How to recognize what gets in the way of God’s plans

Is fear getting in your way? What do I do if I never seem to succeed in the plans God has for me? Can I overcome obscurity, poverty or mediocrity? logo Master Lighthouse - script If there is fear in your life, it can be overcome through Christ. Sometimes, it is helpful to recognize the root of it and in so doing, you can be alert to distractions that arise. I find myself getting distracted whenever accomplishment is close… because I have felt tentative about success. Here’s my story as outlines in my blog, “A Life Examined” at http://sarahtunexaminelife.blogspot.com: Obscurity. What is the opposite of success? Obscurity is the opposite of success. Do you know a cure for fear of success? Self knowledge is the cure for fear of success… at least it is for me. A couple of weeks ago I spoke on the subject of Fear… not I branched into the subject of Fear of Success. I have continued to think about this issue, because until recently I’d not put my finger on why I am afraid of success. Now, I believe I have discovered the cause. Last week I reached out, stretched forth, eager and willing to strain toward success and overcoming fear. Then, I hit on the root cause or the essence of my fear. Allow me to explain. As an author, in order to achieve success my name needs to be recognized so that my words and my books will be read. Now, thanks to Lance Wallnau (“Take All 7” (c) 2008, Lance Learning Group), an expert and public speaker on personal and organizational transformation, I’ve recognized my own hand in my failure. What provokes failure? In my case, success has eluded me because I’ve shrunk from notoriety. I have held onto my identity as a person who is unknown. I have done so because – at least in my perception – my peer group, who has different aspirations and interests, exists in relative obscurity. While I’ve worked hard to perfect my writing craft and have sought to grow as a person with a worthwhile message, in secret I’ve wanted to maintain the status quo… I have remained obscure and have resisted the very success I have worked so hard to achieve, because I’ve clung to my peer group. I have feared the notoriety I need to become successful. In order to succeed, I need to allow my identity to change… I need to allow myself to connect with a different set of peers. I don’t mean I can’t keep my friends. I mean I need to allow myself to reach into an identity that has a set of peers who is ‘successful’, who has the sort of notoriety I need in order to be successful. I have friends and acquaintances that excel in their work. But for the most part, I don’t have friends or acquaintances who strive for the public recognition that I strive for. In fact, the thought of belonging in a peer group of famed people intimidates me. And that is what has held me back. I have feared success because I’ve feared relating to people of that sort of success. How do I change? My attitude needs to grow into one of accepting all people and of recognizing that notoriety is just a facet of some people’s lives. Without allowing myself the recognition I need to draw people to buy my books, I’m not going to succeed. I need to allow myself to entertain the notion of belonging to a different set of peers. I need to face the fear of loneliness. I need to allow myself to accept this new set of peers before I meet them, so that I can accept myself as a part of this peer group. I need to accept myself as a person of notoriety; I need to accept who I will be as a person of success. I need to trust that I will not be different just because my position is different. And I need to be willing to allow myself to be in that different position. Last week I said I was eager to soar. Now I need to spread my wings. I need to embrace whatever encounter I may have with whatever set of people I may encounter. Then, I will no longer fear the recognition I need to build, and I will be ready to succeed. God bless and a Happy August to all!

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No More Fear

How to beat fear in 3 steps: Most of us are afraid of something aren’t we, but it isn’t an enjoyable way to live.

Gull, Symbol of Survival and Freedom to Soar

Gull, Symbol of Survival and Freedom to Soar

Ready: Would you like to end fear creeping into your life forever? God’s love has already wiped it all away.

Set: The Bible says ‘fear not’ 365 times… that’s once for every day of the year. Why? Because it’s natural for us to fear. Except now that we are alive in Christ, we no longer have a reason to fear. We are supernatural beings! Fear is beneath us. How then, do we stay on top of fear? It’s through love… for when we experience perfect love there is no room for fear.

The opposite of fear is not courage; the opposite of fear is love. Fear can only get a grip on us when there is a lack of assurance that we are loved. The perfect antidote to fear is God’s love – because God is in charge of the universe and He has promised to bless any who make Him their God (Genesis 12, 17).

Steps to Beating Fear:

1. Acknowledge the Sovereignty of God: There is nothing that escapes God’s gaze or His power. All circumstances flow from his desire to bless His children.

2. Embrace the perfect love of God, who knows you intimately (Psalm 139:14) and will protect, defend, guide and teach you in all things, through the Holy Spirit.

3. Press forward, into God’s purposes. ‘Straining forward and focusing on what lies ahead’ enables us to overcome the temptation to fear.

Go:

Choose to walk in the knowledge that God loves you and is in charge. He knows the beginning from the end. There is nothing to fear.

In the Tunnel – Part 3

THE GOOD GIFT

Which one of us, would not give good gifts to his children?
How much more, will the Father give good gifts to us, His children?*

*In Matthew Chapter 10, Jesus is outlining the generosity, the affection and the trustworthiness of Father God.

The Book of Job shows us that God can allow pain and suffering, which reveals our character and our faithfulness towards Him.

Jesus died on a cross, deserving none of the pain and mocking that he received.

Scripture is full of injustice and suffering, and yet, when we experience suffering, how rare is it that we celebrate it.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV, Bible Gateway)

While existing in the Tunnel is uncomfortable, a turn of our minds will help us. To realize the benefit of our spiritual growth and the joy that will come from it can take us through any trial.

I believe in spiritual warfare. I believe there are demons and angels in the heavenly realms. I believe God hears our prayers and uses them to change circumstances in the earth.

But I also believe that we face ordeals, from time to time, as a necessary experience to our growth in character. Perseverance does not come from sitting, but from climbing a mountain or navigating turbulent waters. Wisdom does not come from reading, but from living and from experiencing life in all of its joys and sorrows.

In the sovereignty of God, we can warfare against difficulties, but let’s not miss the truth that nothing comes to us that is not within God’s will and nothing is wasted when we live a life of prayer, trust and hope. God is sovereign. God is good. That does not mean that life will always be fair. It does mean that life will always be right. In the end, Jesus rose from the dead, and in the end, we too will always have victory.

Whenever we must travel through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4), be it the end of a dream or the end of a life, we can know that God is at the center, loving, guiding, caring for us. Even in pain there is hope. Joy always comes ‘in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5).

sunrise in winter (7)

 

 

 

‘Not as the World does’

Have you ever realized you were walking in a fog? And wasn’t it great to get out of it?

Recently, I received clarity. Suddenly, all my diligence over the last thirteen years has culminated in my understanding today. After writing for years, and building Laruspress last year, it’s only now that know what it is. It is not a business, it is not a brand; Laruspress is a concept.

SOAR: See Over All Repression

SOAR: See Over All Repression

Laruspress stands for the freedom we have available when we live true to our unique identity. Laruspress’ logo – a seagull flying – is representative of freedom and survival. Our hearts are called to SOAR: to See Over All Repression, and to live without shame, anxiety, fear, oppression. Laruspress is a ministry, seeking to enrich, encourage, enable believers to recognize their full inheritance. Not only are we saved by Jesus from spiritual death. But we are also saved from all the wrong-thinking that we’ve developed and been trapped by through the experiences we’ve lived. Jesus came to set us free and we are free indeed, but most of us lack the fullness of this freedom, in one sense or another. The message is for all of us: Jesus’ salvation is complete and there is nothing that is not dealt with when we choose to follow him.

The message I’ve been given to share is this: you can be who you were created to be, so you can do all you were created to do. There-in lies fulfillment. The task I have is to provide messages, resources and services to those who’ve not yet ‘got’ the concept, so that we all continue to move ahead, toward deeper relationship with Jesus, toward greater acceptance of ourselves and toward establishing God’s Kingdom on earth.

The world does not see my mission the way I do. The world says I need to earn money, establish my name, get an audience. But I’ll make no assumptions now. I was called to write in 2000 and have done all I know how to do in order to grow as a writer. Only now I embrace that it was not for business that I wrote but for enriching my life and others’ lives with my message of freedom. Freedom costs – in time, in responsibility – but living in freedom is a joy.

And so, I discover I have freedom to pursue my writing without the world’s pull to market myself and my books. I’ll still do all I can to get exposure, but now it is for a different reason. It is for my reason, God’s reason, the reason unique to my personality and to my call: to enrich, educate, enable, encourage and equip those who seek to live in the freedom each one of us is created to have.

It is a Kingdom message. All of us need to be who we were created to be, so each of God’s people – and each of God’s messages – gets delivered in just the way it was meant to be.

Do you know what it feels like for me, to finally to have all the pieces of the puzzle fitting together? It feels wonderful!

I can move to the rhythm God put inside me. I can ignore striving and frustration and disappointment. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I do not have to think way the world thinks.

How does this awareness effect my efforts? It supercharges them, because I have clarity of purpose and of message. I am focused. And that is, for me, very exciting.

What mission has the LORD given to you? And how will you address it?

Be blessed, and until next time,

Sarah

WHAT IF… on divorce between Believers

I’m looking at a ‘What if…’ question that may rock the boat a bit. But if we don’t look at a full perspective on an issue, how are we going to find the absolute truth?

I am a Bible-believing Christian. I find that as I navigate through this life questions arise which prompt me to look into my Bible long and deep, to seek the answers that emulate Christ’s purpose and character.

Today my question is: under what circumstances does Jesus allow divorce?

I encourage research but I’m not going to quote scripture here. I think most Bible-believing Christians will know that scripture clearly states that divorce on the grounds of adultery is permissible  No other grounds are sited as acceptable to God.

To find an answer I will not look at the question first, or even the general issue, but at Jesus himself as the author and finisher of our faith…

I have seen the decay of marriages both in the secular and in the Christian home, and it is very sad to see how love can disintegrate. I haven’t always had an easy time in my marriage but we’ve always sought to overcome our differences and have managed to do so. I’ve seen other relationships where people haven’t managed to achieve that.

Jesus says divorce is awful. But would he support an abusive husband or a wife who wants escape? Until recently, I’ve always thought that Jesus would want the marriage to stand unconditionally and that time, prayer, counselling would draw a couple to resolve their differences; however, I’m not so sure anymore. I’ve observed abusive relationships and I’m wondering: what would be God’s heart for the abuser? for the victim/survivor of abuse? I certainly don’t condone divorce but I’m not so sure Jesus intended us to follow the letter of the law in this any more than in any other situation. He came to set us free; he fulfills the law. When we love one another as he loves us, we also fulfill the law.

In an abusive situation I’m not so sure anymore that Jesus would say the couple should stay together. I’m wondering now, perhaps Jesus’ words on divorce only related to men leaving women as that was the only direction feasible in Jesus’ day.

What are your thoughts?

Every walking faithfully, in the light of God’s Word and His revelation to me today….

Sarah

FREE TO BE : Why This Book is Needed?

This book is for building relationship with the Holy Spirit.

This book is for building self-esteem in the reader.

Those who are intimate with the Holy Spirit know the value of the relationship and the intimacy. Those who want to draw closer will find value in this book.

Those who struggle with low self-esteem will discover blessing in this book. Those with friends who wrestle with low self-esteem will bless their friends through this book.

So, if you want to draw closer to the Holy Spirit to find inner healing, this book is for you.

And, if you don’t recognize how your self esteem was impacted when you found Jesus (or you haven’t tapped the benefit of self esteem in finding Jesus) then this book is for you.

Low self esteem hinders effectiveness in ministry, and high self esteem enables deeper surrender into Christ.

This book is for those who want to go deeper with God, to be built up in themselves, to work in partnership and privacy… As I overcame, so can you.

Blessings from Sarah Tun

Free To Be

Cover of FREE TO BE