Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Facing down fear

Welcome back to A Good Bible Study: StressLess! We are continuing to talk about facing down fear so we can get on with enjoying life. Pray along with me, out loud, and we'll get right into the Word:

Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful day You've created. I haven't even looked out the window yet but I know You have good things in store for me and my loved ones today.

I know Your character from reading Your letters to me: Your Word, the bible. Help me to trust You today, and believe You are working in whatever situations are going on with me. Help me to face my fears, and see they aren't the strongest thing in my life, You are! Help me to know what it is I can do, and to do it. Help me to focus on pleasing You today, knowing that You are focused on helping me. In the name of Jesus, amen.

So friend, tell me how did it go yesterday? You were going to do one thing, or do one activity, for five minutes to face your fear. If you took action, I know you felt better about it. Hopefully, it gave you a sense of the truth: that you can handle whatever is happening.

It doesn't mean you like what is happening. It doesn't mean you choose what has happened. It means you can handle it and you can do one thing to start resolving it right now. That one thing must start with prayer. Believe God hears you, and will lead you to know the first step to take.

Even one small thing is taking action. And remember, taking action diffuses anxiety and makes you feel competent.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

If your thoughts begin to get in the way, fearful thoughts, insecurity, thoughts of "what if," then go back to authenticity. Remind yourself of the truth of the matter, of who you are and what you are afraid of. Call out that fear and name it!

Don't just walk around repeating, "I'm afraid." You're still focusing on the fear. Admit what you are afraid of and start telling that fear some truth. Get authentic on it. Speaking the truth empowers you physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I pull out the big guns when I am getting wrapped up in fear. Read 2 Timothy 1:7

What did you learn? God has not given us a what? A _______ of _______.

Instead He has given us one of ________, _________, and a _______ mind.

Write that down and repeat that when fear is getting the best of you. Say it with force, not as a plea. Say it with conviction like you know it's true, because it is. Look, you might have to do this all day for a few days until it starts sinking in. The devil isn't going down without a fight. But we are assured that if we continue to resist the devil, he will flee.

Read James 4:7

What must you do before you start standing up to Satan and his bag of tricks? This is very important.

First, _____ yourself to God. What does that mean?

Right, it means humble yourself to God. Place yourself under His authority. This is the most powerful thing you can do. You are not only His child, you are operating under His authority when you tell fear to take a hike.

Think about that for a minute. You've got the authority of God backing you up on this.

God is telling you that you do not have to be bullied by fear and anxiety. He says to come under His wing and know that He has your back.

I'm not telling to deny your feelings of fear and anxiety, but I am telling you to recognize that no one died of a feeling. That's why we must take action, because we are afraid. Joyce Meyers says if you are afraid but something has to get done, then "do it afraid."

Dont' you know courage is not moving forward without fear, it's moving forward in spite of fear. So call it out. Name it.

Say "So, I'm afraid. So, what? I still have to get breakfast made, still have people to help. So, I'm angry . . . good. That anger is going to help me have confidence in making a decision today without worrying so much about what people think. Yup, I'm sad. That's right. And later I am going to treat myself to a hot bath because I need some t.l.c." Are you getting it?

James Hollingworth (AKA Ambrose Redmoon) a radical beatnik, known only for his eccentricity and for this one powerful quote, said "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something else is more important than fear."

If you have suffered from fear and anxiety, I don't have to tell you that peace of mind gets real important when you don't have it, right?

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really have to stop and look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes long. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Let's pray:

Father, let us go forth boldly today, recognizing that fear is an emotion designed to stop us. But we are the children of the Most High King, and if we humble ourselves and put ourselves under Your authority, we can look fear in the eye and tell it we won't be held captive anymore. We will resist the devil and he will flee. We will do it afraid if we have to, but we will move forward.

We will tell ourselves the truth of who we are, and what we have already been through. We will shout out scriptures and remind ourselves and fear itself, that God has not given us a spirit of fear, so we can let it go. We can accept the Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, because it's ours to take. Thank you Father, for your good gifts! In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Damien Bouchard, courtesy of

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