Tag Archives: fear

Snares of the enemy

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 NKJV

It’s part of living for Christ.

These are His own words.

Awarning us of the enemy and showing the stark difference between Himself and God’s enemy.

Since there is an enemy, it means we need to be aware of the traps used to ensnare us.

There are many ways one is disguised, but the basis of a powerful gripping debilitating snare is

fear.

Stop and ponder the poor choices which have been made due to fear.

The reactions to others, due to fear.

What would even one day look like if fear was totally absent?

It’s a powerful, even deadly, snare.

The Father understands the danger.

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Matthew 10:28 NKJV

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:7 NKJV

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.'”
Romans 8:15 NKJV

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV

And there are many more verses which deal with fear.

Yet, it’s so easy to fall into.

The only way to combat the snare is with faith and trust in Christ Jesus.

He alone can save our souls from the consequences of sin.

He alone can remove the sticky web of fear.

It is through total surrender that one can live in faith and trust in Jesus.

Only when one let’s go of control and passes it into God’s hands can they hold tightly to Jesus.

When that transfer comes the lines of fear are cut.

But it’s a daily, sometimes moment-bu-moment choice.

But nothing can compare to the blessings of the sticky, terrible, strings of fear being done away with.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for cutting the tangled mess of sin and fear. Please continue to help me see the strings and snares of the enemy, that I might avoid those areas. Lord, please continue to teach me how to surrender. I know it’s easy for me to want to control things, it’s hard for me to give up my desire to make the decisions, or to look after my best interests. Really, You alone know what is the best for me and only through total submission can I hear Your plan for me. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. May my life be used by You to help others become free from fear.

Swaddling

Something incredible.

My heart learned another meaning to falling in love yesterday.

Watching my husband hold our granddaughter.

There is something so precious about a big strong man being gentlesoft.

Again I praised God for the man I call husband.

And to add to the lesson…

Watching our son-in-law serve our daughter,

get meals,

change diapers,

and tenderly carry his newborn,

were heart-melting moments.

The drive home continued to replay the beautiful hours we spent together.

The joys of watching our other daughters and our son tenderly holding baby Faith.

Words do little to describe the heart.

And after all of this I realized anew my need for God.

Because I am an adult there are times I think I’m independent and able to care for myself.

The truth is…

I am even more helpless than baby Faith.

Whenever I try to accomplish anything in my own strength I end up looking like a startled baby; arms outstretched, crying from fear.

To comfort a newborn they need to be wrapped or swaddled so they feel safe.

That has been my prayer this morning.

I want to be swaddled and tucked up on my Heavenly Father’s arm.

I want to feel the comfort and protection I know He has always provided.

I want to be free from the false idea that I can do anything on my own.

Because there’s no peace or joy in striving in one’s own strength.

There’s no security or even truth in “I did it myself!”.

True peace is found only in complete trust.

And just as Faith slept peacefully upon her grandfather and father, I can walk with peace today.

God is faithful.

He is my Father.

I will fear no evil.

I will rest in His will this day.

2am

Some things don’t work.

Like Spud here trying to fit in the cat bed.

I’ve seen him try so many times to get himself to fit.

But it never happens.

And the crazy thing is his own bed is always nearby.

He can rest comfortably on it, but no.

He keeps working at something that will never happen.

This morning at 2am I was praying.

Not because I wanted to be awake, but because I was wrestling the bed.

As I prayed God spoke.

Bitterness.

Uhg.

“Lord, no! I’ve forgiven–”

The Lord only had to mention one word.

I knew instantly.

“Yes, I am still bitter. I’m still hurting and I can’t see around it.”

So, I struggled with forgiving again.

I was frustrated.

“Lord, I’ve done this so many times! I thought it was gone. I thought I’d given it to You. Why has it returned to rob me of my rest and peace?”

You are still hurting.

-ouch!-

It was like God tore off a bandage which was simply holding the infection in.

But as I was free to look at myself,

to take stock of the hurt,

I realized where the hurt was coming from.

To see inside oneself through the gifts of God’s discernment is truly humbling and

healing.

This isn’t going to be an instant fix.

Bitterness is an invasive disease which sends out runners to every possible point inside a heart.

It links memories and relationships into a web of pain stifling the infected so gradually that it can go unnoticed for a very long time.

And for me to root out those long tendrils of hurting unforgiviness I had to go to the root.

fear

I don’t want to hurt any more.

I can’t change my physical pain, but I’ve been unconsciously trying to protect myself from emotional pain.

The only way to protect myself is something that simply won’t happen.

I’d need to order all the circumstances in my life.

I’d been trying to control things.

I’m not God.

I’m not supposed to try and keep myself safe.

I’m supposed to rest in His Sovereignty.

To leave behind the nonsense which will never work and trust Jesus.

Hurt will come. But I shall heal you.

-sigh-

“Jesus, take every tendril, every shred, every piece of bitterfearhurt and remove it. Thank You for bringing it to my attention. I don’t want to continue to try to control my life, my circumstances, or my family in any way. I want to rest in Your will. I want to trust Your path. I want to be free from the past. Help me…”

Put out

image

Nope, the dog didn’t get put out.

In fact this picture was proof that he can live with cats.

He just didn’t realize it before.

What’s great about this picture is the cat was on the bed first.

She didn’t move a muscle when he came to relax on his bed.

For some reason this little kitty has won the dog over.

And he gets to stay in the house, because he is very careful not to molest either baby cat.

Just yesterday an older gentleman looked at me and said, “Well you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

He was referring to his struggle with learning something new and he didn’t say it as an excuse but to explain his difficulty.

Yet, he turned right around and tried again to conquer the thing which was the struggle.

He didn’t allow his age to put him out.

Little did I realize at the time, but God would teach me about putting something out.

At some unhealthy hour I woke.

I couldn’t go back to sleep so I began praying.

To my disgust I began to cry.

What on earth is wrong with me?

Why am I feeling so many emotions?

Nothing horrible is occurring so where is the reason for the tears?

Well…

It’s not complicated.

We’ve been through a lot lately.

And the emotions were tied to fear.

All kinds of silly ones.

As I prayed and sifted through the jumbled emotions the picture became clear.

My physical body is weak which pointed directly to my inadequacies.

This led to fear of being unable to…you name it, whatever fits!

The crazy thing about it all is I’m always unable.

The only reason I’m accomplishing anything at all is through Jesus Christ.

How silly to cry over something I’ve never been able to do!

Of course emotions are not always rational.

The simple truth,
the reality of the fact that I was struggling with fear helped me choose to trust.

I changed my prayers and began asking for faith to trust Him more.

I began to thank Him for all He has already done.

I thanked Him for all He is going to do, because no matter what, I know He will be with me.

I was able to let go of things I hadn’t realized I was holding on to.

Then I began to pray for things in our future.

No I wasn’t telling the Lord how I expect it to go.

Instead I was standing before the Lord on behalf of the people who will be in our future.

Our children will one day be adults.

I prayed for them.

Most people grow up and get married, so I prayed for the people who would marry our children, whoever they are.

I prayed for our friends and the things God is working in their lives.

And I prayed for myself, that I would turn away from fear and striving in my own strength.

And at some point the alarm went off.

I had gone back to sleep and awoke to a new day.

It wasn’t just another day.

It was a day begun with fear put out.

And I’m here to say, it has been a truly lovely day.

A little dose of fear

image

Last week was difficult.

On the Friday previous I left the basketball game with our oldest early because she had received a head injury.

Last Wednesday my adrenaline pumped through my veins because our middle girl fainted during Bible.

So the photograph above is from the Urgent Care where we took her to find out what happened.

Both instances I felt like I was swallowing just enough fear to choke me.

But God…

I love those words.

As scary as it was our daughters are both fine and back doing the things they love.

I walked away with a greater sense of compassion for those who cannot say the same thing.

Last year during basketball our oldest and another girl collided and unfortunately the other girl was taken away in an ambulance. Later we were told she was out for the season.

I am still praying for her and her family, because I have no way of knowing how God will use that in her life.

A young couple from our church just lost their first child and my heart is broken for them.

But our pastor (the grandpa of the little baby boy) reminded us that the story doesn’t end here.

Our principal began the week with a teaching on the tapestry of our lives.

He focused all of it into the point that we can’t see how it will all work out but even the trials, tests, and suffering can be woven into a beautiful picture.

So my mom moments of fear for the well being of my children can be a blessing.

My path of learning to let them go,  to allow them the chance at seeking the Lord, to look on instead of living life for them…

It can all be a part of the tapestry,
And the picture being told is of the greatness and goodness if our God.

He is my Lord and my Savior!

What about you?

How has He woven the circumstances of your life into a testament to His goodness?

Trust

20140803_093736Ps. 56:10-11 “In God (I will praise His word,) In the LORD (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Fear is a constant enemy.

It takes effort and choice for me to fight being afraid of somethings.

As a child fear would rise up and cripple me,

During tests,

With relationships,

Even over homework.

I remember being about nine and lying awake in bed with the fear that I hadn’t turned in my English homework. I cried myself to sleep over the thought that I had forgotten one single piece of paper.

I can laugh about it now.

I can think of all kinds of things I wish I had thought of. Like, my teacher was a kind gentle lady who would have understood. Or the fact that I was late on one assignment would not affect the rest of my life.

It turned out all my fears were wasted– I had turned it in.

As I have been able to look backward with a clearer view on life, I can easily say that most of the things I have gone to pieces about were not worth the effort.

When the thought, “What if something BAD happens,”

I can now say–

“In God I have put my trust, I will not be afraid.”

Is it because I blindly walk through life thinking no bad will come my way?

Not a chance.

Because of sin, bad will occur but the part that makes me able to not be afraid is trust.

TRUST

Easy word– Difficult to walk in.

At least it is for me.

Perhaps you are immune to fear.

If that is the case try to be compassionate for those who struggle.

I have often been told: “Just don’t worry so much!” or “You are making such a big deal out of nothing!”

Well– most of those times I knew I was being silly.

But the fear seemed too big to over come,

and the thought of trying to pull it together, impossible.

Those times have grown fewer and I have learned to do something when I begin to feel that way which has made a big difference.

As I feel myself being gripped by terror,

I close my eyes.

I picture myself as a child reaching up

and taking the hand of my Heavenly Father.

With one hand in His, I am always more able

to say,

“Lord, I trust You.”

 

Unexpected

unexpected

 

Change happens in the blink of an eye

life takes a sudden turn

You walk around a bend

And experience something

Unexpected

How are we to take these things?

How are we to walk without knowing what might yet befall us?

The natural is to fear

“What if…?!”

I have had many times when the “what if” would sneak up on me

and attack

Stifling me with the thoughts of worry, fear, even terror

of what might be around the next bend

Often causing great emotional distress

And in these moments I forget

the very real things in worrying about the may-happens

But it is in these real things that I find peace from the “what if”

First is that I am not alone:

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deu. 31:6

my Heavenly Father was always there

Second I have the assurance that this world is not all there is:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

One day I will be ushered into heaven and the cares and worries of this life shall fall away like

d-r-y leaves

Third is fear of this nature is not from God:

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

He tells me over and over in His word not to fear but to trust in Him.

Lastly there are bends in the road and things unexpected

But not all of them are bad

“Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation!” Ps. 68:19

Very often the unexpected are blessings hidden throughout my day

If

I am willing to look

and I’m not distracted

by the “what if…?!”