Thursday, March 7, 2013

OverComing The Lie Of Fear

“Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little, since I do them with Your power; and little things as though they were great, since I do them in Your name.” ~ Blaise Pascal

I stood up when he called my name because I knew it was an open door.

I didn't feel anything particular on my heart, nothing profound to share and no life-altering wisdom to add. I just knew that I needed to be stretched and uncomfortable and that the stage was the perfect place for this death.

My husband had asked me if there was anything I'd like to share with the brothers and sisters before he taught. I stood, the only American woman in the room, and choked out something about encouragement and prayers and a thank you.

And I didn't die.

Sometimes I put myself in uncomfortable places. On purpose.

Other times, most of the time,  I hide in down comforters of self-protection and fear, because someone might laugh or I might trip over my tongue or forget everything I was going to say.

Or, I could just fail.  And that's almost like dying, isn't it?

Fear is a lying enemy when it keeps us from being uncomfortable. Fear is a chain and it's weight is heavy, making us slow to move when the Holy Spirit might be quickening us.

Fear is a comfortable enabler when it keeps us from doing what is scary-but-good.

There are moments when a pounding heart keeps us from speaking, when common sense keeps us from acting. Moments that pass and no one even knows we were cowards, but we know.

When John says that perfect love cast out fear (1 John 4:18), he means the  fear of judgement, of death and punishment. He doesn't mean that nothing will ever be scary for us - a safe life is not for the children of God.

There are other  moments, longer ones, where fear is defeated over days and months and the years can be tallied up to show you are overcoming. You win the battle over time with a long obedience when you defeat fear day-in-and-day out.

I understand the fear of man all too well. I overcome it sometimes, a momentary bout of fearing less rather than being fearless. When I choose to do it anyway, to do something inspite of fear instead of doing it because of fear, I think I get just a little bit stronger.

But more often than not I give in to fear. I stay safe and comfortable, and I know I don't thwart God's plans but maybe He saddens a little as He, once again, chooses someone else.

That saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle", that's not in the Bible.  If I'm only doing the things that I can handle, what a tiny life I'm living. What a bummer that God doesn't have room to be awesome in my safe-and-comfortable life.

If I'm never out-on-a-limb, clinging-for-dear-life, maybe-I'm-crazy scared, I probably don't need God all that much and I'm probably not going to see His mighty hand. Probably not going to need His rescuing or His refuge, because I've got this under control.

Those are all big thoughts for a woman who rarely leaves her home and who doesn't have much to say in real-life-spoken-words.

I'm over my head everyday if I think about it, though.

I homeschool my four children and that's more than I can handle. I aim to disciple these four, knowing how I fail and how much I need discipling myself, and do I really think I can accomplish that on my own?

I introduce my introverted-and-selfish-self to new people because it's hard for me. And that might be easy to someone else, the natural and obvious thing to do. But to me it's huge and I need Him.

I say yes to things that freak me out, like prison evangelism and teaching women in another country. Like writing words that may be laughable or worthy of scorn and then hitting "publish" so the whole world can see them.

Sometimes the best remedy for fear is to say yes before you give yourself time to think about it.
And sometimes I attempt things that really are just my own ideas, my own desires apart from God. 

Sometimes fear really is your friend and might keep you from making a mistake, but failure is a good learning tool and it's o.k. to do dumb things from time to time. Really.

So what are you doing daily that requires God to show up? What are some big things you've committed to that scare you if you think too long about them?

Fear less. That's the victory.

Tresta writes in the margins of her day about faith, failure, and finding grace. She is mom to four Sharp Paynes and wife to Tim, and together they make up a happy 
home and corny jokes. When she's not teaching, cleaning, cooking, or eating, she   runs to keep her sanity. Tresta blogs at and you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Thank you SO much Tresta for guest posting!! It was an honor to have you here! Tresta has a great blog, and I love reading her beautiful thoughts. I hope you will take a moment to leave her some comment love and connect with her through any of her links above.
If you are interested in guest posting please click here or the tab above to find out how! I would love to have you!

Linking this with the Imperfect Prose community and Intentional Thursdays, StudioJRU, Faith Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays

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  1. Oh how I can relate to this! Beginning a ministry that feeds the homeless in the city has been nothing but a God thing. I had to quit thinking it to death and just obey. So thankful I did - God has opened the flood gates of provision and I'm blessed to witness Him move in incredible ways. Such a blessing to stop by today.

  2. That's an awesome ministry Alene that I know is blessing many! I tend to think things to death when really I need to just obey. So glad you stopped by today!

  3. "That saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle", that's not in the Bible. If I'm only doing the things that I can handle, what a tiny life I'm living. What a bummer that God doesn't have room to be awesome in my safe-and-comfortable life."

    YES YES YES!!!!

    Oh, you are preaching and I love it!! If we could handle it, then why God?! Thank you for this!

    (Stopping by from Em's place :)

    1. Love your enthusiasm, Brenna! Blessings to you, sister.

  4. I was so struck and embarrassed to say that I hadn't really realized that "God will not give you more than you can handle" is not in the Bible. Really? Like "God helps those who help themselves" ... wait, that's not either? :)
    Tresta, this was so good. I appreciate your words and the reminder that "failure is a good learning tool and it's o.k. to do dumb things from time to time." I fear failure, though less than I used to. It's good to remember, too, that our obedience and our stepping out and our fear may look so different from another's, but for each, these are places we rely on God to show up. They are the places we cannot do without him. How backwards, upside down good to be at the end of us. Your words are light, hope, truth and faith preached. Thank you, friend!

    1. Yes, and cleanliness is next to godliness : ) Good concept, but when people say He won't give you more than you can handle I think they're referring to 1 Cor. 10:13, talking about temptation.
      And that failure thing? Ugh. Learning it again and again.

  5. Thanks for speaking out against what is fearful ... our best decisions are made from a place of love and confidence, not angst and 'what ifs'!

  6. Wandered over from Studio JRU, and am so glad I did...because I needed this. Thank you. <3

    1. So glad He ministered to you here, Beth. Blessings!

  7. WOW! This is wonderful!! The very first quote, by Pascal, really caught my attention. Sometimes it seems as if the little things I am doing every day do not matter, but if I am doing them for Him, they really do. Thank you for this post!!

    1. Yes, I love that quote and refer to it often, like in the middle of laundry or dishes or preparing to teach. If you are His, every big and little thing you do can have value! Your everyday life, it matters.

  8. Exquisite pictures, yes, fear is a great enemy of our life.

  9. Great post. People often write about this on blogs, but I wonder how much people really go through this internal process in social situations? Like in awkward conversations that stay positive, it seems others go through similar things, because you can see the effort that they're making as well.

    It's a mindset that rather than avoiding, we look for the uncomfortable BECAUSE it's uncomfortable.

    Here's to uncomfort, growth and the excitement of life!

  10. what a beautiful post! really makes me think about my fears and stepping out in courage. thanks for the thought provoking words! :)

  11. oh Tresta... this is so humble and it really resonated with my shy spirit. thank you for being so open with us. bless you friend. (and thank you, alecia, for sharing Tresta with us!)


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