Leaning into God When Life Gets Tough
I live at the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The views are stunning here! This area of the country has a huge winter tourist inward migration. Several friends go snow skiing many times per winter and always talk about how amazing it is.
I have been water skiing a lot, having grown up in Missouri by several large lakes and rivers. I’ve not committed to going on the winter slopes, however.
I hear it takes a different set of skills. In water skiing, you lean back and let the boat pull you, but on snow, you must lean into a downward slope. I have a little bit of anxiety about this so unless I overcome it, I will never experience the exhilaration.
In order to perform well, you must commit and lean in; you feel the joy of breaking through the slope. You experience freedom.
Leaning into God: Overcoming Fear
Fear is a nasty owner. When we allow fear to overcome us, we surrender freedom. This is true when it comes to our spiritual life as well. Fear, when we allow it, takes over our life.
We allow fear to prevent us from being bold for Christ. We also allow fear to hinder us in our emotional lives.
When inward fear has taken root, our outward work for Christ is stunted. In my case, I have a fear of heights. It has caused me great pain over the years, even caused me to back out of an important assignment at a new job.
We can overcome our fears if we, in a metaphorical way, act as if we are snow skiing. We must, like a skier leans into the slope, lean into God.
This spiritual discipline is easier said than done, and there is no formula. We are provided a few guidelines as a trailhead into Kingdom living.
Leaning into God will likely feel awkward at first. However, once we have practiced this spiritual skill, we can experience the synergy of four people working together, rather than just one.
Leaning into God: Fixing our eyes upon Jesus
When you ski, you must always look at where you want to go, rather than where you are. If you spend your time looking down, you will quickly find yourself in need of medical care from your fall.
Rather, you must keep your eyes fixed upon where you plan on going because your body will automatically turn that way. Fixing our eyes upon Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith is the key to overcoming fear.
A huge obstacle to fixing our eyes upon Jesus is an ever-distracting world. Our cell phones and other people must be temporarily removed.
In a display of irony of unmatched proportions, as I was typing this sentence on my computer I had an alert pop up and was distracted to go look at what it said.
Read: How to Experience a Faith That Saves
You should go outside into the woods or forest where no one is able to find you. You know what you find personally distracting so eliminate it! It will feel uncomfortable at first, but push through that and you will be able to lean into God. This next phase is where breakthrough happens!
Offer yourself to God. A biblical term for this is consecration. You eliminate your will, your situation, and your way of seeing things to focus upon Him. Next, make your request for help known. Sure, we know that God already knows, but it sure helps you when you are able to say it aloud.
This is when you truly lean into God. The distractions are gone, even your own agenda. You can actually rest in God now!
Do not just monologue, engage in a dialogue. Jesus said His sheep know His voice. Listen to it! He speaks through a still, small voice.
Healing from what is holding you back comes during this time. Even if it only stages one, it sure is amazing! After I have done this in the past I’ve realized that my fear of heights has diminished.
I no longer get dizzy when I rest my head on my pillow at night because I am thinking about looking down from high above. Take your time here, rest in the Father. After you commit and lean into God, you will feel the joy of breaking through your fear. Now that is true freedom!
Jake Fox, along with his wife Shannon, is an author and speaker for KingdomTrailhead, LLC. Together, they help men and women to rediscover his or her true heart to become more the person God created each of us to be. Jake and Shannon will soon be releasing their first book on God’s redemption. Currently, they run a blog and love to speak and encourage others on spiritual wholeness. Jake also works for Focus on the Family as a Sr. Family Help Specialist and Hope Restored Marriage Intensive Registrar. He has been a repeat guest on the Boundless Podcast. Jake and his family live in Monument, Colorado which allows Jake to hike, camp and be out in nature which is his other passions. He enjoys movies and music and spending time with his wife and two children. You can find Jake’s blog at http://www.kingdomtrailhead.com/blog/, or follow on social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Of course, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him by phone at (719) 679-LIFE (5433).
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