Leonard Ravenhill once said, "A man who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by men." One definition of intimidation describes it as a way to frighten or overawe someone to make them submit or do what you want. Intimidation can be pressure, yelling, scare tactics or anything that causes fear in another person. It's when someone dominates over you physically, mentally, spiritually or in some other way and they become a dominating or menacing threat to you. But, intimidation didn't work with David in the Old Testament. There wasn't enough time.
David Ran to Defeat Goliath
The Bible states that on the day David slew Goliath, he wasn't called to battle. On the contrary, David was running errands (1 Sam. 17:17). Maybe he was the first Door Dash delivery person ever recorded (kidding). David brought corn and bread to his brothers on the battle field and that's when he learned that Goliath was a menacing threat. Goliath was yelling for them to send someone to fight him but everyone fled, fearful they couldn't defeat the giant.
When David stepped up to the challenge, the Bible says, David ran to slay Goliath. He wasn't afraid. But, how is it possible that David, a young boy running errands for his family, was unintimidated by a giant? His brothers, Saul's army and Saul were all intimidated. The answer is, the spirit of intimidation had gotten deep in them. David, on the other hand, asked what could be done. Hence, sometimes it's important to pray, "Lord, make me an answer." For nothing is impossible with God. And, if God sends it or allows it, He can deliver us from it and make it work to our advantage/benefit.
Who Can Control the Leviathan But God?
An interesting point about David's battle with Goliath is David prayed before the battle. David knew He needed God's Hand or approval on it before he put his own hands on it. Sometimes we're tempted to stop an argument ourselves or give a person "a piece of our minds". While this might work on some occasions, I'll give you a really good piece of advice. It's important to ask God FIRST if He wants you to step into battle or if He will deliver you some other way. We know that God controls man and only He can control the Leviathan, (Job 41:1).
The leviathan demon is one that seeks dominance through fear and intimidation. It sometimes works with the Jezebel demon. Hence, if you see this in ministry or in your own life, it's important to consult God about deliverance and HIS plan. Sometimes God will intentionally use a person in a way that lets them have dominance over us, i.e., the Children of Israel under King Pharaoh. Another example is when we go through testing with God and produce anointing oil. The grape is crushed to produce oil meaning our flesh is crushed so the Spirit can rise up. Like clay, we're broken and then molded into the image of what God has intended for our lives.
While we want to handle an altercation or incident ourselves, it's best to give it over to God because God fights for us. For example, several chapters later when David was running from Saul in the Old Testament, David couldn't come against Saul to defeat him because Saul was God's prophet. In that example, it was important for David to honor God and walk away. But, when it came to Goliath taunting Saul and his army, it was a different story.
For 40 Days The Seed Took Root
Saul, his army and David's brothers let Goliath menace them for 40 days. It was probably better than the WWE or NXT. There was Goliath making all these taunts against them daily and no one did a thing. Fear took hold of Saul and his men. And, you have to remember, 40 days is quite a long time to stand in battle and hear the same threats day after day. It only takes about 21-days before we learn a new behavior or habit - or break old ones.
For 40-days, the spirit or demon of intimidation had time to settle in. And with it came fear, terror and anxiety. It all made Saul, his men and David's brothers afraid of Goliath. That's why when David showed up, he was quickly able to assess the situation because fear didn't have time to get deeply rooted into him. David walked up and said in so many words, "Let me in, coach!" or "I volunteer as tribute!" He didn't have anxiety deeply embedded in him. His heart wasn't racing either. What David knew was that God helped him slay a lion and a bear and that with God, all things are possible. Drop the cheese. I'm going in!
The Intimidation Message from God
A few nights ago, Father God gave us a message: "We were praying in the Spirit and Father God said, "Pray against intimidation and violence. We rebuke the demons of terror attacks. There's an intimidation demon. We have to rebuke that. It's trying to distract people. You will have hope soon. God is in charge. You don't have to fear. They will see the strong arm of the Lord soon. Keep trusting me. Keep coming out from among them. It's an intimidation demon/spirit. Keep the TV off. ***Re senior citizens and Jews, we were praying for them regarding recent attacks against seniors and how gangs have been targeting Jews, Father God said, " Tell them to leave God's people/leave my people alone. Keep telling them to come out from among them. Pray to cut the head of the intimidation demon off. We pray to send your warring angels. He also said, "I want you to tell them, 'You don't have to worry.'"
An important part of that message was, "Pray to cut the head of the intimidation demon off." And, this is where people mistakenly go wrong sometimes in battle. At work you might think, "Oh, it's my boss. He's a real threatening menace who's been trying to get rid of me." Or, you might turn to a friend and say, "Oh, it's my mother-in-law. I swear her head spins around every time I walk in the room." However, intimidation is everywhere and it can work through anyone. Intimidation is found in different examples in the Bible.
Intimidation Mentioned in the Bible
Intimidation is not a person per se but a demon trying to work through people (he needs a willing vessel or host to work through). For example, in the Old Testament, when Saul came against David, Saul was trying to kill David because an evil spirit had entered Saul. The Bible describes it as, "But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him," I Samuel 16:14.
And, that's not the only time intimidation was described in the Bible:
-"And Moab was sore afraid of the people because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the Children of Israel," Numbers 22:3.
-"Thus Saul was even more afraid of David; thus Saul was his enemy continually," I Samuel 18:29.
-But Saul (Who became the apostle Paul) began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison," Acts 8:3.
So, remember, behind intimidation is deeply rooted fear. The person taunts and cowers because they're usually deeply afraid themselves. However, with intimidation mentioned even in the Bible, how are we to go about overcoming this? How do we not fear man or the wrath of man at a time when more people are threatening me, you and all God's people, i.e, the Church?
I Rebuke Their Personalities, Lord. Hide Me From My Enemies
I used to love watching my high school team play basketball. The cheerleaders were all screaming as the players came out to "We will, we will rock you" playing on the overhead speaker in the background. Our team knew the other team hated them. That's why home games were so cool because everyone was there to cheer our team on. However, when we had away games, man it was a different story. I worked as an assistant so I had to ice knees and tape up shins for the players and we hated away games. The atmosphere was different and you could tell our guys were outnumbered. We were always playing in a gym that was packed with fans from the opposing team and all they did was boo us. But, there was our team still running out to "We will, we will... rock you." And, maybe that's why it's so hard for us here on earth. And, if we lost? They'd play a more silent rendition of "We are the champions" as a reminder to keep our spirits up.
And, we really need that kind of "We are the champions" reminder in this world to shift this atmosphere. Think about Jesus's teachings and words to us. I mean really, picture it. We're on earth preparing to go to heaven, thinking about the rapture and Jesus's return. We're trying to live right, walk in love and tell people what they're doing wrong so they can get right with God because Jesus is indeed coming back. He says clearly He's going to set fire to this world. We know He's going to separate the wheat from the chaff. But tell someone that and they'll quickly say, "Oh another Jesus freak! Get outta' here with that nonsense!" And, all we're trying to do is shine God's light all over the world and expose all of the sin in really dark places that God despises. We're chosen vessels, obeying God and trying to show a "good example" by righteous living. We must look to the world like Joseph with his coat of many colors did to his brothers. They hated him because there was favor all over his life, yes. But, the real reason they hated Joseph was he revealed the dream God gave him where he said he would rule OVER his brothers." How 'bout them apples?
I remember one pastor saying it like this, "You think the world doesn't hate you? Picture it. There are demons knowing already they're going to spend eternity in hell. Then you have people happy to live in sin not caring if they go to hell or not because they don't really believe it exists. Of course, they're going to come against you. Of course they're going to hate you. They don't want a reminder of what's to come because then they'd have to turn and change their ways and who would want to wake up from that?
It's also important to remember, this is the mark of the beast. It's coercion, control and dominance in the demonic but it ultimately leads to destruction. People think hell is just a small campfire and some smores. No, hell is eternal damnation with gnashing of teeth. The Bible describes the time as people will want mountains to fall on them and they won't meaning they'll wish they could die but they can't do anything about the eternal turmoil they'll be subject to. And, that's what we and Jesus are trying to save people from. So, we're here on earth almost like we're at an away game and we're outnumbered - or so it seems. But, Jesus gave us several examples and instructions in His teachings to help us while we're here until He comes again.
-Rebuke them. We're to rebuke their personalities. That means, don't receive their anger and hatred into your spirit. Instead, reject that seed they're trying to plant in you.
-Forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. Most people that are angry don't mean to do so. They might have had a bad day or rough childhood. Or, they weren't taught and didn't receive love the way we have the Father's love.
-Pray for them. Yeah, this is big. Jesus wants us to pray for our enemies and it's important. You want to pray that they change or importantly, pray that God changes their hearts. We want people converted so they can go to heaven, too.
-Don't be afraid of them. God doesn't give us the spirit of fear. The devil wants us afraid so he can control us, isolate us and separate us from God. Then, if we're away from God he can try to destroy us like lost sheep. Thank God for the Good Shepherd, Jesus!
-Love them. Remember, Jesus loved Judas. Judas's betrayal was part of the reason Jesus was able to get to the cross. Hence, don't get upset when the enemy comes against you like a flood. Remember, that's how God gets the blessings to us. Count it all joy!
People will try to intimidate you but there are things you can do, which we'll explore next.
How to Overcome Intimidation
To overcome intimidation, there are a few steps you can take and God can help:
If someone is intimidating you, don't stay in the same environment. Like we mentioned earlier about Saul and his army, they let Goliath intimidate them for 40-days. David showed up and killed Goliath on day one.
When a person thinks you're afraid they'll apply more pressure. Instead of being alone, get in a group. Reach out to a group of friends, work colleagues or family for support. If you don't have anyone, contact a prayer support line so someone hears you and stands in agreement with you for prayer.
Sometimes intimidation demons come because we don't know who we are in Christ. Jesus gave us all of His authority in this world so we can trample on serpents and scorpions. But, the Bible also says, "My people perish for lack of knowledge." Sign up for a free Bible school online or at your church so you can learn who you are in Christ. You are more than a conqueror. You're the head, lender and above.
The more you learn about who you are and who God called you to be, the more people won't pick with you because demons know you have authority over them. You'll still have tests and trials but with God you can overcome them all!
We sometimes unknowingly open a door and let negative or bad spirits in. Some come through TV shows and movies. Others come through people that have bad spirits. We once had a hole in a wall and mice kept coming in. We sealed the holes and the mice realized they couldn't get access. Read your Bible daily and ask Father God in prayer if there are any "holes" in your life or "back doors" where the enemy is getting in and has free access to you. Then pray for Father God to heal those areas and seal up those cracks.
Ask for God's mercy.
There are different times when the enemy comes against us. If it's testing, God allows it for a short time, we learn a lesson and are rewarded and then go onto bigger tests and lessons. For example, the Children of Israel were given more work and less food. But, they left from under Pharaoh's rule and took all the gold with them.
The enemy can also try to come against us outside of testing. This might be when a boss is trying to exploit you and make you work more hours for less pay. God does not like this because it's tipping the scales and God is just. He fights our battles and will restore you. In this instance, ask God for His mercy to restore you. It might take time, but that's why the Bible says, "Touch not mine anointed nor do my prophets harm."
Ask for God's Advice, His Mercy and His Help
In closing, a person might try to intimidate you for a host of reasons. Maybe it's a season of testing and God wants you to learn how to stand up for yourself and calmly defend yourself to them. Or, maybe it's a different learning season and all God wants you to do is rebuke their personalities and walk away. Be mindful how you respond.
The best course of action is to ask God what He wants you to do and He'll tell you or show you. He might even say to do nothing but pray for the person to change and years later they might come back to you and apologize for their harsh behavior. Remember, God prepares us and equips us for every stage. And, after tests, lessons and trials come blessings!
Whatever the situation is where someone is intimidating you, don't worry. God is covering us. He knows all and sees all. Take it to God in prayer and ask God to handle it. Sometimes it's a season of testing that will produce anointing oil. Other times, God will step in and remove you from the situation or remove the other person/people and then restore you. God is just and He fights our battles so before you put your hands on it or say something to the person or people, ask God what to do or say. God will fight for you. Walk away and come out from among them. Stay encouraged. Keep reading your Bible and believe the possibilities! To God be the glory!