All posts tagged: fear

Can You Change Your Perspective of Your Circumstance?

-written by Matt Clotfelter When I revisit stories of the Bible we have heard since we were kids, I like to try to look at them from a different perspective. I like the fresh feeling this gives as I seek the living nature of scripture. The story I have been looking at recently is when David faces Goliath. I wonder what it would be like if I were one of the Israelite soldiers called up by Saul to face off against our sworn enemy, the Philistines. I have marched off to the battlefield. When we go out for our first day of battle, at the front of the enemy line marches Goliath. This guy is huge! I can imagine how ferocious his voice would sound, as he taunts and shouts obscenities. And then he issues his challenge: “Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves!” (1 Samuel 17:8-9) No one wants to be …

Search For Truth in A Fog of Fatigue

Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done… but did not do. – Johann Wolfgang Not too long ago I got a new Study Bible; kind of a fresh start and exploring a different translation. At the front, on the first blank white page all Bibles seem to have, I felt prompted to start a list. I wrote at the top of the page “Men After God’s Own Heart.” The first name which belongs on this list is David (see 1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). But he hasn’t made it on there yet, simply because I haven’t made it to his story yet. I wanted to jot the names down as I came to them, recognizing those who stand out in His story as being chasers and seekers of God’s identity and purpose. Men who desire His thoughts, adopt His will as their own, and are in friendship with Him. (I’ve got four names on the list so far.) …

Can You Change Your Focus When Facing Fear?

Let’s look a little more closely at the differences between David, the Israelites, and Goliath. As we read the story in 1 Samuel 17, two truths stand out right away: 1) Goliath is huge, 2) the Israelites, including King Saul, are terrified. Goliath was almost ten feet tall and he had the best armor the Philistines could attain: a large standing shield, a coat of mail weighing about 125 pounds, and a spear with a head made from iron weighing about 15 pounds. Not only is this guy huge, his armor and weaponry are some of the best. No one in Israel’s mighty army dared to walk up to this giant—despite his taunts. And what of Goliath’s taunts? He said things like, “Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” He also curses David by his gods, “I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” King Saul and the army of Israel feared death at the hand of this Philistine. What of the shepherd boy? Although we read David …

You Can Overcome Disabling Fear

Fear as a primary motivator never really works out the way we want things to. In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about how we should not be ashamed of our fears. Let me tell you about a time fear gripped me. When I was in nursing school I was taken out of my element. I drove to Northside hospital to start my mother-baby rotation. As part of this rotation, I was to be a part of the gross birthing process miracle of childbirth. On this particular night, my first night on the job, I had just been traumatized amazed by my first birth. Afterwards, my instructor immediately ushered me into the next room with the next baby waiting. At this point, my mind had gone to another place. When I walked into the next room I was just standing there like a kindergartner in right field; I was picking flowers in my mind. In my distracted state, I never noticed what someone was handing to me. The baby. Someone handed me the dirty, …

Overcoming Fear of the Little and the Worst

-written by Betsie Richards Ever wake up with a mouse in your hair? I have and it’s quite a story, especially coming from someone who hates/fears mice, snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders, and clowns. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll ever die from a heart attack or I would have that night for sure. (Ask me for the story if you guys ever need a good laugh.) On some level, we all struggle with fear and worries.  Sometimes it’s over seemingly ridiculous things like small reptiles, but sometimes it’s over pretty significant things like your mom having cancer, financial concerns, losing a job or even a loved one. I read a quote from Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study that says, “Anything we exalt over God in our thoughts or imaginations is an idol.” Woah. Anything huh? Including the fears that I allow to take over my thoughts and influence the way I act? That’s pretty tough to swallow since idolizing is sin. I have a bad habit of letting my imagination run wild. It starts …

Limited Faith in an Unlimited God

Our God is not fickle, forgetful, or fragile in anyway.  He does not make mistakes.  He purposes the gaps.  He allows sacred spaces and blank places.  He leaves room. – Lysa Terkeurst Let’s talk about limited faith. Uncertain faith. Shaken faith. Questioning faith. Undeveloped faith. Challenged faith. For those of us who follow Christ and are growing in Him, the thought of anything other than unwavering, steadfast faith is abrasive. But in complete humility and vulnerableness, at any given time, I can identify at least one of the above descriptions to characterize an aspect of my faith. The story of Gideon is rich in evolving lessons as we follow his adventure. But I want to focus specifically on Judges 6:12-14 when we first meet Gideon. The way I read it, these two verses are key to understanding the rest of the story. They also speak to those of us who, at times, waiver and become shaken in our faith.  Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, …

How Do I Go And Make Disciples?

As a church, Southern Hills wants to be identified mainly by fulfilling the Great Commission. The Great Commission comes from Matthew 28:18-20, and we have made this our mission as a church—making disciples who make disciples. I’ve spoken to many people who have some fears when it comes to actually taking part in our mission; fears of not knowing where to start, or even what to say. One way to fulfill our mission is by inviting a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker to church. While a good start, I want like to encourage you to do even more. The Scriptures give lots of description of what happens when someone becomes a Christian. I have taken much comfort from these passages and I would like to share a few with you, in hopes that the Word would embolden you. Here are a few realities of what God is up to when we share the gospel with people (and reminders of what He did for us): opening blind eyes and shining light (see 2 Corinthians 4:1-6) …

Don’t Avoid Your Fear, Jump Into The River of Doubt

Every summer I go with a group of friends to this place called High Rock. Our first trip there I had no idea what to expect. I thought maybe we were going rock climbing or maybe hiking up a small mountain, but that’s not what my friends had in mind. After driving down some rough back country roads, we reached High Rock. We parked the trucks and walked out onto a rock that overlooks a basin of water thirty feet below. I started to panic. I wondered what we were doing there until I saw one of my friends run full speed off the rock and disappear into the water below. My panic level was at an all-time high, but none of the guys knew it. I didn’t want to tell them I was scared of heights. I doubted the water was deep enough to slow my momentum and prevent me from smashing my legs into the ground beneath. I was full of fear and I refused to jump until I saw everyone else jump and knew it was safe. I …