Tag Archive | fear

Sleeping through the storm

Luke 8:22-25 – “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”

We just went through a hurricane. Not my idea of a good time, I’ll tell you. As we laid in the closet under the stairs while the front and back of the eye of the storm went over our house, my kids slept. The electricity had gone out which caused the fan to go off which woke me up to the raging wind. It howled and screamed and thrashed against the front of our house. I’m laying in the closet praying, “Please God, keep the roof on my house and my friends and family safe” while my children are sleeping. Sleeping! I was glad though. I was in a state enough without having to deal with them freaking out.

While I was out and about yesterday working, I heard the same thing from many of my clients – they slept through the hurricane! What?! How can that be? They went to bed Sunday night and knew nothing had happened until they woke up Monday morning. 

My grandma always said, “The Good Lord’s gonna gitcha when He wants ya whether you’re hidin’ or not.” Faith. Faith that He is in control and we have nothing to fear. I experienced a great deal of fear last week, especially Friday. Friday was tough for me. I believe the majority of it was the uncertainty. We had no idea where the hurricane would hit and how bad it would be. The Holy Spirit had to keep whispering to me – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) He had to say it multiple times because I was having a hard time getting my heart and mind to listen. Faith.  Faith that He is in control.

Now, I’m not certain that all of my clients have that sort of faith in their lives. I’m working on that. But I do know that God used their…faith, or lack of hearing, to remind me that I have nothing to fear, even in a hurricane. It is about letting go and letting God. And that, my friend, is tough. I like to be in control of things going on in my life. I like to know when, where and how things are going to go before I step into it. But faith reminds me that sometimes I won’t know all the details. Faith reminds me that sometimes I need to sleep during the storm. I can’t control it. I can’t affect the outcome of it. I can only prepare and pray. 

Prepare and pray. Maybe that should be my new motto. Isn’t that all God really wants us to do? Second Timothy says He gave us a “sound mind” – the ability to know when to prepare and how to prepare. We know that “power” is from God alone. And we know that “love” should cover everything we do. And when we have that power, love and sound mind, we can sleep through the storm. Isn’t that why Jesus slept in the boat during the storm? He had all those things in abundance. 

So the next time you find yourself in a storm, whether figuratively or literally, have faith. Prepare and pray. Allow God to take the fear the devil attempts to plant in your heart and turn it into power, love and a sound mind. And sleep through the storm.

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Revisit – Kryptonite

Hope you enjoy this revisit from January 29,2013!

Proverbs 16:6 – “Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.”
Do you ever stop and think about what all Jesus really did for you? I mean really think about it? It is hard for me to do that because it makes me want to cry. I want to cry not only for His suffering and shame but for my lack of continual acknowledgement.
It was His love and faithfulness that has brought me to where I am, nothing of my own doing. His sacrifice covers it all. It gives me the opportunity to stand before the Father spotless.
But do we really stand? My pride may cause me to stand but in reality we should be on our faces before God. I mean, this is God we are talking about here – Creator of the universe, Knower of ALL things! Hello! Not Someone to quibble with!
I think our society has lost touch with a healthy fear of things. We think we are invincible – modern day Superman. Even Superman had his fears – kryptonite. But it was a healthy fear.
We are told here in Psalm that the “fear of the LORD” helps one to “avoid evil.” What does it mean to “fear” The Lord? In my life, it means that my deep love and respect for Him make me want to do my best for Him and not hurt His feelings by doing something wrong. I don’t want to disappoint Him. If I were perfect, I wouldn’t have a problem doing this. However, when my sin creeps into the situation and I forget all that He has done for me, his “love and faithfulness” bring me back around and set my feet on solid ground.
So today, princess, take some time and analyze your level of “fear of the LORD”. If things are lacking, run to His “love and faithfulness” and claim the promise of atonement and your place on solid ground.

Being brave 

Esther 4:13-16 – ” Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”

Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It was the first recorded beauty pageant, and the thought of a year of spa days makes me swoon! 

But here, Esther is called upon to be one of the bravest women in the nation. Her people are in grave danger. A very angry man has convinced the king to kill all the Jews on a set date. Esther is the only one who can physically intervene for the entire nation of Israel. Esther’s uncle implores her to take a stand. He is confident that if she chooses not to follow through with the request that God will provide from another source, but he knows that if she will submit to God, that the nation will be saved. But Esther has to get way outside of her comfort zone and stand before the king. To do this without being summoned could mean death, but it is a risk Esther is willing to take. 

Now, Esther didn’t just decide this and then march into the king’s court. No, she asked for prayer support. She asked her uncle and the entire city to fast and pray for her for three days. 

Here’s what I want to get out of these verses – 1.  Life requires that you take risks sometimes. Be aware of when those moments come. 2. And when they do come, prayerfully consider them. Don’t just bull rush the situation. Slow down. Get some prayer help. Seek wise counsel. 3. Be brave when facing those risks. You plus God equals an unstoppable force. But don’t let that fact make you prideful. Let it humble you to know that without Him, you are a hot mess. 

I can’t imagine the fear Esther had to overcome in this situation. Her stomach must have been in all sorts of knots while she was awaiting the king’s approval. Yet, she knew that God was with her and she was ready to do whatever He commanded her, even if it meant losing her life. 

How about you? Are you ready to follow God into the great unknown and face your fears and trust in Him alone? Sounds scary, right? Sounds like a daunting tasks that requires a lot of effort. It is. However, God never promised us an easy life full of spa days. But He did promise to walk beside us every day to help us face every challenge and every fear with a power far beyond what we can comprehend. 

Afraid of the dark 

Ephesians 6:12 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Are you afraid of the dark? Are you frightened by things that you cannot see but imagine that they are there hiding for you in the dark? 

For some people this is a very real, very scary thing to endure. There is extreme fear to them when they are alone or when they find themselves completely engulfed in darkness. I have been around people who have experienced this two times this week. One was afraid of the dark and the other was fearful that something was following her while she was alone in the house. I don’t understand this fear because I have never experienced it on that level. However, just like any other fear, it can be overcome. 

But what I wanted to get at today is this – we face real and very scary things every day and most of the time, we don’t even realize it. You see, we fight a battle that no one sees. It is a spiritual battle. It is the one that is fought in the hallways of our heart when we have to decide whether we are going to do this or do that, will I choose to follow after Christ or will I choose my own way. 

The devil has a vested interest in this battle. He knows that every time we choose to go against what we know is truth and righteousness that he has won a small victory. And he is a powerful foe. We sometimes think of him as a little red demon with a tail, pitchfork and horns. But in reality, I believe that he is much more scary than that. I imagine a coldness in his eyes that would send your heart into arrest and a snarl on his lips that would make you cry. And it’s not just him – he has a whole gaggle of demons doing his bidding. He can’t be everywhere all the time but he can send his hinch men out to do his thing. 

It’s not a pretty picture. And we imagine that he is out there especially at night, in the dark. He and his demons are, after all, called “the rulers of the darkness of this world”. So it only makes since that darkness frightens us. 

But we do have this – 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” You see, we have no need to fear the dark. God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us much more than that. We have power – power in Him and His salvation. He gave us love – unconditional love that will last through eternity. He gave us a sound mind – to make the choice not to be afraid of what we do not see. 

I want to encourage you today to choose not to be afraid. Don’t let fear have a seat at your table. Fight that spiritual fight with the armor of God and claim the power, love and sound mind that He has promised to those who choose Him. 

People talk

Psalm 112:1 – “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.”

People talk about you. Did you know that? They talk about what you wear. They talk about what you do (or don’t do). They talk about what you say. They just talk. And I’m guilty too. I talk about people. I try very hard only talk about people’s good things but sometimes I sin and talk about not so good things. We all do. It doesn’t make it right; it makes it real. Things we need to work on, right?

Well, I hope that when The Lord calls me home, the verse above will be used to describe my life.
I want people to praise The Lord at my funeral. I want them to look back and see His hand at work in all of my life. I want them to see the way that He has brought me through so much. I want them to remember the way that He never let me down.
I want people to see that I am blessed; blessed beyond measure. I want them to know and understand that I am blessed because I choose to fear The Lord. I’m not scared of Him, well, maybe just a little, but rather I have a healthy respect of the One that controls my breathing. I want people to talk about how I try to be a blessing to others. I never want to be a burden. I want to lighten their load rather than bring them down. I want to build up, not tear down.
And I want people to see that His commands are dear to me. I want them to see that I try very hard to follow Him. I fail. I stumble. I fall. I wonder. But His love and all that He has done for me always brings me back. He always reminds me of the path that He desires for me.

You see, what I want people to talk about, while I’m here or when I’m gone, is this: She loves(d) The Lord. She wants(ed) to do what is right in His sight. She tries(tried) to follow Him in ALL that she does(did). He is what makes(made) her special.

It may be depressing for you to think about what people say about you or what they will say about you when your gone, but princess, this is a time for reflection. A time to plan. A time to change. A time to grow. This is a time to lay before you the way that you want to live to leave an impression. You are going to leave an impression one way or another. You just have to choose what impression you are going to make. Is it going to be one for Him or for you?

Don’t be afraid

Judges 6:12,14,15 – “And the angel of he LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have I note spent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

Here is Gideon. The “mighty man of valor”. Doesn’t look very mighty or valiant does he? He is afraid of the calling of God. He is scared to do what God is asking him to do. He is coming up with every excuse in the book. And he has a big book.

Have you ever been scared to do what God is calling you to do? I have and I think we all have at some point or another. For me, it is fear of the unknown. I like to know what is going to happen and when. I really like to know the how, but that is negotiable.  When we follow God, sometimes we don’t get the answers to these questions. He just says “do this” and we are supposed to do it. No need to ask questions. He’s got it all under control. But if you are like me, that is way beyond your comfort zone. And that is a big step.

But God is able. And He is okay with you testing Him to know you are doing exactly what He wants you to do. Gideon was very proficient in that area. Check out some more of Judges and see how Gideon tested God. It’s kinda funny, actually. I’m surprised God didn’t get frustrated with him and thump him on the head. I know I would have. But this story is a great example of God’s long-suffering.

Anyway, today princess, don’t be afraid to ask God what he wants you to do. Then don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet. It will be scary. You may not have a clue how it will turn out. But go ahead and jump. It will totally be worth the initial discomfort.

No Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Have you ever experienced real fear? I’m not talking about being spooked. I’m talking about real, long lasting fear. Fear that makes you worry. Fear that consumes your thoughts. Fear that can cripple you if not tended to. Fear.

I think at some point or another we have all had this fear. It may manifest itself in different ways and at different times, but it is the same.

Fear is a tool of the devil. He uses it to control us. He uses it to keep us from thinking about what is good, true and righteous. He uses it to make us doubt. He knows that as long as we are trusting in Jesus to care for us that he can’t touch us. So if he can get us to think that maybe Jesus doesn’t have it all, then he can worm his way in.

The devil also uses superstition as a way to invoke fear. Black cats, things happening in 3s, walking under a ladder, broken mirrors – I’m sure you could name a hundred more. But these are vices for distrust. They are vices for fear. They are what can create a near panic moment. Are they true? No. I don’t believe in luck either. Don’t get me started.

Anyway, fear is very real. It is a battle to keep it at bay. When fear begins to rear it’s ugly head, just remember where it did not come from – Jesus.

God has given us power, love and self-discipline. Power to do what we need to do. Love to do it properly and with respect. And self-discipline to not let anything get in the way of what needs to be done.

Confidence. It is the opposite of fear. Now, I’m not talking about pride. That is sin. I’m talking about confidence. Believing you can do something. That something might be something big. Or it might be riding a bicycle. Confidence is believing that God can take care of it. That there is no need to fear. God is right there with you whispering in your heart that “you got this!”

Every situation we face, every challenge that comes our way, is an opportunity to show the world that we are a follower of Christ. That our confidence is not in ourself or our ability but rather in our Savior.

Fear is very real, princess. But so it Jesus. He is the One that wipes out fear. He is the One that is cheering us on to victory. Don’t let fear overtake you. Don’t let a lack of confidence keep you from what God is calling you to do. Be brave, sister. And get out there and make it happen!