Right before I got ready to publish this post, I received an email from another blogger, Angela England, whose post I subscribe to. What caught my attention about this particular post was her title, 'The Power of Exposing Your Dreams.'
I opened the email and this was her introduction:
"Did you know that a dormant seed is so well protected it can survive for years in a dead-but-not dead, alive-but-not alive state?
In fact, kernels of wheat found buried in ancient Egyptian tombs were able to be germinated. The wheat survived for centuries, yet never served its true purpose."
We do that with our dreams, don't we? We keep them safely tucked away and protected in the shell of our minds and hearts in a state of dead, but not dead, alive, but not alive, and no one benefits. Why do we do this? Because we're fearful. Fearful of the unknown, fear of failure.
After you read the blog post today, please take time to listen to Alma Loveland and Melanie Burke, two of my favorite graphic designers, as they discuss why they are glad they failed.
Today we're going to continue looking at the strongholds, and as I'm sure you've guessed by now we are going to take a look at the stronghold (or stumbling block) of fear.
Fear can be a good thing in certain situations as we all know. It is one of our God-given emotions that help us sense danger, and protect us from harmful situations. The bad thing about fear is that it is an emotion that is induced by our perception of something, and because perception is involved many people use their fear of failure to completely stop them from trying something they are unsure about.
"I want to be a female entrepreneur." I say this over and over, and over again to anyone who will lend me their ear. More than that I want to have a thriving business, and I want to encourage others to go for their God-sized dream too.
As I sit in my living room drinking my morning coffee, my heart is sadden. I've just finished thinking to myself, "Why am I still trying?"
You see the printer that I use to do my work is acting up and I can't figure out why. It always seems to be the same with me. I start and feel like I'm headed somewhere then this small nit-picking thing will happen, and that small nit-picking thing will happen, and to be perfectly honest... and I just end up being so downtrodden and discouraged. It never fails. Seems like something is always happening.
It's so disappointing to have planned something and prepared for it, only for it to become disarrayed.
Sadly this is not an uncommon thing for me, and many others who are trying, working on making their God-size dream a reality.
Granted your stumbling block may not be mine, nor mine yours, but when starting off you have something. Question is, what are you going to do when you're faced with that something, hum?
Jesus came face-to-face with His stumbling block of fear too.
Grab your Bible if you can and take a look at Luke 22:39-46. It reads:
"And He came out and went, as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him. And when He came to the place, He said to them, 'Pray that you may not enter into temptation. And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.
And there appeared to Him an Angel from heaven, strengthening Him, and being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow., and He said to them, 'Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation." ESV
Did you notice where it says, "... and being in agony?"
This word has many definitions, but one meaning that stood out to me is the meaning of competition. Right here in this passage we see Jesus battling to not give in to His fears... and wanting to accomplish what His Father had for Him.
Jesus was approaching His God-sized dream too. His "dream" if you will of accomplishing the will of the Father.
Lovelies, each of us has a God-sized dream that's going to take will, wit, determination and perseverance, along with much more. It's okay to be scared. But we must not let our fears stop us from getting to what God has for us.
We must break the stronghold that fear has on some of us.
Remember Beth Moore defines a stronghold as anything that exalts itself in our minds, "pretending" to be bigger or more powerful than God. It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Control. Mastered. I would say that about sums up what many of us allow fear to do to us.
In order to go after your God-sized dream we are going to have to be like Jesus and say, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine will be done Lord." Then we, like our Savior, will have to pick ourselves up, even if it isn't a physical "pick me up" and move toward the cross of crucifying those fears and negative thoughts.
Like last time, I want to say that the battle of a stronghold is primarily in our minds. If you want help with your strongholds I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Ask God to help you with your plans of making His dream for you a reality.
Tell me, have you identified any strongholds in your life that are holding you back from your God-sized dream?
What are you going to do about them? Tell me about it in the comment section below.
God bless you.
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