Adapted from Pathway To His Presence by John and Lisa Bevere
For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline, 2 TIMOTHY 1:7
Have you ever been intimidated? The goal of intimidation is to make us give up our authority, which renders our gifts inoperative. Then we are reduced to operating in our own limited strength and ability. Usually our position changes from offensive to defensive. Then, aware that we are venerable, we retreat even further to what is comfortable and safe.
So, if intimidation lulls the gift asleep, what wakes it up? Boldness. But can an intimidated person apprehend boldness?
Boldness comes from the virtues of power, love and soundness of mind. True boldness comes from God and is fueled by godly virtue. Boldness that is fueled by God’s character awakens the gifts in our lives.
Some people do not have virtue behind their boldness. They know the right things to say, and they act confidently when faced with little or no opposition. But their strength does not run deep. It is superficial. Their bold face is a mask for pride, arrogance or ignorance. Their roots are shallow, and eventually a strong enough storm will expose them. When the weather is good, you can’t see how deeply a tree is rooted. But under the winds of adversity it will either be uprooted or proven strong.
David knew the power of God because he knew God. This boldness enabled David to fulfill his destiny and rule righteously. Let’s look at his younger years.
David was the eighth son of Jesse of Bethlehem. His three older brothers served in the army under King Saul. The Philistines had gathered their army against Israel. Daily their champion “Goliath stood and shouted across to the Israelites, ‘ Do you need a whole army to settle this? Choose someone to fight for you, and I will represent the Philistines. We will settle this dispute in a single combat! If your man is able to kill me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves!'” (1 Sam. 17:8 – 9)
Ordinarily the Israelites might have considered this option over war, but Goliath was no regular soldier. According to some accounts he was over ten feet tall. To put this in perspective, look at any basketball goal. His head would have measured a couple of inches above the rim!
Now David, who tended sheep, was sent by his father to bring supplies to his three older brothers. David must have wondered, “Have they forgotten who’s on our side? He is not challenging us. He is challenging God!”
David boldly demanded, “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Sam. 17:26). The air was thick with confrontation. David’s brother, Eliab, now bold with pride and anger, attacked David’s character, not the problem facing Israel.
When a person is intimidated, he looks for an escape, a release of pressure. Eliab accused David of conceit and wickedness. Eliab thought only of himself, and assumed David was the same way. But David was a man after God’s heart. He was not proud but humble before the Lord.
People who have strong personalities will use intimidation to make a lie look like the truth. You must stay in the Spirit to overcome the strength of such attacks. Eliab, the eldest, seemed to have the characteristics of a great leader and warrior. But as God taught Samuel, “Don’t judge by appearance or height … the Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thought and intentions” (1 Sam. 16:7). On our pathway into His presence, the Lord examines our Hearts more than our outward experiences.
Have you found yourself intimidated recently? Ask God to reveal situations where intimidation is hindering your gifts. Remember, boldness in the Lord awakens God-given gifts. Ask God to anoint you with fresh boldness to break the chains of intimidation.
Lord, infuse my life with Your boldness. Like David, I long to be a person after your own heart. I purpose to step into Your power and strength, no more to be lulled into inaction through intimidation. I choose to conquer intimidation so I can shine Your love on my family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. As I walk in the Spirit of might and boldness, use my talents and gifts for Your service. Teach me to fear and love You alone. In Jesus name, amen.