This summer I had the joy of co-leading a ladies bible study at my church using the study “Restless” by Jennie Allen. I had never heard of it but my friend, and really the one spear-heading the bible study had fallen in love with the book. I figured, why not? Y’all, it was SO good! Often as women we just take care of all the needs. As I like to say, I put out the biggest fire first then move to the next! Somewhere in the middle of doing that for years, even decades, we push away our passions. We say :
“I don’t have time for that.”
“No one makes a career out of that.”
“I’m not good enough.”
…and my personal excuse, “One day.”
But one thing I am convinced of, is that God does not make mistakes. He is an On-Purpose God. He works all things together for our good and His glory! If God Almighty put a passion inside you for something, anything, then He most definitely intends to use it. Here’s the hard part. Do we let Him? We must tackle and fight the fear that holds us back!
One of our dear Mentor Moms in my local MOPS group, Darla, whom I love and look up to always shares a devotion with the leadership team at the end of our meetings. It is a sweet time of encouragement and teaching from a woman who has “been there and done that”. At the beginning of this year she passed out pieces of paper and said, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”, and had us write it down. You could feel the energy in the room. There was excitement at the thought. Whispers of, “wow” and sighs of disbelief. Like the thought just blew our minds. The possibility, even the thought of failure is what held us all back…and that all is rooted in one thing. Fear.
“Fear is a liar.” My husband loves that phrase. In Scripture, satan is called “The Father of Lies”. It is actually one of his names. All fear has root in something that is not true. Yes, it might be a what-if, a possibility, but it is something that has not actually happened yet. It is not actual truth. This is a tool of satan used to render us useless to the Kingdom of God and useless in life. Think how many people live in constant fear and anxiety. I most certainly have walked through times in my life where I have been frozen with fear. At the idea of ALL.THE.WHAT-IF’S. I get it. If I allow my mind to entertain the what-if’s for too long I can feel the grip of fear starting to take over. Friend, know this : you were not meant to live this way!
“For God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
That right there, THAT is what God desires for you. A spirit of POWER. LOVE. SELF-CONTROL. I have found, one of the greatest ways for me to combat the fear that is crippling, is to remind myself of WHO my God is! Our culture is guilty of wrapping God up in a cute little “love package” with a pink bow on top and selling him to everyone as this wimpy little baby who sucks his thumb and tells everyone “I wuv you.” By all means, God is a great God of love. Yes, He is! His name is Love! However, we must not forget, He is so beautifully well-rounded. God is loving, just, compassionate, wrathful, jealous for His glory, merciful, patient, creator, generous, and more and more. This week I came across this verse in my daily study and can I just say, I LOVE verses like this!
“The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name.”
– Exodus 15:3
Immediately I get gladiator images in my mind. God busting out of his armor, sword in hand, and fearless to take on the enemy. Some translations say, “The Lord is a warrior…”. Y’all, God fights for you! He fights for me! It would be good for us to remind ourselves of this truth, because of who God is, we do not have to live in fear. We do not have to walk this road alone. We aren’t tacking fear on our own, trying to fumble our way through it. No, we have God Almighty fighting this battle with and for us! Y’all, we get one life. I’m tired of living in fear. The thought of looking back one day and seeing I lived in fear and didn’t live out my specific purpose motivates me! I hope it does for you too!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
– Psalm 27:1
Listen, I don’t have it all figured out. I struggled even if I should be writing this series. “Who do I think I am?” I feel all kinds of inadequate over here! But ever since I felt the Lord whisper this phrase to me this summer, it has not gone away. Because I believe it was not a message meant only for me, but for all of us. We are all in it together. In the busy schedules, in the wiping of baby noses, running to the next appointment, getting the laundry done, I get it, I am there too. I created this print as a personal motivation and it hangs above my desk. Set one on your nightstand, in your kitchen, wherever you need to see it everyday.
So, would you join me, over the next week to follow this God-sized rabbit trail? Because I know and believe every single life is created with purpose and on-purpose. I feel it with conviction down in my bones! And I have realized that almost nothing, nothing makes my heart wake up more than hearing the story of how your heart woke up! To live the life God means for you to live. With all your gifts and talents being worked together for your good and His glory despite all our mess, and complications. God isn’t surprised by our circumstances. But first, we must fight the the fear so we can hear His voice clearly. It doesn’t mean the fear won’t creep back up…it will be a lifelong battle. But if you know who God is, and have the tools to fight the lies that cripple us then you can win time and time again.
Come back Friday to hear part 2 of this series. We will begin to dig deep and figure out what is that thing you are meant to do right now. This will take work. More work than just reading a blog, so I invite you to grab a journal, and write, take notes, draw, whatever to get the work going. Invite the friends you just know need something like this! I don’t have the answers for you, but hopefully some of these steps will get you going in the right direction. For now start by writing down what Darla asked us.
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?