Lisa Bevere was a self-proclaimed party girl, but on the inside she was broken and hurting. She never thought she would become an international speaker and best-selling author or that her audience would be women. But God had a different plan for her. We interviewed Bevere last year and talked about her spiritual journey and why she is passionate about helping others face their fears.
Bevere reflects on how she went from her lowest point to finding God.
“…I had destroyed myself physically, I had destroyed myself in my own eyes morally, and I had done everything I said I wasn’t going to do. I thought rebelling would make me feel free and it actually only made me feel more and more captive. I drove home that summer from the University of Arizona back to Indiana, and I was alone in my car, and I remember thinking, ‘I have become the person that I despise. I have become empty. I have become shallow. I have thought that if you can’t show me a good time, then I don’t want to be with you. Everything I tried to avoid in high school, I had actually become.’ I remember praying and saying, ‘God, if you are really real, then You need to show Yourself to me.’ I had been sleeping around and was promiscuous and I had a fling with a rugby player and I was concerned that I had herpes. He told me he had it and I got tested positive for it. I sat there in my car after I left the clinic, and wept. I said [to God], ‘I don’t know how to give You my life. I don’t know how to find my way to You.” It was within two weeks-time from that to when John [now husband] invited me to a Bible study picnic. I went to this picnic and it was incredibly awkward. It was horrible music-I only went for the free food [but that night I heard for the first time about the love of God. It completely stole my heart. My first date with John I was born-again, filled with the Holy Spirit, and healed…”
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:16-18
Bevere opens up on how she had to face the fears of her past in order to experience freedom.
“…A passion for me is freedom; but if you say you want freedom, then God will have to make you face your fears. Whenever God brings a promise from heaven to earth, the first thing that stands in that way is fear. This is why when the angels come they always say, ‘Fear not.’ Whenever God introduces something in our lives the first thing He will say is, ‘Fear not.’ He usually brings something that is at once our greatest hope and our biggest nightmare. Think of Mary, ‘Fear not…’ you are going to an unwed mother, but it’s okay because you are carrying the Messiah. He has to enlarge the capacity of our life where fear is confronted so that something that is the seed of the impossible can be planted in our life. My greatest fear was getting up in front of the public and speaking…This is what I have learned from that experience; people will always agree with you that you have limitations, but God will not. God loves to push the limits on our life so that we live limitless. It’s not a cruelty thing, it’s that He hears our longing for freedom and freedom is always the other side of fear.”
Invite a friend. Just like John invited Lisa to a Bible study event, pray about a friend, neighbor or classmate that you can invite to an outreach event. There are people all around us that need to hear and experience the love of God. Don’t get discouraged if they aren’t able to attend or decline the first time. Keep on inviting them and more importantly, keep on praying that God would soften their heart to his Gospel message.
Fear not! It is often easier to avoid or run away from the things challenge us or we are fearful of. Instead, face them head on. If God is calling you to a specific action, pray and ask the Holy Spirit for strength. It can often help to have the encouragement and accountability of friends and family. Share with one or two people your fear and ask them to pray for you and check in on you. Reflect on the times in your life where God gave you the strength to overcome your fears and be encouraged that He will do the same in this situation.
Help set others free. Whether it is a friend, small group member or someone at church, there are people all around us who are enslaved to their fears. One of the ways that we can help others is by sharing how God has helped set us free. It can be how we came to know Christ or how He helped us overcome a specific addiction. Take time this week and write down your story. Ask God to show you what to share and verses to include. Then pray and ask him to show you who He wants you to share it with.
To read our entire interview with Lisa Bevere, click here.