Face Your Fear

Gideon was well acquainted with fear. He was hiding from his enemies when God came to him. He felt weak and ill-equipped when God laid out the plan.

Save Israel from the hand of Midian… – Judges 6:14

Gideon considered himself the lowest of the low in terms of potential warriors for the Lord. It seemed that God was really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one. All he wanted to do was hide and survive.

hiding

It’s a tempting way to live – hide and survive. But, when God calls you out, it is no longer a satisfying way to live. Even when the task at hand seems far more than you are capable of – especially then.

God looked at Gideon hiding from the world and called him a “mighty warrior” while he was still hiding. Knowing how God viewed him gave him the courage to step out and choose more for himself.

It’s tempting to stay within the comfort and familiarity of these walls. In a way, I hide from the enemy. And, the more I stay tucked away inside my safe place, the scarier it seems out in the world. Everything in me wants to simply hide and survive. Yet, I feel God pulling me.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of something and follow a crowd. That’s what happened with Gideon. God called him to save his people and all of the people gathered as if they were prepared and willing to help. Until God gives them an out.

Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead. Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained. – Judges 7:3

Here’s your chance. If you want to give in to your fear, you can go home. And 22,000 did just that. The first people eliminated from being a part of what God was about to do were those who lived as slaves of fear.

Then comes one of the best verses in Scripture.

And the Lord said to Gideon… – Judges 7:4

Why is it one of the best? Because, after 22,000 men had fled from fear, Gideon was still standing beside the Lord awaiting his next instruction.

Gideon was not going to go home. In fact, he was going to face the very enemy he had been hiding from when God first came to him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of what God is doing. I want to be counted among those who stayed to fight.

*******

Have you ordered your copy of Devotions from the Front Porch? If not, it is on sale on Amazon for less than $10.00! Hop on over and get one. Also, if you have already ordered one, please take just a moment and leave a review so that they will keep it in stock.

*******

Happy Monday, my friends!

Stacy

 

 

Mom Talk Monday: Raising Wishing Flowers

I want to be an oak tree. And I want to raise oak trees.

I want roots that run deep. I want my acorns to fall nearby and plant roots that intermingle with mine.

Every bit of my flesh longs to stay put in the same place and for my children to stay in that place as well. I’m not even particularly picky about the specific location of that place. I’ve moved enough times that I have no ties that bind.

Yes, an oak tree sounds like the perfect life for me and mine.

Except, it isn’t.

I had the strangest thought as I sat in church. I sat listening to the sermon and looking around at familiar faces and I felt God whisper.

I didn’t call you to be an oak tree. I called you to be a wishing flower.

wishingflower

But a wishing flower has such shallow roots. A wishing flower is quick to release from the stem and fly whichever way the wind blows. A wishing flower doesn’t cling to the earth and it is quick to scatter.

While my flesh longs to be an oak tree and to raise oak trees, my soul knows that I am to be a wishing flower and to raise wishing flowers. It terrifies me, friends, but I am committed to living unafraid.

I am to hold loosely to the things of this earth and to teach my girls to do the same. We are to be quick to fly when we feel the breath of God blow even if it means we scatter. Just typing that sentence brought tears to my eyes because I long for my girls to always be close. Yet, I long even more for them to be close to God because that is the only place peace is found.

I can do a lot for them. I can give them a lot. I can serve them a lot. But I can’t give them peace. I can’t give them purpose. Only God can do that.

So, as much as it scares me, they are far safer living lives as wishing flowers in the hands of God than to live as oak trees in my back yard.

The Thick Darkness

candleIf we think that following God means a life that never extends beyond our comfort zone, we have greatly misunderstood Him.  Often, God calls us to do the very thing that sends fear coursing through our body.

What then?  How will we respond when God commands us to face our fear of failure or rejection? What if God calls us into the dark place of loss and devastation?  We must be willing to go wherever He is.

Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightening and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off… – Exodus 20:18

There is a passage in 1 Kings that I have read many times and I’ve heard many sermons preached from it.  It talks about God being, not in the earthquake and fire, but in a whisper.  That is true – sometimes we look for a big production from God and miss His still small voice.

How do we respond, however, when He does come in thunder and lightening?  We like the idea of a gentle whisper, but are we still anxious to draw near when there is a smoking mountain and a thick darkness?  What happens when fear stands between where we are and where He is?  What then?

The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.  – Exodus 20:21

As people of God, we must draw near to Him wherever He may be.  We must have the faith that says, as did  Mary Gardiner Brainard, I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.  

When God is calling us into a place that seems dark and scary, we cannot stand far off in fear.  We must, like Moses, embrace the thick darkness if that is where we find Him.

Trusting God’s Provision

Lack of provision is my biggest fear.

It seems, no matter how many times God provides for my needs, I fear that this time may just be the time that He doesn’t come through. It’s a constant cycle of me fearing, God providing, me repenting, only to end with me fearing once more.

Here I am in Exodus following the children of Israel through the wilderness. I hear their grumbling and, for the first time, recognize it as fear. He freed them, but would He protect them? He protected them, but would He feed them? He fed them, but would He remain with them?

desert

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you…” – Exodus 16:4

The Lord promises His provision. He tells them that, come morning, they would be filled with bread. You would think that they would have rushed out at sunrise to gather up the bread. God had never failed to keep His word to them.

Yet, they seem to look around hesitantly. They see something on the ground, but it isn’t something they have seen before.

When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. – Exodus 16:15

As I read those verses, I just kept thinking that we do not always recognize God’s provision. Perhaps, it’s because we have our preconceived notions of how we thought He would provide. God’s way of providing often includes something new. Maybe it’s a new job that we didn’t even want. A new city. New friends. Sometimes, God may take away something that was no longer working for us in order to provide something better. It can be scary. We have to ask ourselves, “Do we want God to provide or not?”

bread

Make no mistake; God will provide.

Just don’t be afraid when you look around and think, “What is it?”

Grab Fear by the Tail

I only have a few moments this morning. Two children are doing math, two are playing and the baby is crying. It is very loud at the moment, y’all!

I just wanted to share a quick little word from my reading this morning. I have made it into the book of Exodus (yay, me!) and read the conversation between God and Moses. Basically, it went something like this:

God: Go and speak.

Moses: Why me?

God: Go and speak.

Moses: I can’t.

God: Go and speak.

Moses: They won’t listen.

God: Go and speak.

Don’t you love how our excuses never change God’s instructions?

scripture doodle

Then, God tells Moses to throw down his staff. Upon hitting the ground, the staff becomes a serpent. Moses took off running because, hello, snake on the ground.

Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail.” – Exodus 4:3-4

The staff becomes a snake. Moses runs in fear. God says to grab it by the tail.

I wonder what it is that you are currently running from. What is it that you fear and are not wanting to deal with?

Perhaps, God is calling you to reach out and grab it by the tail.

****

Stacy ❤