The Fear of Stepping Out

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Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog and happy new month to you all! I am so privileged and humbled to know that we are near the ending of the year! It has indeed been a rocky year, but thank God for His Faithfulness! Today, I want to be speaking from the topic of; stepping out of your fears. Fear can attack us in so many ways; physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally. How many of us have truly been scared about something? Scared of failing your exam? Scared of being pregnant? Scared of losing a loved one? It is honestly mind-blowing!

I recall 2 Timothy 1:7 which states “For God gave us a spirit NOT of fear but of power and love and self-control”. When we can develop power, love and self-control, fear will eventually lose its grip on us. The majority of women today feel the need to over-pamper themselves and look down on others just to make themselves feel good. Should we really be doing that? How does it look in God’s eyes? Is he happy with our hearts and motives? The majority of the time, fear speaks in so many volumes. We hurt our loved ones through our actions i.e. body language. Some of us are finding it very hard to confide in a friend that triggered our feelings whether recently or currently. Bare in mind that not everyone will know you are offended if you don’t open up. You cannot expect people to read your mind every time you have a problem. Now I am not saying you should change for someone to like you, but WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE WORTH, THE RIGHT PEOPLE WILL COME TO YOU! 

Fear is an ingredient that the enemy uses against us when we are strong in the Lord. When God is on your side, the enemy will always try to place fear in your heart; maybe a past friend hurt you and you are finding it hard to forgive. Fear can come up and whisper “Don’t forget what that girl did to you”. “She does not deserve to go unpunished”. When we get these thoughts in our heads, we must learn cast them out straight away. Remember His word says “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). The one who fears is not made perfect in love. No one is perfect, and God knows this. That is why He has liberally sprinkled encouragement against fear throughout the Bible. The beginning of the Bible in the book of Genesis and continuing throughout the book of Revelation, God reminds us to “fear not.” When you truly love someone, you would be careful not to trigger their feelings, or to act in a way that would make them feel unworthy.

I am at a stage whereby I’m learning to step out of my comfort zone and be transparent. Stepping out of your fear won’t be easy and comfortable, but I can surely guarantee that you shall come out greater than you expected. So I ask you today, what are you afraid of? what is holding you back? What is stopping the love in your heart from pouring out to others? Do not allow the world’s definition of life to determine who you are. Whether you have the latest possessions or not, it shouldn’t make you any less than who you are! God Himself dislikes it when we are fearful. Why? Because it brings us down and makes us COMPLACENT! I never knew what that word meant until God dropped it down into my Spirit. Complacency is a ‘feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger or defect’.

From a Biblical perspective, ‘complacency is a self-satisfied state of negligence or carelessness, especially in relation to one’s personal situation’. Complacency can happen in so many forms such as being stagnant in one position. You have what it takes to reach the next level, but you prefer to stay where you are because it is comfortable to you. Complacency grows out of a false security that creates a lukewarm faith. So for example, you know deep in your heart that you desire to be healed in your body, but you are not making the effort to take your medicine or even pray; you want people to lay hands on you. There will be times in your life that you must anoint your own head and pray for yourself. Don’t always expect people to understand you especially in your vulnerability.

There is so much fear that is attacking our youths especially; in dressing, in technology, in hairstyles, in statistical views and likes etc. You would be surprised at the amount of boys and girls that compete with one another, but deep down fear has caused it all to germinate. No-one is born in fear, it is what one chooses to believe about himself or herself that will define them. Now I know when it comes to something your familiar at doing, for example applying make-up, it is a skill that you have developed and won’t fear because you know how to apply it, but when it comes to doing something you are not familiar with, that is when it becomes a problem because you are not used to that environment. Learn to REDUCE YOUR FEARS AND INCREASE YOUR FAITH!

Make a decision today to step out of your comfort zone and choose to say NO to fear. Coming out of your comfort zone is not a one day job, it is a process. It will honestly take time and patience, but it will all work out for your good. Do not allow anybody to intimidate you into doing something your heart is telling you not to. We all have a discerning Spirit to know right from wrong. Maybe you have cancer and you feel that it is the end of your life. If I was you, tell cancer to bow at the Name of Jesus! Don’t give in to that fear because God is your healer! You are never alone precious one, no matter what you are facing! Have it written on your heart that God will always be for You! He is never against you! What hurts you hurts Him, so if you are feeling scared about something, imagine how He is feeling about it?

Sometimes our greatest fear as Christians is stepping out with the Gospel. We tend to not know how to reach people because we don’t want it to look as if we are ‘Bible-bashing’ them. The first step you could take is to speak with your Father and ask Him to you use to be a blessing. For me, I usually share the gospel with this ministry blog as well as my actions and behavior towards people. Others, they say it with the words “Jesus loves You”. I know some find it hard to mention Jesus for fear of being laughed at or looked down upon, but when I told this young girl a few weeks ago that Jesus loves her, she was properly smiling, and since then I haven’t found it hard expressing Jesus’ love to people.

God will always grant us the opportunity to share His love with others, that is if we are willing to be used. “The day you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:8,15)It is expressed TWICE in this scripture. It is a command that we do not ignore what God is saying to us, especially at our moment of vulnerability. When you choose to come out of your shell, God will expose you to great and mighty things that You haven’t seen yet. Why? Because you have chosen to overcome your fears. Stepping out in fear is a journey. Even those who have made it still have fears. We all have an element of fear in us and this is why Jesus can relate to us even when we are tempted because He too was tempted.

It helps me to know that when I have a problem with fear, I can easily go into my secret place and just cry out to God. I used to hold my fears in, but I realised that the more I hold it in, the bigger it becomes. Don’t be afraid or worried about tomorrow, because everyday has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34). Remember that the fear of the Lord brings with many blessings and benefits. It is the beginning of wisdom and leads to good understanding (Psalms 111:10). 

Once we learn to place our trust in God, we will no longer be afraid of the things that come against us. We will be like the Psalmist who said with confidence “Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalms 5:11). This is indeed a reminder for us all to not only take refuge but to LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS AND BE FAITHFUL TO HIM. The more we love Him, the less fear we will have about life and the things situated around us. The more we love others, the less we will have time to talk down upon ourselves. Whether you are feeling good or not, make it a decision to cheer someone else up. You would be surprised at how your life will change for the better because you are choosing not to allow your feelings to rule your mood.

Ladies, I really hope this message blessed you. Please share with a sister, friend or loved one.

Yours Truly,

x

Invest in Your Character

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Character is defined as strength of moral fiber. As the excellence of gold is its purity and the excellence of art is its beauty, so the excellence of man is his character. (A.W. Tozer). Our characters can be known through our honesty, our humility, our meekness, and even our ethics. Descriptions such as ‘women of integrity’ are assertions of character. A lack of character is moral deficiency and persons lacking character tends to behave dishonestly, unethically, and selfishly.

How is your inner being doing? Does it need a check up? I know we get so caught up in our appearances and find all the ways we can to get that ‘perfect look’, but the truth of the matter is that you are already beautiful the way you are. It is not your looks, your make-up, your fine clothing that defines who you are, but it is your character. How you see yourself is what others will see in you. What are you doing that is building up your character? How can you invest more in your heart than on the external? Remember not only to invest in the external, but grow in Spiritual strength and become better acquainted with the Lord Jesus (2 Peter 3:18). You can also invest in your character by investing in the Word more. More of the word builds your character; whatever you feed will grow, so be very careful what you set your eyes and mind on.

Your character is what will attract good people to you. A bad attitude is attractive to another bad attitude, but a humble individual would not want to be surrounded by someone who is proud. Our character is influenced and developed by our choices. The choices you make will define your character and how people perceive you as. If you are someone with a big heart that cares for others, you are more likely to attract good people to you. They will be so into you that you won’t even understand why they love you the way they do. I know a few ladies who are SO HIGHLY FAVORED and loved by many! These people are women of influence, women who understand what it feels to be broken and how to relate with them in a sensitive non-judgmental way. These are the people we desire to have around us.

It is the Lord’s purpose to develop a great character in us. The way He can do this is if we surrender OUR ALL TO HIM! Sometimes our problems places a barrier from having fellowship with God, so instead we try to fix everything in our own strength, to realise that nothing is working for our benefit. All our strength we work for is in vain but we have chosen to exalt ourselves assuming that everything we do are right choices. Great character comes from God because His character is great! He wants us to develop the attractiveness of doing good. When we do good, our character grows with us. On the other hand, God sometimes uses trials to strengthen our character. I am very convinced that we all have been through a lot this year. You would not be here today if not for God’s Grace. Our trials are another form of developing a Godly character.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the Glory that is to be revealed in us”This verse says that incomparable glory lies ahead; it’s glory beyond description, greater than anything you can compare it with on earth. Our sufferings hurt us, I know. It is impossible to stop hurt and pain from coming our way whether it be physical or emotional pain. There needs to be a balance in life when it comes to enjoyment and sorrow. It can be awful, almost unendurable. Its intensity can increase to such a degree that we scream with terror and pain. We think we can no longer endure. But the Apostle Paul is saying that the intensity of the suffering we experience is not even a drop in the bucket compared with the intensity of Glory that is coming our way. You can see that Paul is straining the language in trying to describe this fantastic thing that is about to happen, which he calls the Revelation of the Glory that is coming.

Paul is stressing that through the pain we go through, it will develop our character. You won’t know who you really are until you have been through hell. When everything isn’t going the way you planned, when family members don’t believe in your dreams, when friends emotionally use you, when all hope is gone, that is where the opportunity for God to bless you begins to flourish. You may not have a good start, but I promise you if you keep the Faith, you will have a good finish! I know some are still in the process of ifs, buts, and maybes, but none of that! When you really want a breakthrough, you will do all you can to get one. Nothing will stop you not even your emotions!

Let your character speak for itself. Our character is a powerful tool that can take you places. I find TD Jakes a strong role model in my life. Thanks to God, He has shaped this man into a powerful Bishop who desires to help people with understanding their purpose on earth and walking into their destiny. He is known all around the world for his tenacity and passion for Jesus Christ. I am certainly sure that a lot of people are blessed by his sermons, teachings, books and recent TV show (Type TD Jakes show on YouTube). These are the ingredients that have shaped who he is. People always ask me why do I love this man. It’s because of the way he conducts himself. He invests time in his character through helping people and wanting to see them grow. You follow people who you want to be like right?

Now what shapes you? Do you have a unique glow that when people see you they get excited? Or do you get the response of ‘oh shes back again, sigh’. Hmm it can be tough. Some try to be nice but it just does not work because they have not taken the time to invest in their character. You can’t cover up a bad look hunny. It’s either you hand it over to God or suffer the consequences. If you are currently surrounded with people that don’t like the way you are, this could be the opportunity to ask God why. It could be either two things: (1) they may not like the way people love you, or (2) you may have a bitter heart and not realise it. But the answer can only be revealed through God.

People will always have something to say about you, that is the life we live, but as long as you don’t allow it to get to you, you will be on top! Your situations will try to bring you down, but as long as you keep the Faith, everything else will follow. Could it be possible that your pain is a unique path to enhance your inner being? Do you think that your suffering is God punishing you? Hmmm, my sister it isn’t. The more suffering, the more blessing. The enemy always wants us to think that God does not love us and that is why the world is so corrupt. If God wanted to stop all the chaos that is happening in the world, He can do it because only He has the power to stop it. Some question why bad things happen to good people; yes it happens at times, but look what David said in Psalm 37:1-3: “(1) Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! (2) For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb (3) Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness”.

David emphasizes on the fact that we should not be concerned or worried about evildoers, because one day they will reap what they have sown. The unrighteous may be enjoying now, however it does not exempt the fact that God does not see these things, nor has He forgotten about you. What frustrates me at times is when I feel in my heart that people who have started after me are excelling and I just think ‘wow Lord fix it’. It seems so unreal, but God has told me not to worry, because nothing is hidden under the sun. Some will bribe just to be in higher positions, some will use you, drain you, and even attempt to kill you, but none of this matters simply because the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord (Psalms 37:4). When God orders your steps, you won’t even have to worry about what people plan against you. All you have to do is look up and say ‘God I trust you’. Even when you cannot find your way, He will be the light to your path (Psalms 119:105).

We must learn to work on our characters every day. It is not something that is done overnight. Even if we feel that nothing else needs to be worked on, I can guarantee that there are other areas in our lives where we can invest in. Maybe you have anger issues? Maybe you are finding it hard to forgive someone? Don’t wait for people to see the best in you before you see the best in yourself. Learn to fight your struggles off so the real you can come out. The race is not for the swift. It is a tough life out there, but with the right character, you will be able to conquer it all. You and I are not alone. God wants to develop in us a unique character that will draw others to Him through us. Jesus did not die that we should struggle with our inner-being. We are the righteousness of God in Christ, and in order to first identify who we are, we must realize who we truly are in Christ first. Learn to develop a character like Jesus, and I can assure you that regardless of the attacks and struggles, you will be an overcomer!

Your character says a lot about you, how you relate with others but most importantly, how you relate with God. Invest in God and in yourself! These are the two things that should be worked on daily. Open up your heart and surrender to God; every silent struggle, every envious or jealous thought, let go and let Him work on you. Your heart is so precious to God. All He wants to do is work on your heart. Are you willing to give it to Him? Remember you don’t have to do this on your own. Character is not a one person’s job. It takes prayer and a good support system around you. When you begin to draw near to God, your character will catch up with you.

WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR YOU TO BUILD YOURSELF UP, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR HEART. REGARDLESS OF THE PAINFUL MOMENTS, THE TEARS, THE CRITICS, YOUR CHARACTER IS WHAT WILL HELP YOU FACE CHALLENGES, MANAGE RISKS AND OVERCOME BARRIERS – TO GROW UP STRONG AND BE WISE!

Learn to invest in you and love the you that God is shaping you to be 🙂