A very nice friend asked me today about overcoming fear & I felt encouraged that I should write about this today 🙂
In relation to fear, there are lots of things that could trouble us: fear of failure, fear of getting hurt, fear of something from the past, fear of falling down, fear of the future, fear of relationships, . . . . . . The Greeks used the term phobia and attached all kinds of things to this word (agrophobia, necrophobia & my personal favorite, snake-o-phobia).
So here are some strategies that could be helpful to overcoming fear:
- do it scared – I stole this outright from Joyce Meyer; she’s uber cool!
- face the fear a little bit at a time rather than to look at the whole thing
- consider that the devil uses fear to control us & that God created us from the very beginning to have authority, dominion & power
- catch fear in the early stage so it doesn’t go stupid
- choose to trust God & reject fear – yes to trust and no to fear
- keep trying – failing is more like practice if we take out the fear ingredient
- remember that 1 John says that perfect love casts out fear!
Feel free to add your own advice & pass this along to your fam & friends! 😀
I read this morning about how King Saul was chasing David to kill him & how he stepped into cave to relieve himself. Unknowingly, David was hiding in the very same cave & even cut off a piece of King Saul’s robe! Although David could’ve easily killed Saul, David had more respect for God’s anointing on Saul than fear for his own life.
When we get in really, really difficult situations, it’s important that we act like David, honor God & stay out of fear 🙂
I read this morning about Lot in Genesis after the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. As a result, Lot was afraid & lived in a cave with his daughters. His daughters had lost their husbands in the destruction of Sodom & they concluded that there weren’t any men through whom they could perpetuate their family. From this, they decided to get their dad drunk & get pregnant by him. As a result, they had 2 boys – Moab & Ammon.
Whenever I hear this story it just seems totally crazy until I noticed this morning that Lot was afraid & decided to live in a cave. When we make decisions controlled by fear, the outcomes undercut our potential & distort the results that we could have in our lives. We’re supposed to fear & honor God – the end.
We are back to that time of year when the Halloween decorations come out – cobwebs, ghosts, skeletons, tombstones, witches, etc. I remember when I was growing up that there was the razor blade in candy or apples scare & I remember being too scared to go trick-or-treating beyond like 3 houses from my house. So this is my problem with Halloween – why do we celebrate a holiday devoted to fear, creepiness & even death? What’s good about any of those things?
Being afraid & creeped out in my life has done more damage than good. So while I’m probably a lone ranger & politically incorrect on this, I don’t like this holiday & see no redeeming value in the current expression & celebration of this holiday. With that being said, please be encouraged that tomorrow’ blog will be more uplifting 😀
I’ve been thinking lately about Adam & Eve with the whole Garden fiasco. That was really a bad day for humanity & despite our Father’s magnificent redemption of humanity, there have been several occasions when I wish Eve would have made some different choices.
I think that one of her big mistakes was to have a conversation w the serpent / devil. And yet I think that sometimes we make her same mistake without realizing it. Here are some ways that we talk with or entertain the devil, his lies & deceptions:
*insecurity – we listen far too often to his accusations & utter nonsense about who we are rather than basing our identity on what God says about us
*ego / pride – “all of that & a bag of chips!”. Really??? It is only through Christ that we are truly invaluable, priceless & supremely desirable
*worry / fear – I don’t think that the devil sets the “worry or fear trap” about things on which we are strong. However, wherever there is a weakspot, that’s where he will plant worry, uncertainty, concern & even fretful thoughts or anxieties, be that about the future, health, relationships, etc
Can you think of other “conversation traps” that the devil lays for you???
I’ve been thinking about Gideon lately & how 300 guys followed him to victory over more than 100,000 enemy soldiers. This very small group had MASSIVE amounts of success but a pre-cursor to their success individually & as a group was the elimination of fear.
Fear can be really loud, it can demand your attention, cripple your progress & thoroughly destroy your future. The guys who followed Gideon into this massive success made choices to not allow fear to control their decisions or behaviors. Indeed, Gideon had to overcome his own fear before he could lead anyone else out of fear & into victory.
Here are some things to help overcome fear:
*look at fear & face it – fear is usually much smaller when you turn & confront it, rather than avoid of deflect it
*make a step forward – fear wants to keep you paralyzed
*listen for Gods voice more than entertaining the voice of fear
*be mindful of conversations or inputs that cater to fear in your life
* never allow fear to be your friend
Fear is interesting – in the right amounts & toward the right things, it can be really beneficial. On the other hand, fear with the wrong amounts & directed toward the wrong things can be thoroughly toxic & destructive.
Consider this: fear can immunize us from disrespect & irreverence. Fear can keep us from doing dumb things & the Bible speaks of a boat load of benefits from having a fear, respect & reverence for God.
On the negative scale, fear can hinder us from some amazing experiences, adventures & accomplishments. It can also keep us from learning some important lessons. Fear can keep us trapped in the past & cripple us from moving forward. Fear can suffocate healthy relationships & even debilitate constructive growth.
So here’s my conclusion: I don’t want to be afraid of life but I do want to have a healthy reverence for the Creator of life – love life & honor it’s Creator.
Ok, here’s something to think about for our daily living: fear wears lots of disguises, attempting to influence us more than Jesus. Indeed, I’ve met people whose lives are unknowingly controlled by fear & this is heart breaking. Fear masquerades as safety, cooperation, tolerance & many other guises. I think that if fear were removed from some people’s lives they would fall apart because its the essential beacon by which they make their decisions, form their relationships and control their conversations. They’ve become so comfortable with fear that its the glue that holds their life together. The problem is that fear hates to be exposed because once its brought to the light, its weakness is revealed & power diffused.
Consider Saul in 1 Sam 15. From God’s command, he was supposed to entirely obliterate the Amalekites but he didn’t do this. Instead he waffled on his obedience & when Samuel confronted Saul & pressed the issue, Saul finally admitted, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.” From this point on, God rejected Saul. Saul chose fear over obedience – God help us to avoid this trap. May we forever remain friends with God & enemies with fear. Let’s never be more comfortable with fear than we are comfortable with God.
I like to work out. Last week was exciting because I got to work out 5 times! The purpose of my workouts are: to build strength (lift weights) & cardio fitness (jogging). At this time, I’m doing better w weight training than cardio, but I do both pretty much every week. Some of the benefits I find from working out include:
- more energy (necessary to keep up w small children)
- stress relief
- clears my thinking
- burns calories
- greater endurance
- better self-esteem
- builds strength
- keeps my heart & muscles healthy
- strengthens my bones to prevent oesteoporosis
So, in Philip 2:12, Paul tells us to work out our salvation w fear & trembling. Truthfully, when I lift weights & if I do a really good job in a workout, I experience both fear & trembling when I’m lifting weights. I’ll talk about this more in Chapel on Tues. If you can’t come, then I’ll blog on it to explain better after Chapel 😉
In Chapel, we’ll also go into one of my fav verses in the Bible – Philip 2:13: God is at work in me to will & do of His good pleasure. Chapel is going to be GREAT & I’m REALLY EXCITED!!!
Ok, this is from the last part of Philip 2:12. Need your thoughts, wisdom, insights, whatever. I’m going to study this as well as I can, but I’d REALLY like your input – so would you kindly leave a comment & let me know what you think Paul meant when he said this? If you want to bring any application into your comment, as well, don’t fight the urge. 🙂