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  • Writer's pictureJen Stone-Sexton

Freedom from Fear

Do you want a rich and satisfying life free from fear? Freedom from fear begins by cultivating 5 key attitudes and actions. Read the blog to learn what they are.


I wake with the dawn, roll over and try to go back to sleep. But my mind gravitates to worry about the future, family, finances…like a vortex sucking me away from peace and the present moment of lying comfortably in my bed. Feeling irritated and anxious, I toss the covers aside and get up. After pouring a cup of coffee, I sit outside and open my journal to write. Before writing, though, I read the entry from the previous day (not something I typically do). As I read, I become aware of how my thoughts are affecting my attitude. Right here. Right now. This day I don’t get back.


Later, when I open the daily devotional I read to today's date, the message addressing freedom from fear is timely.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 9 (NKJV)

{my graphics are inspirational gifts for you}


I am reminded anew just how powerful worry and fear can be. I am reminded again, that it is a daily decision and act of faith, to trust God. To believe in God’s goodness, provision, promises, and timing. These thoughts of worry rob me of joy, peace, rest and being present. They push me to hustle harder and strive for success – perhaps more as how I define it than how God defines it. Pride and fear push me to seek control and a sense of security in order to feel in control - when I’m really not, and God is. My doing so is tantamount to grasping for the wind...and just as futile.


I have proof enough in my life of God’s goodness, faithfulness and lovingkindness. I can choose to focus on God’s character, Word and all I am grateful for…and trust. Or, I can choose to focus on where I see lack. Where there is something more I think I want. Contentment is also a choice. Psalm 23:1 says I lack no good thing.

Just as trust is a choice. Freedom from fear is also a choice. It comes down to where I am focusing my thoughts. One day at a time. Just for today I will focus my thoughts on all I am grateful for. On who God says He is. I don’t have to figure everything out. Or try to control it. I choose to trust.


There are so many passages in the Bible encouraging us and urging us to not be afraid. It’s not that we don’t feel afraid, it’s more that we allow fear to have so much power in our lives. We struggle with fear when we take our eyes off God and focus on ourselves or our circumstances. We struggle with fear when we attempt to be brave in our own strength.

What truly gives us freedom from fear is God’s Spirit living in us. It is our choice whether we will live in the strength and power of God's indwelling Spirit or in our own limited strength and human understanding.


Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

2 Corinthians 3:17


Are you familiar with the story of David and Goliath? I find it a rather fascinating story. 1 Samuel 17 records the encounter. The Israelites and Philistines are at war. The entire Israelite army is being taunted by the giant, Goliath, who towered above the average man at 9 feet, 9 inches tall. Goliath taunted and spewed insults at the Israelite army every day. Every morning. Every evening. For 40 days.


David is the youngest of eight sons and three of his brothers are soldiers the Israelite army under King Saul. David’s job was to tend the sheep. One day, David’s father instructs David to take food to his brothers and to their field officers in the army. So David got up early the next morning to take the supplies to his brothers, as his father instructed.


When David arrives where the army is camped, David hears the insults and taunting from Goliath. Upon seeing Goliath, the soldiers all ran away, terrified.


David observes all of this and overhears the soldiers reminding one another of the reward King Saul will give to the man who kills Goliath. David, about seventeen at the time, says, wait. Say that again? “What reward will be given to the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine anyway, that he challenges the armies of the living God?”


The soldiers around him repeat what the reward is. David’s oldest brother overhears David asking about this and is angry with him - insults him as only an older brother can and implies that David only came to watch the fighting. David replies, “What have I done now? I only asked a question.” David turns away from his brother and asks someone else the question and receives the same answer regarding the reward. Someone who overhears David reports his words to King Saul, who summons David. David encourages King Saul by recalling God's greatness and power David says he will fight the giant. Fast forward to the encounter of David and Goliath. Following is 1 Samuel 17:40-50.

David picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.


Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.


David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”


As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. (1 Samuel 17: 40-50)


David loved God and was incensed by the insults Goliath made toward God and His people. David paid more attention to the words Goliath spoke than his size. David trusted God wholeheartedly and unwaveringly. He did not rely on his own strength, skill or savvy. He tried on King Saul’s armor, which did not fit and chose to go without any armor. He was untrained in military strategies and had no military experience. He was a teenage shepherd boy who protected his father’s flock of sheep from wild animals and bandits. He chose a slingshot and 5 smooth stones, not military swords, spears, and shields to fight Goliath. And He trusted God to give him the victory.


Notice that David ran toward the giant, not away from him.


What giants of fear loom large in your life?


How are you responding? What - or Who - are you focused on? Are you placing your trust in God? Are you running away from or toward those fears to face them head on?

{my graphics are inspirational gifts for you}


Romans 8:14-17 says, For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father. ”For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs.


Freedom from fear begins with five key attitudes and actions:


1. Abiding in Jesus.


In John 15:4-10 (MSG), Jesus says,

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.


“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.


2. Focusing on God’s Greatness.


Let them praise Your great and awesome name. Your name is holy! Mighty King, lover of justice, You have established fairness. You have acted with justice and righteousness throughout Israel. Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before His feet, for He is holy! (Psalm 99:3-5)


I encourage you to read through the book of Psalms. As yo do, your focus will shift from yourself to God's greatness!


3. Being Aware of Your Thoughts.


Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, be let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)


Battles are fought and won or lost in your mind. This is not a one-and-done. This is a thought-by-thought, moment-by-moment mental discipline rooted in the courage of being free and living empowered in the authority given to you through Christ Jesus. You have to take up the spiritual armor God has given to you and use it. (Ephesians 6:13-18)


This includes thoughts rooted in human fear. Fear of what people think, the fear of being misunderstood, the fear of making a mistake or looking foolish, the fear of rejection, the fear of not being good enough...or ______ (fill in the blank) enough. Without exception, every single one of these fears are rooted in the focus of self. I struggle with them as well. If I want to live in freedom, then I have to pay attention to my thoughts and bring them in alignment with the truth.


We are either being guided by the Spirit of God living in us or by our own human nature. We are either being influenced by the Word or the world. In every moment, the choice is ours. Exchanging your thoughts of fear for the truth of God’s Word, God’ promises, and God’s nature is a practice.


Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. … You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (Romans 8:5 & 8:9)


4. Resisting the enemy and humbly surrendering to God.


Resist the devil and he will flee. Turn to God, stand firm in your faith and the enemy will leave. Humble yourself before God. (1 Peter 5:5-9) Change and growth are possible only when we are humble. Pride keeps us stuck, afraid, and self-focused.


Humility is a posture of the heart and a choice of the head.


Humility is not to be confused with humiliation and true humility is never humiliating. Humility is the ability to see my true relationship with God and others. Humility is a perpetual quietness of heart.

I do my part and trust God to do His. Humility helps me see myself in true perspective.1


5. Choosing to be in the present moment.

Unless you are in immediate or imminent danger, fear usually has to do with the future. Fear is also linked to a perceived loss of control over circumstances or people (neither of which we actually have control over). Fear can also stem from projecting past pain or unmet needs into the future. By being aware of your thoughts, you can bring your mind to the present moment. Pay attention to what you are doing, where you are, the scents, sights, sounds, and sensations around you. This helps to physically ground you in the moment. All too often we rob ourselves of peace and joy by simply not being present.


Jesus said in John 10:10,


“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.
My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

A rich and satisfying life is free from fear because it is rooted deep in God’s love, trusting in His faithfulness and goodness.


What would your life look like if you embraced the power, love and sound mind (1 Timothy 1:7) that the Holy Spirit gives and refused to be controlled by fear?


A Prayer:

Lord, I praise You and thank You that You have given me a sound mind. I lay claim to that this day. Thank you that you are “not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). I choose peace this day, and I worship You, the God of peace. Thank you that I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Thank you that you enable me to cast down every argument and high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of you and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Help me to be renewed in my mind and put on the new person You created me to be in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24). 2


If you would like freedom from fear and to get unstuck from those stuck places in your life, we offer transformational coaching following a proven success path to help you achieve results. To learn more, you can schedule HERE for a no-obligation Create a Life You Love Discovery Session.


Get your FREE Flourish Guide to Purpose HERE


Editor's Note:

This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. She is currently accepting new clients. You can learn more about Jen here.


If this devotional blog encourage you, would you share it with a friend?


Jennifer C. Stone-Sexton © 2023 Freedom to Flourish, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

All graphics created by Jennifer C. Stone-Sexton © 2023 Freedom to Flourish, LLC

All Rights Reserved.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Credits:


1 Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II (page 142, 161) © Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992


2 The Prayer that Changes Everything® Book of Prayers (page 68); © 20005 by Stormie Omartian,

Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene Oregon 97402.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references from the Holy Bible: New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015

by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinoi 60188. All rights reserved.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission.


New King James Version ® (NKJV). Copyright © by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




















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