By Michele Laccabue

 

 

Fear is a part of human nature.  Fear can grip us in the most obvious situations or catch us off guard when least expecting it.  When fear rises, are we prepared and equipped to handle it?

 

Our Fearless Conference, in January, left me fired up and ready to charge ahead with greater boldness and fearlessness for Christ.   How could I not after seeing Lisa Bevere extend her arm towards the heavens holding up an impressively huge sword?   Powerful image.  Powerful reminder.  Power of the sword.  The Sword of the Spirit.  God’s gift of His Word.  Our go-to weapon when fear rises!

 

Immediately after the conference, I joined a Freedom group and soon pinpointed areas where fear rears its ugly head in my life story.  For me, the fears of rejection, failure, and loss had taken root in my soul.  I discovered that my life is peppered with examples of  “me, myself, and I”  trying to push through fearful situations without waiting on God and depending on His lead and His timing.  Oh, the Enemy has so enjoyed watching me struggle trying to do things my way.

 

So, here I am, a few months later, doing what I think is a pretty good job of surrendering to God’s ways and walking fearlessly in His strength.  But, then, an unexpected decision arises that alters the trajectory of the ministry plans “I thought” God had given me.  My old fear of rejection crept in as I became fearful of losing something near and dear to my heart.   After shedding a few tears, I went into immediate find-the-solution- and-fix-the problem-mode without waiting on God’s direction.  I thought I was being rather strong and fearless.

 

 

THANKFULLY, three days into this charade, I snapped out of the Enemy’s lure because God placed wise women of our church in my path to speak truth.  And, one of them was wearing a Fearless T-shirt.  Boom!   Be fearless!  I remembered the sword.

 

When fear rises, we are to wield the Sword of the Spirit FIRST before we charge forward.  We are to remember what God has implanted into our hearts.  His words are living, active, and are our weapon to use against the Evil One’s lies.  They also have power to transform us by renewing the mind.  Bye bye stinkin thinkin!

 

Our good good Father reminded me of Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.

 

Screech. Slam on the brakes. BE STILL!

I could hear God speaking this loving message, “Be still. I am God. Let me be God. Stop going ahead of me. Wait. I have a plan. Trust  me. I know it is very tough for you to be still, but I’ve got this.  You KNOW me, Michele.  Remember all I have done.  I am going to show you something new. Your next thing. “

 

And with that encounter, I was free of fear.  Faith replaced fear.  Fearless!  Thank you Jesus!

 

When fear rises, what voice are you listening to?  Do you remain still (& quiet) long enough to hear what our Lord is saying?

By Stephanie Haile

 

 

It seems like every time I go to exercise at least one person has an ailment that they want to discuss with me. I really don’t mind talking with people about what body part hurts this week, but sometimes the situations seem so helpless and I wish I could do something.

 

For example, recently, a friend at exercise class said her shoulder is preventing her from doing her normal routine. It had popped out of socket and you could see the pain in her face as she tried to lift her arm. I was moved with compassion and felt led to pray for her right then and there… but I didn’t. I said, “Awe, bless your heart.” Then I went about my day.

 

Later on, I felt God ask, “Do you really believe I can do anything?” Well, yes God, I believe You can get me a good parking spot at Walmart, I believe You can take care of the orphans and widows all around the world. I believe You will help me get through a day of cleaning and cooking and wiping and griping, etc. Yep God, I believe!

 

As you know, when God does not hear the answer He wants from us, and we have not fully learned the lesson, He asks us again.  At that point Philippians 4:13 was brought to my mind. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

 

Did I not pray for this sweet friend because I felt like God couldn’t do it? Was I afraid God would let her down? If the Bible says I can do ALL THINGS, why don’t I believe that. If God is really living in me, why do I just trust God with little behind the scenes work, instead of major awesome events that could change the world.

 

I am sure the first time one of the disciples prayed for someone to be healed, in the back of his mind he thought, “Man I hope this works, ’cause I just told this guy to stand and walk. If God doesn’t do something, these people watching are going to run me out of town!”

 

I see this journey like a baby bird in the nest. The only way that bird will ever enter into its full potential is to jump off its cozy, safe nest and fly. Yes, it does risk the chance of not flying and hitting the ground, but with God, He is always there to catch us!

 

I believe God wants us to be fearlessly bold! Will you be bold today?

By Sanjie Jackson

 

 

I was sitting in the waiting room at my doctor’s office reading a contract while waiting to be called. I had been sick for two weeks straight. While I didn’t feel sick anymore, my lymph nodes were enlarged and they became so painful that it was hard to walk at times. All kinds of thoughts raced through my mind… What’s wrong with me? Why is this lingering? Do I have cancer?

 

At that moment, my phone rang. It was work. Again. That’s when I realized how I got here… I STAY TOO BUSY.

 

A few weeks ago, I was in Haiti doing dental missions (a calling that is near to my heart). When I returned from the trip, I went right back to work. Then, soon after that it was my birthday, which was fun- filled with family and friends. All these things were awesome, but the problem is that in between all these activities, as well as staying involved at church, planning my family reunion and managing two dental practices, I made no time for rest.  At some point I need to learn to say “No” to a few things. I need to put less on my plate.

 

What happens when we don’t get enough rest? Our bodies don’t work optimally. Our immune system becomes compromised and we become more susceptible to disease. Also, our brain function diminishes. Lack of rest disrupts the neural pathways that allow information to travel smoothly from one area of our brain to another. And, eventually we can crash.

 

That is what was happening to me! My body was crashing and trying to tell me to REST.  The great thing about being a child of God is that I can rest in Him. I don’t have to look far at all.

 

Psalms 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides the still waters. He restores my soul: He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

 

 

This is my new favorite scripture because it LITERALLY tells me what I need to do. I interpret it as God telling me to lie down AND REST. I will choose the still water, which I call the beach.  And when I rest HE will restore me. HE will recharge me. And once I allow Him to fully charge me, then I can actually hear Him and I can fearlessly follow where He leads me.

 

Psalm 62: 1-2 says “My Soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”  Part of my rest is reworking my daily schedule to spend quality time with God. When I set aside time to have my devotions, my heart and mind is at peace.

 

So, as I begin to move forward, I am working on limiting my weekly obligations so I’m not too tired to spend time with God.  Next, I’m learning to say NO which is hard for me. I will choose to rest, I can’t do everything that I’m asked.Learning to prioritize is not going to be easy but it certainly is essential to getting rest.

 

So, What about you? When was the last time you took time to rest?