.SPIRITUAL WARFARE:  The Terrorist Tactic of Intimidation
George Bloomer

B. Childress
Jul 4 2008 08:00AM

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it;
for we are well able to overcome it.  But the men that went up with him said, We be not able
to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.  And they brought up an evil report
of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through
which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the
people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.  And there we saw the giants, the sons of
Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, so we were
in their sight.
"  Numbers 13:30-33


We see the following kinds of stories all too often.  A man straps explosives to himself and detonates them on a bus,
killing himself and many others.  Who will ever forget the bombing in Oklahoma City, when hundreds were killed by a
truckload of volatile chemicals parked in front of a government building?  Then there were those men who blew up a
747 over the skies of Scotland, killing men, women, and children of all ages and nationalities.  Most recently, the World
Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were attacked, causing many deaths and the destruction of the towers.  Though
the methods used and the causes served may have differed, all of these acts were acts of "terrorism."

Those who commit these heinous acts are called terrorists.  A terrorist is essentially a coward serving a lost cause.  
They do not have the power or ability to win an outright confrontation, so they resort to terrorism to prove a point and
get some attention.  

Their chief objective is to put terror and fear into us.  The terrorist believe that if he can scare us, he can defeat us,
distract us, and deny us.  Terrorism is a way in which an enemy of inferior strength can control a vastly superior foe.  
Terror is the single strongest weapon that any opposing force can employ because it can defeat us before we fire a
shot.  Terror is the weapon of intimidation.  

We must differentiate here between fear and terrorism.  Fear itself is a natural response to a threat.  We would be
foolish not to have some fear and respect for danger, whether it be natural or man-made.  But to be controlled by fear,
when fear is used as a deliberate tool of the enemy, is a different matter entirely.  There is a major difference between
healthy fear and terrorism.

Fear in the Family

If you grow up in a family of five or six, one of your brothers or sisters inevitably becomes the thinker of the family pack -
usually the eldest.  This sibling sometimes gets the other children to do what he wants through fear.  He may cause
them to be afraid with his physical size, or perhaps he makes them afraid by causing them to feel stupid.  This child
controls the other children with terror.  Of course, this is mostly learned behavior.  He intimidates because someone or
something else has intimidated him, whether it be parents or circumstances.

This terrorism goes on in many families, including the family of God.  Preachers can intimidate the people of God from
the pulpit by preaching the judgment of God without the grace of God.  These leaders betray their position as the
shepherds of God's flock.  There are Christian leaders whose followers cower in fear when they walk into the room.  
They are shepherds who hold clubs over the heads of the sheep.  In this way, the enemy uses fear to make God's flock
afraid of their heavenly Father.  Pastors and other leaders in the church must not lead by intimidation.  Shepherds are
to feed, guide, and protect the flock of God.  The apostle Peter, who was asked by Jesus to care for the flock of God
(John 21:15-17), gave instructions to other Christian leaders regarding the attitude of those who would shepherd God's

    "The Elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and
    also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the
    oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords
    over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall
    receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.  Yea, all of
    you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, AND GIVETH
    GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."  I Peter 5:1-4

Fear as a Tool of Influence

Fear is a powerful tool of influence.  Satan's strategy is to make us afraid, thus preventing us from possessing the
promises of God.  When he makes us afraid, we take our eyes off God and focus on the object of fear the devil
presents to us.  Obstacles, threats, and circumstances overwhelm us.  If he can distract us, we will take our eyes off
God and His promises.  Then Satan can effectively defeat us before we set one foot into our Promised Land.  Once
defeated, even born-again believers can become depressed and open to further demonic oppression that keeps them
ineffective in the kingdom of God.

The enemy can cause fear to control us by various means.  We can have a fear of rejection, a fear of failure, a fear of
success, a fear of responsibility, a fear of loneliness, even a fear of fear itself.  Whatever the guise, fear will keep us on
the wrong side of the river if we allow it to.  

This was the case of Israel when God led them to the front porch of the Promised Land.  The faithless majority of the
spies saw the obstacles and took their eyes off God, focusing instead on giants and grasshoppers.  They looked at
their own ability, saying, "
We are not able" (Numbers 13:31).  They were right.  They were not able in their own strength
to overcome the inhabitants of the land.  So they saw God's abundance as a devouring beast before which they were

Whenever we are poised to enter some new and greater dimension of God, the enemy will use fear to stop us in our
tracks.  It was fear that prevented Israel from entering into the land of promise.  We must remember, though, that fear
takes many, and sometimes less obvious, forms.

We've already mentioned a few.  There is the fear of rejection, the fear of loneliness, the fear of failure, the fear of
embarrassment, and the list goes on.  All these prevent us from effectively employing our gifts in the body of Christ.  
The enemy sees the power and purpose that God is bringing us into, so he plants a minefield of fear on the frontier of
our inheritance.

Even the most seasoned Christian can be a victim of intimidation.  It seems that the greater the anointing, the greater
the enemy's effort to terrorize us and bring us to a halt.  I think of the great prophet Elijah, who, after slaying hundreds
of false prophets and calling down the fire of God, was threatened by an evil queen named Jezebel:

    "And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.  
    Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life
    as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.  And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and
    came to Bersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there."  I Kings 19:1-3

First Kings 19:3 tells us that when this great man of God "saw" this threat from Jezebel, he ran into the desert. He took
his eyes off the purpose and calling of God and he "saw" only fear.  Later, God revealed Himself to Elijah in a powerful
way, enabling him to continue in God's purpose.  

God knows the enemy's tactics as well.  Whenever God was about to do something great in the Bible, He prehandled
the issue of fear.

Consider Moses and Israel on the western shores of the Red Sea.  The Egyptians were behind them and the sea in
front of them.  That would be enough to make anyone afraid:

    "And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the
    wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?  Is not this the word that we did
    tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve
    the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand
    still, and see the salvation of the LORD,  which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen
    to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."  
    Exodus 14:11-14

When fear comes, it causes us to turn away from promise and back to bondage.  The Israelites said, "
Let us alone."  
Fear made them recoil; it paralyzed them.  But into this fear God spoke through Moses, saying, "
Do not be afraid.  
Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.
"  In other words, "Take your eyes off the Egyptians and see what I will
do."  How many times have we turned our backs on God's salvation and looked at the problem instead of at the LORD?

In most instances in the Bible, when God was about to do something great, He dealt with fear and put His servants at

  • Think of God's words to Israel and Joshua as they entered to conquer the Promised Land.

    "Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the
    LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."  Joshua 1:9

  • Think of Jehoshaphat and Judah as they were about to enter into a battle with the enemies of God.

    "And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith
    the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not your's, but
    God's."  2 Chronicles 20:15

  • Think of the people of Jerusalem rebuilding the walls and gates under Nehemiah.

    "And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye
    afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your
    daughters, your wives, and your houses." Nehemiah 4:14

  • Think of Mary as she was about to conceive Jesus by the Holy Spirit.  This was the greatest deliverance of all.

    "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And behold, thou shalt
    conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."  Luke 1:30-31

In the Bible, God tells us, in one form or another, 365 times not to be afraid.  If we focus on fear, then we will be
controlled by it.  But if we really understand fear and how the enemy uses it,
we can turn the tables on terrorism.

Turning the Tables on Terrorism

Terrorism is the weapon of a defeated foe.  It will be thrown at us from every angle and every source.  Whether it comes
from inside or outside the church, fear will distract us, deny us, and defeat us if we allow it to do so.  But God makes a
promise to those who look to Him rather than at fear.  His promise is to turn the tables on the enemy and make him run!

    "I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine
    enemies turn their backs unto thee."  Exodus 23:27

How do we turn the tables on the weapon of terrorism?  How do we fight the fear that keeps us from God's best?

Fighting Fear with Focus

The best defense against fear is never to take our eyes off Jesus.  In dealing with fear, it is important to focus on God's
purpose rather than be distracted by the terrorism of the enemy.  God's supreme purpose is to save mankind, and you
are His strategy.  The devil knows this all too well, so he will throw terror in front of you to scare you out of fulfilling God's

Every time a soul is saved, a major battle has been won.  Think about it for a moment.  What is it that prevents us from
sharing our testimony or the Gospel with a friend or a neighbor?  
Fear!  We are afraid that we might be embarrassed or
that we will be rejected in some way, so we clam up and watch our friend struggle and slide into hell.  If we fail to share
the Good News because of the terror tactics of the enemy, then we have allowed him to win.

We do not serve a God who is standing over in the corner scratching His head, trying to figure out how He will bring us
out of our latest dilemma.  He delivered us before He brought us into the problem.  He brought us to the threshold of
promise and continuous victory.  But we must wake up to His deliverance.  The battle has already been won!  We need
only to appropriate it.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  Trust ye in the LORD
for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
"  Isaiah 26:3-4

Fighting Fear with Fellowship

Another antidote for the poison of fear is fellowship.  The purpose of fellowship is to encourage each other, to handle
the fears we each bring to the body.  We come together as a body in order to remind one another about God.  We
come together to minister encouragement to each other.  We come together to learn more of God and gain confidence
in Him.  We come together to tell stories of God's victory over the enemy's terror tactics.

    Hear the Word of God:

    "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge,
    able also to admonish one another."  Romans 15:14


    "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  
    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and
    hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."  Colossians 3:15-16


    "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient
    toward all men."  I Thessalonians 5:14


    "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest
    that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."  Hebrews 12:12-13

Fighting Fear with Facts

It is important to any military campaign that those on the front lines have all the facts about the enemy.  An intelligence-
gathering operation must take place in order to understand the position and strength of the enemy in relation to ours.  
The enemy always employs fear because he cannot win.  Perhaps we can learn something here.  When we are the
most afraid, the devil is even more afraid of us.  You see, whatever fight we are in, wherever God has led us, the fight
belongs to God, not to us.  When we read the Bible and memorize Scriptures, we are ingesting an antidote for fear.  
When the enemy throws his terrorist tactics before us, we must not listen to him but listen to what God says instead.  
And what does God tell us about the battles we fight?

    "...And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies:  let not your
    hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;  For the LORD your God is he
    that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."  Deuteronomy 20:3-4


    "And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.  And five of you shall chase an
    hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the
    sword."  Leviticus 26:7-8

    And, in Jesus' own words,

    "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but
    be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

When we are faced with fear, we should first remember to get our priorities in order.  The best way to drown out the
word of fear is with the sounds of praise.  In II Chronicles, Jerusalem was faced with strong enemies who wanted to
ransack the city.  Instead of gathering swords and spears and measuring the might of the army, King Jehoshaphat held
a praise festival.

    "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.  And  
    Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to
    seek the LORD.  

    Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of
    the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation;  And he said, Hearken ye, all
    Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehosaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid
    nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not your's, but God's.  Ye shall not need to fight in
    this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem:
    fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.  And when he had
    consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness,
    as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.  And when they
    began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir,
    which were come against Judah; and they were smitten."  II Chronicles 20:3-4, 14-15, 17, 21-21

Perhaps the real key to spiritual warfare is to remember who is fighting the battle.  The people did not shout at the
enemy or bind evil spirits; they lifted up the name of the Lord, and the Lord set the ambush for the enemy.  

Satan is focused on distracting us with fear.  We must learn to recognize his plan and let God into the fight.  We may be
in the battle, but the battle belongs to God.  God hasn't left us alone to fight Satan.  Without these facts, we will lose
hope, and the host of hell will keep us ineffective.  Begin the process of discovery by taking the Word of God into your
heart.  God's Holy Word is the weapon of truth and knowledge.

When the enemy threatens us with terror, we must fight with the facts - and the main fact is that the battle belongs to the

The Final Word on Fear

Remember that we began this chapter with a story of defeat and distraction at the frontier of promise.  We need to have
the same attitude and understanding that Joshua and Caleb did if we are to defeat the enemy's terrorism.  Listen:

    "And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent
    their clothes:  And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed
    through to search it, is an exceeding good land.  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and
    give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the
    people of the land; for they are bread for us:  their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear
    them not."  Numbers 14:6-9

Joshua and Caleb understood a few things that you and I need to remember as we turn the tables on terrorism.  They
summarize what we have been saying in this chapter.

  • When the enemy is using fear, God is bringing us into "an exceedingly good land."

  • We don't fight in our own strength.  "He will bring us."

  • The enemy is a defeated and desperate foe.  "They are our bread."

  • God alone is worthy of fear.  "Do not fear them."

If there is anything that we can be sure of, it is that we will face the terrorism of the enemy as we move on in God.  But
we cannot be controlled by the terror of the enemy when we know the truth of God.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a
sound mind.
"  II Timothy 1:7


Spiritual Warfare, by George Bloomer, Copyright 2004, Whitaker House.