What is it that we are afraid of?

15 years ago I thought something was really wrong with me, so I drank lots of vodka to avoid the pain and the deeper issues which were screaming “you can’t handle the truth.”

Quite the opposite was true, I needed to know the Truth, but see the enemy doesn’t want that to happen and those ‘mean thoughts’ in our head, they are always from the enemy of God and the enemy of our very souls. Thankfully He doesn’t win.

In God’s goodness He showed me that nothing was really wrong with me, well except that I needed ultimate forgiveness which was accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, because I was spiritually dead.

After that was all taken care of, it was good to know finally, the “issue” that I thought was too big for anyone to fix, was actually just fear.

Honestly it was a relief to know it could at least be identified, fear. Identifying things can be a huge part of the solution. I use to fear everything. It not only controlled my life, it was all I knew, it was the filter in which I saw parts of life. I am sure some of you can relate.

As I grew to know, love and understand God’s love for me, the fear didn’t go away but it did subside.

The Bible says
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love (God’s LOVE) casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love”. 1 John 4:18 NASB

And it was true, as I grew to receive God’s love for me more and more, the fear would dissipate.

Lately, God has been so gentle and kind to reveal that fear can come at us with different faces. I am not sure how else to say it. The fear wasn’t this one big thing, it was a bunch of little things. And when I say little, I don’t mean little as in they felt little, quite the opposite they felt unbearable. But what I am seeing is that God is breaking it down for me, to deal more directly with the actual lie that creates the fear. Then to recognize it as fear and cast it down.

2 Corinthians 10:5 King James Version (KJV)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

To give you an example; the latest one God has brought my attention is the “fear of messing up His plan” or the “ fear of making the wrong choice” or the “fear of not doing what He says”

Well if you read these you start to see that they all kind of root back to the same or a similar theme.

What God revealed to me today was that I “TRY” (since control is actually an illusion) to control things because I fear if I don’t, all will fall apart. I fear that making the wrong decision or choice could totally ruin my entire life.

WOW, I am giving myself a lot of credit here, actually a lot of control here and as we discussed back a few weeks ago, control is rooted in fear.

I think part of the trick with fear is that we battle it from this one big thing instead of asking ourselves, “WHAT IS IT that I am afraid of?” If we stay confused on what we are actually afraid of, it makes it harder to deal with and that is what the enemy of God wants, us to just live with the fear.

Plus The Lord did NOT give us a spirit of fear. It is a spirit. The Bible says so in 2 Timothy 1:7.

He gave us power, love and a sound mind.

Let’s dwell on this whenever fear presents itself, be sure to pay attention to what you are thinking about and why, it will show you a lot about what the enemy may want you to believe, that JUST isn’t true.

Ask the One who has ALL the wisdom

He has all the wisdom! I am pretty sure I have written about this before, but it seems we are here again!

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Paul the writer of most of the New Testament said “pray without ceasing” do you ever wonder what he meant there? Probably exactly what he said “pray without ceasing” but ceasing it’s just one of those words, so I looked it up! #wordnerd here!

Ceasing means: to bring or come to an end.

So Paul was saying, pray without stopping. I know this sounds impossible. You are probably thinking
“Lindsay, sounds good because you are single and have nothing else to do, easy for you to say, but I have a life .”

Ok, I won’t take offense to your comment there (smile), but what I believe Paul was communicating is that there is never a bad time to pray, you can never pray too much. NEVER. It is ALWAYS effective no matter what the Father of Lies (aka the Devil) wants to whisper in your ear about it being a waste of time or completely ridiculous that you think prayer actually helps. But see the devil is a liar, let’s never forget that either.

As things get crazier and crazier around me, I don’t know what to “do” all of the time, but I am learning once again that I know the One who has ALL the wisdom.

I love in James where it talks about asking God for His wisdom, what a huge gift. Asking the One who has ALL the wisdom for wisdom. That’s amazing.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” James 1:5.

I think it is no coincidence that this is written right after He talks about us all experiencing trials in life. Your trial could be bigger than you ever imagined or it might seem tiny and seemingly insignificant. The thing is, He didn’t say come only to Me when your trial is too hard. He said if any (meaning any, not a few, not the super holy, He said ANY) of you lack wisdom (lack, I looked it up for us and it means: the state of being without or not having enough of something) wisdom, he/she should (meaning you SHOULD do it) ask God. Because He gives generously (it doesn’t say to those who can’t feed their children), it says He gives is generously to ALL without finding fault. Meaning He is not mad at you that you don’t know what to do. He is asking you to come to Him.

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? so amazing.

He often has to remind me that the point of this life is to be in relationship with Him. It’s hard to imagine because the world beats us up so much, but there is a God in heaven that wants to talk to us 24/7. He doesn’t sleep and He does have time for you, He delights to be with you. He doesn’t care if you are on the potty or in the shower. Washing dishes or crashing into bed, He just wants you to turn your head towards Him, ask Him in a 5 second prayer for what to do about this little tiny seemingly insignificant situation.

Right after this verse He says: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

Now I know the above sounds a little harsh, but sometimes we may have to ask Jesus to help our unbelief, see He is that good. He will help our unbelief, IF WE ASK!

Your prayer may look like this:

Jesus, help my unbelief, I need your wisdom and I want to receive your wisdom on _________________, because in James you say we can ask and it will be given so here I am, asking!

And watch what He does! It’s so exciting actually the moment by moment surrender and adventure with God, it’s not always easy but what in life is?

Now let’s get to walking with Him, moment by moment, seeking His wisdom in every single tiny thing we do.

Hope when it hurts MOST!

I heard at my most recent Celebrate Recovery class that the avoidance of “feeling pain” is what leads to all compulsive behavior.

When the leader said these words, I thought to myself “ouch that hurts” but the more I think about how painful it is to feel pain the more I thought “that makes sense”

Who wants to feel pain? No one! But the Bible says “we will all experience trials and tribulations”, they will come in various packages for all of us, but pain seems unavoidable in this broken world.

I hate it too.

It is starting to make sense for me now, if we don’t choose to engage in the grieving process (even in the smallest losses of life) we will be avoiding pain and we will eventually find a way to cope, which is usually way worse in the long run. It was for me anyway.

I hate it as much as you do, but someone once told me that crying is like throwing up, it hurts coming out but once it is out, you feel so much better.

It’s a little annoying to hear when you are in the middle of it, but it is true and maybe a good truth for us all to hear before we need it next time.

I use to fear my next suffering, my next painful experience, but as I walk with God through life, (the amazing and the painful) I realize that I am ok after the pain has been released by allowing myself to ‘feel the emotion’.

But we sometimes avoid feeling the emotion because we think it is too hard to handle and so we stuff it, which is a BAD IDEA! Because feeling the pain in the moment actually helps it to heal.

I know weird, but true!

As I started this new class on co-dependency, I realized that after all the healing I have been through in the past 7 years of being a Christian, guess what? There is more. Thankfully God is so grace-filled and merciful that He helps us through our “stuff” little by little even when it seems like it is happening in chunks to big for us to bare.

The thing that helps us through is Jesus, is prayer, is community, is reminding ourselves that Jesus does weep with us, and comforts us if we will allow Him. And as the Bible promises “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning”. Psalm 30:5 NASB

Believing that HOPE is indeed real and as my friends (and most recent freelance clients) at the Hope Heals Ministry say, “HOPE is what heals us all.” The person and the faith.

“Faith is the confidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen. (NIV Hebrews 11:1)”

My encouragement for you today is that you HOPE, Hope against everything you ‘feel’ that says “there is no hope”. I felt this “hopelessness” wanting to creep in the other night when I was writing this blog, but I professed Hope instead. I usually like to sit in my pain and feel sorry for myself, that gets you no where, trust me I have tried it so many times!

It’s not one or the other, it’s feel the pain and then HOPE!

You can’t actually over hope, you hope when it hurts most. You declare to the heavens that your Hope is in Christ, that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Because we know that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NASB

And you are called according to His purpose, if you choose to believe and follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

We don’t have to fear or look about us, for our God will not only help us, He will strengthen us and uphold us in His righteous right hand! That is good news friends!

Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)

10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

You know me, I write to process through my feelings, how do you process through yours?

‘LET’ peace rule in your heart.

LET peace rule in your heart.
To be exact, the Bible says:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15

If I have ever had a bad week at “doing” this, it was a few weeks ago.
A friend recently told me that no matter what our sin is, God isn’t going to break as He continues to watch us sin. He knows that the sin is eventually going break us.

We don’t in our modern day culture love the word sin, but in it’s most simplistic form, sin is anything that separates us from God. I personally never really thought of fear as a sin until recently. The actual word sin seems kind of old school and out of date, but make no mistake sin is alive and well and it is out to destroy us. We just tend to be deceived by it.

We hide from it, we enjoy it, we ignore it, we roll our eyes at it, because we think we know better than God, which is pride and that is also a big sin. That is what got Satan thrown out of heaven, good old fashion pride.

A few weeks ago I found myself broken by my sin of fear in a deep way, but see being broken isn’t all bad, it is actually the place which helps us realize our true need and dependence on God Himself. Because without Him we can’t fight the sins that haunt us. He is our true Shepherd, the One we look to moment by moment, the One we depend on and surrender to.

He is our ever present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1)

As I was recently struggling again with my sin of fear, my friend Sarah Ott Deyton (check her out on i-tunes, she is an incredibly gifted Bible teacher) sent me this…….
Stop the over analysis and self protection… Stay in step with the spirit day by day (you can’t do that if you are living in the sin of fear!)- live fully in each day for we are promised just today! Fear and trust do not coincide- trust the God that works every outcome together for good and glory no matter what —- You are in His positioning not your own- so seriously all is a win!!! Because your eggs are ever only in Christ’s basket- He holds your future!!! He holds your heart! There is no plan B with God! He holds each day and has written them all in the book of life so no amount of self protection or fear or reserve is going to alter the days He has for you, except that you love and live less than what He would have designed for you each day due to the inability to fully enter into it because you entered fear of it instead. There is only ever Plan A- He has got it all!!!!!!!!! Every moment, every day, etc.., you cannot and will not miss or mess up His will. Just enjoy today- pray as you are doing- walk prayerfully yes but that doesn’t mean you have to walk so carefully that you end up walking fearfully!

Let your mind go all the way into that fear- stare it in the face- call it out- and send it to hell! The Father doesn’t lead you or motivate you with fear- this isn’t a game of stomping out Lindsay’s heart and killing her joys. Your life your future your past are all in His control.
Fear has nothing to do with your God, His dealings, His character- never has!!! Do not give fear even a breath.

—————–

Yes powerful! I know!

See, if we allow (or LET) the enemy tell us how to feel and have a hey day with our emotions then he will! That is until we finally break and find ourselves on the floor going before the Lord because we literally don’t know what else to do. Thankfully we belong to a loving, forgiving, patient and kind God, He is usually just waiting for us to come to the end of ourselves, yes once again, but there He is waiting with His arms open wide.

The scripture I quoted above is interesting to me. There seems to be a condition here, it sounds like it is up to us to let peace in or let fear in or let condemnation in or let control in.

I know we have talked a lot about fear and control lately. But I think a lot of us deal with it and maybe don’t even know it.

I know in my life, God is dealing fiercely with the sin of fear in more ways then one, so sometimes it seems it has to be exposed in new and fresh ways, in layers, in areas you were not aware of to get to the very bottom of it all.

But be encouraged, I have seen God remove fear from so many areas of my life, layer by layer, for me it’s just a new area, so I know His plans are good, because I know He is a good good Father.

OH and check out these two songs….and be encouraged!

Good Good Father
No Longer a Slave to fear

Hope, Hope & Hope

“Enjoy! Rest! Allow yourself to hope- not expect- but definitely hope!!! Hope expresses desires but leaves all outcomes surrendered to His control! Expectations demand certain outcomes stifling hope. Hope my friend hope! You are in a great GOD place!!!! It’s all so good”

The above was from my friend Sarah Ott Deyton. She just sends you texts like this, it’s like having your very own Beth Moore on hand! And YES I realize I am blessed in all my friendships. My friend Sarah introduced me to one of her best friends here in LA, Katherine Wolf from Hope Heals (which I have spoke about before). I am starting to see a trend here, a theme you might call it.

Lindsay, you are allowed to HOPE.

You don’t have to live in fear anymore.

You don’t have to wonder when the other shoe will drop, you don’t have to fear your next suffering!

A) because fearing it won’t prevent it
B) I have good things for you Lindsay, you don’t have to just always be happy for everyone else.

As I write this I am hearing, “Lindsay don’t get ahead of yourself, what if things do fall apart, you shouldn’t be so confident that God has good things ahead for you”

LIAR LIAR LIAR. I want to say!

“Lindsay what about all the people suffering in the world, you should not be happy, you should be careful to talk about the blessings you have right now, because other people are hurting”

“I know” I say back to the voice in my head, “I know you are right, I shouldn’t be happy it’s just safer to expect the worst and then be delighted with the outcome if it is not bad.”

UGH!

When I look at that thought on paper, it makes me sad, it makes me sad that I think like that, it’s just a sad way to live. It’s twisted and it’s a lie.

See this HOPE thing is really starting to sink in. I mean God is quietly putting it all around me. I never really knew what HOPE was, but I am thinking it might mean to look up, to lift my face to a good God and know that He is for me no matter what, that it is OK to believe that I don’t have to always be happy for everyone else. But that I can be happy for the beauty in the moment He has given me, for the blessings of my day and THAT is ok. That is good, that is healthy.

My friend Jason talks about the problem of hope being deferred and how the Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 that
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” English Standard Version

I don’t want my heart to be sick. I want my heart to Hope in Hope Himself. I want my heart to know that my Jesus is for me and is with me and yes has good things for me. I want to remember that yes there is nothing better than Him, but that I can hope and believe that I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Who am I kidding I already have, I have seen Him turn ashes to beauty time and time again in my life with one thing after another.

Is everything perfect? no, will everything ever be perfect, no!

But He is God, and I am not. I want to believe my Jesus is who He says He is and I want to believe He is good and all good and perfect gifts come from Him. No matter what my doubt and fear want to say! Even if the gifts are for a season.

I want HOPE to arise in my soul, my circumstances, my life, my future. I want HOPE to arise in yours as well!

I don’t know where you are currently, but my prayer is that the goodness of God will manifest in your life, whether it is His presence so thick that you can hardly contain it, or if it is that peace that really does not make sense, or maybe it is that desire you have had all your life that is currently being fulfilled. I pray that He will speak to you about this HOPE thing that I think He might be speaking to me!

I truly love you all so much and am thankful to be on this journey with you!

You are not alone!

Love Always,
Lindsay

Oh and THIS SONG to help you worship our Creator!