Here's the thing...sharing my thoughts scares me. The idea of making public some of the things I've written, freaks me out - what if people try to start a debate, what if people don't like it or disagree, what if something awesome comes out of it, what if its not written perfectly...etc.
There are things that I am scared of today were never fears of mine even just a couple of years ago. There are things I worry about or care more about today, than I did years ago. There are also things I care less about. I think this is just a pattern of life depending on our different experiences. Certain things trigger fears.
My theme for this year not by my own choosing has happened to be fear & faith.
At the end of last year I felt God whisper to me that I was letting fear stop me from living a life I dream of. I say no to things that make me uncomfortable (particularly social) and are a potentially really good thing for me - simply because I'm to scared of them, to scared to be uncomfortable. If I have learned anything in my life - it's typically that the things that scare us the most - are the things that God uses most in our lives. So I decided for 2019 - to start saying yes more often. To say yes, no matter how small of a thing, to something that I typically would say no to - to something that scares me and will make me uncomfortable. Because deep down, Ive always wanted to say yes, I just don't have the courage to do so, or to even admit that I want something that would make me uncomfortable. And I have said yes to a few things this year already that scare me, even just a bit - and I am excited for them. Excited to see what God does and will do. Also excited to see what else He brings for me to say yes to.
So in the midst of this working through fear, even on a small scale, the talk of faith has been coming up often in different circles. I used to pride myself on having the spiritual gift of faith, and as having a lot of faith - which I have faith, but when it comes to personal fears - i lack it majorly. This is something I have learned & realized so far this year - that I don't have as much faith as I thought. I don't have as much trust in God as I thought I did. (Pride - always gets in the way...you'll eventually learn if you stick with me how much I despise pride).
Faith and fear - cannot be present at the same time.(Disclaimer: not talking about the fear of God - reverence).
The Bible tells us 'do not fear" quite a number of times...(i don't have the research to give an exact count) It's enough times, for it to be important. (Really if it's in the Bible, it's important) If we can't learn to not fear things of this broken world and to trust in God, our lives will be quite miserable and not very fulfilling or honoring to God. God never promises us to always be safe...but He does promise us His presence.
If we cower in fear every time something happens to us, or we are threatened, or an invitation comes, or we get in our car...etc, how is that living? how is that trusting the God who saves? The God who heals, the God who is VICTORIOUS? If we don't face the things that scare us - we won't learn.We won't overcome and see the power of God. We won't grow in our faith and grow in trusting Him.
The best way to overcome fear is to face it head on.
I speak this more to myself, than to you, reader. I need a constant reminding of who God is in comparison to what scares me. Because my fears should be scared of Him and what He is capable of.
He is God, Lord over all. He spoke, and the earth came to be. He sent His own perfect Son to die a thieves death...out of love for us - the world who are broken and sinful. He gave us His Holy Spirit so He can be with us, and make us more like Him, so He can receive glory. He is jealous for His namesake. He is also jealous for us, for our attention and love. He is righteous and holy - Sovereign over all things and kingdoms. And SO MUCH MORE!
Why should I be afraid of getting into conversations with people, or getting into my car for a few hours, or being alone, or something happening to me...etc when HE is the one guiding my every step and with me through all of it...? Where is my faith?
I started reading (and by reading I mean listening...I'm trying new things) this book called Afraid of All The Things by Scarlet Hiltibidal. It's funny and challenging. And also encouraging, knowing that I'm not as extreme as I thought, but also knowing that none of us are alone in the struggle. We tend to get on our own little islands with our struggles and think we are the only ones...but we're not.
To fellow believers, Face what scares you - God is with you and you are His sheep. The shepherd goes after the one that is lost, the shepherd takes care of the sick, and the sheep know His voice and follow because He is their only hope of survival and safety. Fear overcomes so many of us...what if we trusted God enough to do some things that scared us? How much more would the church of God grow? How much more would the power of God be known in our lives?
There's so much to motivate us to face things - yet we (and by we I mean me) always look at the wrong motivators to keep us from facing things. Just be brave. Choose a different motivator. Strengthen your mind, your belief.
I don't know what else to say really. Except that I badly want to face mine (except my fear of worms and snakes...not yet, hopefully not ever). I want the power of God to be revealed in my life, I want to experience a much more abundant life than I am living now and that's not going to happen unless I choose to face some fears. Some may go south, and some may go amazingly. And that's okay - because truly the best part, is that my God is with me in it all. His presence is my most treasured promise. What's yours?
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lordyour God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:8-9