Show it the Door!

FearI am not a girl who loves scary movies. I have met people who love them. But I don’t like to be scared. I don’t like to see people hunted down and killed, even in make-believe film world. I like fairy tales, romance and comedy movies, and I’ll even go for a good drama or action flick, but I steer pretty clear from the horror genre.

So I am not sure what possessed me to watch a much discussed, truly scary movie one night when David and all of our kids were out. As I flipped through the channels, it just jumped out at me on the schedule of available entertainment. Perhaps I thought, maybe I’m missing something… maybe I should watch a well-known one like this just to see if I’ve wrongly judged these flicks and crossed them off my list without cause.

Toward the end, I was perched on the edge of the couch. At some point, I’d gotten up to retrieve the phone and kept it with me, just in case I heard someone break in who might come after me as I sat home all alone watching this crazy tale unfold. As scared as I was, I couldn’t seem to pry myself away. Instead, I called David and asked him to come home – at least two or three times as I sat glued to the TV. Because if he was there and anyone did break in — surely then I’d be safe! He finally came home and laughed at me and asked me what in the world I, of all people, was doing watching this scary movie!

Isn’t funny how quickly fear can cause rational thinking to go out the door! Today, I want to talk about fear and how it causes us to act in ways that were we to stop and think about it, we would realize are unwise and unwarranted. Not in reference to the phobia type or movie related fears, but in the places I think fear causes us to make the most mistakes and act in ways that we don’t recognize the root of our actions. I want to talk about fear in regard to our dreams and goals and the promises of God for our lives.

I used to struggle big time with this kind of fear! I have journaled my prayers and the whispers of the Holy Spirit for years. I do my best to live surrendered and stay on God’s path for my life as I follow his guiding words shared with me during this special time together as well as the other whispers and promptings of the spirit on my journey of life. Yet fear was the thing that tripped me up the most from walking in the spirit and reaching my destiny in God’s ways and in His timing. It wasn’t until I went through a recovery class about six or seven years ago that I saw the correlation between fear and insecurity and the spiraling worry it caused in my life and the havoc that wreaked in my world. Sometimes this stayed an inward struggle affecting my thought and home life and other times it caused me to try to steer things with others in the direction I thought they should go… taking matters into my hands – like God needed my help! I guarantee – He doesn’t!

That class for me brought me a big ah-ha moment that forever changed me as it led to my freedom in this area. That is, that God’s perfect love casts out fear, as it says in 1 John 4:18. We can truly trust in God’s love for us, his timing, his plans, and that our best possible outcomes always come when they unfold his way! He, in his love for us, won’t fail us, won’t let us down, won’t forget about us. No matter how many other people have been unfaithful with our hearts, God is eternally faithful!

On my path to awareness in this area, I also meditated on verses like 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, “God has not given me a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I love that verse still today. While I don’t struggle with fear as I once did, it still tries to rear its ugly head every so often and when it does, I show it the door with this verse and others like it!

If you struggle with spiraling thoughts, control issues, trying to steer things forward in your own ways, and stepping in and not waiting on God to move, chances are, fear is at the root! Surrender and doing things God’s way is a much more peaceful way to live. I urge you if this is where you find yourself today, to meditate on verses that speak of God’s love for you, as well as verses that speak of God’s perfect peace and verses that will help you win the battle against fear. The more God’s truths and love soak in and take root in your heart, the less fear will have an entrance.

Questions for Reflection:

1. Is there a time fear lead you to take matters into your own hands and not wait on God? How did it turn out?

2. What verses do you go to for reminders of God’s love for you and his plans for your life?

3. Do you have anyone you need to ask forgiveness from, where fear caused you to act in ways that put a wedge in your relationship or caused them harm? If so, I encourage you to go for it!

Amy O’Donnell

Copyright © 2014 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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There Might Be Monsters

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7 (KJV)

Fear is a very real emotion. While the emotion is a valid emotion, what the fear relates to may not always be valid. I know this from my own life experiences with fear, as well as from watching the people around me.

For example, we have four kids. They stagger in age from six to fourteen, and because of their varying ages they go to bed at different times. Kylie, our youngest, is the first to go to bed. Occasionally, we ask her to go upstairs and get ready for bed, while all the rest of the family is downstairs. Every time this happens, without fail, she gets very upset, bursts into tears and says, “I can’t go upstairs by myself… I’m scared! I can’t do it, I can’t!” You see, in Kylie’s mind, she thinks there might be monsters or strange people upstairs out of sight, just waiting for her to come up so they can jump out and scare her, or grab her. I remember thinking things like that when I was little. I was afraid to look under my bed at night because of what might be underneath.

Hopefully, all of us who are now adults have outgrown our fear of the dark, or of what might be lying beneath our beds. But our imaginations are still very active, and our thoughts can produce feelings of fear that cause us to shrink back or hesitate to go boldly after the life God has for us. Fear of failure, fear of what people are thinking, fears of not being successful or of not accomplishing all we think we are supposed to, fear that we will fail as parents or spouses, fear that things will never change, are just a few of the many fears that we can struggle with. We can become paralyzed with thoughts of things that are not even a part of our reality; a fear of what might be, or of what might happen.

I love the reminder that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Fear is not from God, and when fear thoughts pop up in our mind we need to move quickly to get those thoughts in line with God’s word and our hearts fixed back in a position of trust in Him.  As we trust Him, surrender our lives to Him, depend on Him to empower us and keep our eyes on Him, He turns our fears into faith.

So, the next time fear thoughts pop up in your mind, remind yourself what God’s word says about your situation Remember that He loves you and has plans for your life – to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future (Jer 29:11).  Affirm the truth to chase away the thoughts, imaginations, and lies of the enemy – Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world (1 John 4:4). You can do all things through Him who gives you strength (Phil 4:13), and God will never leave you nor will He ever forsake you (Heb 13:5). Then boldly continue to move forward in faith, believing the best is yet to come!

Copyright © 2012 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.

Who Am I?

Recently, in my morning quiet time, I came across the story of Moses and the burning bush. I have read this story quite a few times, but it always speaks to my heart, so I thought I would share it with all of you. For those of you who are not familiar with Moses, he was an Israelite born in Egypt at the time of Israel’s captivity. He was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter in the palace, apart from his people. He lived there in the Palace until, as an adult, he stumbled upon a fight between an Egyptian and an Israelite. He took justice into his own hands and killed the Egyptian man to protect the other, and so he had to flee to the land of Midian; where he settled, got married and started a family. It was there, one day in Midian as Moses was tending his father in laws flock that he came across the burning bush. As he stepped closer to it, God began to speak to Him from with in the bush. He spoke of his concern for His people, the Israelites, and of His desire to set them free. Then in Exodus 3:10 God said, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” And in verse 11, Moses replied, “Who am I, that I should go…?” If we were to keep reading we would see that Moses began to offer excuses and for each one, God reminded that he would go with him and give him all he needed to do all he’d called him to do.

 Many of us can probably relate to Moses; we feel afraid or inadequate to handle some of the various situations in our life; and so we ask ourselves similar questions – Who am I that I should start this business? Who am I that I should have a strong marriage? Who am I that God would heal me?

 If you are questionning your ability to handle new endeavors, old challenges, or feeling un-equipped to do all God has called you to do – I would love to remind you, just as God reminded Moses, that God is with you and has given you all you need to do all he’s called you to do.

 Copyright © 2011 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.