Fear paralyzes the soul, the mind, and the body.
As many of you know, I’m now writing books in addition to articles, blogs, devotions, and websites. Books are a different animal, and I find them harder than knocking out a 1,200 word article in an hour. It doesn’t help that I have an intense day-job requiring vast amounts of time and energy. This could be a set up for disaster.
But with determination, I praise God and follow His lead. Otherwise, I’d already have given up, especially when I received the first edited version of my initial book proposal.
Numerous weak areas were evident. I couldn’t believe my own negative patterns as a writer. But my editor offered solutions for my mistakes. For me, that’s the easy part. Conditioned to fix problems, I knew how to keep at something until it was done right.
Oddly enough, the hard part was her words of encouragement. She told me my writing abilities were above average, and in her opinion my concept could be a best-seller. You would think I’d be on cloud nine, but instead, it paralyzed me with fear. What if I couldn’t live up to the book’s potential?
And so it took me weeks to do something with her advice. When I finally sat down to tackle her critique, I literally made all the changes in less than two hours. Too bad I wasted all that energy on worry.
To top it off, a regular assault of things gone wrong kept me on edge. For months I dealt with one crisis after another, and frankly it wore me out. Spiritual warfare abounded, and fatigue set in. Too tired to fight anymore, I called on God and prayer warriors to help. My answer came in the form of a book.
According to Rabbi Levi Brackman in Jewish Wisdom for Business Success, fear has four faces:
4) Learned Helplessness
I realized my paralysis is driven by self-sabotage and learned helplessness. The answer lies in Exodus 14:13-15 where the Lord, through Moses, tells the children of Israel to fear not and see the salvation of the Lord. He ends with “Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.”
I realized God does not tell us to retreat or wait until we can see clear to the other side. He tells us to stick our toes in the Red Sea and step in faith.
I learned a few lessons through those early days of battle with my book proposal.
- I may not progress as quickly as I like, but I will go forward, even if it’s measured only in inches.
- I trust the Lord to give me courage, and increase my faith.
- He IS my salvation.
- I will praise Him no matter what, and I will finish the work He started in me.
Fear is the enemy, and knowing the face of the enemy is half the battle. He wouldn’t fight against us if there wasn’t something to fight for.
I now realize when Satan fights me, God is surely up to something good! Trust in God’s goodness helped me break out of paralysis to write my story another day.
What gives you hope in spiritual warfare? How do you live to write another day?
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family.
Monday – Friday blog www.freshstartfreshfaith.wordpress.com