Spiritual Growth, Triathlon Training

Let go! Walk into a new thing!

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In October of 2011, I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my devotions and God told me to let go of triathlon. I asked Him to repeat that and of course He did. He wasn’t speaking out loud, but He was telling me,” Daughter, in your workout room, there are pictures, medals and trophies from triathlon and athletes you admire hanging on the walls – this sport I gave you to learn about me through is becoming an idol (replacement god, something I am loving just a bit too much) and I need you to go back and take all that stuff down for awhile and put it away. I know you are injured right now and I can’t tell you whether you will return or not to this sport. But, remember what I did for you through this sport- I helped you learn to swim, brought you a coach ( who turned out to be like the brother you never had), I helped you understand that if you swam in cooperation with the water it would be much easier.  I showed you that in life, when you cooperate with me it will be much easier. I gave you a great job as a triathlon coach and blessed you with many wonderful athletes. I gave you the discipline and talent to go from never being an athlete to competing rather competently in your age group. I provided you the funds and blessings to have all the first rate equipment you needed and to travel to great places to race. I placed in your heart the audacious goal to qualify for the World Championship race in Florida.  You believed in Me enough to go for it and I brought you there didn’t I? That dear daughter, was the last race I brought you to. I brought you to the top race in your sport. That is how I roll dear daughter! Only the best for you. So, now, I’m doing a new thing. I’m taking you new places and I need you to let go of triathlon to go with me on this new journey. I need to be number 1 in your life. Remember this triathlon journey we have been on? I promise you, the next one will be just as exciting and challenging as everything I blessed and challenged you with in your triathlon life.”

I cried. Both in sadness and in joy. I looked back at all God had done and wondered how could I not  let go of triathlon to go into this “new thing”? I decided God was making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got up in that moment of commitment and packed up everything as He had told me to and determined to go forward into this “new thing”.

Yes, I drift back into desiring to train and compete. But as time passes, I drift back less and less and less. And as time has passed He is showing me, leading me, preparing me for the “new thing”.

Over the years, I can tell you God has asked me to let go of many things that were hard to let go of, but each time I have let go, I have never ever regretted it. In fact, a few times I have wondered why I hung on so long!

About a year after I put all my triathlon stuff away, God permitted me to put it back up.  Why?  It serves as a visual reminder of all that He has done so I can remain hopeful, patient and confident in Him as He leads me into the new thing! Now, instead of an idol it is an altar that confirms who He is and how He rolls!

I  believe that whatever it is we are hanging on to isn’t nearly as good as what He wants to give us!

Let’s make a commitment today to release what we are hanging on to. He is a loving and trustworthy God. Let’s agree  to take a step forward with Him into the “new thing”!

 

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Philippians 3:12-14

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

Three ways to kick Fear to the curb

FEAR
False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear keeps us from moving forward doesn’t it?  Fear keeps us stuck in our past. Fear keeps us from letting go. Fear keeps us from moving into new freedoms, new ways of thinking, being, seeing and doing that would release us into the bright future God has planned for us (Jeremiah 29:11)! Fear gets us stuck in a rut. Fear stops us in our tracks. Fear is an immobilizer.

Fear needs to get kicked to the curb. Fear is the opposite of freedom.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Joyce Meyer, one of my favorite Christian authors and speakers writes, “Sometimes we think of fear as an emotion, but it is actually a spirit. In fact, fear is one of Satan’s favorite tools, and he particularly loves to harass Christians with it”.

Fear is not what God gives us! 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self-discipline.”

So, how do we kick fear to the curb? Here are three ways to send the spirit of fear packing and get yourself going!

#1 Power of the Word

In Ephesians 6:10-17 Paul tells us how to fight fear and all kinds of other spiritual battles.  He describes all kinds of armor to put on.  Everything Paul lists is a defensive armor (protection) except for one thing, the last thing he lists. Paul tells us the Word of God (the Bible) is a sword!  Paul states that God’s Word is our best offensive weapon against fear!!

#2 Memorize the Word

The Bible tells us in 365 different verses “Do not be afraid”…that’s one for everyday.  I think God knows how big a battle fear is for us and through the Bible (the Word) He is giving us the power to kick fear to the curb! You can easily find these verses by looking them up online at Biblegateway.com or in a printed Bible. In a printed Bible there is usually a reference in the back for finding key words.  Look for them.  Find one that  speaks to you. Memorize it.

#3 Verbalize the Word

You’ll be amazed at the power of God’s Word as you speak it’s truth into your life. Yes, speak it out loud!  Speak it out loud in the shower, in front of the mirror, in the car.  Whisper it as you head into a difficult conversation or a challenging opportunity. Look your husband or wife or best friend in the eye and tell them your verse! Share the power with them, ask them to believe with you the promise in the verse.

I have fear.  We all have fear. But we don’t have to live with it! It takes some bravery to see it, accept it and determine to not allow it to immobilize us or keep us stuck. Remember, that fear is false evidence appearing real and God has given us what we need to kick fear to the curb.

P.S. SPECIAL BONUS: When you find your Do Not Fear verse(s), you will also find that as God tells us to not be afraid He also reminds us that He IS with us!!