What a remarkable way to live... If only it were more straight forward.
Life is a beautiful gift, each and every day and miraculous wonder from our God ~ the author of life. Yet, we are consumed by fear in a world where striving takes the place of surrender and resentment takes the place of righteousness... what does it mean to step out of the bondage of fear and into a wonderful life of faith?
In her book, Sadie Robertson Huff walks through some beautiful examples of breaking free from fear and takes us on a journey to see what this healing process could look like in our own lives.
Let me show you some of the most memorable moments from the book, with some comments on how they transformed my own thoughts.
Sadie begins the book with one of her favourite psalms, here it is, a perfect example of heart transforming words:
(Psalm 46 NLT)
"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude
A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.
Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress."
Saidie talks about her childhood fear of natural disasters. And how it took her submitting to the sovereignity of God to release this fear. It's a process of completely handing it all to God, especially the things that are beyond our control anyway ~ like natural disasters!
"...it felt so threatening to me, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. It was completely out of my control! I didn't know then that navigating situations we have no control over is a necessary step toward breaking free from fear. That's one thing about God; He's the one in control, not you or me." (Page 4)
(Hebrews 13vs5~6 NIV)
"...because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
So how do we overcome this sort of fear in the moment? Through one name alone;
"The key ingredient to overcoming fear is not just speaking to it; it's speaking to it in Jesus' name." (Page 6)
(John 14vs13~14 ESV)
"Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."
So we know that prayer is the toolkit and Jesus is the specific tool, but what next? How do we begin the journey out of fear?
"I challenge you to name your fears because the first step to moving beyond fear is to know specifically what you are afraid of." (Page 8)
(Matthew 20vs31~32 ESV)
"...but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What did Sadie's fear really look like? Here she shares an example of the spicificality of how she names her prayer.
"I was also nervous about what people would say or think about me. That's what the fear of man looks like." (Page 8)
(John 1vs12~13 NIV)
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."
Sadie goes on to talk about what it looks like to speak the truth of God over fear and proclaim that you are HIS and the enemy has no room to work in you!
"Sadie has the God of the universe living inside of her! The devil is the one who should be afraid." (Page 13)
"Sadie, can I ask you a question?" she said in her eleven-year-old, matter-of-fact way. "Is this the fear talking, or is this you talking?" My little sister had a great point: Who was talking?
Was it the fear or was it me? Bella could have simply said, "Sadie, this is not you talking. This is fear talking." But she made her point in the form of a question, knowing that having to wrestle with it would be good for me." (Page 15)
"But fear is ugly. It not only cripples and paralyzes us and keeps us from doing what our hearts want to do, it can also mess with our stomachs!" (page 16)
"It's not that things aren't scary. They are, and they will continue to be. But each of us has to come to a deep, personal realization that God has already conquered fear-and by the power of His Spirit we can live completely free from fear." (Page 19)
(2 Corinthains 3vs16~18 NLT)
"But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord ~ who is the Spirit ~ makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
Sadie continues with some examples about how she walked through fear during her time on Dancing with the Stars.
"For me, the show was about much more than learning to dance on a stage. It was about learning to dance through life unafraid." (Page 20)
"No watter how afraid you may be right now. you don't have to stay that way. For me, it took becoming totally disgusted with fear to decide that I would no longer let it run rampant through my life." (Page 22)
"To live fearless does not mean trying to find a way to make things not scary. It means looking the scary things in the eye and staring them down because God is in you and He is bigger than fear." (Page 69)
(Jeremiah 32vs26~27 NIV)
"Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"
So, in the midst of everyday life. When you are trying to live out your faith, but are not always immersed in a God-fearing environment... what do you do?
"When people around you are letting their feelings spin out of control and cause them to think, act, and speak in ways that aren't good for them, you can be the person who represents what is reasonable and what is true. Be the one to say what God says while they are saying what-ever their stirred-up feelings lead them to say. When they are overwhelmed with negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, or hurt, overwhelm them with the Word of God.
Remind them that God says they have a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), that He loves them with an everlasting love that will never turn on them or fade away Jeremiah 31:3), that He's always there when they call to Him (Psalm 55:16), and that He will never, ever, ever fail them or forsake them (Deuteronomy 31;6)." (Page 83)
(Matthew 5vs16 NIV)
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Sadie also reminds us of something else VERY important. When fear attacks us, it's not always our own wrongdoing or fault, but a repercussion of a real enemy in the spiritual realm!
"The enemy is afraid of your becoming everything God wants you to be. Because he's afraid of that, he tries to make you afraid of it too. If you can identify what the enemy wants you to fear, that's the very thing you need to go after with faith." (Page 102)
(Philippians 1vs28 NIV) "Without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God."
This takes courage - to speak to your fear. So Sadie has worded this in a short, simple yet beautiful prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I pray that I would see evidence of Your love in the midst of my biggest fears and that You would give me the courage to risk doing what I am afraid of." (Page 103)
Sadie goes onto use an analogy of how we can use a prayer of handing these fears and worries to God. She calls them 'exhaling it.' Using this verse from Peter, she encourages us to write down those worries and cares as we exhale them to God.
(1 Peter 5vs7 NIV)
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
This quote to come is possible one of the most real things I've heard in a long time and it really shifted a perspective for me!
“The old saying Time heals all wounds" is not true. Time does not heal. Jesus heals, and He heals in the ways and accordance to the timing that is right for each person.” (Page 119)
Also in refrence to 'exhaling it to God, Sadie walks us through 7 specific steps to releasing these fears over to God;
"Seven steps to exhale your ugly:
Pray like crazy
Tell yourself the truth
Get your pain out
Ask God to heal you
Share your heart with someone
Open your heart to healing
Believe God’s Word
(PAGE 119 - 126)
Sadie also talks about what it means to living as a legend and not just a champion... living for the eternal riches and not simply earthly recognition.
"Will you commit to being more than a champion and to becoming a legend in your world? I know, it might sound daunting and you may be thinking, I could never be a legend! But with God on your side, you can!" (Page 137)
"A champion is only a champion until the next person beats him or her, but a legend leaves a legacy that lasts a lifetime. So what are you going to be? A champion or a legend?" (Page 145)
The final exerpt I want to leave you with comes form a section where she talks about learning to dance on Dancing with the Stars. As a dancer myself, I find the anaology of dance representing the relationship with the Lord and really beautiful thing and I love how Sadie brings the thought of confidnet into it!
"After all, dance is about confidence, going into every move with full confidence that the next move will be amazing. Whether it's the right move or the wrong move, confidence can sell it.
I realized it's actually easier for the girls to learn to make a beautiful dance together, as long as they have a good partner, because the male is the leader, Many times Mark would give my hand a little push or pull to make sure I was back to the original dance and on track for the next move. He could do this because the dance was his masterpiece, which he created. He knew it better than anyone, and more than anyone, he wanted it to be the best it could be. So I learned how to follow that push or pull. I trusted that he knew how to lead me because, as I said, he created the dance." (Page 167)
I hope you have enjoyed me taking you through some of my favourite moments from Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson.
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