THE TRICKS OF SATAN
Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me. Neh. 6:13.
The Bible established in the Gospel according to St. John that Satan’s agenda is to steal, kill and destroy, John 10:10. This he does by derailing believers from the truth and life through various tricks. One of the tricks of Satan is creating fear in believers.
Fear is a painful emotion or passion or the apprehension of impending danger. Fair is accompanied with a desire to avoid or ward off the expected evil. Fear brings uneasiness of mind which invariably affects actions and dispositions. Fear stifles thinking and action; it creates indecisiveness that result in stagnation. Fear brings about procrastination; it hinders a Christian from being what God wants him to be. Psychologically, fear affects mental health by creating anxiety and depression, it weakens the immune system and thereby causes heart problems, infertility, accelerated aging and even premature death.
In our focal passage, Nehemiah 6:1-16, the plan of Samballat, Geshem and Tobiah was to scare Nehemiah and cause him to be afraid so that he could abandon the job of rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem and flee away. They first threatened him that if he failed to compromise they would lie against him that he had made himself King. The second threat to create fear was the message of assassination to be delivered by Shemaiah the Prophet. If these tricks should have succeeded, Nehemiah would have compromised and would have abandoned the task given to him by God.
In our Gospel reading, Matthew 25: 14-30, the parable of the Talents, the third servant lost his place and the blessings of his master as a result of fear. Fear made him to have wrong perception of his master and as well debar him from using his talent as he was afraid he could lose it. His master regarded him as a slothful servant.
Brethren, let us resist the devil and not give him chance to sow the seed of fear in us. 2Timothy 1:7 says: God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind. Romans 8:15 as well says: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father. Truly, Satan will continue to roar like a lion, if we are not scared by its roaring and resist him we will overcome. (1Pet. 5:7-11) As human beings, it is normal for situations to create fear in us. However, it is our responsibility to ward it off through faith in God. What are you afraid of? Turn them to God in prayer, have faith in Him; remember that fear is one of the tricks of Satan to bring you down, to cause you to sin and to have wrong perception of God, to be slothful and as well abandoned God’s vision for your life. Most often what we are afraid of don’t exist.
Beloved, how sad would it be after you have injured your health, unable to live fulfilled life as a result of fear and later discover that what you are afraid of does not exist or does not come to pass.
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D