Letting Truth Take Hold
In previous weeks we have learned about the debilitating effects of attending to fear-chatter.
Take heart my friend! Through the truth of God’s Word, we CAN rid ourselves of fear-chatter.
- If you haven’t joined the conversation yet; check out our first dialog at http://www.lindajanedingeldein.com/fear-chatter/
- And the second at http://www.lindajanedingeldein.com/fear-chatter-continues/
This is the final posting in a three-part series.
Ridding ourselves of fear-chatter takes work.
As I have gone through the discipline of putting these steps into practice, I have seen how my desire to overcome fear-chatter can be easily thwarted. Be patient! It takes time; but in the end you will reap the blessing of learning to distinguish truth, from lies and you will learn to live freely out of your true, authentic self! Now that’s rewarding!
As Christ followers we have an enemy who is continuously seeking to veer us off course. He knows that if he can keep us bound in a tangled-web of fear, that we will not risk stepping out and becoming the women God created us to be, which in turn will glorify God, and allow us free access to use our God-given gifts.
John 10:10 tells us that Satan is a thief. The thief has only one purpose in mind; to steal, kill and destroy.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
John 10:10 NLT
But Christ’s purpose is for us to have a rich, satisfying life that is full of plenty and abundance.
Attending to the voice of fear-chatter keeps us wrapped up in fear about who we are; our futures, fear about providing for our families, fear for our children’s safety and well-being, fear about the unknowns in our lives; and the list goes on. Of course, none of this sound life-giving or satisfying.
All this anxiety keeps us from resting fully in God. Keeping us rest-less instead of rest-full.
Fear chatter keeps us on the side-lines when we long to be on stage with our peers. It keeps us rooted, sometimes frozen when we are ready to take flight. It keeps our feet fixed in the same place when our heart desires to step out and courageously risk. It keeps our voice silent when we have something of value to say.
As we begin to recognize the voice of fear-chatter, we will see it as our enemy, continuously hindering us at every turn.
I have seen this happen in my own life. Through self-abasement I belittled myself, denied my talents and gifts, used others as my standard of measurement, put myself down and stayed locked behind a wall of shame and paralyzing fear.
This kept my talents hidden, my voice silent, my opinions unspoken and my desires unfulfilled; all because I allowed the enemy of fear to control me.
As I believed fear-chatter’s lies, I allowed them to steal my joy, kill my desires and destroy years of my life when I could have been free to offer myself authentically to others.
But God is purposeful in His creation of you and me. He has great plans for us; yet if we continuously give-way to fear-chatter, these plans filled with hope for the future will be lost.
In the Bible, God repeatedly speaks to us about fear. His message is repeated often; “Fear not.” “Be not afraid.” “Don’t fear!”
Why do you think this was one of God’s central messages to us as children of God?
I believe that God knew how tempting it would be for us to get caught up in the worries of the day. To turn our gaze upon those things that pull at us and trouble our compassionate hearts; our families, children, marriages, work, health, ministry, our jobs, life-style demands, transitional changes, always wondering what people think about us; and-on-and-on it goes!
God also knew how we would hide ourselves, when our sin would surface and become exposed; just like the very first woman, Eve did. He knew how we would long to be validated, given worth, be loved and be told that we are enough by those around us.
But even more than that, God knew that if we attended to the voice of fear-chatter, we would become bound up in worrying about things that we could do nothing about.
The “what-if’s” in life have a way of wrapping their tentacles around our hearts and minds. And before we know it, we are consumed with fear. Fear for how this will impact us today and fear for the future.
Fear has a way of killing our dreams, stealing our desires, and destroying our lives through shame. Because of our shame we often get tangled in the fear of “What if it happens again?” “What if I’m exposed again?” “What if they know the real me?” “What if they know what has been done to me?”
Giving way to fear-chatter causes us to walk through life paralyzed from entering the world as free representatives of God; gloriously seeking to glorify Him and do His work among our peers, our families, our churches and the world.
God knew that we would be enticed to turn to something other than Him. He knew that the worries of this life would bring us low and turn our eyes away from Him, from truth; if we listened to the voices of fear and acted upon them.
He knew that fear would cause us to give-in to something much less than He created and designed us to be; causing us to look at anyone other than Him for our worth. To look at anything other than Him to place our trust in and rely on.
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine.”
Ridding ourselves of fear chatter
I grow discouraged at times when I realize how long I have been a Christ-Follower and yet still give in to the voices of fear-chatter. It seems like there are deep rooted furrows, grooved into my heart and mind; and far too often, fear slides back into its old comfortable place within one of these rutted furrows. Instantly I am thrust back into the cacophony of hearing fear-chatter.
When I begin to hear the rising orchestration of fear chatter tuning up, I realize this is a signal for me to stop! Identify its root. Realize where it will take me if I attend to it and don’t respond with the Truth of God’s Word.
Fear-chatter may slide into its old place;
but how quickly do we recognize its presence;
before we counter it, with the Truth of God’s Word?
Fear-Chatter at work
My husband had come home from a lunch date with a colleague. He was delighted as he told me how well the lunch went. He also announced that a dinner was planned so that I could meet him, and his wife.
Our dinner date was a few weeks away, it felt good to have something to look forward to. I knew it would be a night with good food and stimulating conversation and perhaps the beginning of a new friendship.
As the day approached I felt excitement about meeting someone new. But when the appointed time grew closer I began to hear the dreaded static of fear-chatter. At first it started its repetitious nag in the back of my head, badgering me with the remembrance of my old fears. As the day wore on it began to incessantly hound me.
“You’re not good at meeting new people.”
“What do you have to offer the conversation with other professionals?”
“Maybe you should put a mask on to cover up your true-self!”
“It’s too hard to start a new friendship.”
“You don’t have the emotional energy to tell your story again.”
Addressing the voice of fear-chatter
I had been looking forward to meeting this couple for weeks, but as I listened to the voice of fear-chatter, my desire of meeting someone new turned into full-blown anxiety. My old fears rose swiftly to the surface and I became debilitated from doing anything worthwhile with my day. I was even tempted to dig out my old masks and present to them, someone who I wasn’t.
As I recognized what was happening I knew I needed to stop the fear-chatter! But how?
It was in this process of combating fear-chatter that I recognized the following steps.
STEP ONE: Identify what is happening
God, right now I am being consumed by fear. I know that your Word of truth says that You have not given to me a spirit of fear or apprehension; but you have given to me power, love, and self-discipline. God, my fearful heart is turning my mind towards anxiety and worry. It keeps me rooted in fear instead of taking the risk of being who You created me to be. (2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:6 )
STEP TWO: Invite God into the moment
God, I am desperate for you right now. I desire to walk in truth. I am tired of the stranglehold of fear! I desire to bring honor to your name in all I do and all I think. I invite You into this on-going struggle of ridding myself of attending to fear-chatter. Help me God, to live out of truth and not from the old familiar place of fear. I know that this is risky for me, but it is also right and freeing!
STEP THREE: Interact personally with God
God, I ask you to remove the apprehension I am feeling right now. I choose to cast my fear on You, because I know that you care about what concerns me. I no longer want to be defined by the fears of my past. I ask that the peace of God which surpasses all my understanding to come and guard over my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. (1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:7)
I have looked forward to this dinner for weeks now. I want to present my true-self to this couple. God, may I be a woman of grace tonight. Entering the conversation with courage and kindness. I ask that you replace my heart of fear with a heart of peace. Remove this anxiety from me right now.
God, you have created me as a unique woman. I want to live fully out of your beautiful design. Help me to reflect your glory by not hiding my true-self or pretending to be someone whom I’m not. I ask that You would fill me with courage tonight, so that I can step out as the woman you created me to be: Linda Jane: Different by God’s Design!
STEP FOUR: Intentionally take truth action steps
As I began to prepare for our night out, I intentionally chose an outfit that I was comfortable in and wanted to wear. I asked God to help me to be myself and let my outfit depict this. This was a strategic moment for me as I intentionally was conscious of being me! It felt amazing!
As the evening started I was very conscious of being myself. How glad I was that I had left all masks behind!
As the conversation began I found that I entered in freely, answered truthfully and gave myself authentically to the other couple. I also found that there were no jealous thoughts that my husband could carry on a conversation better than I could or interact with more ease. I truly felt at ease. It felt good to live freely out of my own skin!
When the evening ended, some three hours later, I realized that I held no regrets. I felt that I had honored God by offering the gift of myself. As we said our good-byes the other woman reached over and hugged me. Grace upon grace. I had felt it! We told each other we would get together again, and I know that when that times comes, I will have silenced the voices of fear-chatter. For when we step into our fear it becomes silenced. But if perchance it lifts its ugly head and seeks to sneak in, I know how to cut it abruptly off!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
Ladies, fear-chatter will always squash our desires. Fear-chatter will never promote the best in us. Fear-chatter will leave us paralyzed, left on the side-line of life. Fear-chatter will keep us from living as the woman God created us to be. Fear-chatter will always debilitate us!
Can we join-together to annihilate fear-chatter with truth? I think we can!
Let’s stand as mighty warriors to defeat our enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy our lives through intimidating us with fear!
“O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.”
Four Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear-Chatter
Step One: Identify what is happening
Step Two: Invite God into the moment
Step Three: Interact personally with God
Step Four: Intentionally take truth action steps
LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
God, I want to be a woman who is strong and courageous! I don’t want to give way to the many voices of fear-chatter. I know that fear-chatter only seeks to frighten and discourage me as I encounter life’s worrisome circumstances. Thank You, God, that I can talk personally with you and rest in Your truth; knowing that You are here with me now and You will go with me throughout this day.
God, remind me to not fear, because You are right beside me, and to not give in to dismay and defeat because of past shame. I acknowledge that You are my God; today, tomorrow and forever. Thank You God that You will strengthen me. You will help me in this fight against fear-chatter. Hold me up with Your righteous right hand when I feel like I am falling or giving attention to the voices of fear.
God, today I feel so blessed to know that You have redeemed me! Thank You that You call me by name, because I am Yours!
When I feel overwhelmed, may I run to You and find refuge; instead of giving heed to the voice of fear-chatter. Let me take refuge under the shadow of Your wings. Thank You God, for your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! In Jesus Powerful Name. Amen
(Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:1; Psalm 61; Psalm 63:7)
“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN
Browsing the streets of Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong; is one of my greatest joys. I love the hunt of finding top quality leather to use in one of my Linda Jane Dingeldein handbag creations!