What are you afraid of?
’m petrified of sharks. I look for dorsal fins to slice through the water in the weirdest of places…like swimming pools. I love the Boston Aquarium, yet every visit to the Big Fish tank feels like an act of faith worthy of Hebrews 11. Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’ is the most gut-dropping, obscene display of fishy terrorism I could imagine; I can’t watch the trailer without trembling. So ferocious is this fear that it impedes the love I have for being in the ocean, and my dream of learning how to surf.
I am also afraid of failure. Of rejection. Of being sent away in shame because I am not enough. And I’m no fan of heights, either.
It has been a few months since I said ‘Anything’ to God. It has been less than two weeks since I publicly said ‘Anything.’ It took two days for the enemy to respond.
Sometimes, stepping out in faith is followed with blessings. I think that is to assure us that we made the right decision. Other times, stepping out in faith paints a scarlet target between our eyes. The enemy isn’t one to lose gracefully.
The past two weeks have been a cartwheeling circus of Murphy’s law. Everything that could go wrong was happy to do so. Technology began to fail when I needed it most; I made embarrassing mistakes in all areas of my life; I found myself in the middle of difficult conversations that made absolutely no sense; things that shouldn’t stress me at all became overwhelming. On Wednesday morning, without any medical explanation, my heart began racing. I sat at my desk feeling like I had sprinted up three flights of stairs. That carried on for 24-hours and then was gone. Just gone. Then nausea crept in every time I ate. Then dizzy spells on top of it all. Guys, these were the weeks from Hell (literally). So, I cried out to God.
“Help me, Papa.”
I heard His voice, low and steady through the chaos. “Who are you, baby?”
“I’m the daughter of the King. I’m God’s girl.”
“And who is your enemy?”
“My enemy is Satan.”
“And what did you do that would anger your enemy?”
“Stepped out in obedience and announced that I was going to use my gifts for God.”
“Exactly. You are under attack from your enemy because you are walking in open obedience to Me. But I’ve got this. You. Are. MINE.”
He kept speaking, His words pacing back and forth like a lion protecting His lioness. “You. Are MINE,” he growled. “No one touches you without My permission. Where I have planted you, no one will move you until I say it is time for you to be moved. You are MINE.”
“Father,” I prayed. “This is so uncomfortable. My heart is beating out of my chest. Nothing is working. I’m a train wreck right now.”
He repeated: “You are under attack from your enemy.”
And then He added this. “If Satan is beating down your confidence and faith in your abilities; if he’s attacking your health and peace; if he’s hacking at you a mere days after you did something as seemingly small as starting a blog where you speak about Me and My work in your life, HOW MUCH OF A THREAT MUST YOU BE TO HELL?”
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” Is. 54:17
Friends, these past few years have been brutal spiritually. Circumstances had me questioning if God was good. Exhaustion had me crawling back to the things that could comfort me instead of the God who could revive me. Complacency kept me locked in a prison of self pity and uselessness. My enemy had me right where he wanted me – silent, motionless, dragged to the bottom of the sea. Why?
I’m a threat to Hell.
You’re a threat to Hell. The enemy HATES you because of Who you represent. Because of Whose fingerprints you bear. Because of your potential to do great good in a world that is dark and deep with evil. Satan doesn’t want to attack your present; he’s after your future, and what you will do for God terrifies him. If you can throw yourself into God’s promises, you could change the course of the world for good. You are a bigger threat to the sharks than they are to you, even when they take you in their dagger-like teeth and shake you until you are sure you’ll split in two.
God didn’t create you for death. He created you for life and marvelous works in His name. As terrifying as our every day can be, remember – the sharks can only frighten and paralyze you if you forget who you are, and Who has made you for good.