and also manages to write the occasional article. He is a member of ZChurch and a tech leader on the ZTeam.