Years ago, I was asked to be a part of a board of directors for an organization that oversaw the policies and procedures for our condo association. I did not know any of the members well, so this was a new venture for me.
We met once a quarter to discuss policies and issues that came up. Most of the members seemed polite and cordial at first, but over time I noticed that one particular person was being very accusatory, pushing and rude. Dwayne was jumping in on every conversation, wanting every agenda he had to be heard and every change he wanted to be implemented.
One particular day, after a number of passive-aggressive comments, Dwayne accused the president of this board for having bad motives and manipulating the agendas. I had observed this pattern over and over. In my mind I thought, "Why has no one stood up to this guy?"
As I watched his verbal accusations being thrown over and over again, I had finally had enough. I interrupted him, saying, "Enough! Knock it off!" I continued, "I have watched you do this over and over, and you're out of line!" I didn't scream, but I spoke firm. He immediately froze and never spoke a word for the rest of the meeting.
In the moment, no one from the group said anything about my words. They continued the meeting and moved on. I thought, "Did I do something wrong? Why was this allowed to go on?"
Then when the meeting was over, the board members came over to me, "That was awesome! No one has stood up to that guy. Boy, we needed that!" It clearly dawned on me in that moment. No one had ever, ever, ever firmly stood up to the bully in the group. Everyone walked on eggshells around him in fear. This is why bullies continue to roam the planet and torture people until someone decides to stand up to him.
Who Is the Bully in Your Life?
Bullies are a common occurrence. We've all had them in our lives. I've had the neighborhood bully who would come sniffing around, waiting to see if he could beat the tar out of me. I remember the big guy named Frankie in school who would try to use his words to intimidate me and get me to bow at his every move. Today bullies are on the rise in every way, creating a deep sense of fear in other students, piercing their hearts with words that are deeply damaging.
Maybe you have a bully at work. Every time you are around that person, they dictate the agenda and push their ways on you every times. Your bully may be an ex-spouse who continues to have a pushy influence over you. That "friend" you have who develops a controlling presence over you in conversations and decisions may be filled with bullying ways. Quite possibly, Satan has a bullying presence in your thoughts, keeping from stepping out in courage while keeping you cowering in fear.
On world scale, terrorism is the bully of the planet. Terrorists wreak havoc on countries, not simply by the acts they do, but by placing fear and intimidation in people's lives over the possibility of a horrific event. Most of the time, the terrorist acts do no play out, they are simply threats. But the fear of an attack occurring keeps nations under the grip of that power.
The Bully: A Jezebel Spirit
In the Bible, Jezebel personifies the bully mentality, therefore this bullying process is actually the work of a Jezebel spirit. With just a set of words, Jezebel pushes Elijah into hiding by saying, "So let the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time" (1 Kings 19:2). Elijah, who was one of the most courageous men and was involved in some of the most incredible miracles of history, becomes intimidated by the words of a bully.
After hearing these words, Elijah retreats into the wilderness in fear. He falls into a depressive state and loses his sense of clarity. He questions God, the vision over his life and even wants to die. This is what happens when we come under the Jezebelic work of bullies in relationships.
Symptoms of the Bully Effect
Here are some of the common characteristics that the bully of Jezebel has been having its work over your life:
1. Deep discouragement and depression.
2. A constant swell of anxiety and fear.
3. A constant exhaustion coming from the anxiety and despair.
4. Regularly and ongoing confusion and disorientation. You can't seem to think straight.
5. Passivity kicks in. Your programmed response is to do nothing about the situation. You lose your offensive strategy and take a back seat.
6. Division and isolation. You become separated from others, friends and associates. You move into isolation.
7. Loss of vision: You lose that faith to see the vision of what God is doing in your life.
8. Self-doubt: You stop believing in who you are.
9. Defeatism: A very deep temptation to quit with thoughts that say, "Forget it ... its not going to work out."
10. You feel like the only answer is to quit and get out of things.
Confronting the Bully
In addressing this issue of the bully or what we often see as a Jezebelic influence, we have to remember the following things:
1. Bullies are the most insecure and fearful people in town. The more they seek to intimidate or walk around with a swagger, the greater they have to overcompensate for their insecurity. The reality is deep inside, people who are bullies, or walk with a Jezebel spirit are terrified, so they place terror on others to cover their own inward fear. They are paranoid that people will see their weakness, vulnerability and brokenness. Instead of being transparent with their fear, they take the bully route to cover it up. The more you fear and back down, the more you empower them.
2. The work of a bully is the enemy working through a person to intimidate you. The only way a bully has power is if people are afraid of him and back down to his ways. The more we learn to be active and stop backing down, the more we will empower our freedom.
3. You have to face the bully. Most people react to the bully by doing nothing but backing down and cower behind the bushes. But the only way a bully can be defeated in your life is face him. I am not talking about with a fist fight, but by a firm stance where you will not be pushed around any longer. So many people are bullied around by issues that would no longer torment them if they just simply faced the issue, the person and the circumstance.
4. You stand up to the bully by not being pushed around. The United States has a policy in dealing with terrorists of any kind. "We do not negotiate with terrorists." This is for a good reason. The more you fall into the bully's agenda, the more you empower the fear, threatening and manipulation. Once you stand up to the bully, he loses his ability to have power over you, because his power comes in getting you to do something he wants you to do.
Get out of passivity and take your stance today.
Question: What bully situation do you run from that you need to face today?
Mark DeJesus has been equipping people in a full-time capacity since 1995, serving in various roles, including teaching people of all ages, communicating through music, authoring books, leading and mentoring. Mark's deepest love is his family: his wife, Melissa; son, Maximus; and daughter, Abigail. Mark is a teacher, author and mentor who uses many communication mediums, including the written word, a weekly radio podcast show and videos. His deepest call involves equipping people to live as overcomers. Through understanding inside out transformation, Mark's message involves getting to the root of issues that contribute to the breakdown of our relationships, our health and our day-to-day peace. He is passionately reaching his world with a transforming message of love, healing and freedom. Out of their own personal renewal, Mark and Melissa founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation. Mark also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for Mark's teachings, writing and broadcasts that are designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.
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