Fear’s Final Fallout

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Bang! You’re Out! Dripping with sweat I wipe my brow and stand there looking over it. My chest rises and falls quickly and with my fists clenched I feel victorious yet ready to punch again if it even flinches.
There it lay on the ground. After holding hostage seasons of my life, I had finally roused up the courage to fight back. The reporters gathered in around me as the referee wrapped a purple robe around my shoulders and a golden belt across my waist. They bombarded by a series of questions:
“How did you do it?”
“What’s your secret?”
“Did you have doubts about being able to take him out?”
“What were you thinking about during the match?”
But all I could do was stare over at fear. Although I was utterly exhausted both physically and mentally I felt a large weight lift off my shoulders. Fear was dead. Its final fallout had arrived.
How do we deal with fear? The type of fear that arises when you’re about to embark on new territory in the land of your dreams? What is the truth about fear?
1.) Fear sometimes sounds like the voice of logic. We sometimes confuse the voice of fear for the voice of logic. Logic says, if you put ice cubes in the freezer, they will freeze. Fear says, if you put ice cubes in the freezer, they freeze and then maybe your whole home will freeze too by default. Fear has a tendency to blow things way out of proportion and especially in our mind. If we let it, fear will bind us before we can even utter a word. Fear has a clever way of mixing just enough logic with a big fat lie and if we’re not careful, then our minds will begin to rationalize and eventually give in to voice of fear.
Are you willing to try and fail and then try again and again until you succeed? How long are you willing to wait and what are you willing to invest in order to achieve your dreams and goals? What are they worth to you?
2.) Fear sometimes will seem to make sense.Golden nugget of the day: not every good thing or good opportunity is going to make sense. It simply won’t. The sooner we accept this fact, the sooner we’ll stop trying to make perfect sense out of the many mysteries of life. Are you willing to try and fail and then try again and again until you succeed? How long are you willing to wait and what are you willing to invest in order to achieve your dreams and goals? What are they worth to you? We can’t explain why it took Thomas Edison over 10,000 attempts before he finally succeeded. He was even quoted as saying, “ I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” What will you be quoted as saying?
What will you be quoted as saying?
3.) Fear will work with reason and procrastination to try and convince you not to do something you know you’re called to do. Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you ended up talking yourself out of doing something that you actually wanted to do and committed to do in the first place? Fear manipulates reason to facilitate excuses in our minds that make us feel not so bad for not doing the things that we know we should (and even wanted) do in the first place.
4.) Fear will try and justify itself when you confront it. Fear is the king of excuses. So once you confront it when it shows up in your life, then the excuses will pile up faster than you can imagine. Fear can even lead you to believe that it is the excuse in and of itself to keep you from achieving your goals and dreams.  So before fear even knocks at your door you must already have a strategy of how you will respond. Once you get face to face with fear, the only way to fight it and win the fight is with the truth. And the only way to fight with truth, is to actually know the truth. Do you know the truth?
Do you know the truth?
5.) Fear will try and steal your voice, diminish your potential and rob you of the life you could live. It’s so subtly deceptive but if we listen to the voice of fear long enough we will become fluent in the language of fear. We’ll start talking like fear talks until we have no real voice left of our own. Once fear has taken your voice then it will try and keep you from ever going to the heights that you were destined for. Whether it was actually running that marathon, starting a new career or making new friends, fear is a thief waiting for those that will fall prey to its snare.
       So, when you hear the voice of fear, you don’t have to entertain it nor allow it to rob you of a single moment of your life. Decide ahead of time, before you’re even confronted with fear, how you will live your life. Will you look back on the things you wish you would have done? Or will you live by your convictions and not by fear.
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With Just a Grain of Sand

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Are you experiencing difficulty? Do you have something that is an unwelcome irritant invading your world with seemingly no resolve? Does it feel like the difficulty is trying to overtake or consume your life?
Consider the beauty of the pearl. One of the most precious and beautiful jewels of the sea is formed out of difficulty. When an irritant enters the oyster’s shell, it responds by coating the irritant with sheets of aragoniteconchiolin and secretions of narce between each layer. These are the very same things in which the oyster’s shell is made out of. Over time, as it continues to add layer upon layer, a beautiful pearl is formed. What once was only an irritant, seeking to impair and possibly destroy the oyster has now become the platform it has used to create something beautiful. 
 
How do you take difficulty in your life that seems like an un-welcomed irritant and make something beautiful out of it?
Refocus and Leverage the Difficulty for Good. Do not let the difficulty consume your life and your attention. We have a choice. We can choose to allow the difficulty to overcome us and let it be the place where our story ends or we can choose to leverage the difficulty and respond accordingly. Don’t allow yourself to be the victim to the difficulty. Instead deliberately choose to respond, forgive and press on. Train yourself to leverage the difficulty for good and watch them turn into beautiful things in your life that empower you instead of victimize you.
 crutch that victimizes you and keeps you from overcoming and robs your joy. Instead, leverage the irritant for good and the way that you see the the irritant will turn into something beautiful much like how the pearl is formed in the oyster.
What Starts Off Difficult Doesn’t Have to Stay Difficult if You Respond the Right Way. What if the oyster just let the irritant just exist in it’s shell? What if it simply just got used to its irritation? What if the oyster complained to all its oyster friends (who also have irritants too) about how bad it was and how unfair it was and how it wished it would just go away? We might say to that oyster, “get it together! That irritant is trying to kill you but you have the power to overtake it!”  But since the oyster chooses to respond and and keep responding by covering it with aragoniteconchiolin and secretions of narce between each layer, it is able to create something beautiful out of the very thing that sought to destroy it. What beautiful thing are you creating from your difficulty?
When it Feels Like There’s Too Many “Irritants” or Issues Flaring Up in Your Life at One Time, Hang On. Just like some oysters have multiple pearls, they are formed through multiple irritants. The ones with extremely large pearls are developed through the process of responding continuously over an extended period of time to the irritant. Some of the most successful people in life do not live difficulty free, but instead they’ve chosen to continuously respond the right way.
 with the irritant that enables them to make an even bigger and more beautiful pearl.
Stay Engaged Even in the Midst of a Difficulty. A pearl is not produced by the oyster just watching the irritant and worrying or complaining about it. No, the oyster deliberately chooses to stay engaged, not just upon the initial invasion of the irritant but continuously. We too must also stay engaged. It’s not enough to stay engaged one day and to disengage the next few days and expect constant long term progress. Everyday, we must not only respond but stay engaged.
Use What You’ve Been Given. The oyster does not respond to the irritant with anything outside, it simply uses what it has been given. It has been designed not only to experience these irritants but also, it has been designed with a response mechanism within its body that is comprised of the very substances in its own shell. What have you been given that has equipped you to respond to difficulty? Do you know that the same power that conquered the grave lives in you? That means that since we have Jesus, we have been equipped to handle every difficulty through His strength and grace. But, this is only if we choose to allow Him to.
Respond the Right Way to the Difficulty. The oyster responds to the irritant with the most powerful weapon is possesses, the aragoniteconchiolin and secretions of narce. The oyster responds to the irritant with the strongest thing it possesses. Like the oyster, we must respond to difficulties and challenges with the strongest thing we possess which is the Word of God. It in the irrefutable truth through which we can continuously build our life upon. Ephesians 6:10-11 tells us to “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:10-18