I think my next giant has been with me since birth. I know that might seem weird to you, but I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that I haven’t been afraid. When you live in an environment that is a war zone day in and day out, it does something to you. It changed my childhood which in turn changed me. If you look at it from a human advantage, I didn’t stand a chance. But, because I have Jesus as my giant slayer, I do stand a chance. I even remember this dark presence chasing after me when I was a little girl. I don’t remember seeing someone except I knew something was chasing me. Now, I am probably creeping you out when I say that, but it did happen to me. I think Satan has been after me every single day since then. He has been after me with a vengeance. This is the very first time I have really ever said that, but it is important for you to know what I have been up against. So, now it is time to name giant #2 “Fear.”
When you are a Christian, you are told over and over again to “fear not.” There are 366 “fear nots” in the Bible. I have to tell you that those “fear nots” have made me feel very guilty. Whenever someone would tell me that I shouldn’t fear, I honestly could have punched them in the face. I couldn’t help my fear. I tried and I tried but I couldn’t shake it and I still struggle with it! Again, look at me saying “try” over and over. I was the one doing the work. I wasn’t trusting Jesus to help me. I wasn’t even sure He could help me because I struggled for so long with it. I lost hope and confidence in me ever changing. I thought I was doomed.
Louie Giglio has a good perspective on fear that I would like to share. “Fear is a giant. One of the most common giants that must fall. Fear can taunt us and harm us. Fear can get a foothold in our lives and begin to dominate us. Fear can demoralize us and ultimately diminish God’s glory in our lives. It never diminishes God’s glory within God himself, because God’s intrinsic worth cannot be changed. But the way we reflect God’s glory gets diminished. The way we show the world who God is and the way we show ourselves who God is—that’s what is lessened.”
When I read the part about allowing my fear to lessen God’s glory, it makes me furious with what I have allowed my giant to do to me. I am ready to kick that giant to the curb. Jesus has done so much to build me up and help me and all that giant has done is try to destroy me. That giant’s head has got to go! It needs to be severed! This giant has been very sneaky with me because I didn’t recognize it for a very long time. I didn’t realize how bad it was until the panic attacks hit when I turned forty. It was like the giant finally appeared and showed his ugly head.
Louie states, “Fear doesn’t always look like fear. Sometimes fear is flat-out terror. But at other times this giant exhibits itself less overtly. It shows up as anxiety or nervousness or worry or stress or dread or tension or stomach problems. Fear chews away at our lives and erodes our sense of confidence and well-being. It robs us of sleep and rest. Fear blinds us and steals our praise.” I think that most of us have had issues with this giant off and on in our lives.
Through the years, I haven’t felt like I have had a lot of people to turn to with my fear. I have felt so guilty about having so many fears. If you struggle with fear like I do, please find someone to talk to about it and ask them to pray for you. And, if you know someone who is struggling in this area, open your arms to them. I know my situation has been extreme and hard for people to really know what to do, but I just need to feel loved and accepted. I need to be prayed for, not judged. I judge myself enough. I don’t need anyone else to judge me. (I’ll get off my soapbox now!) Sorry, for that! It has been really hard sometimes. I know God understands me, but sometimes you just need a hug or someone who is human to sit beside you and tell you everything is going to be okay.
So, how do we tackle this giant? Louie states that we need to sit down and figure out what is causing the fear. For me, I was conditioned to fear because of the environment I was raised in. As a child, every day was extremely volatile, so my foundation was very shaky. I learned to hide all the issues very well and act like everything was okay. I honestly didn’t realize how big this giant was because it was a huge part of me. I have allowed him to taunt me, scare me, hurt me and make me feel like there is no hope. I didn’t realize that he had so much control over me until recently. I have listened to his voice more than God’s voice because I was conditioned that way. I have a long history with this giant, but in Jesus name he needs to go away. That head needs to be severed!
This giant has been very sneaky with me. He has made me have horrible thoughts about myself. He has taunted me and tried to destroy me. He knows how to get to me. The only way for me to fight this giant is to keep Jesus before me at all times. Louie explains, “Our giants can taunt us, but they don’t have ultimate power. Jesus has the ultimate power. Jesus builds up our faith, and faith is the antidote to fear. Faith is saying, “I have confidence in God that He is bigger than this giant.”
I have to be honest and admit that I have struggled with having confidence In God. Because I have been in many scary situations, I have questioned His decisions and His will, but I need to remember that He is my father. He is with me in every situation I face. He is more than able to take care of my issues. He does everything out of love and His plan is perfect. I have to focus on His goodness and His words. His voice has to be the one I listen to and His face has to be the one I seek. I need to keep Him in front of me at all times. I need to surround myself with scripture and focus on His words. Faith in Jesus is what is going to beat this giant of fear. My faith needs to be bigger than fear.
Louie states that David had his eyes fixed on God. His faith never wavered. He focused on God’s power. Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.” I have to keep my eyes on the One who can help me. I need to start each day focusing on Jesus! I don’t know about you, but that can be very hard for me to do. I allow my “to do” list, my problems, my schedule and people distract me from my focus on Jesus. I start out my days focused on Him and then as the day goes by and things happen, my focus changes to what is happening around me. I honestly don’t know how to live like David, but I am going to ask the Holy Spirit to help me. I think I am going to have to carry a bunch of 3×5 cards with me all the time! I need to say scripture out loud as I drive down the road. I need to claim God’s promises to me! So, if you see me driving and talking, I am saying God’s word out loud to Him or I could be just talking to myself. (Haha! I’m just keeping it real.)
I am going to leave you today with another gem from Louie Giglio. “And this is our invitation from God—to constantly be aware of His presence. To reestablish our focus on Jesus. When we deliberately and purposely focus our attention on Christ, we are reminded that God is able. We know He is always present with us. And we also know He is alway good. The battle is not ours. Our responsibility is to have faith. That’s the antidote. God is able. Jesus is enough. When we set our eyes on Him, we will not be shaken. We will rest secure.”
That is what I want more than anything; to rest secure in my Father’s arms. I haven’t been able to do that very much in my life. I am so ready to relax and trust my giant slayer. I really want this giant to go down! Until next time friends…