7/7/10

Choosing Faith, No Matter the Circumstance

Voices and Choices of the True Woman Movement (Part 6)

I believe the church as a whole needs to hear the voices of godly, God-centered men and women of color—God’s Church is made up of all people groups and nations. So I was thrilled to see and hear Karen Loritts at True Woman ’08. The first thing I noticed about Karen was the bright flowers she wore on her suit lapel. The second thing I noticed was her congenial, Christian authenticity. This pastor’s wife lives Bible truth in power, and she glowed with the love of Christ.

Karen’s message, “Choosing Faith in Seasons of Change,” chapter six in Voices of the True Woman Movement, encouraged me to trust God no matter what happens.

Karen described her heart and life preparations as her daughter went off to college. She was prepared, yet, “it was awful,” she said. She couldn’t stop crying in the days that followed ~ her “new norm.” Fear, worry, and loneliness became her companions, and though she’d served in ministry for 30 years, she had an emotional meltdown. Karen noted that fear brought its evil buddies—doubt, despair and other negative emotions—and none were conducive to healthy spiritual growth and stability.

Karen knew that, in order to conquer fear and live authentically in biblical womanhood, she needed to trust God with every fiber of her being. She retreated to the scriptures and put fear “on notice” that it could not make her its slave.

Karen offered six powerful choices that can help women conquer fear – based on James 4:7-10:
(1) Submit to God. Wave the flag of surrender. Faith believes that God understands our fear and He knows what is best.
(2) Resist the devil. The Bible says He will flee when we, by faith, take our stand in the holy, powerful name of the resurrected Lord, refusing to be the devil's victim. Embrace your victory in Christ!
(3) Draw near to God. Be assured of His presence as you intentionally rest in Him. “Resist the temptation," Karen says, "to let those pity parties drown out what God is trying to say, making you doubt the reliability of His Word and the certainty of His presence.”
(4) Cleanse your hands. Don’t give in to other sins that magnify fear (worry, anxiety, doubt, etc.). Repent of sin and rest by faith in God’s forgiveness and freedom.
(5) Purify your heart. This goes deeper. “Fear will always keep its teeth clamped down on us," Karen said, "until we truly ask God to ‘create in me a clean heart … and renew a right spirit within me.’" (Ps. 51:10). Be sure your heart, motives, and thoughts are purified so fear has no grip on you.
(6) Humble yourself. Karen, when she went through her meltdown, had “so much pride” that she couldn’t share her pain with others. Pride caused her to think her group of supportive girlfriends would think less of her if they knew she was struggling with fear. “Saying ‘everything’s fine’ is not the way we’re delivered from the fear…,” Karen said.

Other circumstances (physical problems) complicated Karen’s struggles, but she discovered that making these six choices put her in a place God wanted her to be … and that’s where she found hope. “There’s nothing our God can’t do,” she said. “Of all the things we must resolve to do when life is at its hardest and our fears are at their worst, the first is to resolve to surrender…. Let God be God, and fear will eventually bow down to its Conqueror.” We must choose faith in God and the power of His Word, no matter our circumstances!

Karen and her husband Crawford will speak at True Woman ’10 in Indianapolis (Sept. 23-25) and Ft. Worth (Oct. 14-16). To register or for more information, go to True Woman.

Friend, do you struggle with fear? What have you found helpful in conquering your fears?

1 comment:

Marja said...

Thanks Dawn...last Sunday we had a preacher from out of town and he spoke on fear.
Perfect love (God's love) casts out all fear. We need to become more aware of HIS love for us!!!