The beauty of a woman's heart part 3

Place your hand over your heart. The heart beats all your life and you barely ever notice it. You only notice it when it starts racing. Our heart are very precious. Women's heart are very vulnerable. God created our heart to feel many things, a wider range of emotions and feelings. We are very impacted by the ups and downs of life. There has been a verse that I have thought of more than others.
Proverbs 4:23
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do comes from it."

We must prioritize protecting our hearts. It is the center of who we are and we must understand we must protect it. What does it mean to guard our heart? How do we protect it from the ups and downs of life? Seeking inner beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit with a foundation of faith, hope, and grattitude guards our hearts. It is essential for our lives,

Here is a gross picture of termites. Why are we seeing a picture of termites in a woman's conference? Well, termite live inside wood. They eat the wood causing damage. When you notice termites, the wood is too damage to salvage it.

Fear is like termites.We worry about something so long it turns to fear. And one fear becomes two fears. And one day we wake up and we realize we are afraid of so many things. Our lives are overwhelmed by fear? What are you afraid of?

Before we get that, I have a story to tell you, I am very afraid of spiders. VERY, very afraid of spiders. Last month I gave a talk about courage. And the production staff came to me and said Barb "you have to face one of your face." And they asked me to pet a tarantula. I said "NO!" So they said I had to do something courageous. They gave me a choice: Pet a tarantula or sky dive. Which one did I choose?

(We are seeing a video of her sky diving!! LOL)

I told you I was afraid of spiders! Who would be afraid of sky diving? Who would like it? It was not very scary for me, but I realized of a truth that time. There are more than a 100 verses in the Bible that commands us not to be afraid for God is with us. But we still are afraid, aren't we? Fear we won't have enough for the expenses, fear of illnesses, fear of never getting married or never having children, fear we won't be happy, fear our husbands will leave us, fear we will loose our homes. fear we will be left alone. And we spent time being afraid of things that havent happened.

When we are afraid our fear becomes very big, and we make God very small. Some of us worship our fears. How? We carry them everywhere, we speak of them, we think of them all the time. Instead of being thankful for what God has already given us, we worry for what hasn't happened. This hingers our inner beauty. Fear is like an ivy weed, that steals the beauty of everything.

I once was very afraid. My husband lost his job. I was afraid if he would get another one. But then I started worrying for food and expenses. I started being afraid we wouldnt accomplish our dreams. My fear became so great it began to show on my face. Is that someone who smiles? Is that someone you want to be around? Its definitely not someone with a quiet and gentle spirit. When we are fearful we are not kind, not respectful because we are angry. Fear is a very dangerous thing.
Something changed for me. There was a verse that I read that helped me deal with my fear. It might sound very familiar.

Phil 4_6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Didn't we just talk about guarding our hearts? Now there is alot in this verses. And for those dealing with fear, its time to hear and obey.

Step 1
Do not be anxious. What does that mean? It means dont be anxious. Is not rocket science! God says DO NOT BE AFRAID. God wants us to stop entertaining thoughts of fear. When you begin to make your problems bigger than what God is, you need to stop that thought, cut it off. Because the truth is God is greater than any trouble we can face.

Step 2
With prayer and petition,
This is where we sit before a holy God, and you tell Him about everything that has happened. Remember thanksgiving from our previous session? Its when we accept what God gives us, good or bad. This way we show we trust God with our lives. We trust He will do whats right for us even if the situation doesnt change.

Step 3
Present your request to God
God know what you need. But He wants you to tell Him. Many years ago during the time I was very afraid and I began to think of this verse in Philipians, we didnt have alot of money. There was a special ocassion coming up and I wanted to something special for my kids. We had food. And I had been reading this verse. But I still wanted a little extra money to do something for my kids. So I prayed about it and I told God of this special thing I wanted to do for my kids. So I laid in bed and prayed this little prayer. And I didnt tell this to anybody. And God had been gracious to give us what we need it. But I told God what it meant to me to be able to do this for my kids. When I went to work next day, I opened the mail and got a white envelop. It had my name. When I opened it up, someone had given me a gift of money. I still dont know who gave it to me. I cried because even thought God had given me what I need, He was gracious to give me the little extra I needed. I dont tell you this story to tell you to pray for money. I tell you because I want you to know God listens. And eventhough sometimes He doesnt answer, when we live with contentment and gratittude, God's blessing is wiht us.

Step 4
The peace of God that passes all understanding.
This is something I cant explain to you. If you have received it, you know it's not easy to explain, Its the kind of peace that sustains you, that allows you to be joyful even when the circumstance is hard. The peace of heart protects our heart. It's like good soil for our heart to grow. If you are dealing with fear, I encourage you to follow the instructions in philipians.
Stop being anxious, go to God in prayer, thank Him for everything He does, tell Him what you need, and allow His peace to fill you.

Now, when you say Amen! dont go back to worrying!!!!!
Dont loose God's peace being chasing your fears again.

I like the story of Esther. Esther had many reasons to be afraid. At an early age she was taken from her house to go live in the palace of the king. Imagine leave your home for a place you didnt want to go. I imagine she was very afraid. When Esther got to the palace, she was there because the king was looking for a new wife. She had to endure 12 months of beauty treatments. It must have worked, because the king found her the loveliest of all. It was not Esther's outer beauty that shined the most. Even thought her outer beauty got her chosen to be queen, but her inner beauty got her to save her people. Esther heard the plot against the Israelites. At first she was afraid and she tried to hide. But then her uncle presented her with a choice: Do nothing in fear or act courageously in spite of her fear. Of this story, I like the conversation Esther had with her uncle, and tells him she will choose to act and said: If I die I die, but I will go to see the king! Esther's inner beauty was what captivated the king. Eventhough Esther went before the king by surprise, she didnt go inside demanding what she wanted. She went to the king with respect and humility.

Sometimes we need to think about Esther's example. There are always going to be thing we are afraid of, but what we have in the inside will help us confront the difficult things we will face. When you are thinking of  a problem you have, ask
Is this problem something God is afraid of?
And then ask
If God is not worried about my problem, should I worry about it?
Ask yourselves this questions when you are tempted to be fearful. Our inner beauty is dependent on how we deal with our fear. When we choose to not let fear destroy our beauty holding to God's hope, we will be an example of courage and strength to the women around us.

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