Fears Thrives in a Realm of Distraction

Fear is a liarFear thrives in a realm of distraction. Looking every which way, I can focus on all the peripheral stuff in my life, which then only enhances the debilitating effects of fear. Fear is like a cancer that creeps up on us, relentless and invasive. As it tries to set up its throne, it seeks to ultimately destroy my life and yours. That is its purpose. It is evil and only seeks to kill and destroy.

Jesus says it like this: ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJVS)

Peter says it like this: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NKJVS)

Simply ignoring this truth won’t make it go away for the enemy is relentless in his pursuit of getting our eyes off of Jesus Christ. Fear is one tactic enemy uses to try to destroy our life and peace in Christ.

While I don’t continually focus on spiritual warfare, preferring to keep my focus on Christ, I do accept this reality of it in my life. Fear is a liar. And, it does not give up that easily. Look around. How many do you and I see each day bound by fear? It is a killer of life. Anxiety, worry, depression – they are all the overflow of fear in so many lives all around us.

Benicia CrossRather then giving a quick shallow cliché or even attempt to provide an easy solution, I want to say to each of us today: “Focus on Jesus Christ.” I turn my eyes away from anything that easily distracts me. This is life, ongoing for me. I pull my focus back to Christ continually throughout my day and in my life.

I would like to say that the world will get better and we can anticipate a utopian paradise rising up soon. The world will live in peace and harmony, joining hands and singing Kumbaya. Nations will coexist peacefully alongside other nations. Wars, both internally and externally, will cease to exist because of the nobility and honor of people all across the globe. That won’t happen.

In transparency and honesty, I can only say “Focus.” There is way more chaos, confusion, and destruction coming our way. As a Christian, I am called to live in the world but not be of the world. I am affected in situations because I am human but I am not entangled in this life with overwhelming fear, anxiety and depression.

Fear must be faced head on so that it does not gain any hold in our lives. Running from it or denying it will not stop its invasive demands on our lives. To confront the enemy one must call out the enemy and then face the enemy. Strength and courage must rise up within us to know our lives are hidden in Christ.

My life is Christ. Whether I live or die is not the problem, I have already died and my life is hidden in Christ, now. Now I choose to live in Christ.

Fear kills – creativity, life, adventure, journey, process and more. I want to focus on some foundational realities in the coming days here on this blog. And it all starts now by acknowledging that the enemy will resist us on every turn as we try to live our lives in Christ. Here are some verses that are coming your way in future blog posts. The river is flowing. Enjoy the journey as I flow in this direction. True creativity in Christ arises within us as we set our minds on Christ, knowing our life is hid in Him. As chaos and confusion, disease, destruction or whatever else surrounds us on all sides, our life is hid in Christ Jesus. This is reality.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20 NKJVS)

Then He said to them all, “ If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24 NKJVS)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things, which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 NKJVS)

Debra 2In Christ,
Debra

I would love to speak at your conference, gathering, church or home group. Contact me here, on Facebook or on Twitter. Enjoy reading about Rivers of Eden and the Timeline of our life!

Story Week – Part 2/5 – A Young Man – Disengage!

Heart MonitorThe sound: “It is what it is.” A universal sound continually piercing the heart of the young man. This sound is quite subtle but also persistent. The prince of the power of the air uses sound waves to invade and impact a generation of young men. This enemy is no respecter of persons so is able to strike deep in the heart of young men. Color, culture, environment – he shows no favorites. He strikes at the heart to gain a generation, taking them captive to the darkness.

When the young man could not bear one more moment of the droning sound of hopelessness and chaos, he did what he knew to do to escape.

Disengage!

Disengage: Separate or release from something in which there is an attachment; remove troops from an area of conflict.

Put those earphones on and block everything out.

Divorce, chaos, arguing, abuse, violence in the home – Disengage!

School – an emotional war zone of bullying, rejection, peer pressure and violence of the physical type or emotional violence perpetrated on the heart. – Disengage!

Drugs, alcohol, sexual pressure – temptations on all sides!

Hand reaching upPut on those earphones and enter a world where technology conforms you to its own image, where you actually continue to lose yourself without even knowing it. This sound through music, videos or games penetrates and permeates the life of the young man, providing a means of escape from the reality of his own pain. Put on those earphones and trade one sound for another. But what’s the trade-off? The droning of “It is what it is” is left behind. What takes its place? Pulsating sounds that deify violence, rage, death, anger, and hate.

These alternative sounds consistently interject themselves into the void of the young man’s heart. A void will always seek to be filled in some way. To disengage from one sound simply means that you engage in something else.

A battle rages all around this young man’s life. The enemy exploits and uses treachery, knowing exactly what he is after – a generation of young men with a cry in their hearts. They are lost amidst a desire to be found. Looking for a genuine authentic life, they seek truth but only see lies and deception all around. This young man, one individual in a generation that is looking for the light but does not know where to find it.

Great men in times and seasons past have addressed this with words of wisdom and grace. Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ says it like this:

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9 Message)

Paul, another mighty man of God, says it like this:

This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life–or–death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon (Ephesians 6:12-17 Message)

It is a battle. Looking from the outside in, one can often feel that we are losing more ground than we are gaining. A generation of young men finds Christianity archaic, irrelevant, powerless and boring. Like David, their hearts cry out, “Is there not a cause?”

All the while, Father God knows best. The great I AM is whispering to the young man, a better way, a more excellent way. Right in the midst of his darkness, the sound of the great I AM is whispering destiny and purpose.

More to come……

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

DebraRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. Marvin and I look forward to hearing from you, allowing us the opportunity to minister in the grace and love of Christ in your gathering, church, home group or conference.  Currently we are planning a trip to Kenya in July in which we are looking forward to establishing new relationships with leaders for a Kingdom purpose. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter for more information.