~ Today’s Scripture art and Fear Fighting book review are designed to help you write Psalm 31:24 on your heart. ~
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This book wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. But it’s my own fault because if I would have taken note of the tagline, I would have had a clue. Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie has the tagline “awakening courage to overcome your fears” and I was pleasantly surprised to find this book more about courage than fear.
But don’t worry. This book wasn’t solely a bunch of inspirational you-can-do-it-rah-rah. In fact, even though Kelly calls herself a cheerleader of faith on her blog (and she is!), she says,
“When I look at myself, I see a girl who wants to be brave but isn’t so certain she actually can be. I love all those generic affirmation memes online – Go woman go! and Nothing can stop you! Half of me gravitates to them, wishing they were true, but after reading a hundred and one of them, I have never seen them work a single thing in my life and I never really even feel that well just five minutes after reading one.”
Can I get an amen?
So what does actually work? What will help us get brave?
That’s what this book is all about. Kelly claims she’s “tried it all” and she openly shares with us her detailed findings.
Fear Fighting Book Review
If you’ve ever wondered why we tend to fear (even though God tells us not to over 100 times in the Bible), Kelly explains the Reactance Theory, which “demonstrates that when people feel rule-controlled, they take control. For instance, researcher Daniel Wegner told people not to think of a cuddly white bear … but guess just what they did? You got it. They couldn’t get it off their minds.”
Romans 7:15 (ESV): For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Ok, I get that.
But if God tells us not to fear, and that just makes us think about it more … He must have a way for us to actually do that, right?
Kelly gives an aha-moment suggestion: “Let’s not run from what we have always run from, or tell ourselves just to plain ‘ol stop. The best thing to do is move into something new.”
Isaiah 43:19 (ESV): Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Fear Fighting is the “ultimate-how-to” for making that shift into something new.
Kelly explains, “We don’t need to tell ourselves to stop, because the Spirit says start. Start fearing God rather than fearing that everyone is going to take you down. It is a shift that works, because when we are filled with God it doesn’t leave room for much else.”
I’m thinking the key word there is filled.
Like to the brim.
Her book is also filled to the brim. Kelly leaves nothing out! She devotes a whole chapter to each of the …
I’ll give you a little peek.
1. The Devil
Kelly has a 5 step plan to fight the enemy. (She includes lots of other practical lists too.)
“It was not by work, it was not by planning, it was not by insight, it was not by intellect, it was not by advice-giving, it was not by power that the Israelites walked through a sea – it was by faith.”
3. People Pleasing
“Instead of looking for false strength in the affection of others, remember you need the approval of only One.”
Psalm 62:2 (ESV): He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
“Worry is like gossip. It is continual talk and all bad feelings. Endless chatter and no progress.”
5. Comparison and Competition
“I either think I am the worst or I think I am the best. It is a pendulum of pride – a winning or losing game that never stops to land at calm.”
6. Waiting While Trembling / I Don’t Know What Will Happen
“It doesn’t happen overnight, nor should we demand that it does. It is a gradual process and a making, a building, and a progressing into more. God designed it like this; let’s live it this way. Because the joy is found in the discovery of God … Sure, it feels like waiting, but it is all about abiding. Every single, solitary day is about abiding. Which means putting matters of God over matters of assuaging our restless mind.”
Psalm 31:24 (ESV): Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
7. Rejection and Opposition
“I long to be adored because God made me to be adored by Him. I long to sing and dance because God created me to sing and dance – for Him. He delights over this kind of thing – when it is for Him, about Him, and with Him. My motivations aren’t all wrong – but mostly my execution is.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV): The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
8. The Past
“God knows all the angles of your story. It doesn’t really matter so much from which perspective you stand – bitter because you were misunderstood, judgmental, angry at God, or looking to sin to ease the deep cavities left from abuse – His compassion blankets everything. He knows. He knows just what each of us needs. The problem for me is that I like to have a plan, and this whole idea seems vague and unknown. Risky. It seems arduous and agonizing to dig deep. Yet … somehow His way seems easy, not patronizing or aggravating, and that is what I am really after. Hmm.”
I love that Kelly wants to help us get to the point where we can say something wildly extravagant like …
Psalm 68:19 NIV: Praise be to the Lord, to God my Savior, who daily bears my burdens.
Note the word daily – and really know it as truth.
Kelly was wonderfully honest and transparent about her fear-fighting journey. And I have a feeling she would want me to make sure you understand that it’s just that – a journey. In fact, the book’s first sentence is “I still fear.”
I recommend this book – let’s begin moving toward fearless – which means “to fear less. It means to get a tad more bold, an inkling more courageous, an ounce more vulnerable, and a grain more willing.”
And if you want some accountability, there is a 12-week Group Study at the end of the book.
I will leave you with one last Kelly quote because I know we’ll need it for the journey: “When discouragement pants with his bad breath, God’s Word will bring you fresh air.”
*My prayer for you is … that this blog will inspire you to open your Bible every single day to seek God’s face and write His Word on your heart – because HE’S the key to lasting heart change!
I link up with these blogger friends: Modern Mrs. Darcy, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, Deb at Faith ‘n Friends, Create With Joy at Inspire Me Monday, Lori at Moments of Hope, Kelly at Purposeful Faith, Paula at Weekend Blog Party, Jennifer at Tell His Story, and Holley at Coffee For Your Heart and Mommy Moments.
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