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How to Move Beyond Fear to the High Places With God

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

Hannah Hurnard's book Hinds Feet on High Places is one of my favorite books. The main character in the story is Much-Afraid, who belongs to the family of Fearlings. Fear has driven her life much as it did mine. I've read it at two pivotal points in my life-the death of my mother and the death of my father. The book is a beautiful allegory dramatizing Much-Afraid's spiritual journey to the High Places, where she learns to overcome her tormenting fears with the help of the Good Shepherd. The story is perhaps most interesting because Much Afraid is lame, and to help her overcome her fears, the Shepherd challenges her to walk the High Places along the narrow edges of jagged cliffs and high mountainous terrain with the unwelcome companions of Sorrow and Suffering. As the Shepherd introduces her to her new companions, she is visibly shaken.

"I can't go with them," she gasped, "I can't! I can't O my Lord Shepherd, why do you do this to me? How can I travel in their company? It is more than I can bear. You tell me that the mountain way itself is so steep and difficult that I cannot climb it alone. Then why, oh why, must you make Sorrow and Suffering my companions? Couldn't you have given Joy and Peace to go with me, to strengthen me and encourage me and help me on the difficult way? I never thought you would do this to me!" And she burst into tears.

A strange look passed over the Shepherd's face as he listened to this outburst, then looking at the veiled figures as he spoke, he answered very gently, "Joy and Peace. Are those the companions you would choose for yourself? You remember your promise, to accept the helpers that I would give, because you believed that I would choose the very best possible guides for you. Will you still trust me Much-Afraid? Will you go with them, or do you wish to turn back to the Valley, and to all your Fearling relatives, to Craven Fear himself?"

Risky Business

As I've read this story throughout the years, I've asked myself what in the world motivated Much-Afraid to continue the journey? I believe the answer is found in the willingness to risk. I have come to the conclusion that to face the difficult seasons in life, you must be willing to walk with the companions the Shepherd gives you, and you must desire for them to shape and mold your heart, even when it feels as if they are breaking it to pieces. If you're not willing, you'll choose to play it safe and stay stuck in the valley; there is no greater travesty.

Risking is scary business because our hearts are up for grabs. But if we, like Much-Afraid, will trust the Shepherd, even when it defies reason, he will turn sorrow and suffering into joy, and peace.

How do we step out and risk trusting God? The same way Much Afraid did---by getting to know the Shepherds heart. Here are a few ideas to begin:

• Spend time alone with God

• Identify your worst fear and ask yourself if it's too big for God to handle

• Uncover any false beliefs you have about God---replace them with the truth

• Don't humanize God. He isn't like anyone else you know

• Watch what you tell yourself about your circumstances. Negative attitudes foster fear and unbelief

• Practice the spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, fasting and prayer

• Meditate on verses that speak about God's unfailing love and goodness

• Do a study on the names of God

Much-Afraid made the journey to the High Places because she was willing to risk trusting the Shepherd with her life; even when she didn't understand what he was doing. That took a knowing of the Shepherd's heart through the power of intimate relationship. Once she was convinced his heart towards her was good---she was willing to risk.

How about you, what's standing in the way of you trusting God today? If it's fear, surrender it to him just like Much Afraid did, and see if he doesn't lead you to the High Places.

Source: EzineArticles
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