Mending the Body of Christ Behind Prison Walls

Lesson Six

The Spirit of Fear Part 2

The spirit of fear is to be dealt with firmly in the Body of Christ. No place is to be given to this lying spirit. The Apostle Paul cautions: "Therefore, putting away lying,'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another. 'Be angry, and do not sin': do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:25-27).

This spirit can creep into the church, causing everyone to be afraid of the devil. For example, in the California prison system, Wicca is on the rise. The believer may fear losing control of the chapel to these practitioners. This prisoner is bound by the spirit of fear. When a prisoner is secure in Christ, he is able to minister the love of Christ to those caught up into witchcraft.

The devil has no power over the believer who knows his authority in Christ. "For in Him[Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power-Having disarmed principalities and powers, He[Jesus] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:9,10,15). Is there any doubt that our LORD has everything under His control?

The problem arises when a believer looks at other Christians as the enemy, who do not agree with them in all areas. This mind set comes from a person who is not secure in his own beliefs. He runs down and ridicules all other believers. Paul says, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification [building up], that it may impart grace [God's ability] to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).

This same spirit of fear can cause one to seek control over the beliefs of others. He gets angry when others do not accept his beliefs. He separates himself from other believers, causing disunity and strife. He believes everyone except him teaches false doctrines. He never attends a class or service, unless he has a leading role in it. Paul says, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).

A chaplain or pastor is given the responsibility to discern when the spirit of fear has been given control in a congregation. He must have his eyes and ears open, plus he is to have his senses exercised to discern both good and evil, and, "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

If the spirit of fear is allowed to have place in the ministry, the glory of God will never fully come forth from the heart of the Body of Christ. If authority is continued to be given to it, the Holy Spirit will not be welcome to do a work only He can do. Like John the Baptist realized, Jesus must increase, and our agenda decrease (John 3:30).

When the Children of Israel could not find any water to drink, God told Moses to speak to a rock for it to give forth water. In anger, Moses gathered the congregation and said, "Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock? Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank" (Numbers 20:111). The days of the believer smiting the rock in fear must cease. The believer may get the Spirit to flow in the flesh, but only because of God's grace.

The spirit of fear may make it appear that a work done in the flesh is from God. In reality, if done in disobedience, it will not please God. Moses was suppose to speak to the rock in faith, not strike it in the flesh. As a result, he was not allowed to go into the promise land. He had to appoint Joshua to take the Israelites into the promise land.

The hearts of men in prison will not be revived by the spirit of fear. We are called to be as Jesus is, to be the Body of Christ in this world, "... because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love" (1 John 4:17,18).