I mentioned fear in my last post and said I would talk about it a little more.
I was asked back in March if I would share a message at our church's ladies breakfast in early May. I absolutely love speaking to groups, especially women, so I was flattered and excited about the opportunity.
My prayer for the time was continually "Lord, please let it be none of me. Take away any pride or thoughts that I have anything of value to say and give me just Your words to share."
The topic for the morning was "Fearless Factor". Two other ladies were sharing testimonies and then I would close it out with a message.
Immediately after I was asked to speak I knew I would share what I had learned through the Beth Moore study "Esther". Beth talked about how afraid Esther must have been at the opportunity to go before the king (check out the book of Esther to understand more). Beth spent that day's lesson talking about women and fear. Fear cripples many women. Sometimes we have fears that are major, but many of us face minor fears continually throughout our days.
In Beth's teaching, she shared how she had overcome fear in a particular area--a fear that her man would leave her. One day she felt the Lord prompting her to "go there" as she mentioned this fear. So, she went there. She felt as if the Lord kept saying "then what? with every addition of fear she would add. For example, if she said "I'm so afraid my husband will leave me for a younger woman," then she sensed the Lord saying "okay, then what?" After all the conditions...the woman was younger, beautiful, her kids liked the woman!, her marriage dissolved, etc. Eventually it came to the point that the "then what?" was answered with "well, I guess I'd go back to ministry and start healing and move on." Her entire situation ended with a statement. If ________, then GOD. God is still going to be God; I am still who He says I am; I am still wonderfully made and completely loved; I am still in His care; I will go on living.
For me, this realization was really a turning point for me in the area of fear.
What do I fear most? Something happening to Joel? Something happening to my kids? Something happening to me? My kids getting hurt? Losing a friend? Pain? Am I afraid my home will get burglarized and I'll lose my stuff? (not really; but that's another topic) Am I afraid at night because it's dark and I fear someone will come in and hurt me or my kids? Am I afraid I won't have money and be able to provide for my kids in the way I want?
At the basis of all these fears is a lack of trust in God. If I allow fear to grip me or determine my actions or emotions, then I am allowing fear to control me and I'm not focusing on the truth that God will take care of me.
As the day approached for me to share with the ladies at the breakfast, I continued to pray for the Lord to speak and for me to decrease and Him to increase. I came across some great Scriptures on the topic of fear and put them together in an outline along with this illustration from Beth Moore. I was all set to share, though I admit I was still not "feeling" it as I expected. Then, the day of sharing came...
...To Be Continued...