Do you like confrontation? You are in the minority if you do. Most people don't like confrontation at all. Many are petrified of it and tell themselves that it's just too hard. So, when they are faced with a difficult situation or person, they ignore it and run away, avoiding the person or circumstance as long as they possibly can.
But the problem with running away from something is that you stay stuck in the issue or problem you're trying to escape. And you don't make any progress in the area of your life that it affects.
People run from all kinds of things - like something new, or change in general. They run from their past. And many people in our society run away from responsibility.
As believers, we are partners with God. This means that while God will do what we cannot do, we must do our part to make progress and accomplish what He has for us. And sometimes, this includes facing difficult people or situations and dealing with them instead of avoiding them.
Now personally, I never had too many problems confronting people. In fact, I used to be too confrontational, so the issue was more about how I handled confrontation. I had to learn how to approach difficult people and situations the way Jesus would do it. I also had to learn how to confront the devil, and every once in a while God will give me a refresher course on confronting the devil so I won't listen to his lies.
IT'S TIME TO STOP RUNNING
We need to be people who will no longer run away from hard situations - because God doesn't want us to be afraid. He wants us to be bold, courageous, and to know we can handle anything - through Christ - that comes our way.
First John 4:4 (AMPC) says, "Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world."
The next time you feel fearful about a situation or person that you know you need to confront, remember this scripture and remind yourself, "I'm not putting up with fear any longer because Jesus Christ lives in me. I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ!"
FIND YOUR SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Maybe you just need to live with a little more oomph! I'm talking about Holy Spirit oomph that says, "I am God's child, and I'm not going to live in fear and let it keep me from everything God has for me. I will not run away from things. Because I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ who strengthens me." (See Philippians 4:13.)
You can confront your problem. Or you can choose to run away from it. But if you run, the Bible is pretty clear as to what happens to people who run away from what God has called them to do...
They end up in the wilderness.
AVOIDERS WHO ENDED UP IN THE WILDERNESS
I want to talk about two people in the Bible who ran away when they were afraid and how God helped them confront their fear.
Moses - God had a destiny for Moses. But at forty years old, Moses did something wrong and instead of facing Pharaoh, he fled and "dwelt in the land of Midian" (Exodus 2:15 NKJV), which was a desert wilderness area outside of Egypt. He spent the next forty years in a holding pattern. God had to work some things out of Moses before he was ready, at age eighty, to go back and lead the Israelites out of their bondage.
Hagar - In Genesis we read how this servant girl got caught up in a really bad situation with Abraham and his wife, Sarah. When Hagar became pregnant by Abraham, which was Sarah's idea, this created a big fight between her and Sarah. So Hagar ended up running away. The Bible says she ended up in the wilderness by a spring. Then an angel of God told her, "Go back to your mistress and [humbly] submit to her control" (Genesis 16:9 AMPC). Although it was definitely unpleasant and, I'm sure, extremely hard to do, Hagar did face her difficult situation because she knew God wanted her to do it.
There are other examples in the Bible of those who failed to confront their issues and ended up in the wilderness. What about you? Are you in a wilderness today because you are fearfully avoiding confrontation? You don't have to stay there all your life and keep running away from things. Put your trust in Christ and do what He puts in your heart to do -by His grace and strength. You can get out of that wilderness and live in the promised land God has for you!.
For more on this topic, order Joyce's four-CD series Facing Life Head-on.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Overload: How to Unplug, Unwind and Unleash Yourself from the Pressure of Stress (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.