Sunday, August 23, 2015

focused fear

During the preparation period before departing for Nigeria, I was made aware of fear.
What was fear? Fear is worry, dread, anxiety, distress, alarm, panic, opposite of assurance.
What were my fears?
Death or dying… no
Snakes or spiders or bugs… no
Small tight spaces or elevators… no

What is your greatest fear?
Is it something staring you in the face at present? Or is it something you have placed very distant from you & try to avoid?

On my very long flights to Africa, I had plenty of time to ponder them.
What were my greatest fears?

After figuring them out, I began reading a book on fear- “In a pit with a lion on a snowy day.”
Frightening concept, huh?!
But it isn’t meant to be.
I am learning how to reorder my fear, so that it isn’t fearful at all.
God did not give us a spirit of fear… quite the opposite… He gave us a spirit of sound mind & a peaceable spirit.
How is this done?
I answered one question with another… what are you focusing on?
The enemy is out to unfocus you from your God ordained task- whatever it may be for this season… nursing, serving, singing, teaching, mothering, waiting
No one task greater than the other
So we have allowed fear to creep itself in & stay awhile. We begin to fear things, people, situations, places, memories. Then out of fear comes loss of control. And out of loss of control comes lack of trust. The snowball begins.
Until- we stop… look around… and ask—“what just happened?”
I asked another question… “what aren’t you focusing on?”

I was taken to Acts 16 in my reading. Paul & Silas find themselves in the middle of an angry mob, getting beaten half to death, & thrown in prison. How about that for fearful?
The worst situation imaginable while doing the work of the Lord.
What was their response?
Verse 25…“Around midnight, Paul & Silas were praying & singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

I was floored. I have read that verse so many times growing up in the Lord, it never hit me like this… but so often the revelation of the Word of God comes to us  only when He knows we are ready.
How did they do this?
What were they focused on?
Their circumstance? Their lack or need? Their problems? Their unanswered prayers? Their situation?
They were so focused on God & praising Him for who He was that it blotted out what was going on around them & the lack they had.
They were zoomed out on the bigger picture, not zoomed in on themselves.
“Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.”
As I read this, my spirit jumped. Remember this & live by this!
Making the choice to zoom out & focus on God will change your perspective & in the process- restore the joy of your salvation!
“Worship is zooming out and refocusing on the big picture. It’s refocusing on the fact that God unconditionally loves me when I least expect it & least deserve it. It’s refocusing on the fact that I have eternity with God to look forward to in a place where there is no mourning or sorrow or pain. It enables you to find something good to praise God about even when everything seems to be going wrong. It will be difficult, but one of the purest forms of worship is praising God even when you don’t feel like it because it proves that your worship isn’t conditional.”

Your focus determines your reality.
So… what are you focused on?
Reordering your focus reorders your day… in the simplest way… to praise Him!

I am working through my fears with Him guiding each step of the process, so my learned fears will be unlearned fears in due time.
The process is often difficult to swallow, especially when I find myself in situations like in a pit with a lion on a snowy day. But I know the outcome will only show God’s handiwork & craftsmanship in a girl who deserves so much less. He makes beauty from ashes. And in the begin, weren’t we all ashes of the earth? Trust Him through facing your fears so that they are no longer fears & no more a vice the enemy can use against you.