I’m A Quitter-Living With Fear

2 Tim1:7  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.

Last Sunday we were given permission to become quitters when it comes to making excuses.  Excuses, which come from the enemy, build a wall around what God is trying to do in our lives and prevent us from moving forward.  Another tool the enemy uses to sabotage us is fear.  Our fear can be rational or irrational, but the result is the same.  It prevents us from doing what we have been called to do.

There are many things and situations in life that can cause you to feel fear.  There is the fear of losing someone or something important to you.  A fear of rejection may cause you to avoid dating, making a commitment to someone or to live your life constantly trying to make everyone around you happy.  The feeling that you may fail can create fear as can the fear of the unknown.  All of those “what if” scenarios can prevent you from taking a risk and moving forward in your life.  At times you even convince yourself that the fear is healthy and is protecting you, so it becomes useful to you.  You have to remember that your fear affects more than just you.  It hinders God from working through you and prevents you from doing what He has called you to do in the lives of other people.

How do you face fear?  The first step is to acknowledge that your fear is not from God as He has not given you a spirit of fear.  God is bigger than your fear.  He will go with you.  There will be times in your life that you are scared, but you need to  acknowledge the fear and then push through it.  The second step is to strengthen yourself in the Lord.  He has given you the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  As evil tries to corrupt you, use your power to push back.   You can take a stand against the enemy by using the power of love.  Love makes you bold.  Love transforms the world.  Finally, your sound mind allows you to see what the enemy is doing making you able to resist temptation.  You can see the difference between right and wrong so you can choose a different path.  You are able to think things through and see the bigger picture.

Fear can control you in the same way an addiction can.  Don’t let the “what ifs” prevent you from living your life and experiencing God’s plan.  You have the power and self-control to stand up to fear.  Be confident in what God is doing, trust that He is in this with you and quit living in fear.

I’m A Quitter

Stephen Covey: We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.

God loves you. He is proud of you and accepts you as you are. However, there are areas of your life that He wishes you could change because He sees your full potential. You may also realize there are areas of your life that you would like to change, but for some reason you can’t make it happen. You have scars, addictions, labels, memories and other baggage from your past that you wish weren’t there. You would love to have a clean slate to begin a new chapter in your life. What is holding you back?

You have good intentions, but your excuses are preventing you from moving forward. The enemy sends these excuses almost as soon as we decide we want to make a change. You have no time, you’ve failed at this before, it’s too late, too stressful, too hard and the list goes on. These excuses form a wall around what God is trying to do in your life. He wants to do amazing things in your life, but you have to trust. You have to realize that you can’t do this on your own and let God’s strength work through you. If both you and God want something to change in your life, then the enemy can’t keep it from happening.

Pastor Michael told the story of Moses and the burning bush to give us two take away points from this sermon. The first is you need to do your part. You need to go now and take that first step. You may not have all the answers, so do what you know you can do. Stop making excuses. The second point is you need to trust God to do the rest. God wants to reveal Himself to you and He will help you through this process. Your part is not enough, but God will see what you are trying to do and will surround you with people that can teach you. God wants to make you better. Have faith and let God’s strength heal you. How different could your life be if you become a quitter?

Staying Positive-It’s A God Thing

Philippians 4:8 Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Pastor Michael asked how does one stay positive in difficult and sad circumstances? He believes the answer is where your focus is. Is it on yourself and your environment or is it on God? When your focus remains on God you develop spiritual enthusiasm or en theos. That means you are filled with God allowing you to positively influence your environment. He told the story of David and Goliath. David was completely focused on God at that point in his life, which allowed him to fight Goliath and win. After his victory, David became comfortable and shifted his focus toward himself. Since he was distracted it caused him to be in a place he shouldn’t have been which got him in trouble. David tried to fix what he had done. It was the prophet Nathan that finally got David to see what he had really done and then he begged God for forgiveness.

The secret to being content is en theos. By keeping your focus on God and allowing Him to fill you up, you won’t be pulled down by your situation. Knowing that God is with you and giving you strength will allow you to change your environment. That focus will bring positivity and allow you to be the light that shines on the world so you can make a difference. Where is your focus?

I’m Positive – I’m Thankful!

It can be challenging to remain positive in a negative and competitive world.  Often we base our positive attitude on our personal circumstances, so if things are going our way then life is good.  If things are not going our way then our positive attitude tends to go away too.  We need to transform our thought process and remain positive each day because of what God has done for us.  He encourages us and wants us to encourage others.  Remember not to let circumstances dictate how you feel and don’t let the negative words of others cause you to give up.  Pastor Michael told the story of Elijah and Jezebel to illustrate that point.

There are going to be highs and lows in life, but God is strengthening you and preparing you for your unique journey.  God will make sure you are ready and as long as you keep your eyes on Him you will win.  When you take your eyes off from Him, you become distracted and the negativity creeps in.  Be an encourager and think of ways to motivate others.  Pastor Michael closed by asking us to think about what we feel God wants to do in our life by praying over a word and a scripture to go with it.  I chose discipline.  What word did you choose?

Positive Expectations – Week Three

Pastor Kelleen spoke about the mindset needed to have successful and healthy relationships.  We all have expectations about how the other people in our life should behave.  At times there can be a gap between those expectations and behaviors that we can fill with believing the best or assuming the worst about the other person.  There are two things that determine what you will put in the gap.  The first is what you see and the second is who you are which includes the pain, fear, joys etc. that we bring with us from our own personal experiences.  When you assume the worst it ends up putting distance in that relationship and the other person begins to dread being around you because they feel they can never measure up.  When we believe the best about the other person it shows that you trust them which will bring you closer together.

It can be difficult to continue believing the best in someone that has let you down again and again even after having a conversation about it.  Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”  How will you continue to fill the gap?