Since the enemy has no real power or authority, his primary weapon is fear.
It's a device that paralyzes its adversaries and brings them into subjugation or hesitation. Fear attacks the mind and seeks to insert doubt into the heart. If possible, it would destroy faith. Fear attempts to infiltrate the mind though the imagination. It is a door with easy access in many cases, because it's an open door. In fact, it is as if the door has been taken off its hinges, and a welcome sign hung above the doorway. Some actually invite fear, which makes it easy for the enemy to manipulate them into doing his bidding.
When fear runs rampant in the mind, imaginations can appear more real than actual reality.
Perception is hampered when thoughts are filtered through fear. What a person perceives to be true is true in his or her mind. That means the enemy has all power and authority in the life of the individual who believes it's true, even if the enemy has none of the above. It's like a robber who is armed with a squirt gun, who makes his victim believe it's a real gun with real bullets. As far as he is concerned, “it's my money or my life.” Even if the victim is larger and could easily overpower the perpetrator, the water pistol makes him feel small and incapable of winning he fight. This illustrates that most battles are won or lost in the mind. If you take fear out of the hands of the enemy, he has nothing left to hold you captive.
“What if” seems like a harmless question, but in the hands of the enemy, it can be devastating.
It's one of his favorite tactics used to manipulate people and make them subject to fear. “What if I lose my job?” “What if I get into an accident?” “What if _____?” It's easy to fill in the blanks with fearful thoughts, whatever they may be. Obviously, “what if” can be used in the positive, especially as it relates to creativity. Oh sure, one could combat the above mentioned with opposing questions: “What if God would supply all my needs according to His riches in glory?” “What if God will enable me to keep my job?” Those are still questions about God that could lead to questioning Him. It would be better to say, “There are no what ifs” in this context. The Bible clearly says, God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory (see Philippians 4:19). No question about it! If you want to eliminate fear along with harmful imaginations, see what the Word of God says and believe that.
This leads to another consideration: what is your source of information? Propaganda works, that's why it's used during war time. Did you know we are at war? Our warfare has more to do with walking in the Spirit, and staying spiritual in all circumstances. The battles are primarily fought in the mind. That's why 2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. What you input into the mind affects the results. If you constantly feed on fear, it will dominate your thoughts. It sounds cliché, but if you perpetually watch and listen to the news, you are planting negativity which produces a negative thought life. Couple that with “what if” questions, and you've got fear busting down the door to your imagination.
Much of the news is propaganda, because there is an agenda, or at least a certain perspective attached to it.
The media plays a big role in shaping the minds of many. The devil knows this well, and uses it to his advantage. God's grace empowers us to decide what source of information we use. The media does use factual statements to promote its agenda, but factual statements do not necessarily equate to truth. Without God's perspective, one will not have accurate information. In essence, the enemy uses the media as his propaganda machine. What you meditate on the most will rule your thoughts. What the news does not tell you is what God is doing behind the scenes, so ask Him for His perspective. What looks terrible, God may be using for the good. In fact, for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose, He is indeed (see Romans 8:28). God knew about what we face today long before we were even born. Guess what. He is sovereign, and He made provision for it.
As long as people believe mankind's report over God's, they will never see the victory they were meant to have. If you continue to place a person's opinion above God's truth, you are serving another god. Don't be surprised if you struggle to walk by faith. Remember, fear loves to use smoke and mirrors to generate illusions. Light will always vacate works of darkness, which means if you walk in the Light, darkness will have no place in your life.