The girl stared in disbelief, unable to comprehend what she was witnessing. Unseen in the crook of her tree, she was safe from harm, and she dared not make a sound, lest the unrelenting man turn his violent rage on to her. Why did the boy keep going back for more?
“You are worthless!” shouted the man as he kicked the boy into the brush. Run away! the girl willed. Please, save yourself and run away! But no sooner had she finished the thought, the boy reappeared out of the brush, crawling toward his tormentor.
Time after time, the man would thrust the child to the ground and berate him with rants like “Nobody cares about you,” “You’ll never win,” and “You’ll never get away from me!” And every single time, the boy would have a clear opportunity to flee but instead chose to return to the clutches of this evil man. Eventually, the bully lifted up the boy and carried him away.
The girl wept as she watched the pair disappear over the horizon.
Why would any person repeatedly and willingly go back to the abuse of a bully? How could anyone subject themselves to being torn to shreds by destructive words like this man was yelling at this boy? Like the little girl watching, we would be perplexed, shocked, and most of all, grieved that this boy did not run away when he had the opportunity.
And yet I submit to you: How many of us have allowed Fear to torment us? Yes, there may not have been physical beatings, but think of the damage our hearts, souls, and confidence have endured by this unrelenting bully? How many hours of sleep have we lost as our minds were invaded by Fear? How many situations have we avoided because we allowed ourselves to be thrown aside by Fear? How many lies like, “Nobody cares for me” and “I’ll never overcome this” and “I’ll never be free from my fears” have we allowed to ourselves to believe?
FEAR IS A BULLY.
IT MUST BE SILENCED.
And YOU must be the silencer. STOP going back to the lies Fear berates you with by allowing yourself to meditate on them, to worry about them, and to play out fearful scenarios in your mind. In doing so, you are just like this little boy in the story above…instead of choosing freedom, you are walking back into the control of your abuser.
Listen, I know this is hard to read because those of us who have been tormented by fear feel so beaten down, so tired of the fight, the last thing we want to hear is someone basically telling us to “get over it.” Please know, this is not what I’m trying to say. Trust me, I have had more days (and even more nights) than I’d like to admit where I have wrestled in agony with panic attacks, thoughts spinning out of control, and the certainty that I would lose my mind.
But I would be lying to you if said there was nothing you can do about it, that you’re just a victim, and this is your lot in life. Fearless 365 is not about me only holding your hand, sympathizing with you, and just promising I’ll pray for you; it’s about PUTTING AN END to the Fears that are trying to bully us.
FEARLESS 365 is about empowering you, not simply empathizing with you.
ˆWait a minute, Molly. Didn’t you tell us a couple weeks ago that we should run to our Father in heaven so that He could fight our battles for us? Now you are telling us that only we can silence our fears. Which is it?” I’m so glad you asked. It’s both.
I love how Joyce Meyer says it: “We must first allow God to do His part, that only He can do, so that we can then do our part, that only we can do.” You and I have been invited into a glorious life where we are privileged to co-labor with the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty God! Through all seasons of life, and all the challenges and adventures that come with it, God promises to help us with every detail. He never says He will completely do it for us; rather, He works in us and through us to accomplish all He has called us to do…and that includes our conquest and triumph over Fear.
The Fearless 365 Week Five Challenge: Choose. In all your thoughts, choose life and hope and freedom and confidence instead of the crippling lies Fear tries to harass you with. Throughout this week, whenever you find yourself worrying about something, or thinking thoughts like I can’t win; I’m not _______ enough; I’ll never be able to change; or whatever lie you wrestle with, picture that little boy going back to his abuser, and make a choice to STOP. Stop going back to that bully. Instead, pray and ask God’s Spirit to give you the strength and discipline (the part that only God can do) to replace those thoughts with the truth of His promises (the part that only you can do).
Next week, we are going to get into more specific battle tactics, but until then, here are some of my favorite scriptures that have helped me win victories over Fear. I’ve written these down on cards, carried them with me, memorized them, quoted them, sang them, and sometimes shouted them at the top of my lungs. They are God’s Word (and from the Amplified Version), so they are infused with mighty power. Use them as a sword to kill your fears.
I love you and believe in you. Please know that I am lifting you up in prayer this week!
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought and inquired of the Lord, and required Him of necessity and on the authority of His Word, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency.