Last week, my best friend and I went to Bronco Off-Rodeo (aka Bronco Camp). You see, Ford was super smart and knew their new Bronco was so stuffed with amazing features that the regular consumer would never be able to utilize them without some training.
Over two days, I learned how to drive a vehicle on a 41 percent grade, traverse through long riverbeds where the water came over my waist and literally climb rock walls.
At one point, where all I could see was sky out of the front windshield, ground out of the side passenger window and I felt like I was quite literally falling out of the vehicle, Cris piped up, “so, are you afraid?”
“Nope,” I replied and (I’m assuming this part because I could not take my eyes off the control panels) he looked at me with amazement and asked, “why not?”
“I have never felt safer. I mean, this course was designed by the people who designed the vehicles. They didn’t put anything in it that the Bronco couldn’t handle. This is all just to show us the possibilities,” I boldly stated.
In that moment, I saw the incredible connection between Bronco Camp and life.
The Lord designed it all. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He has multiple plans for our lives and has built in safety protocols. The best part is, He is our spotter to sight our lines in climbing rocks and if we do get stuck, he can tell us when to lock our rear or front differentials, when to disconnect our sway bar and when to turn on trail turn assist—all super technical things I never even knew existed, but make a world of difference when off roading.
Why does He do all of this? Because He LOVES you.
So, how can you get to the point where you can hang off of mountains (literally or figuratively) with peace? Two steps:
Acknowledge that fear is not of the Lord.
For God gives us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control. 2 Tim 1:7
Often, fear is Satan’s greatest tool. He uses it to separate us from the operating with the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). We could spend a lifetime discussing the destructive power of Satan’s fear. Instead, it is as simple as saying, “Satan, this fear is not of the Lord. It had no place in my life and no control over my mind.” Friend, take a stand for truth. More here.
Redirect your mind. Yep, it’s that simple. Four of my favorite ways of doing this are:
1. Build Ebenezer stones. 1 Samuel 7 tells us about a time when Israel had just turned back to the Lord. The people were gathered at Mizpah where they had just confessed their sins, repented and were praising the Lord when the Philistines attacked. The Lord soundly defeated them with thunder (10) and delivered several cities back to the Israelites. In response, Samuel placed a stone in the midst of them and named it the Ebenezer Stone which means, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (12).
This could be in your journal or a physical item you wear or see. It is a tangible sign that the Lord keeps His promises and does it in ways the human mind can’t comprehend.
2. Praise the Lord. Sing songs to Him. Where the Lord is present, there is room for no other. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat puts singers (or praise and worship people) as his frontline warriors. As they went before the army, they were to say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endures forever.” (21). The attacking armies literally destroyed themselves. (I mean, WHO could write a better adventure story than the Lord? I just stand in awe of His creativity.)
3. Repeat the Lord’s Promises in His Word. Over the years, I’ve written these on cards, in books and even on my mirror. Any teacher will tell you there is power in reading something and speaking it out loud–it utilizes the visual and auditory learning styles. Bathing in the Word helps recondition our brain. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that , “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” So, let’s think promise over fear.
4. Finally, serve others. 1 John 3 lays out the pattern for this. To have peace in our lives, we love not in just words or speech, but in actions and truth. Even science gets this one. Dr. Eva Rite writes in Psychology Today that there is proof that helping others helps you. When we do something for another person, it literally dumps all three “feel good” hormones (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) into our system. Those then cascade into other benefits like better sleep, enhanced wound healing and decreased blood pressure. Friends, serving others leads to all.the.good.
So, each moment of every day we are faced with two directions. We can choose to give into fear which can paralyze us. On the other hand, we can use the tools built into our vehicle to pull us out of the quagmire and quite literally start running the trails. This is where true freedom lies and it is just waiting for you!
What are you doing? What are some of your favorite “tools” in the toolbox. I would love to hear!
Until then, enjoy those trails!