The Little Man on the Stairs


The Pursuit of Purpose is a war. We are caught in the midst of a deep struggle between our King and that usurper. God’s plan is to recolonize the Earth and your Purpose is critical to that global plan. For a while, I have been looking with special interest into the matter of how Satan can affect the pursuit of our Purposes. I have found that too many times, we get to be too carried away with the news of his POWERS that we neglect his TRICKS! The old serpent has devised better (though not exactly new) means to break the rank of God’s generals. We must be aware of his tricks and devices. We must know our enemy to win this war!

In this piece I want to identify one of Satan’s tricks. I want to show you how this trick affects your pursuit of Purpose. I will then go ahead to talk about how you can overcome Satan in this regard. Let’s take a moment to read this poem by William Hughes Mearns:

Last night I saw upon the stair

A little man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

Oh how I wish he’d go away!

What do you think is the problem of this person? My suggestion is FEAR.

Understandably, there is a rational and appropriate fear, when for instance, you find yourself on the bike in between two mighty trucks or when you suddenly encounter a big snake. At such points, we naturally respond with certain survival mechanisms for our safety even if that means what we call “last minute prayers”! But there is the crippling and overwhelming fear that is a trick of the enemy to prevent us from taking initiatives and making progress. We all probably had gotten a glimpse of the little man on the stairs before. Below are 3 things fear does to your pursuit of purpose:

1. Distorts your identity

Who you are is a threat to the devil. There is power in knowing who you are! When you know your potential and understand what your Creator says you are capable of, you receive access to a fantastic truth that sets you free for a life of overflowing impact. But when you allow fear, your understanding of who you are is impaired. You can’t see your true nature and what you are capable of doing.

“But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Num. 13:31-33 NIV

Do you see that the Israelites interpreted their identity according to their fear? They allowed their fear to distort who they were and ultimately, their attitudes were informed by their fear and the same became their fate.

2. Mars your vision

Your vision is your perception of the future. It is the preferred tomorrow you see ahead of you. It is the inspired predictions you make about your future. When you allow fear to overwhelm you, your perception of the future much which is largely uncertain is marred. You become gloomy and you are discouraged uninspired and may be tempted to wander in the wilderness when a promised land filled with milk and honey awaits you!

3. Fear cripples your pursuit

This is a resultant effect of the last two. When you allow fear to have power over you and decide what you do and don’t do, you never make much progress. Your pursuit is crippled. You’ll remain at point because you are too overwhelmed by the fear of the uncertainties that seem to entertain your thoughts of the future.

I will now goon to talk very briefly of 4 ways to overcome your fears and to prevent any further damage on your pursuit of Purpose.

  • Consume the truth.

Fear feeds on falsehood. To overcome fear, you must learn to ask the right questions and receive the true answers. Christian author and blogger, T.E Hanna says “fear is a perspective”. Caleb and Joshua had seen the same things the other spies saw, yet they reacted differently

“But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.” Num. 14:6-8.

They knew the truth and they went ahead to accept and to apply it to their situation.

It is the Word of Truth that provides the right answers to your questions. The Word of God holds the right perspective to every matter. Learn to find the specific Word from God concerning every issue. Fear is crippling, but faith makes the crippled walk! Faith comes by hearing the Word! Soak yourself in the scriptures!

  • Be motivated by your fears!

One very fantastic key to overcome fear that has worked well for me is the habit of being motivated by my fear. I have learnt to particularly go ahead to do something (instructed by God) if not for any other reason, but because I am afraid of doing it! This calls for a change in perspective and the basic understanding of the fact that 90% of the things we are afraid of are not real. What would you do if you were not afraid?

  • Speak faith and not fear.

To overcome fear, you must learn to purify your words and confessions by the pure water of God’s word. You must learn to speak faith and not fear. If you truly believe God’s word and want to live by faith, your words must change. God’s Word says, ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.’ You can make “I will not fear” or “I am bold and free from fear” a daily confession.

  • Enlist the help of an accountability partner.

Because fear is a perspective, you must learn to spend time with people who are going your direction not people who don’t believe in your vision or who are always volunteer prophets of doom. Spend time with the right people.

It is amazing that God’s only suggestion on how to conquer fear is in the form of an instruction: FEAR NOT! It is said there are 365 references to this instruction in the Bible! One for each day! God seems to be saying, you have the ability to live above fear and to enter into your promised land. Whether you will continue to sit helplessly at the low end of the stairs or you’ll walk up boldly into fulfillment, the choice is yours!


2 thoughts on “The Little Man on the Stairs”

  1. Fear…this wonderful piece is not for anyone else but me. A fear-dominated life cannot impact positively the lives of those around him which will bring about retarded growth,that is if he has been growing before he discovered what makes him fearful. And that is the first step to combating fear-DISCOVERY abt when the spirit started manifesting,what gave it accommodation in the first place and to what extent do you think it has negatively affected you(do you regret those missed chances nd opportunities)…Fear doesn’t bring out the best in you!


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