The Two Words Fear Uses to Ensnare and How to Be Free | Scrapping Fear Strategy | Fear bullies | Putting faith in action | Fear Fighting Blogger Contest | Fear Fighting book

The Two Words Fear Uses to Ensnare and How to Be Free

We’ve all dealt with fear. Who hasn’t, right? I definitely have. Fear was an unwelcome bully for most of my life.

Like the time when I caught on fire as a child. After that, I used to be paralyzed for hours, caught in the nightmare of my own imaginations—a horror movie in my head that the house was going to catch fire in the night.

I would get free of fear when I put verses of scripture on index cards all over my house, in my car, everywhere, to the point that anyone who came around me knew I was at war with the spirit of fear.

But I’ve since learned that fear is a bully that travels with a gang. When I was free of one phobia, one of his buddies would remind me that I was still afraid of something else.

This time it was an apprehension of traveling for ministry. He showed up in the middle of the night.

2:00 A.M.

My husband was sleeping soundly next to me. The only noise was the song of the sound machine, but it didn’t sing me back to sleep with its soothing lullaby that night. I laid in bed quivering; no, sleep didn’t come. I tried to silence the clamor by pulling the covers over my ears, but the noise of my thoughts roared louder. No amount of blankets can quell plaguing thoughts.

No, no, no, no, no! I don’t want to deal with this! 

It was more serious than the Tom and Jerry cartoon, with an angel whispering in Tom’s left ear and a devil in his right.

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to walk in authority in God’s kingdom the way I want to walk. The way Jesus says to walk.

On the other hand, Jesus wasn’t hindered by fear. Or doubt. 

Annoyance began to collide with fearfulness as revelation began to dawn. Doubt is a robber. I remembered who the thief is—he stole my faith!

Even with this revelation, I still wasn’t ready to fly in the face of fear. Fear had been a stronghold—it had a strong hold on me. I fled to the hallway as a flood of potential “what if’s” tormented—the two words fear uses to ensnare. The struggle was that I doubted God’s ability to come through for me.

I tentatively skirted around more questions. Will I ever be able to go where He wants me to go?

If they knew all my fears, would they ever take me seriously again? More fear. 

I became mad—the inner tempest was overwhelming. MORE FEAR.

Since Jesus rebuked the storm, maybe I should channel some of that anger and demand that spirit of fear to leave? 

“FEAR, GET OUT OF MY LIFE!” was the strong whisper in the dark that came from fierce determination. The tormenting thoughts subdued. Now that I could think clearly, I began honest reflection: Will I trust God? 

My heart weakly consented, but weak wasn’t how I wanted to be. My pastor’s words echoed in my ears: “Fear is faith contaminated.”

Have you ever counseled yourself? I sat on the bottom step in the dark and laid out my strategy:

Scrapping Fear Strategy

  1. Command fear to go. More specifically, make a list of every one of those fears—each tiny thing I’m afraid of—and tell each one to depart. If I’m going to trust God with all my heart as Proverbs 3:5 says, then there won’t be room for a single shred of doubt. Every fearful thought has to be dismissed (2 Corinthians 10:5). Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7).
  2. Fear is out, now swap it for faith. Listen to the promises of God. Hang out with some faith-talkers, and start to imitate. Reading them and hearing them in my head is better than nothing, but I need to hear my voice speaking those promises aloud. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith will come!
  3. Activate faith. God has given to everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3), but I need to put it into practice by kicking doubt to the curb and do what God wants me to do. While I’m putting faith in action, I can choose to trust His faithfulness.

Trading Fear for Security

The haven of the Word holds wisdom, as always. God’s character is steady; His promises certain. Remembering that helps me know I can trust Him to keep me safe and abolish any “what if’s.” He gives me peace (John 14:27). That, to me, means security. Secure in His love, absent of fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18 NASB

God doesn’t want me to live in fear, nor you. Do I still fear? Sometimes. But anytime one of those fear-bullies come, I fall back on my strategy. Then I breathe deep as they move on. You can call it your strategy, too. Let’s scrap fear, and live in the safety of His love.

Fear Fighting Book Kelly BalarieIn her book, Fear Fighting, Kelly Balarie of Purposeful Faith shares encouragement on every page for anyone being bullied by fear. From unpacking eight fear-inducers and proclaiming despair-stopping decrees, to the practical application of each chapter in the included Bible study, she shares how to fly free. I’m joining in the following prayer from the pages of her book. Will you join us?

With You, Father, I choose to fear the world less and fear You more. This will be my charge. May I remember it. Help me also remember fearing less is a process—and You delight in small progress. Each miniscule gain is a leap from where I came. May I hold on to this tiny grain of reality like a heavy trophy of incomprehensible worth. 

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How to Release Control for Trust | How to trust God | Printable | Worksheet | Giving plans to God | God's timing

How to Release Control for Trust

Let me be honest: I like to be in control. I like to be in charge of my day, my projects, my kid’s schedule. Those are in my jurisdiction, right?

Since I don’t like to waste minutes, I’m multitasking every chance I get for the utmost productivity. My toothbrush is in one hand, the baby monitor in the other to check on the littles. I switch from toothbrush to hairbrush with my right hand, and from baby monitor to iPhone with my left. A few strokes through my blond-streaked locks while checking the weather. I’m tackling tasks simultaneously all day long. My Type A personality begs for order, swiftness, and that sweet satisfaction of eliminating an item on the to-do list.

I have my goals in mind, birthed from some God-plans. He gave a big idea to me, and I’m whittling away at putting it into place one tiny step at a time. In control. My jurisdiction now, right?

The problem is, I wasn’t prepared for God’s response to me in prayer. I simply asked Him if He had a new One Word for me. He deposited the word trust in my spirit. My thoughts rolled to those God-plans and my goals to see it through.

Yeah, God, I can see how I’m really going to need to trust You to see all this come to fruition.

But then, I didn’t hear Him cheer me on the way I expected. Instead, He pushed back my timeline for His plans.

No, God. Not that! Haven’t I learned the wait game before? 

I reluctantly wondered if my One Word should be wait instead of trust. But He interrupted my thoughts, and I saw Him take my neatly laid plans for the big idea He gave me and turn them on their side. As they slid out of place in my mind I could see Him taking back the control of “my jurisdiction.”

I thought God had figuratively directed me into the kitchen to follow a new recipe, culminating everything I’ve learned thus far. For two years I’ve been teaching my second oldest son how to cook and bake. Even at age 10, I can release him in the kitchen on some dishes and not worry because he’s proven he can produce them with excellent results.

How to Release Control for Trust | Croissants | God directing over your shoulderHowever, even when you’ve learned to cook or bake, there are certain concoctions that need your tutor directing over your shoulder if it’s going to turn out well. It’s the details that are going to make a difference, and the specific timing on certain steps that will make or break that dish. I learned this while attempting to bake sweet potato croissants. I misinterpreted a line, flubbed through my confusion, and ended up with good, yet small, croissants. The next time I made them, my knows-what-she’s-doing sister-in-law happened to be in the kitchen with me that day and clarified some steps. That second result? Large, fluffy, mouth-watering croissants.

God wants to direct over my shoulder while I carry out His plans. No, it’s not just waiting. It’s releasing my control of it all: the tiny steps, the timing, the waiting, the preparation during anticipation. And while I’m doing that, I have to trust.

Faith is complete trust in someone or something. Although it’s not always easy to apply, I can have faith, or complete trust in, God. Faith is trusting God’s character, not my ability, therefore, faith guarantees fact from chance.

Faith is trusting God’s character, not my ability, therefore, faith guarantees fact from chance. [Tweet this]

Insider Resource

I created a printable worksheet of practical ways to remember truths about trusting and apply it to anywhere I need to trust God. I’m sharing how to identify doubts, eradicate them, and put your trust in God. It can be found in Insider Resources.

Want to thrive with other KRB Insiders and have access to exclusive resources like the worksheet on trust? Sign up here.

*This post may be linked up with RaRaLinkup, Tell His Story, HeartEncouragementThursday, FreshMarketFriday, Grace & Truth, and more.


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The Living Nativity Speaks Fulfilling God's plans | God's purposes | Nativity set | How to obey the call of God | Obedience to God | My purpose on earth

The Living Nativity Speaks

God is still accomplishing His plans and purposes through His people today. Do you want to be one of them? Friends, you don’t have to miss out! For many years God pursued my full surrender for the call He placed on my life. The stretching was years long. He made adjustments in my heart until a shift took place where the vision unfolded into a crystal-clear picture.

Imagine being instrumental in fulfilling God’s plan in the earth today with the same heart from the righteous men and women from the Bible. Nativity sets come in wood, clay, and more creative materials, but when I look at the unmoving pieces, I imagine their hearts come to life. How did they respond to God when they were walking the earth?

Let’s look at the “people from the Nativity” and learn how they turned their hearts in reaction to God’s call for them to carry out His mind-blowing plans. And then apply their wise behavior to our lives.

We Can Respond Like Mary

The angel Gabriel visited Mary and that short meeting changed the course of history forever. Why? God said it, and she believed it. Mary said, “let it be” (Luke 1:38).

Mary allowed the Holy Spirit to come upon her to do what God wanted done. What if she didn’t believe God’s plan for her? Thank God she did and was obedient! She birthed a big deal!

I look at this and see a spiritual parallel—a “spiritual birthing” that God does through us. First, we need to believe what God is saying He wants to do through us, then be intentional with whom we spend our time.

Mary immediately visited Elizabeth—someone she knew would believe in her. But she only stayed for awhile before going back to Joseph. Don’t be afraid to go back to the ones who may not believe in you at first. God will speak to them soon enough, just like He spoke to Joseph.

We Can Respond Like the Shepherds

The shepherds were probably a very attentive type of men. I would have been lulled to sleep in five minutes out there in the field. But they had to watch for those animals that would come to devour the sheep. God is often speaking; it’s those who are attentive who will not miss it.

The sky was suddenly ablaze with the glory of the Lord. The message the angel of the Lord told them was that the Savior, Christ the Lord was born. As soon as the heavenly host had departed they decided to “go and see” what the Lord had made known to them (Luke 2:15). After they went and quickly found Mary, Joseph, and the baby in the manger, they glorified and praised God for what He was doing (Luke 2:20).

We Can Respond Like Joseph

Joseph had to be utterly bewildered—and disappointed—when he learned of Mary’s pregnancy. It probably wasn’t the way he had planned for his life to go! He was going to quietly divorce her, and try to move on. But additional news interrupted his life once again when God used an angel to speak to him in a dream. God gave him specific instructions to follow—radical instructions.

Joseph replied with immediate obedience in marrying Mary (Matthew 1:24-25), then continued being obedient to God when he moved the family to Egypt and later Galilee in response to the warnings he received in dreams from God (Matthew 2:13-14, 22).

When we first hear God’s instructions, it might seem absolutely crazy. We will probably be inconvenienced. But after we obey, in hindsight, it makes perfect sense.

We Can Respond Like the Magi

The wise men went through quite a journey to find Jesus, and what they did when they finally found Him is delightful. They fell down and worshipped Him, and then offered Him gifts (Matthew 2:11). The gifts served a specific purpose:

In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming. (1)

Preceding giving the gifts of our time, talent, and treasure to God, we humble ourselves in worship. In essence, that is saying we submit all for His glory.

Friends, today you are part of God’s bigger picture. Join His holy adventure and be responsive to what He wants so this coming year will bring Him glory.

I’d love to know: What is your part in God’s plan and purpose in the earth today?

I’m thrilled that so many of you have taken time to share your opinions and needs in the SURVEY! You still have a chance to add your voice for 2 more weeks!


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What is your part in God’s plan and purpose in the earth today? [Tweet this]

The Living Nativity Speaks…and we can respond in the same way. [Tweet this]

 

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