When I was eight-months pregnant with our first daughter, Jordan, I really got into fear. I knew that fear was not from God, but through experiences I went through, I had received fear into my life I had “signed the package” and accepted it as mine. One night in bed, the devil began to play with my mind. He brought up before me memories of how I’d almost had a hysterectomy, of my dad dying of cancer, of my miscarriages, surgeries, and the death of our firstborn son. As he reminded me of things in my past, I let him put a terrifying fear in my heart.
Then a spirit of fear attacked me. I began to shake and feel like I was burning up. When I woke up Richard Roberts, he said, “Honey, are you sick?” Through my tears, I cried, “I’m terrified, Richard! I cannot have this baby! The devil told me if I go into labor, he’ll kill me and the baby.” I wanted my husband to do something. I’ll never forget how he looked and me and said, “Lindsay, you need to pray.”
Showdown with the devil
That was the last thing I wanted to hear. But now I’m so grateful Richard Roberts loved me enough to make me deal with my fear, because I’m the only one who could have done it. He said, “Lindsay, this has plagued you since you were 18 years old. You’ve allowed it long enough,” and he was absolutely right. He said, “Go in the other room, shut the door, and don’t come out until you’ve had a ‘showdown’ with the devil and you’ve told him, ‘No, devil! I refuse to live in fear anymore.”
At first I was mad at Richard Roberts, but he was right. I had to face this thing head-on, and now I was getting mad at the devil. I walked in the room, ready to face my fear and stay in that room until victory was mine. What I didn’t know was that on the other side of that door, Richard was praying and believing for me to be set free from fear.
I remember drawing a line in the carpet with my shoe, stepping across it, and saying, “Here’s the line of faith and fear, devil. I’m on the side of faith, and I’m not walking on the other side again.” Then I said, “If your power is greater than God’s, just kill me right now. But if I’m still breathing at the end of this conversation, you will never do this to me again.”
Suddenly, I realized, I’m not dead! I’m still here! The fear and torment that had me in its grip just faded away. I was completely delivered by the power of the Lord. I went into that hospital and had a perfectly normal birth without being gripped in fear. And Jordan has always been my “easy” child—so full of God’s peace.
What God did for me, He can do for you!
I believe what God did for me, He can do for you as well, as you have your “showdown” with the devil and believe God for a miracle of deliverance in your life. Let’s join in a prayer of agreement: Father, You told us in I John 4:8 that Your perfect love casts out all fear. We claim Your perfect love for us right now, and we cast out all fear from our lives. By the authority of the Word of God and in the name of Jesus, we speak directly to you, spirit of fear, and we command you to take your hands off God’s property. You loose this person and let them go free by the power and blood of Jesus Christ. We take authority over this situation and command it to change. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t have a clue about what to do? Richard Roberts and I believe we all have times when we feel clueless. Recently I found myself in one of those situations: I just didn’t know what to do. I had thought a lot about it, and I had talked to friends about it, but I felt like I was hitting a brick wall. Then I realized why I hadn’t gone to God! I had gotten so wrapped up in my circumstances that I forgot to invite God into my situation.
You’re not alone
Richard Roberts and I think that happens to a lot of us. We’re confronted with a problem that begins to overwhelm us, and then satan moves in like a thief, ready to steal our thought processes and confuse us…and we forget God is right beside us.
Luke 8:22-25 tells us about a time when even the disciples forgot that Jesus was with them in the midst of one of their trials! Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee. A fierce storm arose, and the wind and waves threatened to turn the boat over. The disciples panicked. But then they remembered that Jesus was with them, asleep in the boat. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” So Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging waves. The storm stopped and all was calm! Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:24-25 NLT). Just like the disciples, it wasn’t until I was in the middle of my recent problem that it dawned on me that God was right there with me.
When we’re facing difficult or perplexing situations, and we don’t know what to do, we can run around in circles trying to find the solutions to our problems. Or we can do what James 1:5-6 NKJV tells us to do: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
Ask of God. That’s what I needed to do in my situation. But instead of going to the Throne, I had gone to the phone…asking everyone else for their advice. And I was feeling exactly like that storm-tossed wave…going to and fro, to and fro. When I realized what I had done, I sat down and got honest with God. I said, “Lord, I’m clueless about what to do. But I know You’re not. Please give me wisdom and help me know what to do.” And it wasn’t until I did that that I finally knew how to deal with my situation. We can talk with our friends, we can ask family members for advice, but when it comes down to it, God is the one whose help we really need. Sometimes we make things so much harder than they are. We forget that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly far above anything we would ever dare to ask or hope (Ephesians 3:20). And He’s always there for us. In Jeremiah 33:3 MSG He tells us, “Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.”
We have to do the knocking…we have to do the seeking…we have to do the asking (Matthew 7:7). The faith part is our job. The miracle part is God’s.
I was talking to a teenager one day about one of his favorite things—playing hockey. I asked him if he planned on playing hockey in college. “I couldn’t do that,” he said. “They don’t play hockey at my high school, so how could I ever play in college?” “But you play in a city league,” I replied. “Yeah,” he said, “but I’d never have the nerve to try out for a college team.”
That caught me off guard. His father, a professional hockey player, had put his son on the ice when he was two years old. I’d seen the young man play and he was good…yet there was something inside that was keeping him from realizing his full potential. In other words, he had “untapped” potential. What do I mean by untapped?
Richard Roberts and I believe God has given all of us talents and abilities that we have not even begun to use. Sometimes we may not realize a certain gift is inside us, or we may have let fear make us too afraid to do anything about it. But the gift is there, just the same…waiting for us to release it and use it for the glory of God. Let me give you an illustration that Richard Roberts and I believe may help us learn how to begin to unleash the full potential…the potential for greatness…that God has placed inside each and every one of us.
Immobilized by the Layers
Have you ever gone outside on a day that was so bitterly cold you had to put on layer after layer of clothes just to stay warm? True…they kept you warm. But did all those layers ever affect your ability to function! There are so many things you just can’t do with all those layers of clothing on.
In the same way, sometimes we layer ourselves with excuses to not use the potential that God has given us: “I’m too old.” “I’m too young.” “I don’t have enough money.” “I don’t have a job.” “I just know I could never succeed.” You know what I think? I think we don’t need to cover ourselves in all those excuses…all we need is God as our Source, and faith in His ability to help us unlock the potential He has given us.
Giving Up Can Close the Door
I know the story of a man who had every reason not to reach his full potential. Poorly educated as a child, he told people he wanted to be President someday. As a young man, he ran for the state legislature and lost. The woman he loved and planned to marry died of typhoid fever, causing him to have a nervous breakdown. Even though he was elected to the state legislature eventually, he was later defeated in a race for the U.S. Senate. He ran for Vice President and lost the nomination, then was defeated again for the Senate.
If ever anyone had an excuse to quit, it was this man. But Abraham Lincoln went on to become one of the greatest presidents our country has ever known…because he kept tapping into his potential, when a lesser person might have given up.
I believe giving up can close the door to the bright future God has planned for us (Jeremiah 29:11). It can deny God the opportunity to help us bring out the potential for greatness that He has placed inside all of us…a potential that, once realized, can not only bless your life, but the lives of others as well.
Take the Step
Maybe now is the time to ask yourself: What are the hopes and dreams I used to have? Have I allowed God to help me realize my full potential…or have I just settled for what was familiar and comfortable in my life? Imagine what could happen if we peeled off all our layers to reach the place where the only thing left was for us to say was “Yes, Lord, I’m ready to unleash my full potential in You.” When we begin to peel off the layers of excuses we’ve been using to avoid taking that first step of faith in God’s direction, I believe we can begin to become the people He always planned for us to be.