Keeping It Real: Phantom Fear

I’m no wildlife expert, but even I know gazelles lope like lightning! Did you realize a gazelle can sprint up to 60 miles per hour?! That’s twice as fast as any human on record. (I looked it up!) 

In fact, only cheetahs have what it takes to surpass gazelles. But even these bad boys rarely devour gazelles, because gazelles outwit them. They change directions lightning-fast during the chase to destabilize the cat’s speed. (Genius!) 

Besides that, gazelles possess endurance that leaves cheetahs in their dust. It’s easy-peasy to outlast their stalker. 

It’s safe to say gazelles carry an unfair advantage against most predators in the wild. Not even the king of the jungle can touch them…or, can he? 

Gazelles often race together. But get this – if a gazelle catches a glimpse of a lion staring her down from the bushes as the herd sprints by, that terrorizing glare can halt the swifter one dead in her tracks! 

This creature with the capacity to outrun, outwit, AND outlast the predator stands paralyzed by phantom fear. The lion’s intimidation settles on that isolated one like a straitjacket. Then that enemy doesn’t have to lift a single claw!

The swift-hoofed gazelle moving with the pack had no reason to freeze, no reason to fear the lesser one. But when her feet stilled and her fear skyrocketed, she actually emboldened her enemy to make her worst fears become reality! Her tomorrows…devoured! 

Listen friend, the enemy of your soul IS the lesser one! God has given you EVERYTHING you need to outwit, outlast, and completely overpower the one who stalks you LIKE a growling lion.
The Scriptures describe him like this: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around LIKE a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)

Y’all, his bark is so much bigger than his bite! He only wins if we let him! FOR REAL!

This enemy that seeks to terrorize and ultimately devour you has nothing going in his favor—unless you isolate yourself from those running in the same direction AND let your eyes lock onto his! 

If you are moving in God and God is moving in you, the enemy cannot catch you! He cannot outwit you, and he surely cannot overpower you. 

I don’t know what you are facing in this season. But stay with the pack that outruns the enemy and keep running! Keep going in God! Run with fear if you must. Run with fright that makes your knees knock if you have to! But whatever you do, don’t stop and surely don’t stay. Just keep going in God and leave the enemy in your dust! I tell you the truth when I tell you . . . YOU CARRY THE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE! For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at


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