Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Because We've Gotta Kick Fear to the Curb

You don't have to look too far or be too brilliant or even all that terribly compassionate to grasp this truth right here ... people are afraid.

The reasons are as wide as the sky, often complex, and no, there's no quick fixes in sight.

Serious family situations or scary health issues might have emerged rather quickly ... or financial upheaval, a job crisis, or the endless political clamor could be causing nightly sleepless hours.

Perhaps there are urgent decisions that should have been made last week.  Or maybe a gnawing loneliness or the unsettledness that oft' accompanies grief or rapid change has left its mark.

As I rustled around the archives today, the words below beckoned me.  They were penned 3 years ago, but I offer them up to you again, dear soul, as a healing balm, a soothing hope, just in case you are afraid.  Or fear that you're headed in that direction.

Our tender, merciful God is inviting us to lean deeply into His power to conquer whatever assails us.




When fear comes to call, he is not at all a gentleman.  He is a ferocious ugly companion who forces his way into our hearts and minds during our most vulnerable moments, taking up what looks to be permanent residence.

He settles himself in, puts his scaly feet up, and makes himself at home.  His malicious intent is not to leave, but to hang around for as long as possible.  What he really wants is to run the show, call the shots, orchestrate the whole concerto that is our lives.

He disturbs, isolates, victimizes, mesmerizes, paralyzes.

This ugly taskmaster steals joy, confidence, peace, and sanity.  His relentless, constant companionship can kick anxiety into high gear, keep us from making wise decisions, wreck havoc with precious relationships, and render us impotent to do anything more than simply .  be  .  afraid.

But there is a stronger truth that must prevail.  And it is this ...

God has bountifully given us endless grace and life-giving freedom.  He longs for us to be in healthy, renewing community with Himself and with others.  He graciously gives us power, love, and a sound mind.

He gently whispers, 'do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Be comforted.  Be assured.  You are not alone, God is on your side and will help you show fear the door and kick him straight to the curb.  Do this as often as the enemy comes slinking back toward your heart.  Because you truly can embrace decision making and life's trials from a place of confidence and love and sanity.

God's perfect love casts out all the ugliness of fear.  And the good news is that you have the power, through the name of Jesus Christ, to refuse that uninvited evil guest and he will wander off again, preferably to the faraway abyss where he belongs.

Isaiah 41:10

Galatians 5:1

2 Timothy 1:7



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visiting with Holley & Brenda

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52 comments:

  1. I have always struggled with anxieties but I've always been able to keep them under control. Lately, they've been running amok and no matter how many Bible verses I go over in my head, no matter how much I meditate, etc.....my body seems to be overreacting. My brain knows it's fruitless to worry, but my body was not on board anymore. Come to find out, there was a medical explanation........adrenal fatigue!! I struggled for a year and a half thinking it was all in my head when there really was an issue. My point is, when you've tried everything and you still can't control fears etc....get a medical workup to make sure there isn't a medical problem. I'm feeling more optimistic then I have in awhile. Fun fact.......if I hadn't asked for prayer in our ladies group my pastor's wife wouldn't have recognized my adrenal failure and recommended I go to a doctor!! Prayer is powerful!!

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    1. Valerie ~ thank you for bringing the medical component of anxiety in right at the top of this conversation. If there's a physical component to our anxiety, it needs to be diagnosed and treated.

      Your counsel is wise and one that plays out in the counseling office for women I work with who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other emotional challenges. The first step is a trip to their doctor's office for a complete medical workup.

      Thanks for partnering with me to get the word out ... lots of blessings to you!

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  2. I LOVE this! yes, fear should have no place in our hearts and our lives...

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  3. We use this acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. So often this is fear's truth. Thank you for this timely encouragement Linda.

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    1. Ain't that the truth, Debby.

      The Spirit, the Scriptures, and loving healthy ones who care about our best interests speak the real truth.

      Now ... to claim it as our own.

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  4. Linda,
    You always share the right words to meet me right where I am! How do you do that?! I think God might have something to do with it! :) These wise words are so refreshing and soul-satisfying since fear and insecurity are constant companions, although depending on the day, they're more strident than at other times! :) I love how you constantly speak the truth over those who come here to read your words -- so grateful for you! xoxoxo

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    1. Hey Valerie ... your honesty makes me wonder what our lives would look like if fear and insecurity were distant relatives that seldom came to call.

      May He calm any and all strivings that stand in the way of His peace.

      Bless you, girl ...

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  5. I love coming here to read Truth that is quiet and solid. You shine a light on the path toward "sound-mindedness" and encourage me to "stand fast" without getting all tangled up . . .

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    1. You said this -->'sound-mindedness.'

      And what a fabulous platform for decision making and daily life choices that is.

      Thanks for coining a new word for us, friend.

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  6. One of the interesting things about fear is how our behaviour might affect those around us...and it may not be what we think.

    Case in point, yesterday I had a bad fall, and there rose a haematoma the size of a tennis ball on my shin that may have been presaging a broken leg. I could still walk on it, with some pain, and didn't think too much of the incident. I figured that if the leg was broken I'd splint it, end of story. I've done it before.

    Barbara was horrified, and wanted to take me to the ER immediately. Then she said a very interesting thing -"Your calm is not helping me."

    I had never thought of it that way - I'm generally pretty low-key (might be tempting sometimes to use a cattle prod to see if I'm conscious), and I don't know any other way to 'be'. Certainly I can't fake anxiety, but I could have been more attentive, somehow, to the dichotomy in our reactions.

    The leg's less painful, and the swelling's gone down. If it's a break it's a small one, hairline fracture.

    Love to hear your thoughts, Linda.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/01/your-dying-spouse-263-superstitions.html

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    1. Wow, the woman is quite perceptive. I'm still waiting for her book to come out.

      I find that a fascinating comment ... and I think I hear her. There are times I've wanted my husband to show a bit more of a reaction or response or something for heaven's sake.

      Nope.

      Calm ...

      P.S. No dancing for you this week, pal.

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  7. Thank you for pulling this out of the archives and offering it to all today. Fear has reared its ugly head one too many times in the last year. But God...
    Takes my chin and turns it toward him saying, have no fear, I am right here.
    Pours out grace anew everyday in an offering of pure love
    Loves me when I feel alone from the isolation of fear.

    I love your beautiful words. Thank you for sharing this soothing balm.

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    1. Mary, it's one of those weeks where I'm thankful for extensive archives, ya' know? Sometimes there's not a whole lot of creative juices flowing ... the energy is spent elsewhere.

      And that's ok.

      But this -->'Loves me when I feel alone from the isolation of fear.'

      Amen, friend. Amen.

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  8. Hi Linda! I am no stranger to feeling fear. I would say that I am very susceptible to feelings of guilt and wondering if I have done my best. It's very burdensome. But I have become more savvy about it, knowing that these triggers are not coming from God. God doesn't want me to llve there in fear. He likes joy for me!
    Easier said than done of course, but your list of Scripture shows me that fear is an age-old feeling, and that I am not alone. We have been created for so much better than fear.

    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. You've said it well, Ceil. Guilt is so very burdensome, such a lie from the enemy, like a big wet blanket that holds us down and renders us useless.

      So different from the clear conviction from the Spirit. So very different.

      Praising God with you that He's shaped us for joy.

      Peace and grace to you this afternoon, my friend.

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  9. Linda, these words could not have come at a better time. My poor mother is so distraught by the outcome of the election, she has admitted (we talk daily) that she is fearful for the future. Just yesterday, I told her, not in the same words you used here, of course, that fear is crippling and robs you of your joy. I urged her to remember that faith drives out fear, and that God has us all, and every situation, in His hands. She is 88 years old, and who knows how many days she has left here on earth? I will continue to pray for her that she'll trust in God for all things and turn her fears over to Him.
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. Your dear mom is in good company as many people are distraught by what has been unfolding in our country, no matter what their political preference.

      God have mercy.

      I take great comfort knowing that there have been endless regimes and rulers over the centuries, yet God is still in charge and nothing and no one will thwart His plans.

      Yes, our God reigns.

      I'm praying for peace for mama even as we speak, Martha. Please give her a hug from me, ok?

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  10. He certainly does make himself at home! I have always lived with fear, but I am learning to conquer it day by day. Sometimes minute by minute. God never leaves me alone in it, and for that I am thankful.

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    1. Minute by minute. Absolutely, Sarah. We are never alone.

      May you experience His peace today ...

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  11. Thanks for sharing these words, Linda. When fear forces its way in it can seem so powerful and overwhelming. It is important to remember that Jesus gives us all that we need to fight against it.

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    1. Amen, girl. We have a Savior sho has experienced every emotion that we have ... He hears where we're at and longs to be our Comforter.

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  12. Linda, you have created an image of fear that will resonate for me for a long time, I believe. It is a monster that steals, robs, and destroy when we take our eyes of the one who is always hope. It really is a battle for our mind, and it takes work! I'm learning too, that fear is something that we may always have a battle with in this world, but God gives us what we need (maybe even through wise counseling by others) to gain peace among all the anxiety and pressures of our world. Such an important message to get out there that we don't battle these battles alone! Thank you!

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    1. Yes, Lynn, yes.

      And you bring up an important point that we might need to get some wise counseling along the way to help us root out the true causes of our fear, learn how to free ourselves from its grasp, and discern if there's a physical component in it all.

      Bottom line ... if anxiety is a regular visitor, we need to have a medical evaluation. Fear is not just a spiritual or emotional issue.

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  13. Such an important truth today! It's so easy to slip into fear and think that God's instructions not to fear are just another thing to add to the list of things we're supposed to do.
    But it's so much more! God wants us to remember that He longs for us to have nothing but the best!

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    1. Beautiful, Becky. Yes, God offers us invitations that give life abundant ...

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  14. I had some news recently that let that nasty fiend, Fear loose. THEN I remembered the Faithful One who has taken such good care of me to date. WHY would I doubt Him now?
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Thanks for the reminder to remember all those ways God has been faithful to us over and over again.

      Sometimes we've got short memories, don't we ...

      Great is His faithfulness!

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  15. Well, amen to that. Inspired words, those are. :) Fear is such a bully and one who is often hanging around my playground. sigh. Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom, Linda. And, thanks for linking up with #ChasingCommunity today! ((hug))

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    1. Bullies wreck havoc with the essence of who we are.

      Let's all say a staunch farewell to the enemy of our souls who prowls around looking for whoever he can devour with fear.

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  16. It is in the desperate dark moments of our lives that fear seems to be the first on the scene, followed by despair, maybe condemnation, guilt... but as you shared with these powerful verses, we don't have to sit and listen to their gloomy company, but we can banish them with the word of truth and the sword of the spirit, and let peace reign. A wonderful reminder once again of the power of prayer and the Word in our life!

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    1. Fear as first on the scene. That's a profound statement and one that's true for far too many of us. Of course, it's joined by best friends despair, condemnation, guilt ... and other assorted energy drainers.

      I love the way you're talking about defeating such doom and gloom companions, friend. Thank you for joining in on the conversation ...

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  17. I think God hates fear as much as we do. Great post, Linda.

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    1. So glad you're here, Rachel ...

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    2. Ooooh, I wonder if Rachel and Mike are related??!!

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  18. I'm afraid I let fear hold me back a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I treat him too much like a visitor I have to put up with rather than a taskmaster I can kick to the curb. Does this make sense, Linda? Isaiah 41:10 has often been a comfort to me in my life. I need His hand every hour, minute, and second of my life! I too often forget His hand is always ready to rescue me from fear, but He is so faithful and patient with me. Thank you for making this a safe place where our fears will be understood. Love and hugs!

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    1. Wow, Trudy. You hit the nail on the head, talking about this 'like a visitor I have to put up with rather than a taskmaster I can kick to the curb.'

      I guess it's all part of the deception by the enemy to think he can just drop by whenever he pleases.

      Let's all put the NO TRESPASSING signs up, ok?

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  19. Linda,
    I LOVE Isaiah 41:10 - it's one of my "go to" verses. I often refer to the enemy as the "creep". When he comes a calling and wants to get in my front door. God gives me His truth to combat the creep's lies and His strength to slam the door and kick him to the curb. Joining with you in telling him he's not welcome here...
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Slamming the door with you, Bev. Thanks for sharing just a bit of your story with us here ...

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  20. Truth is, like trouble, fear shows up unannounced and often at the most awkward or unexpected moments. From that point on, it's anyone's guess how I'll respond and honestly, it depends on the day. One day I'm strong, the next I'm vulnerable, and the third ... who knows? I might be into self-blaming that odd day ... all the shoulds show up at the door along with fear and me, being ever gracious, offer them a seat as well. You should be stronger. You should be less vulnerable. You should be more grateful it's not worse. You should stop worrying about things you cannot control.

    Once again, you have your finger on the pulse, Linda. And you offer such wisdom and solace and comfort. Thank you.

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    1. You've expressed the battle so well, friend. Strength, vulnerability and everything in between. And we waste our valuable time and energy beating ourselves up when we've reacted poorly ...

      Everyone who reads your thoughts will certainly resonate. I'm so grateful you're here.

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  21. Fear is often natural when unexpected bad things happen in our lives. But unwarranted fear, or imagined fear, is wrong and should be opposed with prayers. Too much unwarranted fear could be an insult to God in that we do not trust Him enough to look after us and care for us.

    God bless.

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    1. And He's proved Himself so faithful, time and time again. He opens His arms to shelter and heal us as we emerge maybe a bit stronger and wiser from our latest venture.

      Yes, Victor, yes.

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  22. Thanks, Linda! Your topic is the one that seems to be a predominate one and certainly folks seem to be spiraling deeper and deeper into it for all sorts of reasons as you have mentioned here. I just posted a book review on the topic from a book from Tyndale by Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, Nothing to Fear: Principles & Prayers to Help You Thrive in a Threatening World that I thought was excellent. Lots of good truth. He reminds us the world has always been a dangerous place and yet we are called to live and be disciples in such a predatory place. He lists 7 principles He gave the disciples to guide them and the book is divided into 7 sections, one section per principle with additional principles and suggestions related to each one. I see Amazon says it is not released until Feb.7 so not sure if it is available yet generally, but well worth reading. Have a great weekend, my friend!

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    1. Dear Pam ... NOTHING TO FEAR. Yes and amen.

      I really appreciate you sharing the Chaplain's book during these uncertain and unsettling days. What a timely offering.

      Praise God for men like this who pray over our leaders and minister to their souls.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1496418689?ie=UTF8&tag=atthecrossroa-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=1496418689

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  23. Enjoying your blogs (first time)! this winter. I purposely slowed down these past few months until spring and reading your blogs had been a blessing. Love how God has blessed you with pleasant, pleasing words to inspire and encourage! God bless you!

    {via email}

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    1. Please know that I'm so glad you're enjoying this little online community! Blessings ...

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  24. Such a timely post, Linda. 'Perfect love [God's love] casts out all fear.' My heart breaks for the people we are now seeing and hearing from almost daily who are obviously letting fear rule their thoughts and actions. Certainly, anxiety is an issue for many, but we are seeing it now on such a large scale. Praying that they will find peace.

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    1. Yes, fear and anxiety have become the life breath of many, even yes, those who love the Lord ...

      Prayer changes things. Thank you for your peace-filled petitions, June.

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  25. Oh yes! To the far away abyss where he belongs! That is my prayer as well, Linda, since fear knocks on my door quite frequently! Thank you for this beautiful word and for pulling out of the vault something so very precious and powerful at the same time!

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    1. Yep, he's a frequent knocker. But with the strength God provides, we can keep that door bolted shut and refuse the enemy entrance.

      Hard stuff when this has too often been our default mode, yes?

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda