Thursday, May 27, 2021

Do You Ever Feel Like This?


Do you ever feel like that picture above? Empty? Still standing, but not much substance inside? A shell of who you used to be or who you wanted to be?

So many times, we can work on the outer part of our lives - those areas seen by others, our image, our reputation and more, yet forget about the substance inside, that part which makes us alive. We crumble bit by bit, not realizing how barren our lives have become as we continue to smile, have "fun", be active, go through the motions and put on a good face but a weariness, numbness and maybe even deadness grows until we are but a shell of who we wanted to be.... of who God created us to be.

  Is that you today? Are you still going through the motions and looking good on the outside, while slowly dying on the inside? 

What a dangerous place to be! I have been there and I have had to realize the danger and make immediate changes in order to survive, grow and thrive. What changes? First of all, I have to evaluate.. How is my walk with the Lord?
Am I reading my Bible to find the treasures God has for me... or to say I did it?
Am I spending time in prayer? Repentence? Forgiving? Obedience? Praising God? 
I have learned that for me, one of the biggest issues is, Am I getting enough rest? How is my health? Have I been doing too much again? Am I trying to "do it all"? Am I forgetting to allow physical rest and healing? Fatigue can quickly empty us.

Neglecting any of these can make a person spiritually sick and decay quickly sets in. Something else happens at this point also. We become more susceptible to the lies of satan... wondering if God really cares, feeling envious of others, allowing hurts to blind us to God's blessings, hardening our hearts to the still small voice of God. We can become fearful and timid. Some become grouchy or downright angry. 

Part of our evaluation should include checking our foundation... it is strong? Maybe we have learned God's Word and known Him for years and the foundation is pretty good. Repentance can allow God's work in our lives to continue and be fruitful. 

Maybe the foundation is crumbling or even missing in places. If our foundation is on anything but God, it is not a good foundation. Church traditions are not a good foundation. What makes me "happy" is not a good foundation. Pleasing others is not a good foundation. "The way I've always done it." is not a good foundation. Fear of criticism, Fear of not pleasing someone,  and other fears are also a bad foundation.

 No matter how much you build on a weak foundation, it will always stay weak because it isn't the right foundation. Find the source of the foundation problem and then steps can be taken to fix it. The only good foundation is God's Word. Many have tried other foundations and they can look good for a while, but emptiness shows up eventually. 

A willing and repentant heart submitted to God and trusting in His Word, is a good foundation. Our human nature is still there, but what a work God can do with a person willing to let God lead. He highlights weak areas and gives grace and wisdom to help us grow. The foundation grows stronger and His light is able to shine through us, even as a broken vessel. 

As we give praise to Him and remember to be thankful, peace and life grows, joy grows also. God continues the growing process and we can be content, even in difficult times as we trust Him to know all things, to lead us, to give wisdom and more. 

If you are feeling empty today, I hope you will check your foundation, fix it, and get back on track. God loves you and has a plan for your life... no, it won't be all "sunshine and roses", but He promises to be with us even in the trials.

My debut Christian novel is available! 

Other posts in the Fear Series: 

Monday, May 10, 2021

WHEN Fear Comes


When Fear Comes....

Fear DOES come to all of us at one time or another. What should we do with it? Do we hide it? Should we ignore it? Should we pretend we are not afraid? 

Some fears seem silly, others are big and real. What response should we have to fear WHEN it comes? Fear takes many forms. We all experience fear at times, but what do we do with it? How do we treat our fear? How do we treat the fears of others? 

It is sobering to realize we can build fear into the lives of our children or in our own lives. We can learn to hide our fears or encourage others to do the same. We can become controlled by fear or we can learn to allow God to strengthen us and teach our children to do so also.

We can also grow in the Lord and learn what He says about fear. We can develop the strengths He has given to us. We can claim His promises. We can face the fears we feel and evaluate them to see what action is required.

 Sometimes fear can prompt us to change things. When we stole a cookie as a child and feared being caught, it showed we were stepping into wrong territory. It was a warning. We had the choice to repent or rationalize or lie. Many adults today have hardened hearts and will rationalize stealing or doing other wrong things. Their character has been damaged. They made the wrong choice long ago and have set a course for their life of a lack of integrity. God can do a work to change that, but how much better to do the right thing in the first place.

Sometimes fear comes and we are prompted to action, such as when a child is drowning and we alert and run to save the child. Maybe we spend less when we realize how low the money level is and we act responsibly. Maybe we study harder for an important test to be prepared and avoid the fear we know will attack. Sometimes fear comes as a lack of planning or responsibility. Other times, fear attacks like it attacked the disciples in the storm while Jesus slept in the boat. How could they have prepared for that? 

There is much Scripture that speaks of the importance of spending time with God often and growing in Him. 

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in You." Psalm 56:11

"But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid." John 6:20

"But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." Proverbs 1:33

"Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh." Proverbs 3:25

    Fear will come. We can strengthen our walk with the Lord and handle it correctly. It takes work, on a day by day basis, to hide God's Word in our hearts, to know and trust His Word, to give Him praise for the blessings we take for granted, to communicate with Him in prayer regularly. Growing takes time, but spiritual strength will grow, if we let it. 

     "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7

     "Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek His face evermore." Psalm 105:4

     "Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word." Psalm 119:114

     There is no magic formula to be free from fear, but God does give us instruction on trusting in Him. I have found that building faith and trust in God on a regular basis and knowing that He is over all helps to prepare my heart to trust Him in harder times. He is the One who loves me and has a plan for my life and He is worthy of trust. This may be what I have to cling to when fear comes. Am I allowing Him to purify me or am I fighting against that purifying work? It is good to evaluate and reset our purpose of loving, obeying and honoring Him.... no matter what. 

     Thank you for visiting today. I hope you have a wonderful week. I would love to hear from you in the comments.  ~Blessings, Katherine

New Beginning at Rosewood: Finding Hope While Exploring an Old House by Katherine J Masters

Throw Out the Old???

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