There are no general principles, but there is a narrative of expectations.
Without chasing all the essential antecedents, I remind readers that you must understand the Bible as a largely Hebrew document whose content either assumes an ancient Hebrew mystical perspective, or calls for a return to that perspective as the basis for receiving divine revelation. It calls for a heart-led consciousness and the text is cast in terms of experiential narrative. It comes very close to phenomenology in its philosophical approach: There is only experience and perception, and perception is the weak point.
In other words, if you approach things with an inductive-deductive orientation, you can’t possibly understand revelation, and cannot possibly understand the natural world in which you live. You must learn to let the world speak to you its own narrative. The rational approach of assuming a largely inert universe is the essence of the Fall. It presumes mankind is superior to all other things. But mankind is fallen; the rest of Creation is not. You don’t get humility from your intellect, and your brain cannot kneel before the Creator; it cannot know Him. If you don’t encounter God personally in your soul, then you can’t pretend to know anything about Him. God’s Creation and our divine design requires that we see things as living and personal — all things. It demands a certain level of reverence.
Because we tend to operate that way instinctively, the Western orientation on reason forces a huge portion of reality into that spooky space of superstition. We cannot compel ourselves to ignore a living personal reality, so we have this schizoid Western culture full of spooky horror superstitions against a pitiful attempt to pretend those things don’t exist. We know they do, but by trying to ignore them, we end up not understanding them. Thus, we fear them. If we bring them out into the light of our conscious awareness, they become more real and less spooky. That requires moving beyond the juvenile rational approach into an adult recognition arising from a mystical approach. We have to compel the intellect to acknowledge the supremacy of the heart, and recognize that the fundamental question of importance is knowing the moral significance of all things.
Thus, the starting point to vanquishing Satanic fear is redemption from the Fall, the mitigation of the Curse by embracing the heart-led way and divine revelation. We train the mind to accept the leadership of the heart by learning about narrative and the experiential orientation. It’s not that we can’t trust the experience of others, but that experience must be properly transmitted and received, with all the attendant recognition of the limits involved. Nothing can ever be fixed except in our own personal experience, so someone else’s experience must be shared in a way that breathes life into it in our own perception. Then, it has to match our convictions in some way or it can’t stick, nor should it.
The question is not some imaginary objective reality, because we reject that notion from the start. The question is whether or not you can use it to serve God’s glory. Mere knowledge for its own sake is of no importance; it’s a false god. You have no other purpose for living in this fallen state than to glorify God, so keep your focus on what matters.
This blog presumes a biblical approach, that the God who we call “Jehovah” in the English language was the God of Israel and that Jesus of Nazareth was His Son. All other deities are false images. Not necessarily total lies, but none of the other mythologies measure up to the clarity of the Bible. Any worship of other deities is idolatry. In other words, you can be heart-led and still come up with wrong answers. You can also claim Christ and not be heart-led, and again still come up with wrong answers. You need both. All the other answers may have useful content, but will always miss the point.
So we don’t fear examining non-biblical mythologies. We don’t fear pagan religions and their teachings; there’s no need to hate them. But it may not be part of your individual calling, so you aren’t missing anything if you aren’t interested. Still, there’s nothing to gain by slandering other religions as religions. We cannot possibly know how God might have spoken to others; we most certainly must know how He has spoken to us.
The issue here is to keep Satan from using your lack of interest, and therefore your lack of direction experience with those things, as the means to keeping you under his dominion. Fear in the sense of terror is not from God (as opposed to the fear of reverence). Terror comes from Satan. Fear of the unknown is one of the Devil’s best tools.
Another of his best tools is disrespect. If you buy into Western objectivism, you reject the notion of Life. That is, the default human approach to reality by God’s design is to envision all of Creation as alive, sentient and willful. From the smallest increment of subatomic particles, scaling upward through the various entities the mind can discern, to the whole of Creation itself — everything is alive. You must be prepared to address yourself to everything on every level as if it were alive; you have to learn to communicate with it in your heart (which is a sensory organ in its own right).
Thus, the mere factual data you can collect is not even half the story when trying to understand the world around you. Pity the poor scientist who cannot see beyond his mere intellect, because he cannot truly acquaint himself with the things he studies. They are just waiting for him to turn on his heart’s perception, but he refuses to perceive. Granted, the common experience in heart-led people is that most of Creation isn’t that talkative, but if you take the time to sit and chat with the people you find in the natural world around you, you’ll be surprised at what they can tell you. It all depends on your calling and mission from God, but that fellowship is there waiting in the rocks, trees, birds, animals, sky and wind.
Jesus spoke to Creation often in performing miracles; you must assume He knew those things could hear.