A Note from Martha Lawley: This is the second part of my article about living in safe mode. In part one, we considered three practices of self-protection that keep us in safe mode:
1. Masquerading: Playing it safe by pretending everything is okay
2. Pleasing Others: Playing it safe by going along to get along
3. Uninvolved: Playing it safe by choosing to remain detached and disinterested
This article will focus on how we can exit safe mode and live the abundant lives Christ died to give us.
Are you wondering how to get from patterns of self-protection to the great adventure you were created to live? Paul gives us a few clues in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Below are a few suggestions based on God’s Word:
- Check out your power supply. To what or to whom are you looking for your power and strength? Who or what are you counting on? We will never get out of safe mode if we are depending on any power other than God’s power. Only His power can move us from the hibernation of safe mode to the great adventure He has planned for us. God’s Word reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- Shift your focus from yourself and your comfort or safety to God and His plans and His provision. Are you in the habit of supersizing your circumstances? I know I’ve found myself so focused on my circumstances that they seemed to grow bigger and bigger until I was overwhelmed. This usually happens when my focus is on myself and how things affect me personally. In other words, when I make it all about me. I now realize that when I supersize the circumstances of my life, I’m down-sizing God in my life. You will never get out of safe mode as long as it is all about you. Ask God to help you down-size your circumstances so He can be supersized and take His rightful place in your life (John 3:30).
- Escape your fears and allow God to fill you with faith. Have you ever noticed how often Jesus told others to “fear not”? Jesus said this because the people were afraid. His words were both an encouragement and a command. Jesus understands the disabling effects of fear. He died to rid us of fear and to fill us with faith. He is the “source and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). We can have faith because God is faithful! Escaping our fears and renewing our faith in God is a crucial step in exiting safe mode.
- Delete the world’s illusion of success and allow God to show you how He defines a successful life. Sometimes I play it safe so I can protect all the things the world says are valuable—big house, nice clothes, new car, or financial security. I am in love with the wrong things. I forget that all those things are temporal, but the things of God are eternal. Pray that God would give you the mind of Christ—His attitude, His perspective, and His heart (Philippians 2:5-11). Seeing life more clearly from God’s perspective reveals just how pointless playing it safe really is.
The most important lesson I have learned from trying to live in safe mode is that we cannot both follow God and stay in safe mode. We must choose. So, what do you say? Will you join me in exiting safe mode and allowing God to lead the way to the abundant life we were created to live? You can begin right now by learning to listen and obey God especially when it is not comfortable. In faith holding back nothing He asks of you. Trusting that everything the Bible says is completely true!
Martha Lawley is an author, speaker and Bible study leader, and LifeWay Women’s Trainer from Worland, Wyoming. She is also a retired trial attorney. Martha formerly served as the Women’s Consultant for the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention until her family moved to northern Wyoming. She contributed to the women’s leadership books, Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised and Expanded edition and Women Reaching Women: Revised and Expanded edition, published by LifeWay, and has written numerous articles for LifeWay’s Women’s Ministry website. Martha is the author of the women’s Bible study, Attending the Bride of Christ: Preparing for His Return. She serves her local church in various areas of leadership.