I've been doing a lot of reading lately, and one of the books I recently read was about the Battle of Waterloo. The final battle of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was faced down by the English and the Prussians, primarily, and a few others. Leading the English was Duke Wellington who said "The only thing I am afraid of is fear."
It led me to remember the words of President Franklin Roosevelt when announcing America would be going to war against the Axis - Germany, Japan and Italy. He said to the American people, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It was one of the first quotes I put to memory.
Wellington and Roosevelt said pretty much the same thing and it was definitely regarding the same topic: war.
Why did they fear the idea or result of fear? Because in battle, if fear creeps over a soldier, a unit, or a people, it is the one thing that will cause them to run or give up. Life is full of opportunities to be fearful. And fear is the one opportunity the enemy hopes to receive from you.
It may be physical, spiritual, financial, familial, or any situation where fear is a factor. But keep in mind how often Jesus always said "fear not" or "do not be afraid." It should be taken more as a command than a request. Remember II Timothy 1:7, "He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind."
Overcoming fear is the obstacle all of us face in various and numberless situations. Fear is a tactic of the enemy and too often, it works.
I have been researching the Korean War for nearly a year and one of the moments a lot of soldiers remember are when the Chinese began invading in the middle of the night. They came at night, while screaming, blowing bugles, and making all kinds of noise to disturb the nerves of American soldiers. At times it worked, but the times the soldiers stood their ground, maintained their foxholes, relied on their comrade in arms and their weapons, they defeated and beat back the enemies. Even at times when they were overrun, they were able to outsmart the enemy and push them back. American soldiers said that the North Koreans or the Chinese would come in waves, like a flood. Bodies would be stacked on top of each other. It seemed they would never stop. But soon enough, they did.
When the American soldiers were prepared and ready for battle (sadly, this wasn't the case 100 percent of the time during the Korean War), they won those battles.
In our lives, we have to be prepared and when the battle wages, we will win. Isaiah 59:19 says, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of Lord will raise a standard against him."
Whether spiritual or physical, remember, do not fear. Do not be afraid. Stick to your guns. Hunker down. Rely on your comrades in arms. The battle will pass and you will be victorious.
Stay strong in the Lord and don't tuck and run, because the only thing we have to fear...exactly.