Today we are going to take that spirit of self-discipline God gave us and we are going to battle our fears, since this verse tells us we were not given a spirit of fear from God, but were given the self-discipline to combat it. And believe me, it is a battle. A battle the enemy would love for you and I to lose. But the Lord has assured us of the victory, if only we believe. Romans 8:37 gives truth: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
I know this may not be as easy as it sounds, for many it may be a difficult battle, but be encouraged it can be done! Remember Proverbs 2:1? “He holds victory in store for the upright.” God wants us to live in victory; He sent His Son to set us free. We can live in the feelings of defeat, or we can live in the truth of freedom at the feet of Jesus.
One of my favorite women authors, Susan Hunt, once said, “It is time for women of biblical faith to reclaim our territory. We know the Designer. We have His instruction manual. If we don’t display the Divine design of His female creation, no one will. But if we do, it will be a profound testimony to a watching, needy world.”
In order to reclaim our territories ladies, self-discipline is a must. Self-discipline is the training of our minds to be self-controlled, obedient and efficient. God has given us this spirit of love and self-discipline. It is not genetic; it is a gracious gift from above. If we have not trained our brains to be self-controlled then it has been our choice not to do so. To say otherwise is to call God a liar. But again, it is only at the feet of Jesus, that we can see His power. I am not talking our own willpower but the Spirit’s power! Once we start training our minds to think like God wants us to, His grace steps in and guards us. What a cool thing to experience. And believe me this is coming from the queen of no self-control, so I have witnessed the transition first-hand in my own life, and am currently working with God on a new area of obedience! Let me remind you, before we continue, that to not make any decision at all is to make an intentional decision to fail.
Remember: We will either fear God, or fear something else. 1 John 4:8 says, “Perfect love, drives out fear.” God loves us and gives us the necessary information to help us. Here are five steps that you can take to help you overcome fear and gain trust in the guardianship of God. You will need to choose to use your God-given right of self-discipline in order to carry them out!
1. Gather data. Proverbs 13:16 says, “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge.” To be prudent, is to be cautious and careful when exercising our judgments.
2. Count the cost. “Don’t begin until you count the cost. Who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates” (Luke 14:28). Are you looking to yourself for the answers, or to God?
3. Develop a strategy. “A prudent man gives thoughts to his step” (Proverbs 14:15). Make a plan!
4. State your goals and dreams. I love this part, because I love to dream, to create, to imagine, to just be myself! “What you should say is this, ‘If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15). “Where there is no vision the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
5. Start doing it! “When I am afraid, I will put my confidence in God. Yes, I will trust the promises of God” (Psalm 56:3). Fear is the opposite of God confidence. God puts us behind the wheel of the car, but we still have to drive it.
Summarized: plan prayerfully, prepare purposely, proceed positively, and pursue persistently. But be on guard! If you don’t prepare, you’ll probably repair. We seem either to jump ahead by over-reacting or lag far behind, so make sure you pray before you plan.
Deborah Lovett is a speaker for Women’s Events, Retreats, and Conferences. She is also a wife, mother of one daughter, one son, and an author. Her speaking has been noted as “genuine, open, contagious, and like fresh water to the soul.” Her inviting spirit draws women in~ allowing them to experience God’s love in a non-judgmental way. God has called her~ beyond a shadow of a doubt ~to equip women– person-by-person, city-by-city. She desires to educate women on how to ADVANCE to overflowing with an authentic joyful faith that attracts others to Jesus. Visit Deborah at: http://www.deborahlovett.com/