Archives For Fear

Self Control in the Storm

March 15, 2015 — 1 Comment

Fold Hands Self ControlThere is nothing I love more than being a father. The journey has been amazing. What continues to baffle me, however, is the amount of lessons my little toddler has taught me during his not even two years on this Earth. He can barely speak a sentence, yet some things he has shown me have forever impacted my way of living. Quite often he teaches me these “lessons” when I am trying to instill something in him – it seems to always work both ways.

For example, my wife read about this particular concept in a book. Essentially, when my son gets overwhelmed, frustrated or if it seems that a tantrum might ensue we simply tell him to “fold your hands and get some self control.” Much to my surprise – this method works like magic! Each and every time he quickly stops what he is doing, folds his hand and calms down. Swiftly he returns to his happy place.

I understand why this works; it gives him something to focus on other than what it is that has frustrated him.

How does this relate to our walk with God?

So many times we can become overwhelmed by the world around us – the situations, the failures, the defeats and we enter into a time of anxiety, stress or doubt. Just as I say it to my son, I believe God says it to us “Fold your hands, and get some self control.”

Prayer solves everything.

Everything.

If things are in dismay and we try to solve it ourselves, I promise, we will only create more dismay and chaos. On the contrary, if we pause, fold our hands and give it all to Him – how quickly things will change.

I love the reaction that Jesus gave to the storm in Mark 4:35-41.  We read that the disciples and Jesus were all in a boat as a furious storm invaded. As the disciples go into panic mode, they find Jesus asleep in the boat. They wake him with an accusation saying “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus then turns to the wind and waves rebuking it and everything went calm.  He then responds to his disciples in verse 40: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith.”

Jesus demonstrated how we should behave during the storms. Controlled and at peace. We should know that God is always in control – no matter what is happening outside the boat.

Today, let me encourage you with the same words I share with my son: fold your hands and get some self control. Focus on the one who IS peace and I promise that peace will ensue in your life.

Question: How do you get self control through a storm?

 

Intoxicating Success

March 3, 2015 — 2 Comments

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On this day, March 3, in the year 1863 a resolution was adopted proclaiming a National Day of Prayer and Fasting. The United States of America continues to recognize this resolution on the first Thursday of May each year.

I was reading the speech that President Lincoln gave on March 30th following the signing of the resolution. It is a fascinating read and can be found in its entirety at this link.  This was a President who recognized the need to honor the God in whom all things have been created.

There is a quote that stands out as particularly intriguing to me:

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. – President Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln recognized that we can get to a point in life where self-sufficiency overrides our perceived “need” for God.  We find ourselves in a place of complacency.

This does not just happen to those outside of the Church – it happens just as quickly inside the Church. We find our routine. We go to Church on Sunday, serve as an usher, show up once a month for a mid-week service – but outside of that, we can’t seem to find the time to dig into His Word – pray, seek and discover. We might “walk the walk” but where is the fruit?

This post is short and simple: I pray we not be intoxicated with unbroken success, as President Lincoln said. Rather, let us be brought to a place where we are overwhelmed with a desire to know God on a deeper level than we did yesterday.

Let us be sickened by complacency and strive toward change.

Question: How do you overcome complacency?

 

I have always appreciated the “Skit Guys” and their amazing ability to deliver a message.  I recently saw this clip and thought it would be a great way to start this post. Take a few minutes to watch this before you read on.

In all seriousness, fear is debilitating. It is the thief that not only steals your joy, but your ability to live in the present. Fear encapsulates your mind and forces you to live in a constant state of “What if?” thereby robbing you of living in the now.

I have seen it lived out in others and I have most definitely spent my fair share of days living in this state of existence. There have been those times when I have refused to take a step out of fear – fear of failure, fear of others or fear of the unknown. We cling to what we know, what we can predict and what we can control.

When I look back on those times that I took a stance over fear, it is in those times that growth and life truly happened. Don’t get me wrong, success did not always follow suit just because I overcame my fear – but there is no doubt in my mind that I became a better person each and every time.

From starting a business (and closing a business) to jumping on a plane to a third-world country with nothing but a passport and a few vaccinations – God has always brought me through. We are not to have a mind of fear. God has made that abundantly clear:

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 ASV)

Look back at the call on Joshua’s life and just how many times God told him to fear not and have courage! In fact, there are numerous times in the Bible that God calls His people forth and says “Fear not”.  This leads me to believe that wherever it is that God is calling both you and I too would appear on the outset to be a scary path – however – God is with us.

It is the “I Am” that has sent you.

There is no greater statement than that. The “I Am” has sent you. Rest in that. Take a hold of the power in that statement and know that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if He is calling you to do it.

Refuse to let fear rob you of living your life any further. Begin today anew with a spirit of “power and love and discipline”.

Question: Can you share a time that God helped you overcome fear in your life?