Faith and Beating the Bully

We’ve been studying in our life group about Deborah, so encouraging as we seek to grow into Warrior Women. Two of our group plus their families fought Covid after we began this study, along with many of our church staff. With faith and grace, we all entered the prayer fight. It is with much joy that we can declare that everyone is on the road to recovery.

Despite these victories, I found myself weary and feeling defeated. Putting on worship, reading the word, declaring God’s goodness are my normal tools I use when I am feeling pressed in. Instead of my life opening up, I felt like I was getting smaller and more ineffective in my life. As I shared with our ladies’ last night, we discovered I wasn’t alone! Others were also feeling diminished and silenced in their sphere of influence. It felt like the hills of obstacles were growing into mountains, with no relief or response from prayer. During our time of prayer, one gal said the word “bully” and I realized we were all being bullied and intimidated into silence and inactivity.

How about you? Have you encountered that bully lately in your life? Those subtle or not-so-subtle taunts about how your God really will do nothing to change the circumstances? My personal family received two difficult diagnoses that are, in the natural, long term with no cure type issues. As we keep praying, the bully looms large and says “why bother”, nothing is changing or will change. Today, I am scheduled for a contrasting CT scan to help discover the cause of increasing pain in my left abdomen. The bully is trying to get me to focus on the worse case scenario, when we don ‘t even know what it is. I have held my ground and have chosen not to go there.

In life we have long-term battles. We can settle under them, or we can choose to continue to fight for victory. Our bully would like to cause us to shrink and settle for less than God’s plan. We have not heard a word from the Lord to stop fighting for total health, so we fight on. I choose to keep on knocking, keep on seeking and keep on trusting for His plan and His purpose to be revealed. Our bully goes around as a roaring lion seeking who he can devour, and I admit lately I think he has taken a few bites out of my soul. His bites include condemnation, accusation and doubt. With these bites, he wanted to leave behind an infection that would cause me to lose hope, stop believing and stop praying. His goal was to bring discouragement and cause my heart to be disheartened.

But his plan was uncovered. I will not grow weary in well doing. I will not stop praying and I will not stop trusting my God to do miracles. Deborah was a strong leader. She heard the word of the Lord and spoke victory to Barak. Barak had 10,000 fighting men; his opponent had 40,000 fighting men, plus 900 chariots. But Barak had the word of the Lord on His side, so do we. (Read the story in Judges 4 and 5).

It is humbling to admit the bully was winning in his battle to render me weak and wimpy. But the good news is that no matter how wimpy I feel, God is still strong. He continues showing off His might and power. This morning I realized the bully was attacking God’s character. My most precious Rock, the steadfast one, is always true to His Word. My mind was distracted by the bully’s words and his attempt to cause me to lean upon my own understanding, not His. Our Awesome God continues to work His work, no matter how we feel, and for that I am very grateful.

Father, we silence the bully’s words in our ears. We release your Words of life into every situation that looks contrary to God’s plan. We choose to trust you and your ways. We lean hard upon you and we know you will show us the path of life. In Jesus Name, Amen

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