Do It Afraid

Having facilitated vision boards for over 70 people in January 2020 alone, one theme keeps emerging as a focus for the new year: moving past fear.

Women are afraid to write their story, afraid to open up their home, afraid to teach a class, afraid to pursue a new relationship.

You've heard the adage "be careful asking God to make you more patient because He will give you plenty of chances to practice patience" but it applies to other areas of life as well. If we ask God to make us fearless, why do we think He is going to make us magically more courageous? It's like we assume He's going to outfit us with an invisible hero cape. "I'm going to wake up tomorrow without fear!" No! He is going to give us opportunities to push through our fear.

I'm going to wake up tomorrow with a dead battery and have to push through my fear to talk to a new neighbor about giving my battery a jump.

I'm going to face a diagnosis, a confrontation I'd rather avoid, a financial setback and give my faith muscles a workout.

I've learned over the years that people I admire aren't fearless, they're just doing scary things afraid.

I joke that nothing scares me anymore and it's nearly true. I've faced many of the things I use to be scared of, whether heading up a committee, attending an event alone, taking a speaking gig, publishing a controversial blog post or singing in front of 300 people. Every experience taught me something and helped me face the next challenge with greater confidence.

I still walk into meetings and appointments with a low grade nervousness at best and full blown fight or flight reaction at worst. When I sang in front of 300 people I literally fought the instinct to leave through the back, thinking, "They would just go on without me" and forced myself to stay in my seat until it was time to go on stage. Once I had the mic in my mind, my nerves dissipated and when the song was over, I felt like I could have soared out of there with relief!

The truth is, God promises to be with us wherever we go. We never have to face anything alone. We are commanded to be strong and courageous.

Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Plus the Holy Spirit offers us supernatural strength.

Ephesians 3:16 states, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being."

We can do hard things with God on our side.

To date, no one has literally died from stage fright so chances are, you'll survive whatever scary thing you're facing and you'll be stronger for it.

What would you do if you fear weren't an obstacle? Maybe God is calling you to do just that...together with Him.

Tabitha Dumas
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Where Are You Staying?

"Come," he replied, "and you will see." John 1:39

My husband and I started out the day playing Lumosity games together for fun, laughs, and maybe even to ward off the fear of losing our minds. We're not losing our minds because we have six young kids and a moose for a dog (so many blessings, right?)--but because of those six kids, the thought of losing our mental faculties in old age is even more frightening. I mean I'm already mentally planning play dates with my future grandchildren!

Why do we let fear and worry have such control in our lives? Fear is faith in the enemy, the liar... F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal.

Isaiah 9:6 states Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace... Phil. 4:19 says He will provide for all our needs - so then why are we so inclined to default to fear and worry?

I find a good example of dealing with fear in Luke 2:8-15. Go ahead I'll wait while you read it.

Did you notice in verse 9 that when the glory of the Lord shone around them their reaction was terrified fear? Isn't His presence supposed to bring peace and strength?! I believe it does but we must be willing to give Him a heart of flesh willing to receive Him rather than a stubborn heart of stone.

The shepherd did experience fear like all humans do but as you see in verse 15 the shepherds reaction was "Let's go..." to God. They wanted to receive Him. They were willing to let go of fear and allow His peace to be received into their hearts right THROUGH their fear! They didn't allow their fear to freeze them into a stone of ineffectiveness.

Now look at John 1:35-39.

Jesus asks two men "What do you want?" What if God asked you that? What would you say? The two men gave an answer I want to heed in my life. They answered with a question back, "Where are you staying?" Jesus answers, "Come, and you will see." Interesting that Jesus didn't give specific directions complete with land markers and an exact address. No, He said walk with Me. Just come with Me and see.

So often we want specific answers to our fears and worries but Jesus just says

“Trust Me, walk with Me and you will see. You will see how I am faithful and provide for all that you need, that my strength is perfect in weakness. My grace is sufficient."

Today I pray to choose to respond like the shepherds. To allow His peace and strength to come through my fear and worry and take His perspective on my situation and circumstances. I choose to go and see and not remain frozen in fear but to walk with Him one trusting step at a time because He who promised is faithful!

So where are you staying? I'm staying with Jesus.

Independent Read: Ezekiel 36:26

Janette Kieffer
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