Fear

Fear had been telling me what to do. It kept me standing in my own little safety zone, never allowing me to step out into the unknown. Fear would tell me that out in the unknown there is quite possibly pain, rejection, hurt, embarrassment and who knows what else. Fear fed me lies and kept me afraid and staying exactly where I was in my safety zone.

I heard someone say that you need to chase down your fears and at first I thought that it just sounded crazy. Why would I want to run after the things that make me afraid? And then it got me to thinking; fear is not from God so it just may be the enemy. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he feeds me lies and keeps me in a state of fear and that fear stands in the way of me stepping into the things that God has for me. It keeps me from Gods ultimate plan for my life.

Last year we entered into the world of Foster Care and became Foster parents. Fear had held me back before, feeding me lies of it is going to be hard to get registered, it will be too hurtful to see what the children have gone through, it will be too hard to let go, too hard to love them as your own. The enemy had me right where he wanted me, staying right where I was and doing nothing at all to love the least of these. But we felt the fear and did it anyway.

Fear is still a part of my life but I am learning not to let it tell me what to do anymore. I am chasing down my fears, stepping into the things that make me afraid, and it is there that I learn to overcome fear.

Stepping out and facing your fear leads to intimacy with the Lord, another thing that the enemy tries to keep you from. That is where we need God the most; we lean on Him the most, listen to Him the most, trust Him the most. All of these things create a stronger connection with the Lord. The Holy Spirit comes and fills us with His power and courage to do the things that make us afraid.

What could happen if regular people like you and me got filled with God’s Spirit and carried His power and courage? The world around us couldn’t help but be impacted and changed for the better. What if we all felt the fear and did the brave and courageous things anyway?

I want to encourage you with this verse—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.”

Hold onto this verse and breathe in the courage, let it soak into your spirit and let it rise within your heart and then chase down your fears one by one.

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Its time to stop avoiding things that are difficult and painful

SPRINGTIME

Throughout my life I have tried very hard to avoid doing anything that is too difficult or too painful. I like to stay within my little comfort zone, where everything is safe, easy and relatively pain free.

Staying in the safe places that we build for ourselves will not allow for any growth in our lives. You see growth usually comes from the times in our lives where we are stretched and challenged. Safe and easy does not teach us anything, but difficulties and pain more often than not bring a whole lot of growth, strength and perseverance.

God sometimes calls us to do things that may be difficult and painful. But He has created us not to have a spirit of fear and timidity but to have His peace and courage upon us. Which means we can do the difficult and painful things with Him constantly by our side leading us through them.

Through those difficult and painful situations we will begin to grow closer in relationship with Him, grow in our relationship with others and grow in character and strength. The growth possibilities are endless but we will never experience the wonderful season of growth unless we attempt the difficult and painful things. Unless we step out of our little safe zones and step out into the big wide world.

I recently read this verse in the bible and its words just jumped off the page and leaped right into my heart…

So when I tried to understand it all, I just couldn’t. It was too puzzling – too much of a riddle for me. But then , one day I was brought into the sanctuaries of God, and in the light of the glory, my distorted perspective vanished. Psalm 73 verse 17 – 18

I am now entering into a season that will have its many difficulties and its painful moments. Before, this thing that I had in my heart to do seemed too difficult and too painful for me to even begin to attempt. The thing that has changed for me is that I went into the sanctuary of God and He changed my perspective of the thing I had in my heart to do, the very thing that God was calling me to do.

When you enter into the sanctuary of the Lord, when you come into His presence He begins to fill you with His love, peace and strength. He spoke courage straight into my heart and soul and now I feel that I can now face anything. I have faith in God that He will never leave or abandon me through these difficult times, that He will constantly provide the lamp to my feet guiding me each step of the way. He will give me His strength to deal with the difficult situations and painful feelings that I may face and have to endure.

God has remained faithful to me time and time again and He will not fail me now. So here I am bravely stepping out into the unknown once again, bravely stepping out into difficult and possibly painful situations but they are being made easier to face because I can hear God calling me into it and He will go with me so what am I to fear when the almighty King, the great I am is on my side.

Courage

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I leave the gift of peace with you -my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts – instead, be courageous! John 14 v 27 TPT

Jesus gives us His perfect peace. He does not want us to live in fear but He wants us to be courageous. To be courageous is to have a spirit of bravery. To face life and everything and anything that may come your way with boldness.

I feel as though I have got a good grip on Jesus’ perfect peace but now I need to start living life more courageously, more boldly. I want to be more courageous and step out of my comfort zone and start doing things that may challenge me. To start up a conversation with someone that I may not usually talk to or share more openly about my faith. To pray for complete healing for the sick instead of just asking God to comfort them. It is to do the thing that God is calling you to do, at the moment He asks, that requires you to have great courage.

God longs for us to be lionhearted. A lion is strong, fearless and bold. A lion roars with power and it does not run from anything. The lion is known as the king of the jungle, it represents royalty. We are sons and daughters of the king and we need to begin to walk in the way of royalty. We need to be courageous and step out and with our spirit of bravery we can do great things.

Jesus, I thank you for your gift of peace and I ask you to fill me with your courageous spirit. Amen.

The good shepherd

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The Lord is my Fierce Protector and my Pastor.
I always have more than enough.
He offers a resting place for me
In his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace,
The quiet brook of bliss.
That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure,
And leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness,
So that I can bring honor to his Name.
Lord, even when your path takes me through
The valley of deepest darkness
Fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely for you are near.
You become my delicious feast even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;
You give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
So why would I fear the future?
For I’m being per sued only by your goodness and unfailing love.
Then afterwards – when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! Psalm 23 The Passion Translation

Put yourself into this Psalm, David wrote this Psalm but it is true for us too. We will never be lonely because God is near to us always and we are being pursued by His love. He will restore and revive us. He will lead us and when we are walking through hard things He remains close. His love and comfort are always there so we need not to fear. We are strengthened with the Holy Spirit and we have power and authority in the name of Jesus.

Let this be an encouragement to you. When things seem hard read this Psalm aloud and let it fill you and restore the fight in back in you. You were born for such a time as this and you can do hard things.

Art class ::: a lesson on bravery

I have now completed the prophetic art class that I was taking. It was so much fun and I learned a lot. I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up for it.

On Sunday we had our last class and we presented a final piece of art. I was so nervous about showing my work.  I am not as technically good as the other students in the class and I really struggled with confidence about my piece but the class has taught me that I should not be working to please others, I should enjoy the creative and spiritual process and work to convey a message that God has given me or placed on my heart.

I spent a very long time working on a picture for the final art show and I just was not happy with it. One evening I was feeling so frustrated with it that I put it aside and started creating another piece of art. I was just enjoying painting, working with the water colours and listening to music and I created a new piece of art in about ten minutes. When I finished I heard God whisper to me “this is it, your final piece for the show”. I looked at the picture I had just completed, it wasn’t perfect, there were drip marks and splash marks, the colours had run together and I had not really paid too much attention to the things that make a great masterpiece like placement, light source, where the eye travels to etc but I had really enjoyed the experience and I had captured the message that God had placed on my heart, and who am I to argue with the master creator himself!

The message was that He has made me brave. I can feel him standing with me and strengthening me. He has led me here to this place, to be doing what I am doing and he is getting me ready to do great things in his name. I can do all these things through Christ who strengthens me. Sometimes I do not feel brave at all and I need to remind myself that I am because He is.

I felt very brave to submit such an imperfect piece of art and I received some lovely feedback on it. So here it is…

you make me brave artA feathered head dress for a princess warrior.

I will probably need to keep reminding myself that I am brave and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me so this piece of art shall be displayed on the wall to remind me each day.