From Fear to Love: Our Fragility

Fragility (CLH)

By Carole L. Haines 

Broken things are more fragile sometimes when they are put back together, but God still has a place for us. This place may even be because of our fragile state of being. This is certainly true in my case. I always was fragile; I just didn’t know it yet. God had to teach me my fragility and invite me to embrace it, not deny it or run from it. He didn’t want me to pretend it wasn’t there. Being broken was necessary for my wholeness. My husband’s response to brokenness and what it has yielded brought tears to my eyes.  
“But we are left with a story to tell that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.”
 (Bruce Nevin Haines) 
My husband is a songwriter and can say so much with so few words. He’s like Abraham Lincoln that way. Take the time to read the Gettysburg Address, if you can.  President Lincoln used so few words but spoke volumes. Here’s a quote from it. 

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  
(Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address) 

 Wherever God dwells is hallowed ground. He makes His dwelling with us, His believers and followers, whenever we open that door.  

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 
(Revelation 3:20) 

 This is what God is doing in our lives. He is writing a story that has the power to bless those who hear it and need hope in their brokenness. Moving from fear to love involves embracing our brokenness and allowing God to use it to bring glory to Himself and hope to others. In the process we are blessed with His healing and grace, His wholeness and freedom.

Even as the Precious Soldiers fought the Civil War for a cause far beyond themselves, God fights for us, He fights in us. He won’t ever quit or leave us. As Abraham Lincoln so graciously spoke, the last full measure is what these soldiers gave to keep our country whole. Jesus gave His last full measure to make us whole.
Be Blessed this day, Dear Believer. 

Here is a link to my husband’s songs https://soundcloud.com/hisshadowings/tracks

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From Fear to Love-Manifested

by Carole L. Haines

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (Appeasing atonement) for our sins.  
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  
(1 John 4:9-11) 

God’s love was not just manifested TO us, but IN us. To manifest something is to make it visible or known when it has been hidden or unknown, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way (Strong’s Concordance). I came across a fantastic quote in the book I am reading regarding what motivates us at times. (also doing the Bible Study that goes with the book). THis quote is regarding a lie we sometimes believe.

“You must achieve to be loved. In other words, we must be competent in the context of competition…in order to feel worth and value. We consistently feel inferior. Many of us know the experience of being approved for what we do. Few of us know the experience of being loved for being just who we are.” 
(Pete Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (EHS), pg. 78) 

God loves us just for who we are, He created us. Now don’t misunderstand me, God doesn’t love our sin, but He loves us. Have you ever been related to based on competition or achievement? I have been related to this way. I am finding that I relate to myself with these horrid expectations. I am also relating to others with wrong expectations. EHS is a “tough love” Study for sure. But I can tell I will come out of this more mature and healed of my past. I will relate to others in more loving ways. I will trust God’s love and view of me above all others, and I will relate to others in healthier more uplifting and supportive ways. 

What does this have to do with going from Fear to Love? Well, fear leads us to manipulate and guilt trip. It causes us to harm ourselves and others with wrong ways of relating to one another. Fear also confuses and distorts our view of God. God has revealed Himself though Scripture. He has defined His Perfect love. 

“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.” (Exodus 34:6 NASB) 

God passed by Moses and declared these truths about Himself. They’re His own words. Our freedom comes as we believe God instead of ourselves and the voices of others. Our freedom thrives as we believe How God defines himself instead of our enemy’s lies, our own preconceived ideas, etc. Our freedom to be loved, and to love, come from a right relationship with God and an intimate trust within that relationship. 

The more I know God, as He defines Himself, the more I can’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to just fall at His feet in surrender and worship. He is such a good, good Father in Heaven. In this journey out of fear into God’s perfect love, we find that His love is already manifested IN us, not just TO us. His love is there, we just need to do the hard work of removing all else that takes up space so that His love can permeate every crevice of our being. Be Blessed today, Dear Believer. More next time. Let me know if you are enjoying the LIVE Study.

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From Fear to Love-The Power to love

Photo by: Carole

by: Carole L. Haines

 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 
(1 John 4:7-8) 

Fear is one of the greatest barriers to love. We cannot truly love others if we are full of fear. Fear demands that we be in control. Love requires surrender and trust. I love what God’s Word tells us above. Love is from God, our ability to love others is directly linked to God. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” We do not just seek to journey out of fear for our freedom only, but to become better at loving others. And to become better at loving God in return for His love toward us. 

There is another component as well, that of loving oneself. We have sometimes been led to believe that loving oneself is the epitome of selfishness. But God speaks differently on this. Why would Jesus call us to love our neighbor as ourself if we were not to take the love of self seriously. Let me go deeper with this thought. 

I was so full of self-hatred and disgust with myself at one time. I was ashamed of my mental and emotional weakness, having been diagnosed with Social Anxiety disorder in my late twenties. But God revealed to me that this thorn in my flesh, this weakness, would help me to remain reliant upon Him, for His power is perfected in weakness. 

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10) 

My weakness led me to choose self-protection, due to fear of being found out, fear of rejection from other people. We can see in the above Scripture from 1 John that everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Knowing God is the key to both freedom from fear and the freedom to love others. They’re intricately connected. We will learn of this more tomorrow. Be Blessed, Dear Believer. 

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Fear to Love: Know His Voice


 by Carole L. Haines 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:1-4 NASB) 

  We are going back to our original Scripture in today’s journey. One of the things we must do in our quest to follow God is to learn to discern His voice from those of others, the enemy (satan) and that of ourselves. Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd and that His sheep know His voice. 

When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 
(John 10:4-5 NASB) 

Notice the sequence: 

1) Jesus puts forth all His own and He goes ahead of them 

2) The sheep follow Him because they Know His Voice 

3) A stranger they simply will not follow but will flee from him 

4) Because they do not know the voice of strangers. 

Perhaps some of you have heard of how to tell the difference between counterfeit money and the real deal. Those who handle money a lot are not encouraged to study counterfeit money. They are encouraged to study the Real money, so that they will be able to discern the counterfeit when it is presented to them.  

Even so, Jesus is the Real Deal. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) Spending much time quietly in His presence and listening to Him speak to You from His Word is how we know His voice. The Holy Spirit leads us into all of God’s truth and brings to our remembrance the things that Jesus has taught us. Sitting with Jesus often and long help us to discern the voices of fear brought to us by our own thoughts, the opinions of others, and the enemy’s trickery.   

We learn to let Jesus take the lead in everything and we follow Him on this journey out of fear. I haven’t experienced so much joy and contentment in  quite a while. Retiring and coming home to spend more time with Jesus was what I was meant to do. I know that is His will for me for now. I beleive He knew I needed the time to sit with Him so I could take this journeyout of fear. I had become all twisted up and conflicted. But God is untangling my mess of fear and He can untangle yours too.

Be Blessed Precious Believer and sit with Your Good Shepherd, listen and learn His voice. Follow Him wherever He leads you. Letting yourself collapse into His arms will help you to cease listening to the Voice of Fear, and instead discern the voice of God’s perfect love. 

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The Lamp of God

Photo by BNH

By Carole L. Haines 

 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” (1 Samuel 3:2-4 NASB) 

The lamp of God, meaning “to glisten,” had not gone out yet. The fire of Eli’s ministry had not yet expired. It was still flickering. God had not yet quenched that fire, nor had God extinguished the light of his ministry as Priest of God. There was still hope in that glistening flicker. I believe this Lamp of God represents not only our calling, but also God’s hope within us.

In our Journey out of Fear, we can wander through times where we feel our hope is almost extinguished, where we feel the lamp of God’s Ministry in and through us is about to end or go out. We are tempted to fan that spark back into a roaring fire, but perhaps God is seeking to do a new thing in our lives. Perhaps one fire must die out for God to start another.  

When God’s breath blows on that fire, the sparks fly upward and are often carried to a place where things are dry and dwindling. Let it be God’s breath that carries your spark. God may use our spark to begin another fire in the lives of people seeking Him. We see this again and again in Missionary stories.  

Embrace this journey out of fear and learn to lean solely on God as your Source of strength and guidance. Trust Him as your Provider.  Lean into Him Dear Believer, hold tight on this journey out of fear.  He promises never to leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5 NASB)

He promises to guide us with His hand upon us and bring us through to the Other side.  
Faithful is He who called you who will also bring it to pass.  
(1 Thessalonians 5:24 NASB) 

Sit with Him, embrace that fear that is coming up within you, don’t push it back down or run from it. Yield it to the only one who knows how to bring you out of that place. In our desire to shield ourselves from fear, we can build fortresses of self-protection that will one day turn into prisons we find ourselves locked within. This happened to me. But God is showing me the way out. He has met me in my prison cell of fear and taken hold of my hand. He is leading me out into His Place of Freedom and Joyous Grace. He will lead you, too, Dear Believer. Yield to Him and trust His work within You.  

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FROM FEAR TO LOVE: Our Triggers

Artwork by: Carole L. Haines

By: Carole L. Haines 

Yesterday we spoke of changing our dance partners from fear to God. With God in the lead, we learn to trust Him more than anyone else, more than we trust ourselves. This yielding leads us out to freedom. Most of us have watched the Olympics. Ice Dancing is one of our favorites. My husband and I sit mesmerized by the immense trust required in a partner to be thrown into the air, twirled around and blindly expect that partner to be there to catch us them we don’t fall. That ice is an awfully cold, hard surface to hit. Yielding to God is like learning to relax into His arms as our dance partner. There is a Psalm that I have prayed countless times in my journey from fear to God’s Freedom.  

Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes arrogant; 
Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. 
 I have certainly soothed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child  
resting against his mother, my soul within me is like a weaned child. 
(Your Name), wait for the Lord from this time on and forever. (Psalm 131) 

When we are triggered by an event, we can immediately revert to former ways of coping and thinking. It can feel like regressing, almost becoming child-like. At least it is like that for me. I may not physically curl up in a fetal position, but inside I do. This is where the choice comes in, to trust God, My Dancing Partner, instead of my old responses of fear and self-protection.  

As I am learning to do this repeatedly, I re-train my responses to be trust instead of fear. It can be an arduous process. But with God’s Powerful Word, and The Holy Spirit’s guidance, transformation is taking place. Peace, joy and contentment, which are found in the Love of God, are replacing the Fight or Flight response I used to have. There is such power in believing God’s Word above our own opinions, thoughts and intuitions. 

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”  (Hebrews 4:12-13) 

God’s Word exposes what triggers us, and we choose to let God lead us in the way we should go. Following Him, as a child follows his/her parent. Jesus needs to be our way out. Jesus’ death burial and resurrection were not just a “get out of hell” free card. There is freedom from what troubles us here on earth as well. He is our powerful Savior, from all that makes us fear. 

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From Fear to Love: Moving Mountains (2)

 

Photo by: BNH

By: Carole L. Haines 

 We are learning that God’s love is understood by us in a twofold manner, this is based on the verse,  

We have come to know and have believed that Love that God has for us.” (1 John 4:16)  

We come to know it, then we choose to believe it. This choice is pivotal because fear tends to cause us to remain where we are and hunker down, instead of stepping out in faith. We must make the choice to believe God’s love. My husband said this to me when sharing about this very thing. 

“Fear, worry and doubt put us in a defensive posture. When we are in this posture, we don’t experience God, Life, Each other and even ourselves the way God intended us to.” Bruce Nevin Haines 

Faith and fear are entangled with each other. Like an embrace that eventually becomes a strangulation. Faith is not the remedy for fear, as we learned in 1 John 4:18-19) 

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.

But fear and faith certainly dance together. If fear is leading the dance, it decreases our ability to walk by faith. We must change dance partners in our life and let God’s Love be our new Lead. With God in the lead, we learn to trust Him more than anyone else, more than we trust ourselves, this yielding leads us out to freedom.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 
(Romans 12: 3) 

We’ve each been allotted a measure of faith. Jesus says we only need a faith the size of a mustard seed. We have our little mustard seed faith, and we want to bring it and set it before the Lord. Then what? Where do we go next? What do we do next? 

One of the hardest parts of bringing something before the Lord is leaving it there. I get triggered all the time. I was just triggered by something this afternoon. What is a trigger, you may well ask? A trigger is anything that sets us back into an old way of responding or behaving. Those of us with Anxiety or Depression are triggered by different things. For those struggling with Addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, etc. The trigger will be different. 

 I think triggers are as unique as everyone’s experience and personality. But it’s important for us to learn what our triggers are and where they come from, so that we can be best prepared to respond to them in a healthy way. As we learn constructive ways to respond to fears, it will help us in moving our mountains. More on that next time. Be Blessed, Dear Believers, and I hope you are enjoying this LIVE study. 

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From Fear to Love: Moving Mountains

HIS SHADOWINGS

Photo by Bruce Nevin Haine3s

By:CaroleL. Haines

If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:2 NASB)

God’s love can move mountains. Yetsometimes,we’re the mountain that needs to be moved.We get so stuck where we are. For me, I have been stuck in fear, like a dog chained to a pole who goes around and around in circles,making a pathtrodden with fears andself-protection. God is calling me out of thatplace,and it is going to be an arduous journey. Sometimes we have stayed in a place for so long, we don’t know how to live any other way.But God can teach ushowand wants to lead us out.Only He has the power to free us from our man-made confinements.

I think the first step is admitting that…

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From Fear to Love: Moving Mountains

Photo by Bruce Nevin Haine3s

By: Carole L. Haines 

If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  
(1 Corinthians 13:2 NASB) 

God’s love can move mountains. Yet sometimes, we’re the mountain that needs to be moved.  We get so stuck where we are. For me, I have been stuck in fear, like a dog chained to a pole who goes around and around in circles, making a path trodden with fears and self-protection. God is calling me out of that place, and it is going to be an arduous journey. Sometimes we have stayed in a place for so long, we don’t know how to live any other way. But God can teach us how and wants to lead us out. Only He has the power to free us from our man-made confinements. 

I think the first step is admitting that we are stuck, embracing the fact that we are the mountain that needs to be moved. Jesus tells us we only need Mustard seed sized faith to move our mountains. 

 And Jesus *said to them, …for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”  
(Matthew 17:20)  

The context is this verse is one of not being able to cast out a demon. But the principle is that we can come to God with our little mustard seed sized faith about any issue, and He can grow our faith as we yield to His amazing love and power.  

One of the greatest obstacles of growing out of this fear, was the idea of going too deep into what caused it in the first place. Sometimes people can tell something is wrong with them but are afraid to go to the doctor. They are afraid of finding out what it is.  

Well, the same can be said for our emotional and relational struggles. But we can come to God, with just enough faith to lay before Him both ourselves and our fear of finding out what is down there. Knowing God’s perfect love is the only thing that can make us that brave.  

So come to Him, Dear Believer, with that tiny drop of faith, and He will reveal His love to You in many wonderful ways. He can teach you to delve deeper into Who He is, so you won’t be afraid to find out all that lurks below the surface of your own fears. Be blessed. 

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From Fear to Love: Moving Mountains

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