The Secret Weapon

As I reflected on the book of Genesis, an unexpected idea surfaced in my thoughts. It seemed unusual because it prompted me to consider more than just Joseph's personal journey. We're all familiar with his tale: being betrayed by his brothers, his time in Potiphar's household, his imprisonment, his rise to power in the palace, and finally his appointment as prime minister.

The narrative up to this point might be perceived as a tale of bitterness. However, when Joseph became prime minister, a new twist emerged in his story. It seemed as though his past had come back to challenge him. This could have provided ample opportunity for him to dwell in bitterness, but he was wise enough to realize that holding onto bitterness is akin to holding onto a burning match—it only harms the one who clings to it.

Years later, Joseph's brothers resurfaced due to the famine, unknowingly encountering Joseph. Despite recognizing them, Joseph initially pretended not to know them. What struck me as weird was how deeply traumatized his brothers became by Joseph's actions—the discovery of the cup in the grain, the return of their money, and the demand to bring their youngest brother all instilled fear in their hearts.

Joseph may not have meted out the same form of punishment on his brothers for their past betrayal in the same manner. However, the trials and the back-and-forth journeys to Egypt brought his brothers to a point of humility. In fact, it led them to confess to the crimes they had committed years before, making them realize that they were facing consequences for their past actions.

You're right to argue that they got what they deserved. However, the worst kind of punishment one can inflict upon another is to crush their spirit, weaken their morale, and instill fear. This leaves them demoralized, helpless, and defeated, which is a fate more severe than any physical punishment.

If Joseph's brothers had succeeded in their intentions, they would have remained unaware of Joseph's true identity, and they would never have reached a point of confessing their past wrongdoings. Life would have continued with them burying their actions in the past and moving forward without remorse.

What facilitated this outcome was fear. Fear, often defined as a "phobia," is a paralyzing sense of dread induced by something or someone. As a writer once penned, "One of the satanic weapons is fear." Why? Because fear prevents you from exercising authority over what you fear; instead, you submit to it. One of fear's aims is to trap you in a state of hopelessness and helplessness.

The presence of fear can lead to doubts about God's love, the sincerity of His forgiveness, and the certainty of salvation. It can make you believe that whatever difficulties you face are a direct result of your sins. Take Job, for instance. Despite not denying God amid his troubles, he cursed the day he was born and questioned God's actions.

The devil understands that the most effective way to target humans is by rendering them helpless. He believes that in such a state, it becomes much easier for individuals to deny God, as he presumed with Job. Even if you don't outright deny God, he manipulates circumstances to trigger your fears, as seen in Job 3:25.

Now that you understand the secret weapon of the devil, how can you overcome it? First, recognize that God has not given you the spirit of fear; instead, He has equipped you with power, love, and a sound mind.

Therefore, as a believer, no matter how fear presents itself, never yield to the lies of the devil. Instead, combat and overcome him by wielding the Word of God. The Bible declares, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (II Corinthians 10:4–5 NKJV)

In conclusion, fear may manifest in various forms, but do not let it weaken you. Instead, let it serve as a catalyst to strengthen you and draw you closer to God. By seeking His face, you can overcome your fears and emerge victorious.

© Oluwadamilola Ajayi

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