Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Focus

Well....I was awake just after 4am this morning....couldn't sleep...how quickly my feelings can change when my focus goes off God and onto circumstances.

Yesterday was a great day! I was eating, I felt good, the knot in my stomach was gone...then...around 9pm last night I discovered my husband booked me on a 50-seater plane to take this adventure with God to North Carolina! (see "Joy Surprised" and "Urgent Help Needed" posts below for more details.) He laughs at my panicked reaction to the size of this plane and says it's big enough. I feel hurt, angry, frightened, brokenhearted. He knows my fear. Why would he do that? To tease? I know he's never had any patience with my fears, but it seems cruel to me....he couldn't have done this just to be mean....so...the question arises....in what am I placing my faith? In the size of my plane? In my pilot? In the scientific reasons why a 'huge' anything can defy gravity and stay up in the air? In good mechanics to service the plane? Where is my faith? Is it in God? Do I trust Him? Do I believe in the character and competence of my Pilot? Is my God big enough regardless of the size of the plane?

But Lord...my faith is so small...

Your Word tells me that if I have mustard seed faith I can see mountains moved. It's not about the size of my faith OR the size of the plane - it's all about the Object of my faith. Do I trust God?

This morning I see so much of my life is controlled by flesh...emotions controlled by circumstances. A heart attitude filled with the Spirit is full of joy! The constant battle between flesh and spirit is ultimately a battle of control. Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes in "Seeking Him", "Many Christians spend much of their lives struggling and trying harder to repress their fleshy tendencies. The problem is: flesh can't reform flesh. Our fleshly passions and desires need to be put to death." We have to live according to the Spirit by setting our minds on things of the Spirit - Rom. 8:5 - then, verse 6 reads, "To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace". Ah....peace.... Nancy continues, "The pull of our flesh is strong. But the Spirit is even more powerful. We must exercise faith in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to grant us victory over the flesh."

Romans 8:11 reminds me that the SAME power that raised Christ from the dead is in me. I can be victorious in EVERY situation for NOTHING is impossible through the Spirit in me.

My stronghold of fear has bound and paralyzed me for so long. It's been my 'normal'. My constant. My way of life. Jeremiah 15:11 offers hope - "Assuredly, I will set you free and care for you. Assuredly, I will intercede for you." My Father is promising me freedom. My Father cares for me. My Father is working on my behalf.

God's Word speaks peace. Suddenly the thought of a 50 seater plane grows dim, in the light of His glory and grace. It really is all about Focus.

13 comments:

Holly said...

You've got it girl! Where is your focus?? Col. 3:1-3...
Amen and Amen!
holly

Catherine said...

You're going to do it friend! God is with you and just think how much easier it is for Him to hold up a 50 seater plane rather than a 747? LOL! Sorry sweetie...you know I love you and couldn't resist. You wouldn't know me if I said anything else. :o)

God is going to be right there beside you and you're doing great! You're facing your fears straight on with God right there helping you through each and every one of them. Way to go!

I was in a small plane last year when I went to Utah and was surprised when I saw it but both ways it was a beautiful, smooth flight. Already praying for the same for you. Just think how quickly you'll get your luggage and be on your way to the fun of 'She Speaks!'

((hugs)) friend and praying you through this each and every step of the way. Thank you for sharing your prayer requests here so that we can pray specifically for you. Today's prayer, peace during your flights.

Love and hugs friend. God is with you and will never, ever leave you.

Marilyn said...

Oh how VERY well I can identify with all you said! One day I think things have finally calmed down and then the next day here comes another fear to take the last one's place!
What a blessing it is to see you defying the enemy and leaning on the Everlasting Arms for strength! It encourages me to go on and fight my battles with fear also!
Our Lord is mightier than all our fears though and I believe we are both going to see some victories this year!!
God bless you for being an encourager!

grey like snuffie said...

AMEN! Taking thoughts captive can seem so difficult. But I think the second we start to glance His way, He will draw us in. Praying He guards your mind and helps you quickly choose whose voice to listen to---

elaine olsen said...

Joy:

How I can identify with you this morning! These past few days have been difficult for me. For different reasons, but it all comes back to faith...to believing that God has life for each one of us beyond the tomb. When you get time, please surf over to my blog to read my latest post. I think you'll be amazed when you realize that you walk not alone, my friend.

peace~elaine
PS: Strap on a parachute and wave real big! I'll be there to catch you somewhere along I-40. We're going to have a blast.

Renee Swope said...

But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Joy,he who formed you, O Joyful:"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD, your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!

Is 43:1-3a

Oh Joy, keep walking girl. The power of fear loses it's threat as we walk through it's flames - unharmed. I love that God says "when" not if. He know we'll have fears but He knows that when we face what we fear, our faith in Him grows deeper. He's got amazing plans for you and your trip to Charlotte!

Renee

Melissa said...

Joy:) Sweet sweet Joy:) I can't wait to throw my arms around you in NC and give you a good southern style Hug!!!! I love what Catherine said about it being easier for God to hold up a 50 seater than a 747...she shares my humor!

I love the verse you shared from Romans 8:11. Claim it girlfriend and say it to yourself everyday. That's some BIG power!

I talked to Lysa last week. We are having people to pray over every single second of your plane trip down here. You are so covered.

So, stay focused. God knows you have way helped me to stay focused! I'm not kidding. You are a huge part of my encouragement. You always point me back to where I can find my Strength.

Your faith is being increased. I'm so thrilled to be able to sit here and watch it happen.

Big Hugs,
Melissa

Patty said...

I will stand with you in prayer, but I know that God is indeed in control. You will arrive safely.

Michelle said...

Joy, we are on a similar journey to overcome fear with faith. I agree that it makes a huge difference when you turn your focus from your circumstances back to God. Thank you for sharing!

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Joy,
I love all of these messages of encouragement! Isn't it wonderful to have so many women caring about you and praying for you?! I understand your fear but I am so impressed with how you are battling it, using the sword of the Spirit and the Word of God! Oh, it gives me goose bumps!! I will keep praying for you and we will sit and laugh over all of this in June when we are sitting together in North Carolina! Isn't it exciting? I can't wait!

Have a good night friend, you are in good hands!

Love,
Kelley

Yolanda said...

You hang in there Girl. God is faithful, and He is trustworthy!

Love to you.

If you think about it, would you offer up prayers for us and our small community. At noon, 5 sophmore girls were in a car, apparently trying to beat a semi across an intersection. All 5 of them were killed. This has our community, truly in a whirl. May God be seen in this, and that these families come to know that He is good. It will take time, and there are no words in our humaness at this point, but we both know prayer is the answer.

Thanks!

I've cried buckets 3,000 plus miles away on vacation on Maui. But.....when I get home, I will wrap my arms around those that will allow me to do so.

Charlene Kidd said...

Joy,
The 50 seaters are really a great way to fly. They do not always get caught up in the delays the bigger ones do. I am praying for your focus to stay where it needs to, and for a smooth and fun flight. I will be at the conference with hugs waiting for you!!!!
Blessings,
Charlene
PS pray for me I am flying from Orlando to Chicago today for work.

valerie said...

Joy,
If it makes you feel better, our flight from OKC to Newark was on a smaller plane. It was a nice flight both ways. My mom even made the comment on the way home that she thinks she likes flying on the smaller planes better.
You're doing the right thing by replacing your fears with God's Word. Nothing is too hard for Him.
Valerie