THE SPIRIT OF INTIMIDATION  ( excerpted from the article by Frank Hammond )

Elijah, one of God's boldest prophets, confronted four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal at the showdown on Mt. Carmel. The representatives of the false god were soundly embarrassed, defeated and executed. Elijah's boldness of faith was spectacular - until the wicked queen, Jezebel, intimidated him with threatening words. Whereupon, the brave prophet "ran for his life...and prayed that he might die" I Kings 19:3,4. This act of cowardice resulted in his loss of position as God's spokesman. His mantel of authority was transferred to Elisha.

The devil is a tempter, deceiver, accuser and intimidator. These are the tactics that Satan uses to keep us from being victorious Christians and fulfilling our divine calling. Intimidation is a companion of fear. Paul reminded young Timothy, "God has not given us a spirit of fear" II Tim. 1:7. Fear is a spirit but not of God! Fear (Greek: delia) denotes cowardice and timidity. The devil will do everything he can to knock us out of the battle, and intimidation is one of his chief weapons. Timothy was in danger of being intimidated by potential persecution, for Paul was already imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. So, Paul went on to say, "Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me the prisoner" ( v.8 )

Satan often works through other people to intimidate us. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the devil used Sanballat and Tobiah to mock and intimidate the Jews. Tobiah snarled, "Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall" Neh 4:3. But Nehemiah could not be intimidated. He encouraged the people to build and to battle. They worked with a weapon in one hand, the wall was finished, for "the joy of the Lord is your strength" Neh 8:10

When Peter and John healed a lame man by the power of the resurrected Christ, they were confronted by the Sanhedrian, the supreme council of the Jews. When this religious hierarchy saw the boldness of Peter and John they realized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13). Though forbidden to "speak to no man in this name", the disciples replied, "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" Acts 4:20. These disciples were so confident of their call and commission in Christ they could not be intimidated. Oh, Lord, let this be true of us as well!

We will either overcome or be overcome, "For by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage" 2 Peter 2:19. Therefore, be bold, for the Lord your God is with you!