What Women Fear: A Faith that Transforms {Ch 9}

He had been the trailblazer.  Living in the desert, off  the land, locust and honey was his usual meals.  He accepted the call Isaiah had spoken about years before: “A voice of one calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”  John’s job was to “preach of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and to baptize new believers.”

So convinced was he that the Christ was coming that when people questioned whether he was the actual Christ, he humbly answered, “I am not worthy, but one is coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.”  John knew his place and knew that Christ was coming.  How confirming it must have been for Jesus to show up just then, walk into the water and ask to John to baptize him.

Yet, a few chapters later in the Gospels, John finds himself in prison.  I’m sure he’s wondering what is happening.  Perhaps he is wondering why he hasn’t been rescued by Jesus.  He ask a simple question.  “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Broken, in despair and wondering what is to become of him, John questions.  Are you the Christ, Jesus?  Cousin?  Are you the one?

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve wondered too, is this for real, is Jesus real?  And yet, just like Angie, I have witness God’s amazing grace in my life so clearly there is no denying it.  But I have had my moments of doubt.

Angie tells the story of Peter stepping out in faith to walk on water.  In the height of that event, he begins to question, “Is this real?”  Panic ensues, Peter calls out to his Lord as he begins to sink and Jesus reaches to rescue.

John, Peter and a host of others had their moments of doubts, but even though these people doubted, they knew, deep down,  Jesus was the Christ.

“Other people believing and telling their story is powerful, but it isn’t a substitute for experiencing it yourself.” Angie Smith

Each of our faith walk is evident that Christ is real.  Angie points out, not to be passive in our relationship with Jesus.  We live out our faith when we step out and believe, even though we can’t see.

 Basically, she is telling us to MOVE.  This is huge for me because my fear, my big huge, audacious fear keeps me from moving.  I will question a thousand times, is this from you God?  Perhaps I should wait a little to see how this pans out.  I would like to say I’m the type of person who would leap out of the boat and run to Jesus on water.  Truth be told, I’d stick so close to that boat, waiting for one more confirmation it was him.  Perhaps missing a God moment all together.

Here’s what happens when we don’t move.  We miss out.  We miss opportunities.  We miss seeing God.  If we move, step out in faith, well that is what  Angie points out as,

“This my friends is walking in a faith that transforms.”

If our fear keeps us from experiencing God, we miss his amazing blessings.  Friends, there is no fear here.  God’s promises are true, we need only to go to the scriptures to see them.  The more we read, the more we understand God’s amazing plan for each of us.  Will it include success? An easy life?  Perhaps.  But there is a greater chance it will not.  In fact, scripture says we will have troubles.  But isn’t it then, when we don’t succeed, when life isn’t easy that we reach out to God and he holds us?  Rescues us?  Our faith is strengthened in those moments.  That is transformational faith.

Jesus sends people back to John to tell him; “the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.  Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

Jesus is telling John, oh yes, John, I am he.  God’s plan is real.  No need to fear……

<a href=”http://  “>What Women Fear

8 Blocks From Happy

For a short time I grew up in Southern California.  We lived 8 blocks away from Disneyland.  The Happiest Place in the World.   And for a seven year old girl it was a happy time too.

At that time, Disneyland only displayed fireworks on Friday nights.  So Friday evenings we would climb on top of our parents car and watch the fireworks show.

Everyone on our small cul de sac would come out to watch the fireworks, talk and enjoy each others company.  My parents would sometimes have barbecues and have the whole neighborhood over. It was fun. It was happy.

The fireworks ended the evening.  The moment when those pretty colors were popping into the sky my heart would jump in fear of the loud noise but quickly would be replaced by amazement at seeing the beautiful color bursting in the sky.

One Friday night I got in trouble and my mom sent me to bed before the fireworks started. As they started to go off I could hear the explosions but I couldn’t see the beauty in the fireworks. With each explosion I dug deeper into my bed covers and started crying.  My heart was full of fear. Quaking in fear.  As long as I could see the fireworks I saw beauty.  I could anticipate it.  I jump with the loud boom but I knew what was coming.  But when I couldn’t see the fireworks I was afraid.

Fear has been an unwelcome companion of mine for most of my life.  Instead of trusting God, I would try to take control.  Control leaves a false sense of security.  You think you have things covered, but most times you don’t.  When control left, I was overwhelmed, felt like a failure or worst, felt like God had failed me.

I’ve been following Holley Gerth’s Blog. She’s been discussing God size dreams. I haven’t posted much on there about my God Size Dream mostly, because of fear.  Fear of failing, fear of not being accepted, fear I will disappoint God and myself.  This week Holley talked about fear.  She stated “Fear is nothing to be afraid of-it’s just the door we push through to get to the other side.”   This really resonated with me.  I’ve been to this door before and I’ve pushed my way through it in the past.  Why fear going through it now?  I”m not really sure.

Since I became a Christian all I wanted to do is serve God.  I have been so blessed to be able to do that as a Children’s Pastor.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

But lately, I’ve been restless, sensing God was about to change things up.  And trust me I’ve tried to control these changes too.  But I’m stepping through the door.

My other passion has been to encourage women.  I love to see women stretch themselves, get out of a box and grow.  Funny thing to say for someone who has allowed fear to stunt her own growth.  I’ve been through a season where God has grown me.

I believe writing is a way for me to encourage women.

I’m a wife, mom, friend, sister, Children’s Pastor and now a grandma.  None of which I have done perfectly.  In fact, there have been times where I have outright failed in one or another.

So I’m stepping out in faith, trusting God will show me the way.  He has definitely placed people in my life to help me in this endeavor.  I will stumble and I will probably fail a few times.

The beauty in trusting God, of stepping out in faith and following His footsteps is that God will take anything I offer and use it for His Glory.

Even walking away from fear and through a door…….