Growing a Faith Bigger than Your Fear
Many times, we find ourselves in a season of worry. We may be tempted to worry over health, finances, family, relationships, career, safety, or various other challenges that we may or may not have to face in life.
Jesus understood that seasons of worry are inevitable in our lives. Because of His humanity, he was empathetic and reminded us in Scripture not to worry about our lives, in regard to what we will eat, drink or the clothes we will wear. He compared the beautiful lilies and how God has decorated each one for the season they are to grow and thrive. His words of encouragement challenge us to seek God first and then He will provide the things we need.
One reason for worry comes from an inability or unwillingness to focus on the place we currently are in life... the present moment. Being in the moment provides an opportunity for learning to enjoy the blessings God provides each day. The challenge is that it requires us to be intentional. We can best remedy this by not obsessing over yesterday and the things that we are powerless to change, or fretting over tomorrow since it isn’t here yet. These habits stir up negative emotions that create a mindset for fear.
An interesting way to look at this is considering the vehicle you drive. It is equipped with a windshield and typically, a rearview mirror. Mentally assess the difference in the size of these two components. The windshield is likely 30+ times the size of the rearview mirror. And, when we are driving, we spend (hopefully), 99.99% of our time looking through the windshield to see where we are heading.
Occasionally, when changing lanes or making a turn, we may glance, momentarily, in our rearview mirror to ensure we can make our move safely.
If you are a Mom, you may spend a little more time looking back at your littles to ensure they are sleeping or simply to offer them comfort.
What would happen if we reversed this scenario?
How successful would we be driving a vehicle if we spend the lion's share of our time looking in the rearview to see where we have been, what is going on behind us or pondering what is in the past? As you know, it would be quite disasterous!
In fact, so much so, we might experience an official escort in our near future. LOL!!
It is the same way in all of life. We have zero ability to alter anything that has happened in our past. Yet, being focused on our faith walk and allowing it to lead us to a deeper intimacy with Christ provides us a bright opportunity to impact our future.
A closely aligned relationship with God, where we are walking by faith and not by what we see, or especially not being driven by what we feel, helps us to live more peacefully and more confident that the God who walks with us today is the One who gently guides us safely into our future with the ability to trust that He will work it all together for our good!
Our faith increases by hearing and responding in obedience to God and to His Word!
We live in a culture that provides us many voices and so much information telling us how we can best do life. We must be diligent to quieten our hearts to hear and listen to the still, small voice that leads us safely, peacefully and calmly through the highs and lows, the ups and downs and the changes that life brings.
He is the Anchor that holds when everything else feels like shifting sand.
Another cause for fear is that instead of trusting that God has a plan for our lives, we fix our minds on all the things that “could” go wrong. This zaps our energy for dealing with the the normal ebb and flow of life and robs us of of the ability to simply take God at His Word and lean on His promises.
Daily, we are confronted with plenty of concerns that require us to be on top of our game. We desire to make decisions in the present that we will be happy with down the road. We don’t need to add regrets from yesterday, or the things we may fear about the future.
Divide the things you face into two cateogories: those you can control and those you cannot. Resolve never to waste time and energy on the latter and not to make excuses for the challenges you face on the former.
If you will decide today to take the one step (or do the one thing) that God is telling you to do -- and simply trust Him with the outcome -- He will reveal the remaining 9 or 99 or 999 steps that you need to make to fulfill what He calls you to do with your life.
Equipping us for the journey is what He does well, and, if we get hung up on needing to know all 99 steps before we will even take one, we never get anywhere beyond "stuck". Taking that one step today, and trusting him with the other 99 is exactly what it means to live by FAITH!!
Recognize that there is a very real battle going on within each of us to either live by faith or by fear. If we truly desire our lives to change, we will be required to choose to overcome our fears and grow our faith.
If we want to do life by design, we have the opportunity to follow God wholeheartedly in full assurance that everything He does, He does well!
The polar opposite to living life by design is neglecting to live proactively, which results in our 'choosing' (because not choosing is making a choice) to simply default to doing life by default. There is no calm or joy or pleasure in this path.
Imagine for a moment the ones you love and cherish... you are fully aware of all of the blessings and favor that you desire for them to experience in their lives. You certainly wouldn't want them to be limited in their ability to trust that you are always about what is best for them. You would never sit around and allow them to limp through life stuck in fear and worry that there is no hope for them in the future or that things they may have been involved in or experienced in the past are acceptable to hold them captive.
God is holding that same space for each of us. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that He wants for us that is anything less than His very best. We are wise to leave the choices to Him in determining what our best life can be.
It does require waiting on Him... yep, that dreaded four-letter word....W-A-I-T!
We really are more 'comfortable' knowing all of the pieces of the journey, but it really isn't necessary. We can experience joy even when we don't know the whole path. Waiting in the uncertainty is where we have the greatest opportunity to grow.
Waiting isn't doing nothing. It isn't sitting around like a bump on a log, twidding our thumbs and thinking of the old song from 'Hee Haw' .... "Doom despair, agony on me...Deep, Dark Depression, Excessive misery....". (dating myself right here LOL!)
Not at all! It is entering into a season of resting in Him and focusing on the One who has brought us where we are in life. It is spending time in the Bible, especially in Psalms and reading about the laments and the help and the blessing that God has for each of us, in His time.
It is allowing Him to bring us through His refining fire to become all we are meant to be.
Sometimes, it's relinquishing the things that prevent us from being the person we know we are in our heart. It's a breaking of unhealthy patterns and negative beliefs.
Sometimes it's a breakthrough that comes from the breakdown.
All of the time, it is the security of His promise that He has a plan for our lives. It is also a knowing that He is good. And His ways are good.
And, ultimately, it's an embracing of all that can be!
At the end of the day, it comes down to the question we need to ask ...
What will I choose today? Will it be to Feed My Fear or Grow My Faith?
All of heaven stands ready to assist you if you choose to take God at His Word (Look through the Windshield) and leave fear where it belongs (In the Rear View)!
Until next time....
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Christian Women*
*And women seeking to learn more about a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Are YOU Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries and create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships? If so, we need to talk!