by: Carole L. Haines
God has called me to a journey out of fear to love. That is based on the verse, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:18-19)
God’s perfect love has the power to cast out my fear, to obliterate this Core of fear that I have lived with for so long. Perhaps you have lived with that core as well. God wants to cast it out of you as well with His Perfect love. There is an incredible occurrence in nature that always reminds me of God. When it is a mostly cloudy day, and there is a sudden break in the clouds, where the sunrays shine through and you can visibly see them. They reach from the sky all the way to the ground.
When I was a little girl I literally thought this meant that God was talking to me. I thought He was somehow trying to communicate with me. Well, God’s Word tells me this:
The heavens tell of the glory of God; and their expanse declares the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)
So, in a way, my little girl mind was right. I have since realized that I can hear God best alone with Him in His Word. I sit with Him often and long, especially now that I have retired from my former work. But I realize there has been a disconnect between my spiritual growth and my emotional growth. I am learning that through the study I am in called “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS).
My desire is to grow up into all things in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:13) I learned a verse many years ago that has given me insight into this disconnect that can happen in growing up in Christ.
“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” (1 John 4:16)
We learn God’s love in two ways, by Word and by Experience/Relationship. The first part is to come to know His Love by His Word, being in it, taking it in, learning it. But it is believing His Love through relationship and experience makes it become real. I believe this is the progression I am experiencing of His Perfect Love. I believe as I grow it will cast fear out. We will be sitting with this one a bit and learning more and more from 1st John 4. Let me leave you with this one incredible encouragement.
“But we all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) Be Blessed, Dear Believer.
by: Carole L. Haines
Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
I noticed the short phrase, “by the mercies of God,” as I read this encouraging Scripture today. I realized that it is only by God’s mercies that I can present my body to God as a Living sacrifice. The NIV puts it this way,
“in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
As I open this long-closed, bolted, and rusted compartment of my life to God, I must do so in View of His Mercies. This Core of Fear runs so deep, that I must keep that precious Cross of Christ before me as I surrender to the work He wishes to do in me. I love how Hebrews 12 puts it.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV)
Fixing my eyes of Jesus, I can do that. I can’t pull out this Core of Fear but I can fix my eyes on Him while He gently and mercifully performs this delicate emotional surgery. Is there something God is desiring to remove from within you that feels so huge, that to have it removed feels dangerous. Even though Fear is not where I want to dwell, it’s what I have known for so long, it’s familiar.
I was speaking to a friend who has been through such chaos and upheaval, that when everything is okay, she wonders if everything really is okay. We can get so attached to our fears, our worries, our wrong view of ourselves, situations, or of God, that we don’t know how to live any other way. O, Dear Believer, but God does. God knows how to guide you into the freedom of the Children of God. That way is a person. His name is Jesus (John 14:6)
We cannot do this impossible work, but God can. I believe that and I am learning to trust Him more and more. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. That is the view of God’s mercies we need to keep before us on our journeys.
By: Carole L. Haines
In my cry to go deeper with God, I know there will be very difficult things he will uncover. That cleansing is so necessary and important. I was listening to a Podcast for EHS (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality) and he asked us to close our eyes and picture how we think God feels about us. He then asked us to picture one word to describe it. My word was “disappointed.” I was discussing this occurrence with a very insightful friend yesterday. Her response was, “Well, that’s not God’s heart, Carole. That’s not how God describes Himself in the Bible.”
As I thought more deeply about it, I said, “Well maybe I am just disappointed with myself.” Her response was so poignant. She said, “Maybe! Your expectations of yourself are so high. Maybe that’s where that word comes from and you are putting that on God.”
“You mean, I may be accusing God of being disappointed in me, when in actuality, I am just really disappointed with myself.” My eyes welled up with tears as I realized that may be true. Am I deflecting onto my Precious Savior and King feelings that are from deep within? I am sitting in prayer with that this morning as I write this. I believe that my friend was right. My expectations for myself were so high and I failed myself at every point. But I thought God had those expectations of me as well, and He doesn’t. That isn’t how He presents Himself in Scripture.
“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” (Exodus 34:6-7a)
I share all that to encourage you to examine your own ideas of how God views you? There are so many more Scriptures that reveal God’s Character to us. Ask yourself that question? If you find that negative words come up, like “disappointment,” it’s time to sit with the Lord and let Him speak the truth to You, as I am asking Him to do for me. Sometimes God must give us a Gracious Gut Punch, by showing us how much we misunderstand who He actually is. I must develop God’s point of view about everything, including myself. I can’t trust God to remove this core of Fear if I am believing the lie that He is disappointed in me all the time. May the Lord encourage your heart today with the Truth of how He really feels about you.
Be Blessed and have a wonderful day.
By: Carole L. Haines
I watched a Sunrise this morning and the word that rose up in my heart was Faithful. The verse that drifted down into my mind was this one,
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)
There have been a tremendous number of setbacks, pitfalls and disappointments in my life. Some were by my own hand through disobedience or running ahead of God. Sometimes we run out of His presence without letting God finish speaking. I am going to try not to do that anymore. Other people have caused some of the setbacks, pitfalls or disappointments as well. We’re each so flawed, and are unaware just how impactful our own choices can be on the well-being of another. As I embark on this Journey out of Fear into God’s Perfect love, it is so crucial that I deeply delve into the Nature and Character of God, who I am seeking to follow in this quest. He brought to mind the above verse as I watched Him do what He does so Faithfully every single morning. He causes the sun to rise into its place.
The Mighty One, God, the Lord, has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. (Psalm 50:1)
God’s faithfulness can be seen in the smallest detail of our lives. I have been watching Him put His hand in place to catch me, as I feel like a ball being juggled by the wills and whims of others. But I certainly am not being tossed about, feelings are not often providers of actual truth, at least not for me. This is how the enemy attacks me a lot. I will just wake up in gloom and not even understand where it is coming from. But God is faithful, and when I run to Him, He gives me a verse like the one below that He brought to me in Scripture this morning.
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)
I have no idea what you are facing in your life today, Dear Believer, but I do know that God is Faithful in all things. We too often leave, give up, or despair before God is even done revealing His plan. Rest in Him, wait on Him. Trust Him. That is what I believe He has called me to do. I intend to wait, rest and look to Him alone in this Journey.
He has, and is, continuing to bring faithful ones alongside to help. One such friend just recently came back into my life and she prayed over me and declared fear would have no place in me, that God will accomplish His Will for me, whatever that is. I believe that, and I have no idea what that is right now, but I will wait with Him, and not run away. Wait with Him too, Dear Believer, just enjoy who He is and getting to know Him. Enjoy Your relationship with God Almighty. How amazing is that. Be Blessed.
By: Carole L. Haines
In this Journey from a Core of Fear into the Love of God, I am also doing a Bible study with two people called, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS), by Peter Scazzero. I had no idea just how much this study would intersect with my journey. The Journey began first, but the study is proving an invaluable tool as I walk it. I am finding deeper things to go into and realizing just how far God wants to take me into my past, in order to free me from my present inner prison. It is a deeply personal quest, but I believe He wanted me to start it as a LIVE study, making posts for Monday through Friday of each week. I have not forgotten to post today. I just have been so floored by the depths to which God is calling me to venture both inwardly and into my past. There is a step mentioned in EHS that calls us to go back in order to move forward, I think I am there.
In order to accomplish this post. I must go deeper into a story He has me researching in order to share where this journey is headed. If anyone is out there reading this and wanting to continue, I am continuing behind the scenes and will hopefully post this later and also, post each day the rest of the week. Be blessed and thanks for joining me.
By: Carole L. Haines
Do you ever feel forgotten by God, confused about what has or is happening in your life? I’m there right now. Tears are running down my face because I was triggered this morning by that confusion. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that things just aren’t turning out the way I thought they would.
We are studying about God’s Love and journeying out of fear into the Love of God. God’s love is not a fleeting vapor that was here yesterday, is invisible today and we are hoping comes back tomorrow. When I think of God’s love I call to mind the picture etched in my memory of Half-Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite National park. Having been there, I just stood staring, breathing, trying to take it all in. I couldn’t stop looking at these giant Monuments of Creation and imagining them at their formation. They have towered over the Yosemite Valley for centuries, perhaps since creation. They represent for me God’s unwavering love, His unchanging mercy and grace.
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5)
These two verses are rich with Biblical truth. We could spend hours just breaking these down, but I won’t get side-tracked into all that. What I want us to see here is the fact that God’s love for us was there before the foundation of the world. Before El Capitan and Half-Dome were formed, God already loved us. His will toward us is defined here as a “kind intention.” This whole Scripture in Ephesians 1 is ripe with practical fruit just waiting to be picked off the tree and consumed, but for our study, we will look at the aspects of love and the character of God depicted here.
The only way we can ever trust God is to know His deep and loving character. He is not conflicted, as humans are. But He is so multifaceted, like a Beautifully cut diamond that gives off every color of the rainbow when the light shines through it. God’s love is unsearchable and vastly deep. We must mine its depths in order to trust the process of transformation He desires to bring about in every believer’s life. Only in the firm grasp of the love of God can we dare to journey with Him into the depths of ourselves and our need for transformation. We will not like what we find there, but, as we learned yesterday, God is greater than our hearts and already knows what is there. If we desire to move from Fear to Love, we must look at what He desires to show us about ourselves and come to grips with what really lurks in the recesses of our hearts and souls. We can watch the transformational process through several Biblical Characters as their stories unfold in the pages of the Bible. We will be looking deeper into one of my favorites, Joseph.
Joseph’s life was full of Crushed expectations and dashed hopes. But as he yielded to God’s will, He was formed and molded until his character was ready to walk into the Call God had for His life. Joseph felt confused and crushed by the heavy weight of being promoted and then dragged down several times in his life. We will look at some of these. I love his story in the Book of Genesis. It is one of the greatest true stories ever penned. I believe it is there for our encouragement. In probing these depths, we will be looking into the life of Joseph and the Yo-Yo effect he experienced in his life. We often experience that Yo-Yo too.
I would highly encourage you to take the time to read Genesis 37-47. Listen to it as you drive to work or do menial tasks, but it is powerful. Joseph’s story resonates with so many of our own. Joseph rode the roller coaster ride of the ups and downs of expectations and hopes versus our day-to-day reality. We can learn so much about God’s love and character from his story. This will help us in our Journey from Fear to Love. Join with me, if the Lord has led you here. Be Blessed.
By: Carole L. Haines
We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God.
(My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, January 11)
We cannot go Deeper with God into the recesses of ourselves unless we truly embrace His love for us. Growing in my faith, during the early days of my Journey, I kept hearing the same verse from people.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
As a young believer, this made me afraid of what was down there. I knew I didn’t like how I felt about some of the things coming out of me, but I just didn’t know what to do about it. I was afraid to look inside at all that gunk, so I would try to cover it up with “good and right things.” None of this was a conscious choice, God had to reveal this to me later. I was trying to cover up what needed to come out and be replaced with His Love and Mercy, with His Forgiveness and Grace.
This struggle went on for quite a few years, until one day I was reading through the Book of 1 John. It was then that I clearly saw the rest of the Story about my desperately sick heart and God’s power to transform it.
“Little children, let’s not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will set our heart at ease before Him, that if our heart condemns us, that God is greater than our heart, and He knows all things.” (1 John 3:18-20)
I have put in bold print what God showed me. He is greater than my heart and already knows what is down there. What seemed like a dark and bottomless abyss to me, is already known to God. Add to that this Scriptural Truth.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
The Joy I experienced at the realization that I didn’t need to be afraid to go on this journey into the depths of myself can never be expressed in words.
God redeem, cleanse and heal me, if I open myself up to Him. I nearly exploded with happiness. God loves me already. He loved while He knew all the blackness of my soul, all the depths of its depravity; and He is powerful enough to deliver me from it and transform me completely.
God’s love is the most transforming force ever known to mankind. His love is fiercer than the eruptions of Kilauea we have seen. More cleansing than the Wildfires of the West. His love is deeper than the Mariana Trench on the Pacific Ocean Floor.
Dear Believer, His love is greater, truly greater than all our sin and darkness. I am going deeper into His transformative power. Join me, if you feel led of Him to do so. I will be writing more tomorrow. Hope to see you then.
By: Carole L. Haines
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28)
As I was sharing with my sweet husband this morning about a quote that I love, God gave me an amazing picture in my mind. The quote goes something like this:
“To inoculate me against the praise of man, the Lord baptized me in the criticism of man until I died to the control of man.” Francis Frangipane.
The quote was shared with me in a slightly more modern wording. The way I heard it was, “God baptized me into the criticism of man in order to free me from the fear of man.”
The picture that God gave to me in my mind was that of a rushing stream. Seeking the approval of man is as fleeting as pouring a cup of water at the bend in a stream and then rushing a mile downstream to try to gather that exact same cup of water again. It’s impossible, and a foolish waste of time. God’s desire for His people is to be so filled up with His love that we spill over into a world seeking love in all the wrong places. God’s love is perfect toward us. God’s Word is filled with the securing words of His unwavering, unceasing, unending love.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
“God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
It is into the immersion of this love that we are baptized as believers, covered in it, filled with it. But so often we still look to people for our worth and value. Or we look to achievements, diplomas and awards on the walls. Perhaps it’s wealth, riches, power, whatever. But nothing can satisfy this need for love and approval but God Himself. Let’s Journey deeper into that love and find that His love will displace our fears and cast them out.
Join me again tomorrow for the next breath of fresh air in God’s love. Breathe deeply, these Scriptures, Dear Believer, the air of God’s love is pure, fresh, clean and reviving.
By: Carole L. Haines
From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:5-6)
My life experience has taught me that God doesn’t always deliver us from our fears, He sometimes delivers us through them. I’d even venture to say that judging from my Journey with Him, He often delivers us through them. He enables us to walk through those fires or climb those daunting mountains.
When I was feeling my most isolated and confined, we had moved to a new State and with my Social Anxiety Disorder, I ended up isolating. I was too afraid to reach out to others around me. It was only the very few who reached within my circle of fear that were able to draw me out.
I have often sensed that others think I am a snob, weird and high maintenance. Well, I am not a snob; but I am definitely weird. With my fear of people, I can see how I could be perceived as “High Maintenance.” But God gave me some verses early on in this journey that I hold on to tightly as I traverse this path. We will look at one today.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
I know full well that I am neither wise nor noble. But I do consider myself a bit foolish, and most definitely weak. Let’s look up in the Greek what “base” means, I honestly don’t know. The Study tool I use for the Greek is Blue Letter Bible. So here it is: Base- “ignoble, of unknown descent, without kin. It can also mean cowardly or mean.” Not very flattering. But let’s look at this through the lens of our inheritance in Scripture.
But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
God’s choosing of you and I, for appointed tasks, will not prove vain either. As we yield to who God made us to be, and as we discover His purposes and yield to them; God will bring Great glory to Himself through our lives. Trust is a precious commodity, and we must trust God and cease to trust ourselves and our own perception of things.
We live in a culture that worships Opinion. But God does not have opinions, God is truth. We must learn to lay aside our perceptions and opinions and seek God’s truth, no matter what. Why? Because as Believers, we live from the premise that God is always right. And so He is right in how He made us, what He allows in our lives. Let me leave you with this exhortation for the Scriptures.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
God has called you to a purpose in faithfulness, and He will surely bring it to completion. Yield to the Inner Work He is calling you too. He can be trusted to move us from fear to love. See you tomorrow