A few weeks ago I found myself reading an article that briefly mentioned some of history’s most notorious criminals.  Interestingly enough, I came across the name ‘Black Bart’, and was drawn to read more on him when the article stated that he was a notorious criminal, known for never using his weapons.  Sounds pretty strange right? For those of you who don’t know, Black Bart was an English born outlaw who managed to strike fear in the heart of his victims.  He was one of the most notorious robbers to have lived, and operated mainly around Northern California between the years of 1870-1880’s.

During this period, he spent his years robbing 29 Wells Fargo stage coaches.  Perhaps what’s really interesting about him is that although he walked around armed with a shotgun, he never used it on anyone to commit his crimes – in reality he actually couldn’t.  By now, you’re probably wondering how did he get the job done so well, so many times, that he made the list as one of the “most notorious criminals”.  You see, Bart discovered something very powerful.

When you lift your eyes from the truth that fear is designed to distract you from, then you will give fear all the power it needs to be fully activated.
He realized that fear could be a tool he could use to gain power. He realized that he could use his evil demeanor to terrorize his victim and ignite fear within them – and if fear was present then that was enough to get his job done.

In earlier years of his life while Bart served in the war, he suffered from a serious injury that restricted him from fully using his physical strength. Therefore he couldn’t even use the weapons he was walking around with intimidating people.  In other words, he was actually a weak man parading around with a false impression that he was strong.  He figured if he could work on his external appearance so well and deceive people into believing he was evil, then no one would ever notice the truth about his weakness and lack of power.  Quite the trick right? This trick of “fear having power” is a trick so many of us today still fall for.  So today, I wanted us to take some time and have clarity on what exactly fear is and how it can be overcome.

Fear is a dangerous tool

If there is one thing that has certainly become more and more clear throughout my journey, it’s this: Fear is a dangerous tool of the enemy, but a powerless weapon for those who truly understand their identity in Christ. The repeated attempts of the enemy to strike fear in our hearts is evidence that even he understands who we are in Christ.  Much like the robber Black Bart, the enemy will use fear to distract us from that reality. He (the enemy) knows that the only way we can submit to the authority of fear is if he succeeds on distracting us from the truth of who we are in Christ, and he does this by shifting our eyes to our seemingly fearful circumstances, and encouraging us to lose sight of all we are (and have gained) through Christ.

Although we allow ourselves to get carried away by the deceit of fear in our lives, God still remains faithful in proving the actual power and authority that is found in Him.  There are many great examples in the bible of God proving His greater power in the midst of powerless fear.

The repeated attempts of the enemy to strike fear in our hearts is evidence that even he understands who we are in Christ.
But the most perfect example in this case is the story in 2 Kings 6:15-17.  In this story we see a servant of Elisha who’s heart was struck with fear, running towards Elisha to warn him that the Israelites camp was being surrounded by the Armenian army.  However, Elisha refusing to lift his eyes from the actual truth, reassured the servant that those who were on their side were far greater than those who were against them. In verse 16 he says “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” As Elisha prayed, in that instant, the fearful servant’s eyes were open to the actual reality that they were surrounded by the army of God.  The servants gaze were on the powerless threat of the enemy which prevented him from seeing the actual reality of his surroundings, while Elisha’s eyes were fixed on what was true.  Focusing on the truth not only kept Elisha calm, but his confidence in that truth also played a great role in eliminating someone else’s fear.

Final thoughts

To conclude,  I call fear a powerless tool, and I do so because the only way fear can be activated enough to work on your life is if you give it the power to do so.  When you lift your eyes from the truth that fear is designed to distract you from, then you will give fear all the power it needs to be fully activated.  Remember Peter? Although he gathered enough faith to get out of the boat, the turbulent waves of the sea distracted him from focusing on the invitation that Jesus was giving him to continue and walk to towards Him.

The waves worked successfully in building up so much fear that the minute he lifted his eyes from the ability Christ had given him over those fears, he was consumed by those same waves that he was already given authority over.  However, if you focus on the reality of the power and ability that you have through Christ (most importantly who you are THROUGH HIM) then all fear ceases to exist because He who is perfect in every way, “[..] DRIVES OUT all fear” (1 John 4:18) .

Always remind yourself that fear serves no other purpose but to distract your focus from the riches found in Christ. So as this week begins, I want to challenge you to remind yourself who you are in Him, and that by being in Him, you already have all the authority given to you to overcome your fears, for through Him you are always a conqueror (Romans 8:37).

See you next Monday!

Written by Christina Girma

    2 Comments

  1. Peter Honore December 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm Reply

    Thank you for this post. Your writings are truly a blessing and can be likened unto a glass of cold water on a sunny summer day. This topic of fear is a fundamental one as it does in some way, shape or form affects every single human being on the planet. Your reference to Bart brilliantly quantifies the mechanics of fear’s inner workings and represents an accurate framework for a concrete understanding of the issue. The topic of fear is one I have researched for many years and make no mistakes, it is a brutal opponent. It’s gripping power has the ability to strip the soul of all it’s treasures (similar to Bart and his victims). Fear has a way of striking a deathblow to one’s destiny, that is, if one so permits. Fear’s only goal is the complete a total conquering of the soul. Ignorant to this fact, I spent years in a blind struggle with fear not knowing that this mutually assured destruction of a fistfight only empowered fear to increase and penetrate all the more. I could not understand why I was not walking in victory seeing that Messiah pretty much dealt fear an irrevocable defeat on the cross. Then I learned that fear is something that we are instructed by Messiah ‘not to permit’ into our hearts: John 14:1 “Let not your hearts become afraid. You believe in the Father trust also in Me”. His words indeed sparked my curiosity and I began searched the Scripture and discovered that the Hebrew word for heart is ‘Leb’ which means the uttermost center and the throne of the soul. In other words the heart is but a seat in the soul upon which various emotions can be seated. Whether anger, pride, hate, fear, love etc. Consider the people you love and how they all have a “place” in your heart. That place is identified by the prophets as ‘the seat’. This is interesting as the object of fear is to rule by targeting the central dynamic of the soul with lies, in order to take its seat as King upon the throne our hearts. Always remember, whatever rules in the heart reigns in the soul. According to the Scripture, once fear enters in it reduces the soul into a pliable substance and begins to reshape the structure of the identity. The Hebrew word for ‘fearful’ is Mahar which means to become liquid and flow in a particular direction. I know you’ve heard the saying “driven by fear”, well this true in the sense that fear, once it destabilizes the soul, directs one’s identity into the active flow of the lies. This is why we are instructed many times in the Scripture to not become fearful. And since Yahuah is King then His rightful seat is on the throne of our hearts. You see the heart was designed specifically for A King and the last time I check fear is not a King. Our identity is in the King as you started: “Fear is a dangerous tool of the enemy, but a powerless weapon for those who truly understand their identity in Christ”. Thank you again for your wonderful words. Pray all is well. God bless and be safe.

  2. Kebron Mengesha December 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Chritinaye this was such an awesome blog. Geta abzito yibarkish. Keep Em coming love because they are such a blessing to me and so many other people!

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