Monday, March 31, 2008

Breaking Intimidation

Do you have a God-given call on your life that you're afraid to explore? Are you allowing intimidation to keep you from fulfilling your God-given mission? Is it hard for you to say "no" without feeling guilty? If so, you're a lot like me. I have felt God's calling in my life for a while now, but I have shied away because of fear; fear of what others would think, fear of rejection, fear of isolation and resentment from others.

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to fit in. This desire has often led me to do things I wouldn't normally do. It has caused me a lot of regret in my life. And it has also kept me from pursuing the mission that God has had planned for me.

For some time now, I have felt God's calling (never stronger than now) to speak up about the dangers of being "wise in our own eyes". The dangers of listening to the devils lies about health. The over-use and abuse of medication. For years, I have felt God's nudging and have shied away. I have given excuses for not speaking up when I've needed to. I have denied my calling and have clammed up in order to please those around me.
Outwardly, I feel I'm doing what it takes to fit in. Inwardly, I'm crumbling. Today, I am choosing to do something about this.

At a seminar a couple of months ago, a doctor recommended the book, "Breaking Intimidation" by John Bevere to Channing and me. She said it really helped her to push through her fear of rejection and enabled her to share truths with those around her. She had nothing but great things to say about the book, so Channing and I ordered it.

We've had the book for a month or so and haven't looked at it. Then tonight, while I was cooking dinner, I saw that Joyce Meyer was on. I turned her show on and saw that her special guest was John Bevere. I watched the show, was enlightened (as usual) and was stirred to begin reading the book we ordered. After reading the introduction, I SO wish I had began this book sooner. It is AWESOME!

I read the beginning and reread it. I enjoyed it so much, I had to pull Channing into the kitchen so we could read it together. The introduction of the book captured me. He gives a great analogy that really shows how so many of us are allowing intimidation to rule over us and defeat us. He explains that if we don't get to the root of the problem, we will never overcome it. He shares how the Spirit of the Lord came upon him to prophesy.

In the first chapter, Bevere lists a great quote, "Walk in your God-given authority, or someone will take it and use it against you." This was a warning that a man from one of Bevere's previous churches gave to his (Bevere's) wife before they left that church. The quote took my breath away. In this chapter, he goes on to share a personal testimony of allowing himself to be intimated by people and thus his being cut off from the blessings of God. He shares how he allowed thoughts to "assault his mind". He stopped focusing on God's call on his life and started worrying about what was going to happen to him. He says that this is how intimidation changes your focus. "The reason: The root of intimidation is fear, and fear causes people to focus on themselves. Perfect love casts out fear because love puts the focus on God and others and denies itself (1 John 4:18)." WOW!

How true that statement has been in my life!!! I have been so fearful and have been nothing but focused on myself. When I hear stories from others and sense God's nudging to share what I know, I usually clam up and keep quiet, even though everything inside of me is screaming. I love these people that are telling me about the 10th antibiotic they've given their baby for ear infections, yet I don't open my mouth to let them know that there is a better way. SELFISH! That is not perfect love at all. I am putting all of the focus on myself.

Bevere closes the chapter by sharing the fact that so many Christians battle intimidation. He goes on to point out that these Christians often are unaware of the battle they are up against. He says, "As with most of Satan's devices, intimidation is camouflaged and subtle. We feel its effects-depression, confusion, lack of faith- without knowing its root.... In frustration most of us deal with the aftermath, or fruit of intimidation, rather than with the intimidation itself-and with its root. Therefore, we may experience temporary relief, but our struggles do not end. You can pick all the fruit off the tree, but as long as its roots are intact, the fruit eventually grows back." Bevere then shares that this becomes a cycle, and that "we begin to feel hopeless and settle for a place far below where God has called us."

I have seen this in my life, and I am so ready to make a change. I am ready to start living for God rather than living to please man...which is SO hard! If this is something you struggle with, I highly recommend picking up this book. I have only read the introduction and first chapter, but I am already sensing a HUGE change coming in my life. This is a study Channing and I are doing together, and I can hardly wait to see where God takes us. If you decide to get the book too, or if you've already read it, let me know what you think!


MorningSong said...

I am so glad you are finding YOUR way with what God has in store for you! It is clearly good to share what God has anointed you to share! I often feel bad for people who get lost in their calling and began berating others for not seeing the light. They are so ineffective! In my early days (the zealous ones) I was one of those trying to MAKE everyone SEE the light that was staring them in the face. This wasn't ALWAYS about health but it has been. I will be praying that you will speak the truth God is revealing to you in a loving and gentle way. How fruitless it is to argue with someone over God's truth! In the Bible, Jesus was confrontational with His message. Not because He argued or sought out a debate. He NEVER debated. HE spoke the truth and where it was received it was received. Where it was rejected it was rejected, but it was still true! I pray as you speak in your boldness you will remain gentle and peaceful so as to not distract from the message you've been given to proclaim! (Many LOVE to argue - but that is a distraction!) I now see the LARGER fruit of speaking and letting GOD press the message in where HE chooses. I don't take on the responsibility of changing someone's mind. It has been a much more enjoyable walk now that I let God do His part. (I hope this makes sense.)

Much love and blessings to you!

MorningSong said...

For example! :)
When I share how probiotics changed our health or how using Sharon's shopping principles REALLY work.. BEFORE I would have heard the person ask the first question and take my chance to make them as excited as I was. My goal was to get them to think like me. NOW - I see the blank stare and think "I am planting the seed, someone else will water it and ONE DAY THEY WILL GET IT but not today." There is a peace in not feeling as though your job is to turn the blank stares into believers. All giftings work the same. Some water, some plant, some harvest. Our role varies but the process is the same. You cannot save someone so how do we think we can MAKE someone buy into a biblical truth by OUR will! I just wanted to give you a nugget God has shown me after erring. It is great to see the blank stare and then decide to give them the short version (keeping in the major God points) and knowing God is stirring them - one day they will receive it!

Ole Miss Mom said...

Annie, I'm glad you're speaking out on things you have such a passion about. However, I read recently about a little girl who's parents denied her medical attention in the event of a medical emergency. They passionately opted for prayer despite the consistent urgency of the family to get medical attention. The little girl ended up passing away. My father has been gifted by God to be a great physician and has saved numerous lives - it has become his ministry. I agree that there are abuses in medicine, but there's the practical side of medicine as well. Even though I may not agree with you on every aspect of your post, I still respect you as a godly woman. I love it that you have such a passion for reaching people in this area.
Love ya - look forward to more posts!! :-)

annieck said...

Thanks for the advice, morningsong. :)
Lindsay, I saw that case on the news too. As in any area, there are always extremists. I don't consider Channing and myself to be extremists.
I know you're proud of your dad, and I'm sure he's a great doctor! :)
I definitely believe that medicine has its place. I just praise God that my kids haven't needed it yet. :) My hope is that they never will. If Channing and I ever feel that they do need medicine, though, we will deny them of it.
Thanks for reading about my passion and for sharing your opinion! :)
Blessings on you and your precious family!

annieck said...

I meant to say...we will NOT deny them of it. OOOPS!

Anonymous said...

i am glad you are enjoying this book- it sounds great. i especially like the quote you put that fear causes us to focus on ourselves! HOW TRUE!!! i want to think about that in my life because i can see fears (even with just getting out and practicing arabic because i am afraid i will sound stupid)!

proud of you!


devan said...

Great post, Annie! I soooo have the same struggles!