Dear friends, what I wouldn’t give to be able to say, at the end of this series, that I have once and for all eradicated the adversary of Fear that I wrote about in my introduction. That would make life so much easier, wouldn’t it?
However, having reached the end of all these interviews, I am faced with a single undeniable truth: Everyone has trials to go through and overcome.
No matter how perfect a person’s life seems, there is always opportunity for fear, worry, insecurity and strife – to the extent that we allow it in our lives.
If we sit around waiting for our lives to get better before we rise above our fears, we will forever sit in the ashes like Cinderella.
I am growing in the conviction that it is not in the absence of fear that the greatest triumph lies – the vanquishing of fear, and spurning its control over me, each time it makes its appearance, is a far greater victory. In the words of my pastor, “How can we say that we are more than conquerors if we have nothing to conquer?” The mark of a true warrior is one who 1) knows which battles they must fight and which ones they must not, 2) enters into those battles courageously, and 3) wins those battles. An absence of battles requires no warriors.
Proverbs 31 doesn’t say that this godly woman’s life was free from worries and challenging circumstances. In fact, let’s see what Proverbs 31:15 says – “She arises while it is still dark…”
A popular interpretation of this verse is that the godly woman is conscientious and not lazy; she awakes very early in the morning and makes provision for her household while they are still sleeping. I am not disagreeing with this interpretation, though the SO-not-a-morning-person part of me chafes at its implications.
However, I want to submit to you that this verse was also written metaphorically.
“Dark” or “night” is usually associated with a negative season/situation. An example of this is in Romans 13:12, where Paul says that “the night (a metaphor for the present evil times) is almost finished, and the day (the time of salvation and reward) is almost here.”
When Proverbs 31:15 says that the godly woman arises while it is still dark, I believe it means that a woman of wisdom is able to rise up even in the midst of trials and tribulations. Reading on, we see that not only does she refuse to let the difficult times hold her or slow her down, she manages to turn them into glory for herself and the people under her care!
Now, I know this all sounds good in theory, but if you are anything like me you’d probably be thinking, “So… what does this mean practically?” Do I want to be a woman who can arise while it is still dark? For sure! The only question is, how??
Well, I do not profess to have the complete guide to navigating fear and insecurity – I’m still a pilgrim on this journey! However, along the way I have come to know TWO unchanging anchors that are tremendously essential in sailing the waters of life.
Knowing God’s love for me. One of my favorite verses in Deuteronomy 33:12 says, “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.”
When I encounter the love of God, everything is put into perspective. Having a revelation of my identity as the beloved of God brings about peace and hope for the future no matter what challenging situations I may be facing, because I know that God carries me on His back and shields me with His shoulders. This is one of the most precious truths anyone can ever know.
This “knowing” that I talk about is not the clichéd Christian platitude that we all have learnt to say – “Yes, Jesus loves me”. For the truth of God’s love to change our hearts, we must experience the same knowing as in Genesis when “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived”.
The word in the original Hebrew text is yada (pronounced yaw-dah), which means “to know” and “to be intimate with”. This yada is an implanting, a fusing together, when one person’s deep calls unto the other’s deep (Psalms 42:7).
We must yada the love of God.
Now, this is not something to feel stressed about. We cannot know the love of God unless God first draws us to Him, so what I always do when I feel dry or far away from Him is to pray this verse in Ephesians 3: 16-21, changing the words to make it my personal prayer –
Abba, I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that I, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all Your holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to God who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within me, to You be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
God has never failed to pursue my heart back to His, and He will do the same for you too!
One of my favorite authors George Macdonald says this, “Fear is faithlessness.” For a warrior to remain steadfast in the face of adversary, he needs to possess the rare quality called Faithfulness.
There was a season when God spent a few months teaching me about faithfulness, and one of the first lessons I had to learn was that faithfulness requires me to be full of faith (faith-full).
Faith is simply being able to see something before it materializes – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Without faith, it would be difficult to be faithful because I cannot see the hope that is guaranteed for me beyond the current challenge.
A verse that has been a great source of encouragement to me in challenging times is Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
This is something that I am learning to put into practice. Trusting in God one step at a time, I now go to sleep feeling the tangible presence of God wrapping around my heart and find hope meeting me in the morning.
Precious women of God, before our Lover returns for us, let us raise our voices against the works of evil and fight against its attempts to silence and subdue us. Let us be the Final Resistance against the kingdom of darkness, not just for ourselves but also for all who are still in captivity!