Sometimes we see life gearing up to deliver a punch that we think can take us down. We see it winding back, we see it gaining power and we immediately know what to do – we get afraid. We curl up in a ball of fear – aggravated, tormented and usually alone.
Why? Because we see every detail of the punch- the blood, the anguish, the embarrassment and the feelings. And we know one thing is for sure – we are in for it.
I can’t even begin to tell you the places my mind has wandered, the things I believed would come true and the ditches I thought I would be in. I was the queen of fear and I still struggle with it today to a degree. My fears would stop me in my tracks. They would consume my mind.
But, I noticed, when I was fearing, it was impossible to be worshipping. When I was worrying, I couldn’t be glorifying. When I was plotting, it was impossible to be loving. Fear consumed my mind – and I turned inward. I became all about me. Because of this, I knew I had to change.
Fear was holding me back from God’s plan. If I was so consumed with fear, I couldn’t be consumed with his calling. I couldn’t be consumed with his glory. I could only be consumed by how bad the blows of life would hit me. My fear made me motionless, serviceless, useless and passionless. Fears depleted me.
How often do we let the unknown consume our minds? How often do we let it trick us into thinking we can control it?
Somehow we think that by worrying, we are gaining control over the situation. It’s almost like we think we have power to change the unchangeable. Until we come face to face with the reality that we aren’t in control – and then we fear more.
So, can we take charge of this bully called “fear” and prevent it from ruling us? From mocking us? From pushing us around?
I have tried every trick in the book to combat fear: the imagine-the-worst-case-scenario trick, the worries-only-happen-99%-of-the-time strategy and the just-don’t-fear approach – I have tried it all. None worked.
But, there is one approach that helped me to stand up to this bully called fear – and I think it will help you too. But, in order to be successful at this, you have to get ready to feel like an underdog. You have to see yourself for what you are – a small warrior. And, you have to relate to another small guy who gets your predicament – David!
Little David stood up against one big bad bully named Goliath. Could he have cowered in fear? Yes. Could he have walked away from God’s mission because it was scary? You bet. Could he have told the Israelites to get out here in fight instead of him? Absolutely. But he didn’t.
David fought what could have been decapitating fear in 3 ways:
1. He remembered and drew strength on God’s faithfulness in the past.
The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (1 Sam. 17:37)
God was faithful to him in the past, and he would be faithful to him today.
2. He looked up to the One Giant larger than the giant.
He looked upon the strength of his Lord, not at the strength of his arms.
He looked at the power of his God, not the power of the obstacle in front of him.
He looked at the might of the Almighty, not at the might of other possible fighters.
He knew that nothing could stand against the power of the living, working, powerful armies of God.
“…Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam 17:26)
3. He didn’t listen to the naysayers. He didn’t look at the circumstances. He didn’t let who he was hold him back from what God had set before him.
“But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (1 Sam. 17:28)
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” (1 Sam. 17:33)
If you are not fearing something today, you likely will be tomorrow.
What if you were to approach the looming punch differently? What if instead of cowering down to the giant bully called “fear”, you choose to do something differently?
Imagine for a moment, a little boy. He stands before the meanest, baddest, strongest bully the school has ever seen. But, for some reason this boy stands smiling. This boy stands proud, fearless and courageous. He stands strong.
We might wonder why?
He is able to let go of fear, because he sees something the other kid cannot – his own Father. His father stands directly behind the bully and he stands waiting to help his son, to protect him and to ensure the right outcome to this situation.
And, your father is standing right behind your giants too. Maybe you can’t see him today, but he is there. Maybe you can’t feel him right now, but he is there.
If you believe God is right there for you, could you approach your giant differently?
There is no giant bigger than the giant of God.
Rather than running to hide, living anxious or cowering in fear, look to Him to gain strength. See how he has delivered you in the past. Lean on his faithfulness. Don’t let naysayers intimidate you or circumstances rule you. God will deliver you when you trust him.
Our God is greater. Our God is stronger.
God will put the giants of your life into perspective. He Is. They aren’t. With God, we can let go of fear.