Friday, November 12, 2010

What's driving you?

Welcome again to A Good Bible Study: StressLess! I'm glad to be with you here, discovering God's Word and how we can live the joy-filled life He intends for us. Let's join in prayer:

Father, thank you for this time. Please help us to honor You with our thoughts and actions today. Help us to be sensitive to Your encouragement, and Your leading. Please prepare our hearts to hear You, and take action. Let us be doers of the Word, and not just hearers. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Read James 1:22-27

Instead of just listening and agreeing with what you know is good to do, go and do it, the writer of James implores us. Too often we procrastinate and let opportunities slip by. At the end of our days, will we regret more what we did, or what we didn't do?

It's easy to intend to do things, isn't it? It's harder to take the first step, but once we do, the rest is downhill. Rick Warren, Pastor and author of the best-selling book "The Purpose-Driven Life" says there are 5 main circumstances, values, or emotions that drive most of our decisions. They are the core forces that shape our thoughts, feelings, and decisions.

He calls them guilt; resentment and anger; fear; materialism; and approval.

I'm going to focus on fear in this study, because it is the most common and debilitating problem facing people today. It's also one of Satan's favorite weapons, because we are all so susceptible to it.

Stress often leads to a feeling of fear: fear of the unknown, of the future, or what might or might not happen.

Did you know anxiety is the problem people most commonly seek treatment for in America, today? May be that's why God provided over 365 scriptres addressing fear - more than one for every day! Over and over He encourages us in His Word:

Don't be afraid, for I am with you.
Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right Hand.! Isaiah 41:10 NLT

I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord.
Thoughts of good and not of evil,
to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call on Me
and go and pray to Me
and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find me,
when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV

So, the first thing we have to do is call it out. Recognize it is fear that stops us from taking action.

Sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is name what it is we are afraid of. It takes the edge off just to say it out loud.

So, our first step in conquering fear so we can take action, is to name it and say it. It sounds simple, but like all simple things, it works.

Try it. "I'm afraid that if I ________, then  _____________ will happen."
Or "I'm afraid that if I ______, then ______________ won't happen."

Now, take a breath. How do you feel? Did the sun stop shining? Did the earth stop turning? Did they take away your birthday?

Now, continue on.

And if what I am afraid of happens, or doesn't happen, what then?

Ok, and after that then what?

And after that, then what?

Keep going till you run out of fears. Are you still ok?

Now what is the likelihood of what you are afraid of happening? 99% of what we are afraid will happen, won't. But if it did - can you, in reality, recover?

It will also really help you to turn to the back of your bible, and look up a few verses on fear. Write them down and when you feel yourself getting caught up in anxiety, pull them out and say them out loud. Say them with power and choose to believe in them!

Shake your fist in the face of Satan, the father of fear, and use the Word of God as a weapon - it will never fail to fill you with the power of the Holy Spirit if you wield it with conviction.

Let's pray:

Oh Father, thank You for Your Word! Thank You for giving us a weapon against fear and a shield against anxiety. Help us to use it every time we need it and use it quickly. You tell us to seek You and that we will find You when we search for You with all our hearts. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Andrzej Borowicz, couresy of

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