Afraid to Be Fearless? Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

It was a dark night and a light fog hung in the air. I was in my house with the eerie feeling that I was being watched. As I peeked out my windows, I made the terrifying realization that I was surrounded by wolves. They were silently watching as if zeroing in on an unsuspecting prey. I was trapped in my home…

The above scene describes a dream I had recently. I normally try not to read too much into my dreams, but this one left me curious. The wolves were scary, but the feeling of being trapped was even scarier.

What did the wolves represent? Why was I afraid of them?

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Wolves are fearless animals. They stalk with aggression and are not afraid to advance. Their unstoppable nature is enough to instill fear.

For many of us, fear is all too common. It disguises itself as doubt,  insecurity, and anxiety. It can translate into withdrawing from people and situations that make us uncomfortable. Some of us are so used to living with fear, that the thought of living beyond fear seems like a false reality. Freedom seems out of grasp, so we stay paralyzed. Trapped.

Is it possible that what underlies our fears is the fearlessness that’s required to overcome them?

To be fearless requires us to be uncomfortable. To live in fear allows us to stay in our comfort zone. If we stay where we’re comfortable too long, we forget to move forward. When we don’t move forward, we don’t grow. We become trapped in our comfort zone.

Fearlessness isn’t the absence of fear, but the choice to move forward in the face of it. What would the fearless version of you look like?

To be fearless will require something of you. It will require you to be uncomfortable.

So, the question is, are you willing to be uncomfortable or would you rather stay comfortably stunted?

What is it about the fearless version of you that scares you? What would being fearless require of you? Would you have to act on that decision you’ve been needing to make? Would you need to reach out to that person God’s been putting on your heart? Would you finally have to let go of the pain and guilt from your past in order to move forward? Would you have to lay down your plans for God’s?

Does the fearless version of you intimidate you? It shouldn’t. You were never created for timidity.


 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,

but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7


If you walk in the Spirit of God, He has given you a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Your job is to believe Him and to submit to His Spirit. If you walk in your flesh, it is much too easy to slip into fear and timidity. The burden of walking in flesh, alone, is much too heavy. The burden of walking in flesh that is submitted to the Holy Spirit is light.


“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:29-30


Is it time for you to stop living fearful and, instead, start living fearless? There is freedom in moving forward with the power of Christ. With the power of Christ, we have the power to stop retreating and start advancing? What will you choose?


 Reflect & Pray

Is there an area in your life where you’ve retreated too long? Is it time to submit to the nudging of the Holy Spirit and advance with the spirit of power God’s given you?

Confess any areas of fear or doubt you have and ask God to replace it with a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Believe His promises. Trust in Him.


Image credit: animal-kid.com

 

 

The Story of a Girl…Rewritten

letter-penThis is the story of a girl…

…a girl who learned that it was safer to stay quiet, than to speak up.

…a girl who learned that it was safer to not try at all, than to try and make a mistake.

…a girl paralyzed by insecurity that she learned to shut down and build walls.

…a girl who felt unlovable, so she acted unlovely.

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This is the story of a girl who sought relief from her pain in a lot of  wrong places.

…a girl who stood for nothing and spun out of control.

…a girl so consumed by her anxiety that she sank into depression.

…a girl who finally broke.

 

This is the story of a girl who understood that she had to make a choice.

…. a girl who heard the sweet sound of God call her name one night.

…a girl who chose to accept the love of Christ and run into His arms.

.1395936858947..a girl so hungry for truth that she read every book on faith she could get her hands on.

…a girl who stumbled and fell a lot.

…a girl gently led by her Father’s hand.

 

This is the story of a girl who still makes mistakes.

…a girl in awe of the Father’s great love and mercy.

…a girl who desires others to know that God can heal and bring good out of even the darkest places.

…a girl who wants others to experience the freedom that can only be found in Christ.

…a girl who trusts her Heavenly Father because He has shown Himself trustworthy, over and over, again.

…a girl who will seek Him all the days of her life because without Him she has nothing.

 

This is the story of a girl…rewritten.

 

This is the story of me.

 

Are you in need of a rewrite?

 The pen is mightier than the sword. - Edward Bulwer-Lytton


“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2


Inspired by the Rewrite teaching series from Northwest Community Church.


 

Image credit: imgkid.com, galleryhip.com, studio.jumpers-inn.de

Church: What’s in it for Me?

Some of us are church-goers and some of us are not. For those of us who are church-goers – Why do we go? Why do we give up our Sunday mornings?

Some of us go hoping to be inspired by a really good message. Some of us go desiring to be moved by some great worship music. Some of us go expecting to be entertained by a quick-witted speaker. We all desire something.

But is our desire to receive, correct?

Is it possible, we might have our Sunday mornings backwards?

If we take an objective step back, would we see that some of us approach church as a consumer, expecting to be treated as a satisfied customer?…..

“What does church have to offer me?…What can I get out of it?”

But what if instead of going to church to receive, we went to offer ?

Are we so spiritually dry that on Sunday mornings we have to metaphorically crawl on our hands and knees in the hopes of getting just a drop of water to refresh our souls? Or do we enter our Sunday mornings so satisfied with the Living Water that we can’t help but pour out our already overflowing hearts?

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water

will flow from within them.”

John 7:38

Do we come to pour out adoration to the One True God who satisfies our souls?

Do we come to pour out hope to the hurting and lonely?

Do we come to pour out Grace? Love? Mercy?…

From our overflowing hearts.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,

our inner self is being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 

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 Reflect & Pray

  • Do you believe that you can experience this kind of “overflow”? Is your heart being renewed day by day through God’s Word?
  • What changes can you make to ensure that you’re consistently sipping on the Living Water and keeping your soul refreshed?
  • Ask God to increase your desire to spend time with Him. Ask Him to help you prioritize your relationship with Him.

If you missed Part 1 of “Why Church?”, you can read it here.


 

Image credit: biggerbetterfaith.com

Church: Aren’t They All Hypocrites?

You may have some preconceived notions about church. In every area of life, you will find people who are authentic and people who are not. If you seek God, first, He can guide you in finding a healthy church that will encourage you to grow. But, first, there is something you must understand. There is no such thing as a perfect church.

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 3:23

ALL have sinned and ALL fall short – whether you’re a believer or not. We all fall short. We’re all imperfect. We all make mistakes. So, there can never be a perfect church because people gathered together is what makes a church and when a group of imperfect people gather together what you have is imperfection.  This doesn’t mean we should use this as an excuse not to go. What this does mean is that we should go with an understanding that we’re all messed up and that we all need to cut each other a little slack.

Ironically (and sadly),  believers tend to be most critical and judgmental of other believers. We are quick to point out each other’s faults. We forget that we’re all on the same team. We start treating each other like enemies, instead of like the brothers and sisters that we are. We all have the same “Daddy”. We’re all part of the same faith family. It’s normal for siblings to fight and disagree, but in the end, family sticks together to love and support each other. This was the design of the church from the beginning …

“But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.” 

1 Thessalonians 4: 9

We need to remember these words that Paul, Silas & Timothy spoke to the early church. We need to let these words seep into our understanding and become fresh once more.

Spring is a time of renewal. Has the stale dust of a critical spirit clouded your mind too long? Is your heart in need of a fresh start?

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3: 13-15

Forgive. Love. Live in peace. Be thankful.

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  Reflect & Pray

Are you part of a local church? If you are, have you allowed a critical or judgmental spirit to cloud your view of fellow believers?

If you’re not, why not? Are you allowing a past negative experience impede your desire to be part of something bigger?

Ask God to open your eyes to any “ugliness” in your heart that  may need to be cleansed. Ask Him to replace it with a spirit of mercy and love towards others.

Confess any stubbornness or bitterness that may be hardening your heart. He loves you and wants you to be part of His family.


 Did this inspire you? Please share with a friend.

A Little Wisdom for Your Easter

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Proverbs 4:7

GET WISDOM…

It’s pretty straight forward. I recently heard words of wisdom that hit me so square between the eyes that I can’t not share them with you. These words are especially timely as we prepare to celebrate Easter.

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“Listen, did you know that there is only one person in the history of the world who has ever been resurrected from the grave? It’s only happened one time. Even other people who have started great world religions…they’re all dead.

Where is Mohammed, right now?

Did you know he’s rotting in a grave outside Medina in Saudi Arabia? He’s dead.

This is true of everybody except one who has gone on before us.

Where is Buddha? Buried.

Where is Krishna? Buried

Where is Confucius? Buried.

They are all dead.

Only one person has been resurrected. [Others have been] resuscitated meaning they were brought back to life but they died , again, eventually.

Resurrection means to be raised up in a perfect glorified body never, never, never to die again.

That’s only happened one time.

If by an act of your free will you want to follow a dead savior…

{We’re surrounded by dead saviors – lots and lots of false substitutes}

…you’ll end up just like them. It’s your choice.

BUT if by an act of your free will you want to follow the only living Savior,…

…you’ll end up just…like…Him.

Easter Sunday we celebrate this resurrected Lord!

Through His grace and mercy He can help you rewrite the story of your life.”*

Good, right?! Straight forward. To the point.

WISDOM

Get it. No matter what the cost.

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The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Proverbs 4:7


Meditate on these words. Don’t rush over them. Let them soak in.

Pray. Ask God to give you wisdom & understanding.

Ask Him to show you what He means by this verse.


*Transcribed from a teaching by Dr. Bill Blanchard on March 29, 2015 at Northwest Community Church in Bella Vista, AR.


Image credit:

Cross – gbcdecatur.org

The God Kind of Wisdom – Walter Bright