Same thing with spirits of sexual perversion, drugs, arrogance, pride, etc. Conversely when things are going right we say that we have a spirit of peace, or joy, or happiness. When we are around people who always seem pleasant we say they have a spirit of gentleness, love, kindness, etc., In other words there is a spirit for almost any and every thing.
I’ve always had a problem with this especially those good spirits of peace, joy, and happiness. The Bible says that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the source of peace, joy, and happiness.
Romans 14:17 (NLT)17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 16:20 (NKJV)20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Luke 10:17-20 (NKJV)17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
1 Peter 1:6-9 (NKJV)6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
Worry, anxiety, fear, and sickness have spiritual and or physical consequences, but they are not spirits, and as such can’t be cast out of a believer or anybody else. What we can do is submit ourselves to God, rebuke or resist the demonic spirit, if there is one, causing the problem and the Bible tells us that spirit will flee.
James 4:7 (NKJV)7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
I know that there are demonic spirits under the direction of God’s enemy, Satan, who can and do oppress and even control humans, but I have not found any reference in Scripture to spirits of worry, anxiety, sickness, fear, joy, peace, power, love, etc.
The evil spirits or demons that possessed the people that Jesus healed by casting the demonic spirits out were the cause of the sickness not their names.
Matthew 12:22-23 (NLT)22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.
23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”
Matthew 17:14-18 (NLT)14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said,15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”17 Jesus replied, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
These possessed were also unsaved before their deliverance. With salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit a believer can never be possessed (SEE Possession or Oppression).
Spirit of Fear - An Example
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Many take this verse of scripture as evidence that there are spirits that correspond to emotions or actions. However is that what Paul had in mind when he wrote this in his letter to his protegee Timothy?
2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NLT)3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
The word spirit can mean a number of things;
An alcoholic drink, the non-physical part of a human, a supernatural being; the prevailing or typical quality, mood, or attitude of a person, group, or period of time; the quality of courage, energy, and determination; the real meaning or the intention behind something as opposed to its strict verbal interpretation; a highly refined substance or fluid thought to govern vital phenomena.
The only two definitions that make sense here are a supernatural being, or attitude of a person. Let’s look at the verse in those ways;
- For God has not given us a [supernatural being] of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
- For God has not given us [the attitude] of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
In our first option if there is a supernatural being of “fear” then there would be a supernatural beings of “power”, “love”, and “”self-discipline”. Those characteristics sound a lot like the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
If we read the verse, using the second option, with respect to motivations, characteristics, or disposition, the word spirit maintains clarity throughout the verse.
Here is the way the verse reads in the NIV; “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
When we talk about the “spirit of fear” or the “spirit of love”, these are not supernatural beings that take control of us. These are simply figures of speech that describe how God changes us
Emotions, characteristics, and actions are real but they are not spirits. When we realize that these things are not spirits we will start to take responsibility for the things that we do to cause worry, anxiety, sickness, fear and doubt (SEE Stop Blaming the Devil for Everything Take Some Responsibility at this LINK).
Through prayer and God’s word we are able to combat our own negative emotions and actions, and those of others through the power and authority we received when we believed on Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us.
Also see Are Generational Curses Biblical at this LINK