Sometimes, it seems like the more a person focuses on something (say, a fear) the more resistance they might encounter. My experiences show two main factors influencing this phenomenon: psychological and spiritual.
Psychologically, it reminds me of a marketing strategy I used to practice (back in the day when I had a “real job”.) It’s Basically, the rule of 7, relying on the RAS, or the Reticular Activating System*. By putting an idea, concept or product in front of a person 7+ times, the RAS is activated and suddenly they are aware of that said concept and see it “everywhere” they look. It’s like when you buy a new blue truck, suddenly you notice that same blue truck everywhere….oh, and you thought you were exclusive and original with that new body style….just commend yourself on picking that truck that everyone had to go out and buy after seeing you in it! 😉
Spiritually, I am reminded that we are in a real and serious battle beyond flesh. There are forces that DO NOT like it when good is being done. There is FEAR. Last Sunday, the pastor pointed out that Fear is a reoccurring factor in our lives and in this world. Conquer that fear….it comes right back…it missed you! Awe, so sweet, right?!
So, now we are running around in fear of fear! Sounds silly, however, I know this idea well- I’ve got experience in the fear department. The pastor brought up three practical steps to Fearlessness: I’m sharing because that’s the second step (and I’m adding my personal experience,as well…)
1. Call out to God. I recently posted on this topic. (See Psalm 34:18.) We need to learn to be comfortable in our conversing with God. Honestly- pure unfiltered honesty.
2. Share your grief with others. This means you better have “others” in place for when you need to share your grief. ie. Small group from church, a blog, family, church family, friends…..if you’re lacking in this department, you’re not alone and there’s no need to feel badly about it. It’s just an area that may need some work so that you have it when you need it.
I the past, I’ve been very good at having ALOT of “friends” and being able to be completely alone at the same time (by my own stubborn and untrusting disposition.) Opening up to others is difficult for me and that is one main reason I started writing this blog and posting it on my social media pages. I’m facing my fears with God’s direction.
3. Focus on Heaven- the real reason/purpose we are called to. Pastor gave great scriptural encouragement for this focus:
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT)
Being aware of these realities is HUGE for my endurance in this life. I fell flat on my face (spiritually) today. I asked God to forgive me as I pictured Him collecting my tears in that jar described in scripture (again, I have to give credit to my pastor for such an insightful sermon and reminding me of these things)-
*reticular activating system n.
The part of the reticular formation in the brainstem that plays a central role in bodily and behavioral alertness; its ascending connections affect the function of the cerebral cortex and its descending connections affect bodily posture and reflex mechanisms.