You Scared Me…Fear Lost

Have you ever let fear win?

Tonight I caught a case of writer’s block. At least that’s what I thought at first, until I realized I was just afraid.

The first step to beating your fears, is to acknowledge them.

I was afraid of you.

I was afraid because every time I write, or speak I become vulnerable to your critique. Now I’m sure you would never behave ugly or say rude things, but imagine for a second you know the person who would. Aren’t they scary?

For a second I could hear them snickering, “Oh yeah, she is changing the world one run-on sentence at a time”, and then laughing in a high-pitched voice. (High-pitched voices sound much more sinister in my mind).

Fear wins when we walk away.

I put my pen down, and decided I would never write another word. I let fear win.

I decided to stop writing and something interesting happened; the fear went away. The mocking stopped. The voices were silent. But instead of feeling peace, all I felt was defeat.

So, I did what most defeated women do, I ate a half a bag of Halloween candy that I swore I’d never touch. Incidentally, that did not help… and…now I have to buy more candy or endure the wrath of my 4-year-old. Despite my stomach revolting against me, I was still able to gain some much-needed perspective, “I’d rather fight fear that comes from steps of faith, than live in defeat from letting fear win.”

We don’t have to live in defeat.

Still feeling defeated (look, it takes more than cheap candy and an epiphany, those things just help steer me in the right direction), I picked up my pen and started to journal a prayer. I took comfort in the words of a “weeping prophet” who said, it was good to wait quietly for the Lord’s salvation (Lam 3:26). So I waited, and then it came. Yet another reminder, that we have the power to change the world.

“If God is for us, who can be against us… we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” Rom:8:31,37

Challenge your fears with Truth.

Steps of faith are sometimes scary and often met with opposition, even if it’s just voices in your head. Learn to silence them with truth. God is for you! More than a conqueror speaks of victory through oppositions, not just over them.

Christianity is about faith, not fear.

Don’t let fear win.

What is one fear that you have that keeps you from taking a step of faith. Are you willing to acknowledge it and let God give you victory over it?

How can I pray for you this week as you go out and change the world?

Tiny acts of faithfulness and a great big God

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

I had a dream that I could change the world and then I got stuck. For years my dream sat rotten inside of me and fear I wasn’t enough kept me paralyzed. I knew my God was not too small but I was stuck.

Then, out of sheer frustration, I called out to God. It’s wasn’t a poetic cry for help with passion that would melt the faces off ice sculptures, it’s was more like a bratty teenage girl cooking dinner and wondering why no one else was helping. “Seriously God, I’m not the only one who wants to eat around here, could you please help me”. If I was God, I’d have smiled and walked away, mumbling under my breath, “do it yourself, you ungrateful punk”. But I’m not God, and that’s not His heart. Instead of condemning me, God sought to restore me. He opened my eyes to the truth of His word and this is what I heard.

Moreover, it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful. 1 Cor 4:2

Look dreams are great. Wanting to change the world with anything God gives you is great! But know this, dreams are gifts. God gives us dreams to teach us faithfulness. If we walk in faithfulness, we don’t just reach the dream, we reach the Savior, and you don’t have to wait a single minute for that.

A dream is a driving force that catapults you through life. Like bumpers in a bowling alley that help keep us out of the gutter, but they are not the goal. The goal is Jesus. Don’t live for the dream, live for the Savior.

How do you know if you are stuck?

If you’ve ever had a dream to change the world, followed by the thought, “ as soon as xyz happens, I’ll begin living that dream”, then you are stuck. If God has put something in your heart, given you a dream, and gifted you to do it but you are not, it’s because you are stuck.

Getting unstuck.

The good news is, all it takes to get unstuck are tiny steps of faithfulness and huge faith in a capable God. Faithful stewards are conscious, confident, consistent, and committed.

  1. Be Conscious– Ask God to open your eyes to the areas of influence you already have. The cross is meant for the world. ( John 3:16) Right where you are is where God wants to use you! You want to be a missionary in Africa? Start raising money to send to the ones that are there now. You want to be a world evangelist? Start sharing Jesus with co-workers and classmates. You want to see more people praying? Start praying for them, and then invite them to pray with you. You want to help people become better parents? Open your home and let people watch you parent your own kids. Whatever you do, start now! Don’t waste a single minute. Consciousness is a tiny act of faithfulness.
  2. Be Confident– When you are confident that you are walking according to God’s truth, nothing can keep you from being faithful. Study His word as a lamp unto your feet and let Him guide your every step. Know this, if you can take a step without God’s help, your dreams aren’t big enough to change the world. Confidence is a tiny act of faithfulness.
  3. Be ConsistentHere is where it get’s tricky. Consistency is harder than it sounds. Consistency is a “butt in seat” principle of being faithful that nobody really wants to do. It’s about making choices and sticking to them. Ever start a diet you didn’t finish, or a work-out plan and then quit? Changing the world is harder than that, and only God can do it, so if you are going to be a part you’ll have to be consistent. Our flesh hates consistency, in order to be consistent, you’ll want to prepare for battle. Consistency is a tiny act of faithfulness.
  4. Be Committed Commitment is the A-game, this is what it means to give everything you’ve got. Commitment requires more than consistency, it requires a desire to learn to be better that never goes away. Committed people strive for excellence even after the world tells them they are good enough, or have done enough. Committed people have God-sized dreams, and don’t settle for anything less. Committed people realize they can do nothing apart from God and all things through Him. Commitment is a tiny act of faithfulness.

So you want to change the world? Awesome, me too! Yes, I still want to change the world, but it won’t happen my way. To change the world we need tiny acts of faithfulness and huge faith in a great big God. If we can do it without Him, it’s not worth doing.

Praying for you this week, that God would increase your faith, and empower your faithfulness. This is how we change the world.

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What’s your dream? What tiny act of faithfulness do you need to do?

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