Faith, Motivation, Spirit of Fear, Trusting God

Fear of Falling

Sunday I decided to do something that I haven’t done in years. I chose to go to the skating rink to switch up the workout routine and have some fun at the same time. At first, I was really excited about it. Although it’s been a while, I do know how to skate. Granted, I am not like many of the ATLiens who can literally do Figure 8’s and look like they are members of the professional ballet; but I have mastered the basics.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14: 27-28 

I made my way to the floor, still confident, and just like I thought it came with ease. Before I knew it, I was skating and bobbing my head to the music with no issue. I had a few shaky moments when I wobbled, but I didn’t fall. I kept telling myself that even if I fell I would just get back up and keep it moving.

As the night progressed things changed and that faith and confidence slowly changed to fear. After a few rounds my legs began to BURN as every muscle fiber in my legs began to twitch. Great workout…Right? Eventually I found myself taking breaks on the sidelines looking at everyone skating majestically. Following each mini break I would head to the floor but each time my heart raced a bit more and that confidence was fading fast. I kept thinking about the aches and my bum knee. What if I fall? I am going to be utterly embarrassed. By this time, my confidence was nearly shattered and my heart pounded every time I even remotely lost my balance. What happened to my confidence?

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31 NIV

Like Peter when I went to the skating rink I was confident. I trusted in what I knew (the basics) and didn’t fear falling; however, when I started noticing things around me I became shaky. As my legs burned I thought, ‘well maybe I am too out of shape.’ When one of my friends began to tell me that she realized she wasn’t skating correctly and proceeded to tell me that maybe I wasn’t either, my self-assurance further diminished. My mind was no longer on the main goal, having a great fun workout and instead I kept focusing on her words. Throughout the night I realized that I wouldn’t try moves that I knew because I now feared falling.  I lost my focus.

Maybe you are like me; better yet, you are like Peter. You are believing in God for something just as Peter. He had complete faith that he could walk on water. Unfortunately distractions, like Peter’s wind and those seeds of doubt that were planted in my head, can cause you to lose focus. You may have asked God for a new car, new job, financial increase, healthy relationship but the evidence around you is starting to shake your faith. Maybe other people are even beginning to plant seeds of doubt based on their situation. We forgot what we already knew –the basics (the word of God). Peter showed that when you take your focus off Jesus and instead look at current circumstances it opens the gateway to fear. Your own anxiety can draw the very thing that you fear to you. Peter began to sink and by the end of the night I fell. But the good news is we were both able to recover when we shifted our focus and so can you.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for not giving me a spirit of fear because I know that fear is not of You. Help me to remain focused on the goal even when the physical evidence suggests otherwise. If I am lacking in faith, please help mine unbelief. Give me complete confidence in Your word so that when attacks come I will be able to stand on what I know and not falter. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to BELIEVE. No matter what the circumstances look like have faith and do not doubt. Even if you fall, trust God and know that you can recover.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Source of My Confidence

Have you reached the other side of this story? You believed in God for something but everything around you suggested it wasn’t happening. However, it has now come to pass. Share your story with us below.

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Faith, Focus, Jesus, Trusting God

What Are You Looking At?

‘Faith sometimes is work’ is one of my favorite lines from a song by Kirk Franklin. When I first heard those words, they really hit home. No matter how long you have been on this Christian walk, sometimes it’s just hard to believe that things are going to get better.  Previous situations and outcomes leave us feeling hopeless. Current circumstances have us in such despair that we can’t even fathom how God will ever bring us out. Whether you are a baby in Christ or a 30-year-saint, sometimes faith is simply hard work.

Admittedly, just a few short months ago my faith wavered a bit. I previously told you my story of miscarriage in 2010 and how that strengthened my faith. (See Passing the Test) But late last year, I found out that I was pregnant again and that once strong faith was feeble, barely standing on one leg. I found myself running to the doctor for every ache and pain. I was waking up in the middle of the night worrying myself sick about losing another baby. I was perusing baby boards and reading heartbreaking stories of women who had experienced multiple losses. I was reliving my moment of pain from the prior year all over again. I wanted so badly to believe, but I was finding it nearly impossible to see past my point of pain and disappointment. Luckily, I had my pal Peter to remind of exactly what was going on:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:22-21 NIV)

Peter was doing so well. His faith was working in his favor. There he was defying the Law of Gravity and literally walking across water, just as he had witnessed Jesus doing. I am sure that everything that he had experienced up until that point played a major part in his ability to believe that with Jesus he could walk on water. After all, Peter had already been personally privy to Jesus’ miraculous powers. So there was Peter, operating in his faith and proving that anything is possible if you only believe, but then something happened…

Peter took his eyes off the author and finisher of his faith and instead began focusing on the circumstances around him. That’s the moment that his faith began to waver; that’s precisely when he could no longer defy the odds and started to sink. And just like Peter, when I started looking around at everything and everyone besides Jesus, that’s when I started to lose sight of the promise. Instead of focusing on the storm around me, I should’ve been fixated on Jesus—I have two healthy children that He bore me prior to the miscarriage! Now that’s truly focusing on Jesus and who he is!

What are you so focused on that is taking your attention away from the One who can alter the situation? Are you remembering the pain of love lost that you cannot trust anyone else with your heart? Are you so zeroed in on the pain that you cannot see the promised healing? Do you constantly think about the financial lack that you don’t realize that you were warm all winter and ate a hot meal every day? Remember, your focus has the ability to fire your faith!

At the end of the song, Kirk Franklin says, “Faith is not believing in what He will do; it’s believing in what He’s already done.” When you feel yourself getting weak and your faith gets a little shaky, remember how He has already proven Himself to you over and over again.

I am blessed to report that as I write you today, I am nearly six months pregnant. We haven’t arrived yet, but my focus is on the One who has the power to keep us. I can see and hear the waves crashing in my peripherals, but I refuse to take my gaze off of Jesus for one second!

Dear Daddy,

Today I ask that You forgive me any time that my faith has wavered. I know that You have given me a measure of faith. I ask that You multiply that faith that I may believe You for the unthinkable. Help me to always keep my focus on Jesus while I am in the midst of my storms. Lord, my prayer is that You help my unbelief. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to ask yourself, “What am I looking at?” Is your focus on the problem or the problem fixer? I EMPOWER you to keep walking on water and defying odds and EMPOWER your faith by keeping your eyes fixated on Jesus.

Listen to Kirk Franklin’s “Everyone Hurts”:

 

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.