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Fear Is Caused By The Devil

Most of your fear is caused by the devil, not by your circumstances.

Here is perhaps the most important things to know about fear: it is not just a physiological response to circumstances.

Fear is also a spiritual phenomenon, inflicted upon you by the devil.

God built a “flight-or-fight” mechanism into you for your protection. The rush of adrenaline known as a “panic attack” will also, in the face of real danger, give you an instant boost of strength.

But Satan and his demons, as they always do, have taken God’s gift and have corrupted it by using it against you. They do it by planting thoughts into your mind, thoughts of impending disaster and doom. They are behind all of those “what if” questions that tie you in knots of fear. That fear is caused by the devil!

Paul wrote:

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

The “voice” you “hear” in your thoughts sounds like your “voice”. But often, it isn’t. It may be the voice of a demon, impersonating you by “whispering” thoughts into your mind. In this way, demons are able to trick you into believing their lies.

BUT: Good news: God has given us the ultimate weapon against the devil: His Words–the Bible.

APPLICATION: How To Do It!

Jesus modeled for us how to defeat the devil. When He was at his weakest point as a human being, after fasting for forty days, the devil tried three times to tempt Him. Each time, Jesus responded by quoting Scripture. (He could do that because He had done His Scripture memory as a boy). As a result, when the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into loaves of bread, here’s what He did:

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

I invite you to read the entire passage of Matthew 4:1-11 and see the above verse in context. Notice: Jesus used the same method to defeat the devil in each case: He said, “It is written…” followed by a passage from Scripture.

Because fear is caused by the devil, we need to know how to defeat the devil.

Here are ten practical lessons Jesus demonstrated for us in that encounter with the devil:

  1. He was able to quote from the Word because He had done Scripture memory as a boy
  2. He showed how the Word of God is food to our spirits
  3. We merely EXIST without the Word of God
  4. We LIVE by internalizing the Word of God
  5. He declares that every Word in the Bible is important
  6. He declares that the Scripture is indeed from God
  7. He demonstrates the power of speaking Scripture out loud
  8. His process: 1) recognize the devil’s lie; is the thought in your mind in harmony with God’s Word or not? 2) squelch/nullify the lie by speaking principles of Truth from God’s Word
  9. The Word Of God is demon repellent; Jesus used it to send the devil away
  10. Demons are bullies; they tend to pick on us when we are at our weakest. But we are never too weak to speak the Word of God (IF we know it)

The Battle Takes Place In Our Minds. We Win The Battle With Scripture!

So when you are feeling fearful, do what I did[1] and quote the following verse. Show the devil that you know God is right there with you, and that you’re calling on Him to help you in your hour of testing:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)

In the verse above, the references to “passing through water” and “walking through fire” are poetic references to the trials we must all pass through. You’ll notice it doesn’t say “IF”; it says “WHEN”. But: it also says you will go “THROUGH”. The trial will be hard–but it will not last forever. That’s a promise from God. Our job is to “remain under”. This is the process God uses to strengthen your faith in Him.

This isn’t just theory to me. I know what I’m talking about. I’m living in this mode right now!

Jesus is not expecting us to be perfect. None of us can be. But when you walk with God–when your life is marked by steady progress in obedience to Him–your life will begin to show the “fruit” of your relationship with Him:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The new “you” will hardly recognize the old “you”.

PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, I praise You for showing me this truth about Satan and his demons. Now that I know that they are the instigators of the fear I’ve had I know exactly what to do. The next time fear even thinks about tormenting me, I won’t listen to those lies. I’ll quickly turn to You and rely on Your promises for help and comfort.”

~ Jan


1 I’ve written a lot more about how fear is caused by the devil, and how you can become equipped to defeat him.

I invite you to read my own before-and-after story. At first, when I had no knowledge of spiritual roots of fear, the devil tormented me at will! But later, after I was equipped to do spiritual warfare, I was able to stand against him with the supernatural power contained in the Truth of God’s Word.

Here are links to the five parts of my story:

  1. You Can Live Free From Fear
  2. When The Devil Owned Me
  3. How God Transformed Me
  4. The Night I Stood Up To The Devil
  5. How I Was Able To Defeat The Devil

I urge you to read all of these articles. God has poured a lot of wisdom in the area of spiritual warfare into me, and He has graciously provided this way by which I can share it.

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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • emmanuel angkai July 18, 2017, 11:49 PM

    I am so grateful I have found some ways to defeat the evil. Thank you guys for the truths.

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    • Jan Smith July 26, 2017, 6:17 PM

      Thanks, Emmanuel! I’m glad this helped you.

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  • Chan June 26, 2017, 5:48 AM

    Your message has a lot of power. I’ve been struggling with fears lately and this message got me in the right direction to overcame it. It encourages me a lot! so helpful. Thank you so much.

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    • Jan Smith July 12, 2017, 5:09 PM

      Great! Thanks for letting me know it helped you.

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  • Ogaba May 18, 2017, 7:02 AM

    I found this article so helpful in the book I am writing. God bless you real good.

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  • Krishna May 10, 2017, 1:59 PM

    dear brother.. it’s a nice blessing to read your article. I fear a lot and a big war is going inside my head.

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    • Jan Smith May 11, 2017, 9:05 PM

      Thanks, Krishna. And you are quite right about the war inside your head. Everyone fights this battle.
      But you can win, once you know what’s going on and how to defend yourself.

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  • ini ekpo April 28, 2017, 6:03 PM

    May the Lord bless you for showing me the way out,I was preparing a message titled FEAR NOT,and this has not only helped me but made me stronger.thank you. 🙂

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    • Jan Smith May 1, 2017, 11:13 AM

      Thanks for kind words, Ini,
      Are your messages going on the internet? If you are writing a blog — and especially if you are taking on tough topics such as “FEAR”, let me know if I can help you in any way.

      Reply Link
  • Victor October 21, 2016, 2:42 PM

    I’m so glad I came across this website. I’ve been tormented by bad thoughts ever since I accepted Christ and repented three months ago. I already know that these articles will help me tremendously. God bless you.

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    • Jan Smith October 25, 2016, 10:45 AM

      Victor, thank you for your kind words. It’s a real encouragement to me when I read comments like yours.
      If you really want to get serious about being transformed by God’s Word (and all the benefits that come with that), check out my new online course entitled “How YOU Can Live In Peace”. It explains why all these wicked things are happening to us, and how we can break free from what the Bible calls “the snares of the devil” so that we can live in the peace that Jesus has already given to us.

      Reply Link
  • Precious May 15, 2016, 2:30 PM

    Thank you so much. Its so clear. No more will l be afraid of sleeping. Thank you.

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  • laura January 23, 2016, 11:30 PM

    this has bought me to tears reading this I am plagued by fear and panic attacks. I dread night time to come cause of the panic that happens. I have never learned to trust as I have been let down be abusive situations. I will study Gods word to be set free. please pray for me

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    • Jan Smith January 24, 2016, 5:18 PM

      Laura, I have had those same fears and panics and dread in the night. Once I learned what/who was causing it (the devil), and then how to combat him (with the Word of God) I have been free from all of that. Read my short series of article telling my own “before” and “after” story. Here’s a link to a page of excerpts from my story, How To Be Free From Fear, Worry, Anxiety

      Reply Link
    • Andrew Henderson October 9, 2016, 10:30 AM

      Laura, I wanted to tell you I too have been experiencing panic attacks and a terrifying sense of de-realization like you wouldn’t believe and it was all because of the wrong choice of doing drugs. I pray you receive an ease of mind because I know what it’s like. I have been undergoing deliverance from a well-known pastor in KC, pastor Vivion who was designated under Bob Larson. I can’t even start to explain the difference afterwards, it’s just incredible but things WILL get better. Nothing last forever. God bless you.

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  • denis okwany December 16, 2015, 9:01 AM

    fear is coz by lack of truth in Christian faith

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  • Pat September 1, 2015, 9:54 AM

    My friend, 56, never heard that fear comes from Satan; instead, it was just our fallen nature that allowed it. So I decided to research Scripture verses to help him understand and I came across your site. It is extremely helpful! Thank you for organizing all the Scripture verses in such an easy-to-understand format.

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    • Jan Smith September 1, 2015, 11:52 AM

      Pat, thank you for telling me about your friend. It would seem that God has gifted me with the ability to clarify and explain now to understand these things and then what people need to do. Thanks for your kind words.
      By the way, I was older than your friend when I first began learning these things for myself. It’s not too late!

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  • Lillie June 16, 2015, 10:54 AM

    this is so wonderful,thanks for this info my grandson is in this predicament concerning college I needed this. GOD Is SO GOOD.I bind this spirit of fear in JESUS NAME

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  • club.plumbersfix.com February 12, 2015, 1:55 AM

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.

    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this
    informative article together. I once again find myself spending a lot
    of time both reading and posting comments. But
    so what, it was still worthwhile!

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith February 12, 2015, 9:02 AM

      In the same way, I appreciate you having taken the time to write a comment. It lets me know that someone has read it.

      Reply Link
  • Angela February 8, 2015, 1:42 AM

    I’m glad I came across your site. I’ve always loved my children very much, I have a senior who’s college future has been uncertain because he let his GPA sink. A good friend of mine made me realize today that I have been riddled with fear concerning this; he showed me how I could only bring about my son’s destruction if I continued. I immediately knew that he was telling the truth and remembered that God had not given me a spirit of fear. I cast it out and felt the weight lifted and received Gods peace. I also felt an immediate positive change in the way that my son responded to me concerning. After my experience today, I’d go as far as to say that fear is not only caused by Satan, but it is a demon. Thanks for posting 🙂

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    • Jan Smith February 12, 2015, 9:16 AM

      Angela, thanks for your comment. I hope others will read your comment and see a living example of what happens when another believer takes hold of the Truth of the Word of God. I don’t know if this will encourage you or not, but I just barely graduated from high school myself. I was sent then to a 2-year college (it was called a “Junior College” in those days.) I hated it! One day I went home and told my parents that I had quit. But a few years later, I realized that I needed to go back to college. I did so, and this time I loved it. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in engineering. So, it’s possible for your son, too. I hope that gives your hope. ~ Jan

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  • Adriel January 6, 2015, 11:59 PM

    This is very good info. God bless you

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    • Jan Smith January 12, 2015, 2:14 PM

      Adriel, thank you so much for your kind words! ~Jan

      Reply Link