Wednesday, February 25, 2009

To Live the Possible Dream

So much has drawn my attention in today's reading.

Part of me wants to focus on "Do not make idols or set up carved images..." Lev. 26:1

Then my heart felt the cool breeze accompanying the "seasonal rains", Lev. 26:3

However, three separate verses have written a story across my heart.

"You will live in such fear that the sound of a leaf driven by the wind will send you fleeing." Leviticus 26:36
"I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck..." Leviticus 26:13
"...you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear." Leviticus 26:6

You see, fear is my greatest struggle. It would be easier to list what doesn't frighten me, than what does. In the past I have been so agitated by "the sound of a leaf", the creak of a floor board, or the slightest whisper, real or imagined. I truly believe I was 'taught' to fear, as my Mom is an extremely nervous person. At a young age I watched her unplugging every electrical chord at the first clap of thunder; I felt her hand grasp me tighter when a dog would pass us on the street, pulling me away from impending danger; I was instructed to always lock and bolt the doors whenever we were home. The list goes on and on.

Yet, God's Word tells me I don't have to bear the burden of this fear. God says, "I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck". I no longer need to be held captive by fear, imprisoned in a self-imposed cell. Weakness and familiarity often hold me hostage. Too often I focus on what is instead of what can be. But, today again, He is holding out the keys for my release in nail-scarred hands. I hear the sound of shackles clanging to the ground.

God's promise remains. I will be able to sleep with NO cause for fear. NONE!

Just over a year ago now Lysa TerKeurst visited our church. She began one of her sessions by saying something like this: Imagine being able to wake up and say - 'I will not live in fear'. To be honest, that sounded like an impossible dream to me, not a possible reality.

Again today my heart has been challenged by truth. Knowing truth and living it can remain at opposite ends without the believing Truth and trusting Truth in between. God IS Truth.

The lyrics of "The Impossible Dream" talk about fighting the "unbeatable foe". In my own strength, I can not beat the evil one who planted this root of fear, but he is beatable. There is victory in Jesus. We are more than overcomers through Christ. Whatever your areas of struggle today, know that with God you already are a conqueror.

Acts 16:26 "Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose."



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10 comments:

~Trina~ said...

Excellent devotion. When my boys were in elementary I had them commit 2 Timothy 1:7 and Philippians 4:13 to memory. They took them to heart. I know they are scriputes you've probably heard over and over just like we all have. Every now and then I have to just "take it personally". =) Blessings, Trina

Lori said...

Great devotion today; it helped me get something completely different than what I got out the chapters this morning. I worry over my 2 teenage boys. Beth had a wonderful lesson about worry in her recent Esther Study. Her words, "Our only steadfast defenses against life's certain uncertainty is unconditional trust in a Savior who loves us more than His own life." She talked about putting "our worry, what-if thoughts" into statements such as-
"If ___then God will take care of me."
"If___then God has a plan."
"If___then God desires to accomplish comething monumental in me."
"If___then God's going to demonstrate His sufficiency to me."
As hard as trusting God can be, living with constant fears is harder.
Blessings and prayers,
Lori - Mesa, AZ

Laura said...

Our latest Beth Moore video in the Esther study was on fear. It was so liberating to hear Beth's words about what God wants for us. It is hard to imagine a life without fear. But trusting in HIm frees us, right? Still a work in progress...

Thanks for your sweet prayers regarding my relationships with family, jOy. We do okay.

Another work in progress :)

love,
laura

Julie said...

Joy,

I can relate to you on so many levels. Many days I live in fear. My fears are more of what could be instead of what is. Worry about my parents getting older, me and the people closest to me getting ill and boy the list goes on and on and on.

I know when I am worrying I am not placing my trust in Him. I am, however, trying to correct it but only with His help and guidance. Its funny...I highlighted the same verses that you pointed out today. The one on the yoke really stood out to me.

Thanks for your insight..I am so grateful this journey that we are all on together.

Blessings Julie

Melanie Dorsey said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and speaking topics.
I may soon do a post (series) on the topic you referred to in your email. The Holy Spirit has truly done a work in my life regarding that.
Melanie@Bella~Mella

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Yes, I think we do learn our fears early on. I've seen different responses in my children more than mine. Colton, especially, had irrational fears at a very early age. He was quite young when I divorced; I think it seeded in him a tremendous amout of fear and isolation about the unknown. It's sometimes painful for me to think about it.

The "sound of a leaf...", now that's a description I won't soon forget or the grip of your mother's hand.

Good writing, Joy.

peace~elaine

Joy in The Truth said...

Oh, the freedom! Amen, Sister! I love reading how God ministered to your heart personally through these scriptures. His Word is alive!

I love Isaiah 58, which reminds of what you are sharing:

6"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Dear Joy. I could have penned most all these words myself about all the fears that hold me captive! And I agree....so many of them are learned! Or possibly inherited. Thankfully NONE of my three children are afraid of anything that I know of! I was so afraid they would be paralazed by fear like I am. I want it to go away. I want to totally trust in the Lord. I think at times that I do. But at this point in my life, fear is still rearing it's ugly head. Could it be that sometimes God asks us to act in faith in SPITE of our fears? I know the answer is yes. I would appreciate the prayers of any of you who read this comment. Fear is such bondage and I would like to be free of it!

Thanks! And God bless you!

Marilyn

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Beautiful my sweet bloggy friend! I love your heart so much!!

ps- Thank you so much for taking the time to look up my name! That touched my heart like you will never know!! Hope you have a blessed rest of your day!

hkudla said...

Joy,
you wrote, "Whatever your areas of struggle today, know that with God you already are a conqueror."

That depression and tiredness and unwillingness to fight it creeping back. I am so tired of it all. I wrote a brief post tonight asking for prayer.

Your words are so timely, as I read backwards to catch up a bit... this one is the post I am going to stop with tonight... to remember that even in this, i am still more than a conqueror... in Him.

Thank you my friend for keeping it so real!
Love you,
heather