Stop Being Afraid!

Fear.  It is something that is in nearly every person’s life.  To some it’s just an annoyance, and to others it is crippling.  Most of the time, the thing we fear most is people.  Whether it be consciously or subconsciously.

I was reading Jeremiah 1 today and I got to verse 8, and something just struck me.  It says, “And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.  I, the Lord, have spoken!”  He straight up told Jeremiah to not be afraid.  Why?  Because HE WOULD BE WITH HIM!  So, why do we constantly walk around in fear, regardless of what were scared of, especially if God is with us?  Because we don’t trust Him and that He really is with us.  Oswald Chambers said “The remarkable thing about God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”

I have noticed over the last several months that a common phrase that comes out of my mouth is “I’m afraid that…(insert fear here)”.  It’s become a habit.  A very bad habit.  I don’t even think I realize I’m saying it because it has become a catchphrase for me.  But there is truth in it.  I automatically fear.  Why?

“Faith, which is trust, and fear are opposite poles. If a man has the one, he can scarcely have the other in vigorous operation. He that has his trust set upon God does not need to dread anything except the weakening or the paralyzing of that trust.” – Alexander MacLaren

Because I have forces within that are at odds with each other.  The one that I have given more power to is the one that has been driving me for most of my life.  Granted it is something that I have been chiseling away at over the last year, but why haven’t I purposefully decided to cast it aside?  Because I’m afraid to.  And in that, is the vicious cycle.  I’m AFRAID to cast out FEAR!  Even though I’m afraid of being fearful.  Fear does nothing but spin around itself.  It creates a stranglehold.

“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” – Paul Chappell

God tells us 365 times throughout the Bible “Do not be afraid” in some capacity.  Guess how Satan likes to strike the most?  To strike fear in the heart of man.  If he can render you fearful, he renders you inactive.  If he can make you inactive, it’s one less soldier that he has to deal with.  But he doesn’t have the authority to do that unless we give it to him.  2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.  Fear is not of God and it has no place in us if we don’t give it a place.  Scripture tells us so!  1 John 4:17-18, And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  So we will not be afraid of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.  SUCH LOVE HAS NO FEAR, because perfect love EXPELS ALL FEAR!

So the question is, how are we living in God?  ARE we even living in God?  Do we just dip our toe in the water every now and then and say “that’s enough Jesus for today” or do we run down the dock, as fast as we can, and jump in, shouting with joy, doing a cannonball?  Which would soak us in His presence more?  Our toe or our dive?  Or have we been rendered so fearful that we’re too afraid to even enter His presence?  It’s time to cast out fear and be a child again.  So, run as fast as you can and JUMP OFF THE DOCK INTO THE WATER!  It’s time!

=)  Be Blessed!

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Be Still And Allow The Master To Work

My mind lately has been going a mile a minute.  There seems to be a lot of “things” happening around me, but I just can’t seem to put my finger on what those “things” are exactly.  What I do know, is that I am coming into a season of growing…again.  I have behaviors that I desperately need to break and that God wants to “chisel” off of me.  I’ve spent the last few weeks working out what it is that God is wanting me to do to work on breaking those behaviors.  What keeps coming to the forefront are a few things.

  1. I need to do a Tongue Fast again.
  2. Extremely limit my time on Facebook.
  3. Unplug from things and set strict time limits.
  4. Sit outside, in the quiet, and listen.

I did a Tongue Fast a few years back.  For me, that consisted of not speaking and only writing everything down that I wanted to say.  If I was happy, I had to write it.  If I was mad, I had to write it.  The purpose was to SEE the words that I would normally speak.  By seeing what I would say, it made me think about whether it was really worth saying.  How many words had I wasted because they were hastily spoken, without thought?  It’s time for a refresher of seeing the words again.  James 1:19 tells us, Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, SLOW TO SPEAK, and slow to get angry.  I need to slow my “speak” down.

I need to limit my Facebook and other electronics time drastically.  These things are doing nothing but wasting time and affect my emotions and attitude towards my family and others.  I have a tendency to be reactory when my anxiety about something is triggered.  By constantly having Facebook or other media in my face, I keep myself in that heightened state of anxiety and tension.  Which in turn makes me short with others and quick to get angered.  It leaves my mind in a constant whirl and makes it nearly impossible to find stillness.  Scripture tells us to “Be STILL and KNOW that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  How is that possible when we leave no room for stillness?  Which leads to my last point…

Nature is very healing.  There is a rawness to it that when we sit and observe, we see that life isn’t as complicated as we make it.  There is a simpleness in the ebb and flow of each day.  That simpleness gets lost by the noise that we allow in.  Most of the excess noise is nothing more than a distraction from the simpleness that God wants with us.  Just to sit and listen.  Only then will the calm & peace come.  It’s time for me to be still.  This process of molding and shaping is going to be painful.  It may be my most painful yet.  I will be forced to face things about myself and my past that I’ve wanted to ignore.  That stillness with God will become more important that anything else.  Only in the stillness with Him will my true healing and change begin.

When was the last time you were able to truly “be still”?  Something to really think about.  =)  Be Blessed!

Division To Friendship

Division.  The act, process, or an instance of separating or keeping apart.  The condition or an instance of being divided in opinion or interest.

Something that has been on my mind lately is how divided we are as a people.  In the world, our country, our families, and even the church.  What is so wrong with actually TRYING to be friends?  Why do we have to search for the similarities and differences in each other?  Why can’t we just see them for people who God has given us as a gift to love?  There is beauty in everybody if we would just actually look for it.  Let’s attempt to move from division to friendship.  We will all benefit from it.

So, as the song below says, will you take my hand and be friends with me?  =)  Be Blessed!

 

Roots

While going through some past posts, I found this speaking to me…again.

 

I had a root canal awhile back.  Great sentence to start with, I know.  I was thinking this morning about the whole idea of a root canal.  The whole intent is to go in and take care of  infection. …

Source: Roots

Conversation With God

“Get up!  It’s time!”

“I know, but I’m scared.”

“Of what?”

“What if I fail?”

“You will at times.  But what if you succeed?”

“That scares me even more.”

“Why?”

“I don’t really know.  I’m afraid of more being expected.  Then what if I can’t do any more?”

“How do you know if you can’t do more if you haven’t even tried to do a little?”

“How do you know that I can?”

“Because, you are my child.  I put into you the things that I knew you would need to do the task that I have given you.  I knew that you would need determination, strength, fire, and audacity.  I also knew that those things would also make you stubborn and hard-nosed if not tempered right.  That my child is the struggle you are having right now.  You are fighting the wrong battle.  You are fighting against what I instilled in you, when in reality I intended you to use that to grab hold of the difficult people who are hurt so badly that only you can reach them.  They will be hard to love because of their hurt, but I know that you are stubborn enough, determined enough, and audacious enough to not give up on them and to guide them to Me.”

“How do you know that?  You’ve seen me!  I lose it over the small things now.”

“Yes, but you have also held on and persevered through the tough, too.  Let go of what you are holding onto that you think is protecting you.  It’s a false wall.  It’s not protecting you.  It’s keeping you from what I have intended for you.”

“But what if I get hurt?”

“That will happen.  Let go of the hurt.”

“What if I fall down?’

“That will happen, too.  You know what I want you to do when that happens?”

“You want me to stand back up.”

“Exactly.  For some reason, the last time you fell, you chose not to get back up.  Not completely.  You allowed yourself to stand just enough to where when something hits you, you easily fall.  I want you to stand completely up and on a solid foundation that only I can give you.  Are you ready?”

“I think so.”

“I asked if you were ready?”

“Yes.  But…”

“No.  No “but”.  When you add that, you are not fully trusting me.  Do you trust me to catch you if you fall?”

“Yyeesss.”

“I sense some hesitation.  I have never left you.  I have been right here waiting for you to take hold of me, ready to help you stand.”

“I know you have.”

“Then what are you waiting for.  Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“Then stand!  We have a job to do.”

“Yes, Lord.”

 

 

 

Run Your Race…Don’t Give Up

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Over the weekend, I received several messages from you.  They covered the spectrum of things you’ve overcame, ways that my journey has encouraged you in some way, and then also the trenches in which you are walking right now and asking for prayer.  You have been a huge encouragement to me, in ways you will never know.  I wanted to tell yall that.  It gives me direction in how to pray, not just for myself and what God is wanting me to do with this, but also in how to pray for those it is impacting.  Please, keep letting me know what’s going on in your lives.  Message me on Facebook or comment below.  I love hearing from you.  I have been really surprised at how this has made such an impact.  Know that I am praying for you.  Praying that you will continue to press on.  Praying that you will not lose hope.  Praying that you will overcome.  Thank you for all the support that you give me.  It pushes me to keep fighting.

Hebrews 12:1 says, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.

Every single one of us are in a battle.  Whether is be spiritual, physical, or whatever else, those valley’s can seem painfully long and never ending.  They can push us to the brink of breaking.  No matter what fight you are fighting, KEEP RUNNING WITH ENDURANCE!  Know that God is running right beside you.  Even when you can’t feel Him there, He is.  Keep running. The moment that you give up, is the moment the enemy gets the upper hand.  Every step you take gets you one step closer to breakthrough.  A lot of the time the moment when we give up is when we were just one step from that breakthrough.

So, when you feel like giving up and you are hearing all those voices screaming at you (give up, you’re a failure, don’t waste you time, why even try), know within all that, there is a voice (albiet small) that is shouting with all its might, “KEEP GOING, YOU CAN DO IT, I BELIEVE IN YOU!”  Find that voice.  Strain your ear to hear it.  Keep finding it, keep listening to it and it will eventually get to where it is the one that speaks louder than all the others.  Know that that voice is God cheering you on.

I’m rooting for you!  Take that next step…even if it is small.  It’s one more than you had before.  =) Be Blessed!

Catching Fire

Have you ever watched fire?  It is so captivating when you just sit and stare into the flames.  Have you ever had to burn off a field or ditch?  We used to have to burn our fields off when I was a kid.  I remember just watching it as it crept along, slowly chewing away at the innocent growth unsuspectingly.  It was slow, yet it wasn’t at the same time.  You could see, every so often, the flame lick at the live growth, teasing it until it finally caught fire.

I think there are many things in our life that happen that way.  We are the growth that the fire is just at the edge of, flicking us with it’s flame, waiting for us to finally catch fire.  That fire, I believe, is God.  He is wanting us to catch onto the fire that He has for us that will propel us forward to new growth and for His kingdom.  For us to stand boldly and to proclaim that He is the center of our lives and that nothing will stop us from completing the work that He has for us to do.

So, what’s stopping you?  What’s the blockage that is getting in the way of you being able to finally catch fire?  For me, I think it’s always been two-fold.  My weight and the comparison game.  It’s time to stop.  Stop letting things get in the way of what God wants to do with you.  Catch fire!  Believe me, there is a HUGE difference once you do.  You find an endurance and the ability to push yourself to accomplish things that you wouldn’t have dreamed.  Case and point…over the last 20 year, I would talk myself out of anything that would have required me to physically push myself.  On Saturday, I made myself walk, even though I hadn’t had a lot of sleep over the past 3 days because I had been in such pain.  I made myself do it.  If I want to succeed at this, I HAVE to push myself.  I could have used the excuse that I was tired, I could have listened to the voice that said I couldn’t go on, but what would I have gained?  Instead I chose to listen to the still small voice that said I CAN!  I was proud of myself for being consistent, even when I didn’t feel like it.  And I know that that small voice, is the one that I have been ignoring for so long.  God’s gentle prodding, telling me I could.  I just had to take the step of faith to actually listen to it.

I know God wants to use me.  He has a plan.  I just have to continue to let myself catch fire and then continue to burn for Him and His glory.  Will you catch fire, too?  =)  Be Blessed

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