“The closer you get to your calling, the louder fear sounds.”
When I was in Junior high I had a bully. She and her minions would follow me home relentlessly almost every day after school in the 7th grade. She would taunt me, call me names, and throw things at me. At school, I did everything I could to avoid her. She was very mean, and I dreaded our daily interaction. I would even try to go home different ways to avoid her, but somehow she would always find me.
One day after school, I was walking to my grandmother’s house with my best friend, Leslie Parker. This bully and her followers approached me, and they immediately started talking trash. This time she wanted to fight me. I was scared.
My friend saw the fear on my face as I held back my tears and tried not to make eye contact. My friend’s instincts kicked in, and she got between me and my bully. She told this girl that if she wanted to fight me that she was going to have to get through her first. I had never seen my best friend look so fierce. She was adamant that this bully-girl was going to have to fight her first. Her face was beet red, and she was getting in this girl’s face. The girl and her posse finally decided to leave.
I stood there in awe of what I had just witnessed. Not only was my friend one of the nicest, most non-violent people you would ever meet, but also, no one had ever stood up for me like that. We eventually moved, and I no longer had to deal with that bully.
But trust me, there were other bullies in my life.
The definition of a bully: a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
In chapter five of the book, You’re Made for A God-Sized Dream, Holley Gerth describes fear as a bully who doesn’t fight fair.
“But like most bullies, fear doesn’t stand its ground when you turn and decide to face it.”
When I was fearful of my bully, I wanted to run and hide. I did whatever I could do to avoid the situation. I’ve noticed that I still do the same thing when fear creeps in. When God calls me to something that feels bigger than me or when God asks me to step out and do something that is out of my comfort zone, I want to run and hide and avoid the situation at all costs. Because fear, my bully, likes to lie to me. He says, “Who are you to do that?” or “There are so many people already doing that, why waste your time?” or “You can’t do that, what if you mess up?”
And there have been many times I hid…and he won.
When God first called me to speak, I was so nervous and full of fear. Quite honestly, I still get nervous; the only difference is that I step out and face my bully instead of running and hiding. And I’ve learned that God steps in when my bully, fear, tries to push me around and He tells my bully that he’s got to go through Him first!
When we are feeling afraid, just like my friend Leslie Parker did, God sees that fear in our eyes. He sends His Holy Spirit to step in and say, I will fight for you.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
“Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the One fighting for you.”
Deuteronomy 3:22 (NASB)
Stop Feeding the Fear…Let it starve!
On page 95 in the book, Holley talks about how fear has plenty of food to survive on just by living in this world. She goes on to say,
But sometimes we fatten it up even more by giving it treats. Every time we believe a lie, it’s like throwing a bone to fear. We indulge it with insecurity or offer it a bit more of our attention to nibble on. Fear eats it all up, and then we’re surprised when it grows.
No more! I’ve made it my mission to specifically do that thing that scares me because what I’ve realized is that there’s a reason the enemy is trying to keep me from doing it. He wants me to stay afraid and then I won’t do what God’s calling me to do. The enemy is sneaky. He knows that our calling affects not just us, but so many others. If we let fear lead, we won’t step out.
We all have times when fear growls at the door, when doubt creeps in, when we feel so very small. But those are the moments that God’s love can be the biggest, when He’s there with open arms, with truth that reminds us who we are. And who are you? You are loved (Psalms 103:11), You have purpose (Phil. 1:6), You are not alone (Psalms 73:23), and you are stronger than you know (Phil. 4:13). And nothing can change that- not this day, that situation, those thoughts inside your mind. (page 101)
Do it afraid! Don’t spend one more day listening to the lies of the enemy!
Face your bully and trust God to give you what you need as you need it!
Shared by: Celeste Barnard