But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Certainly a gnawing, paralyzing fear is a tip of the hand, dead give away that God is not behind it, but an enemy bent on destruction, or at least on making us lose our footing or even resolve. Another sure sign is when we are troubled over something which is within our sight, but not troubled when it’s out of sight. Two signs there: Simply being troubled at all, when rather we can pray with thanksgiving, and act on it in an appropriate way at a good time. And the fact that when we’re occupied with other things, the fear is gone. If something is of God, we won’t be able to escape it. It will gently and lovingly persist, and move us in a helpful direction, not in the direction of paralyzing fear or even torment.
The bottom line for us everyday should be a desire to live in a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Whatever else we have to do and be occupied in, that should be where we live.
It is vitally important that we learn to recognize these things. Whether we like it or not, we are in a spiritual battle. We have to persist in the way of God whatever thoughts and fears might be bombarding us. Holding to faith, standing our ground (Ephesians 6:10-20) and not giving into the crafty deceptions of the enemy. In and through Christ we can do that, and we must.