Tag Archive | fear

A Bully Named Fear

Joshua 1:9 –  Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (HCSB)

Fear can give a quick jump in heart rate that soon passes or fear can be paralyzing. Fear can be amusing or life altering. Fear can take control of a moment or control of your life. Recently I realized I have allowed fear to become my idol, giving it more power than God in my life. Several years ago I felt God giving me a directive, but instead mimicking Isaiah’s “I’m ready to go” (Isaiah 6:8), I was more like Moses with “I can’t do that.” (Exodus 3:11). God answered me much like He answered Moses – “I’ve taken care of everything. Don’t worry about it.” (Exodus 3:12), but I allowed Fear to build on the foundation of my low self-esteem to create a wall of panic and doubt. Some of my fears proved to be true, which made the wall even more substantial. Time after time I was Gideon asking for a sign (Judges 6). Time after time God answered, but Fear told me I needed more. When I should have been fierce, I was frightened. I continued to question God and continued to point out the flaws in His plan. I was so focused on the “what if” my eyes lost sight of the “I AM”.  In Judges 6:15 Gideon asks “How can I save Israel?” and then went on to explain his shortcomings. Instead of being electrified, Gideon was terrified. He used the words “how can I”, but he was saying “I can’t”. In verse 16 God answers “I will be with you.” Instead of thinking, “Well, that changes everything!”, Gideon is thinking “yeah, but” and begins to ask for proof that it really is God talking. Often, like Gideon, I feel that I need to explain things to God and give Him a clear picture of the situation. God answers and I ask for a sign ….. and another sign ….. and another. I may begin to march out with self-confidence and tenacity but Fear blocks my way and I become shaken and timid. I knew that I could not accomplish anything on my own, and I was right about that, but He never even hinted that I was on my own. Isaiah 41:10 says I don’t need to be faint-hearted because He is God and He is holding my hand. Peter was able to walk on water until he took his eyes off Jesus and then Fear took over (Matthew 14:29-30). Fear kept Gideon’s eyes focused in the wrong direction, but he had to turn his eyes away from himself to see God (Judges 6). When my eyes are on Fear, I am focused on people’s criticisms, comparisons, and even my own opinion of my abilities. When I turn my eyes to God those things are no longer in my line of sight. To paraphrase Paul in Romans 9: 31 “since God has my back, what difference does it make about what people think or do?” Fear is a bully waiting to pounce, but God says “Don’t worry. I’m with you and nothing can take Me away.” (Romans 8:35-39)


“Number 1……..Me………I……… Myself”

Philippians 2:4 – Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (HCSB)

Ephesians 4:2 – with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting[a] one another in love, (HCSB)

Lord, I’m sitting here sipping my coffee and thinking of what I need to do today.  I’m trying to make this cup of coffee last as long as I possibly can because, when I finish it, I need to make a phone call to someone.  I try to talk to her on a regular basis, but there are days that I just can’t deal with her negative attitude.  She can find something wrong in any given situation.  I wish she could find happiness in something, but her only joy is in her misery.  Instead of looking on the bright side, she can find the dark corner in any sun filled room!  It is always about the woes in her life.  She is not the least bit interested in what is going on in my life, or in her neighbor’s life, or in the lives of her family members.  She is the personification of the old joke “Enough about me.  Let’s talk about you.  So…what do you think about ME?” I keep trying to point out all the positives in her life, but she always has a negative.  I can almost see You smile and shake Your head.  I guess I’m not so different from her sometimes.  I tell You what blessings I want, when I want them delivered, and who I want to be blessed.  Of course, I should always be the first one blessed!  Philippians 2 tells me to not be so absorbed in my own interests but to be aware of the interests of others.  A friend’s shirt says “J(Jesus) O(others) Y(you).  I saw a sign the other day that said “Joy = Jesus, Only You”.   Okay, Lord.  I hear You.   The children’s song says “the joy of the Lord is my strength”, and Philippians 4 tells me that I can do all things through You.  2 Timothy tells me that You have not given me a spirit of fear but of love. I need to show the love and joy of You in everything I do, even in talking on the phone. One more sip of coffee as I make that call.    telephone