Who We Really Are in Christ {Brave!}

I hope you are enjoying my "Who We Really Are in Christ" study! Keep up the good work of praying, meditating on, and declaring each post's verses daily!

For much of my life I have not been brave. I have allowed fear to intimidate me, talk me out of God’s leading, and keep me rooted to the same spot instead of moving forward. Clearly I am entirely too familiar with fear and its tactics. Throughout the years I have fought nothing, nothing more than I have fought the spirit of fear. And it is a spirit:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) (NLT) (Italics mine)

As far as I can tell, fear comes from three places: our circumstances, our flesh or the enemy.

When our circumstances make our knees shake (and let’s face it, we’ve all been there) then here’s what we can do. (1) Pray, get clarity, and ask the Lord what, if anything, we are to do; (2) Breathe. Remind ourselves that God is in control, in spite of how things look; (3) Commit it all into His loving, faithful, capable hands, and (4) Stop staring at the situation and declare Scripture over ourselves. The more we focus on it the bigger it appears, and the last thing we want to do is create more room in our souls for fear.

I know. It’s hard. But I promise you that shifting our focus changes everything.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. (Hebrews 12:2a) (AMPC)

When our flesh freaks out and makes us tremble, then we must focus on increasing our trust in the Lord and training our hearts to run to Him when we’re afraid, instead of giving in to fear and allowing it to control, hinder, or pester us. As King David said:

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. (Psalm 56:3)

We increase our trust in the Lord and put on our BRAVE by meditating on His character and growing in our understanding of Who He is. He is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9), trustworthy (Psalm 22:4-5), nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37) and He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), for starters.

And finally, when it’s the enemy harassing us, we can, equipped by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, find our BRAVE, stand up to fear, and command it to go. The truth is that fear is a bully. Fear wants to intimidate us into shrinking back and going the other direction. Fear wants to stop us. Fear wants to get us so focused on it that we completely ignore truth.

Instead, we will embrace the truth of God’s Word and ignore the spirit of fear. We will run to and dwell in the secret place, where fear has no power. We will be BRAVE.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. (Psalm 91:1) (AMPC)

It’s not that we will never sense fear. We will. Stepping out into new areas is scary. Sometimes obeying God is scary. Standing up for ourselves can be scary. There’s no lack of scary scenarios in our lives or on the earth.

But God is greater than our fears. He is with us, in us, beside us. He goes before us and behind us. Because He is ALWAYS with us, we can be BRAVE.

Here are two personalized verses to meditate on, pray, and declare out loud daily to help you fight fear and cultivate your brave!

I will be strong and courageous! I will not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.” (Joshua 1:9) (Personalized)


The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:2)


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4 comments:

Monica said...

Julie,
Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through your words. Fear is a struggle I have had in different areas of my life, and I know it is a lie from satan. I love your personalized verses, to stand on God's promises is our life-line. Thank you for encouraging me and so many others today!

Alice Meyers said...

Why is it such a battle to be holy and so easy to fall? I have been reading my Bible and speaking scriptures to renew my mind for 30 yrs and I have not changed much. I don't like who I am. Why is the power of evil so manifest without wanting it and God's power so hard to experience?

Julie Gillies said...

Answering in 2 Parts due to word count limitations:

Alice, you have two questions and have a comment, and though I am no theologian, I will do my best to address each one.
“Why is it such a battle to be holy and so easy to fall?” Because we’re human. We’re born with the sin nature. And none of us are immune to temptation. That’s why we are reminded to “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:38).
But it is also our responsibility to create that atmosphere that helps us avoid the things that cause us to fall. Jesus said it was better to cut off the hand that causes us to sin than to for our whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:30). In other words, we must avoid allowing ourselves to be placed into situations that aren’t conducive to holiness. That’s not wisdom, nor is it true repentance, which is turning away from something, and turning toward the Lord. A recovering alcoholic would be wise to avoid the bar scene. Someone recovering from a pornography addiction must set into place internet filters and television controls that will prevent them from stumbling upon (or seeking) inappropriate images. It’s also wise to find an accountability partner to spur us on and so that when we’re tempted, we can reach out.
“I have been reading my Bible and speaking scriptures to renew my mind for 30 yrs and I have not changed much. I don’t like who I am.” I confess this one has me stymied. I cannot know how sincere your Bible reading or scripture speaking is, but I do know this. God’s hand is not too short (Isaiah 59:1). It’s faulty thinking to presume that God’s Word works for everyone but you. It works for us ALL. God’s word is not void, and it accomplishes the purposes for which He sends it. (Isaiah 55:11).
I do know that transformation happens when we read God’s Word, which is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). But we must allow his Word to be living and active IN US. We must be doers of the Word and not hearers only. “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22)
When we don’t like who we are, we have a choice. We can remain the way we’ve always been, thinking defeated thoughts and allowing the enemy to have his way, or we can cry out to the Lord to begin the holy, transforming work He desires to do in us. We can cry out for freedom and healing and deliverance, knowing He is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9)
It’s not something we accomplish but a deep work of God’s Spirit we surrender to. That’s why the Apostle Paul said “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).

Julie Gillies said...

(Part 2)

“Why is the power of evil so manifest without wanting it and God’s power so hard to experience?”
We live in a fallen world. Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and “he is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God”. However, we have authority over the atmosphere in our own homes and our own hearts. What lives there is what we feed, what we choose to focus on. When we choose to focus on the Lord, worship Him, cooperate with His Spirit and surrender to His ways, we will experience His peace and His presence.
I don’t know who you hang out with or what you allow into your home via TV, music, internet, but God’s presence is not hard to experience when we make room for Him, when we turn to Him, when we yield our hearts, our time, and our thoughts to Him. (Side note: I love to change the atmosphere of my home by playing worship music all day long. It makes a huge difference!)
Isaiah 26:3 says“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
When we pray instead of worrying, we will experience God’s supernatural peace: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Last of all, when we’re dealing with deep wounds or serious strongholds we’re unable to shake, it’s okay to reach out for help. Wise, professional Christian counseling is a good option. (So are wise, godly friends and attending a good, Bible-believing church.)
As I said, I’m no theologian and I’m not a counselor, but I can tell you this: God has transformed me, and continues to heal and transform me. God doesn’t show favoritism (Romans 2:11) and He will do the same for you. 

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