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Breaking Free from a Spirit of Fear

Breaking Free from Fear

Breaking Free From a Spirit of Fear

by Cheri Strange, Ph.D.

Have you ever opened your eyes first thing in the morning, scared silly? Before your feet hit the floor or the list of all that lies before you in the day begins, you are afraid? For whatever reason, there is an overwhelming sense of trepidation you cannot shake nor identify, but a spirit of fear remains. That’s exactly what happens to me. I wake up in that very spirit of fear. Afraid of I don’t know what. That’s the problem.  Maybe it’s a premonition of some sort–that uneasy feeling that the bottom is about to drop out of my life, beckoning me to starting fearing and dreading the doom and disparity now!

I know all of this is not reasonable, but I’m not done. My next move is to count the ways the awaiting disasters could come. There could be an accident with my daughters driving home from school. The calamity could involve my spouse. then I go back to the three daughters coming from all directions and then move to the one with the boyfriend. All sorts of mischief and mishaps fill my mental capacities.

Of course, my first line of defense is to pray about this cloud settling over me to try to move it out. But left to my own resources, I continue to wallow in my own negativity, begging and pleading to God for what is not even real. I worry God is secretly giving me this wretched angxt to prepare me for the worst which is on the verge of happening.

Still, the police haven’t called.

No one is sick.

There is no warrant for anyone’s arrest.

I can’t smell any smoke.

My wake-up call to fear is fully imagined. Therefore, I must break free.

Chances are, I’m not the only one to ever find herself in a tizzy over fears fantisized or given mental real estate to roam with them. Today I want to offer a path forward. One simple strategy that works.

Breaking Free with Scripture

A few years ago I began using my phone for good and not for mere distraction, or even evil. I downloaded an app to help organize my prayer life. But the best thing it did for me was allow me to put Scripture on my device in a useable format. The last time I found myself scared for no apparent or logical reason, I had a resource: my phone. The first thing I opened to was Psalm 118:6

The LORD is for me;

I will not be afraid.

So simple. Honestly, it’s all I needed to talk me down off the frenzied ledge of doom. No matter what the day could bring, this truth keeps me.

But I want to leave you with four more verses. I’ve written all five out and given them to you in a format you can simply download to your device. Whether your fears are real or imagined, God’s Word is the key to helping you break free.

Five Verses for Breaking Free from a Spirit of Fear

The LORD is for me;

I will not be afraid. Psalm 118:6

Breaking free 2

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them,

for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

breaking free from fear 1

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;

I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Breaking free 3

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Breaking Free 5

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 43:13

Breaking Free 4

I hope you will.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

Truths Jesus Taught How to Pray

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Becoming a Stronger You

Finding Your Vocation

Finding Your Vocation

Finding Your Vocation

by Anita Peluso

Has anyone ever asked you “What is your vocation?” (Not your vacation to Hawaii, but your vocation.) A vocation is what you do that uses the gifts and talents God gives you. Within the church, it may describe your ministry.

When I enrolled in seminary, I was required to take several assessment tests to help me discover my gifts and determine my vocation, or my personal “calling.” Chasing after a vocation as revealed by an assessment test made me feel uneasy. Not everyone is called to be a Moses or a Paul. Not everyone’s gifts and talents are meant for full-time church work. Most of us are the unnamed faithful followers of the assembly. Over time, I discovered that developing a watchful eye for ways to live out the truths given in the Bible for all believers in all generations was my “calling”.

The Israelites were told to:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deut 6:5)

Similarly, Paul tells us to:

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life, […] and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph 4:13)

What does it mean to love God, putting off your old self, and putting on your new self? Micah plainly tells the Israelites,

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

In the same way, Paul tells New Testament believers,

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Col 3:23)

What Vocation Looks Like for You and Me

Vocation then becomes living out our daily lives in a manner that glorifies God, represents His character, and encourages others. As a wife, I am to be kind and respectful to my husband – even in the midst of disagreements. Toward my neighbor, I am to act justly and truthfully, not with deception and disrespect. As a customer, I can show appreciation for the hard work the store employee does to provide a service.

The “good works prepared in advance” (Eph 2:10), often used to describe vocation, then become the fruit of these simple truths. At your job, working honestly and heartily is the “good work” of physically demonstrating God’s righteousness to others. In your home, being kind and respectful is the “good work” of showing God’s steadfast love to those whom you love. In a paid ministry job, being humble, fair, and perceptive to the needs of those whom you serve becomes the “good work” of displaying God’s character to them.

All of these actions are our living testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness. This living testimony is our vocation – to be ambassadors for Christ. (2 Cor 5:20)Finding Your Vocation

Your Turn

Where can you apply these biblical truths in your life today? Choose one biblical truth that you can bring to the Lord, asking him how you might apply it to a current situation or relationship in your life. The Lord will be faithful to show you how to be an ambassador for Him.

Anita

Anita recently graduated with an MA in Biblical Studies where her love of all things Old Testament took root. She lives in Western Washington with her software engineer husband and two furry cats.  Together, they are renovating 2 ½ unkempt suburban acres while converting a Ford Transit van into a camper van. On the side, she moonlights as a freelance quilt designer. You can find her on Instagram here

 

 

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

Truths Jesus Taught How to Pray

 

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Truths Jesus Taught we Like to Forget

What Now, Lord?

what now lord

What Now, Lord?

by Cheri Strange

If you were to sneak a peek into my prayer journal or listen in on my private “me-sided” conversations with the Lord, like a broken record you would hear me ask, “What now, Lord?’

This is a recurrent question of mine. I’m a woman who needs a plan. A list. A target. Some endpoint in sight. Give me the big picture of where we are headed and point me in the direction of getting there. It’s how I am able to make my “ship” of a family filled with ten people move efficiently while writing, speaking, and serving.

Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, wrote,

“if you do not have a plan, a goal, a direction, a purpose, and a focus, you are not going to accomplish anything for the glory of God.”

Mr. Bright is on to something because most people never set goals (only about 3%). Somehow we are not sure how to discover that plan, rally around a goal, to go in a certain direction, for a determined purpose, with focused energy necessary.

Today, I am here to offer you my best piece of advice for your first step in discovering your purpose and reaching your goals.

Let your work be shown to your servants; and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Pslam 90:16-17

My Best Advice for Discovering Your Purpose

  • Pray these verses (Psalm 90;16-17) every day. Make them yours. “Lord, I need to know what you want me to do...” or something along those lines is perfect.
  • Read your Bible every day. Get on a schedule. Don’t worry about checking every box yet. Just get in the habit.
  • Keep a list of the ideas and thoughts that come to you related to any of those things as you pray and read. It could very well be, these are the areas in which He wants you involved.
  • Keep praying and seeking until you have an answer.

what now lordThis is where my goals and plans originate. There is nothing magical about how I am able to get things done effectively. I get tired just like you and I do all my own housework. I simply ask, “What now, Lord?” on a recurrent basis. And He answers me.  Without this disciplined listening and hearing, I would not be able to reach my goals or like Mr. Bright attests, “accomplish anything for the glory of God.”

If you have a best idea for goal setting – post it below.

And thanks for stopping by.

For His Glory,

 

 

Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:

becoming a stronger you

 

 

 

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Truths Jesus Taught we Like to Forget

15 Ideas for Loving Your Neighbor

15 Ideas for Loving Your Neighbor

loving your neighbor

 

by Cheri Strange, Ph.D.

Welcome to the Stirring Faith Podcast 

This is the SECOND EPISODE in our series: Truths Jesus Taught. 

15 Ideas for Loving Your Neighbor, Episode #406

Each episode takes a closer look at what Jesus actually taught and what it means for you and me in our day-to-day lives. We started the series with the Big One: The Greatest Commandment, focusing on how a person learns to love God. Today we make a slight pivot toward loving our neighbor. And what a timely topic it is. This week is full of contention, high spirits, and raging tempers across, not only the country, but at times, the pew at our churches. More than ever, we need a message that points us toward learning what it looks like for us to love your neighbor.

Join us on the podcast, but did you know there is more? We have created some resources for you to utilize in your own study time, to come along beside you while we are in this series.

Truths Jesus Taught Reading Plan

Get the FREEBIE HERE — to go along with this series. In it, you will find the Truths Jesus Taught 30-Day Reading Plan, a Scripture Writing schedule, and a Journal to download. Just provide your email. (And if you have already joined the She Yearns Community, you can find it on the Facebook page just for the community.)

 

And While you are on this page — Don’t forget about The Show Notes.

Just fill out the form and you will begin receiving the latest notes straight in your inbox. Generally, these make it to your inbox by the end of the week AFTER the airing of the episode.

How Awesome is Show Notes?

If you are already a subscriber to the She Yearns Community, you can receive a link to a pdf. But this is different. By signing up here, you will ONLY RECEIVE Show Notes for the podcast. There is nothing to download unless there is some sort of bonus offered.

You can also use this resource to take with you to coffee with a friend or sit with a small group and talk about the topic together. It’s a quick low prep to no prep way to have a deeper discussion about relevant Gospel-centered topics that matter to your everyday lives. So don’t wait! Sign up today. If you enjoyed today’s episode, 15 Ideas for Loving Your NeighborJoy in the Hard Things is a really applicable episode for what we are experiencing right now. You can find it here if you are interested.

Listen Now: 15 Ideas for Loving Your Neighbor

You can now check out the latest episodes from iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, iHeartRADIO, or BuzzSprout. Just click on the links below! As always, you can scroll down and listen right here!

soul care

soul care

Become a Subscriber

And if you have not already become a subscriber to the podcast, allow me to invite you to become one for the She Yearns Podcast by going to any of the providers and signing up for the RSS feed to have it automatically updated to your device! It’s basically ONE CLICK! And it doesn’t use any extra memory and really makes life easier.

If you enjoy this episode, 15 Ideas for Loving Your Neighbor or find it helpful, please leave a comment or review in your hosting provider service. We cannot do it without you! The only way the word goes out further is with your help. Please share it as you feel the leading.

If you missed the first episode, you can check it out here:

7 ways to fall in love with God

 

 

 

 

Click the image to listen to the previous series, beginning with Episode #401.

should I yearn for God

 

Thank you for listening,loving your neighbor

 

Savoring Jesus in Everyday Life

 

savoring Jesus

Savoring Jesus in Your Everyday Life

by Cheri Strange, Ph.D.

Welcome to the Stirring Faith Podcast 

Hi there. This is the day. Today we are finishing our four-part series called, She Yearns. In it, we have taken a deeper look at what it means to desire God. I mean, should we? Or is it an exclusive requirement for Super Christians? And if so, how do we grow into it? But what if we don’t? Suppose there is no desire for God whatsoever? What then? With all that behind us, we need to look at how desiring God plays out in regular life. And that’s the note we are ending this series on, Savoring Jesus in your Everyday Life.

I’m really glad you stopped by. Be sure to check out the previous episodes (linked at the bottom of this page.)

But your personal study is so important. We created some additional resources to come along beside you while we are in this series.

She Yearns Reading Plan

Get the FREEBIE HERE — to go along with this series. In it, you will find the She Yearns 30-Day Reading Plan, a Scripture Writing schedule, and a Journal to download. Just provide your email. (And if you have already joined the She Yearns Community, you can find it on the Facebook page just for the community.)

And While you are on this page — Don’t forget about The Show Notes.

Just fill out the form and you will begin receiving the latest notes straight in your inbox. Generally, these make it to your inbox by the end of the week AFTER the airing of the episode.

How Awesome is Show Notes?

If you are already a subscriber to the She Yearns Community, you can receive a link to a pdf. But this is different. By signing up here, you will ONLY RECEIVE Show Notes for the podcast. There is nothing to download unless there is some sort of bonus offered.

You can also use this resource to take with you to coffee with a friend or sit with a small group and talk about the topic together. It’s a quick low prep to no prep way to have a deeper discussion about relevant Gospel-centered topics that matter to your everyday lives. So don’t wait! Sign up today. If you enjoyed today’s episode, When I don’t Yearn for God, Joy in the Hard Things is a really applicable episode for what we are experiencing right now. You can find it here if you are interested.

Listen Now: What if I Don’t Yearn for God

You can now check out the latest episodes from iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, iHeartRADIO, or BuzzSprout. Just click on the links below! As always, you can scroll down and listen right here!

soul care

soul care

And if you have not already become a subscriber to the podcast, allow me to invite you to become one for the She Yearns Podcast by going to any of the providers and signing up for the RSS feed to have it automatically updated to your device! It’s basically ONE CLICK! And it doesn’t use any extra memory and really makes life easier.

If you enjoy this episode, Savoring Jesus in Everyday Life, or find it helpful, please leave a comment or review in your hosting provider service. We cannot do it without you! The only way the word goes out further is with your help. Please share it as you feel the leading.

Click the image to listen to the previous episodes in this series.

should I yearn for God desire more of God when i don't yearn

 

Thank you for listening,savoring jesus

 

 

 

 

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