Tag Archives: fear

Witness or Watcher

12 Sep

Just watching the news is enough to derail one’s peace of mind in exchange for a state of depression. Wars and rumors of wars, disease, famine, political mayhem and natural disasters take center stage as the prophecies of old are fulfilled (Matthew 24).

Seeing these prophecies come alive in our day is astounding. At this point in time, we can become captivated by events and forget about our part in His – story, or history, so to speak.

This is exactly what happened to the disciples. In the book of Acts we find the disciples asking, “Lord, at this time are You going to restore the kingdom to Israel”?

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

The Lord did not plan for us to be consumed with the times. Indeed, He warned us to be aware of the times. (Revelations 3:10, II Timothy 3:1-7). However, our main focus should be our witness, our profession of faith. We are the proof, the witnesses, that testify that the Lord is real. In our homes, at work, and wherever we go, our lives should say that God is real, and that God is love.

Like the disciples, we too received power to be witnesses.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”John‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬.

The question is, do our lives witness/testify about the Lord? Or have we just become watchers, focused upon constantly checking the times?

It Ain’t What It Is!

4 Jul

Lately I’ve noticed the phrase, “it is what it is” being constantly used among people from all walks of life. Within that toxic phrase lies another statement that says, this situation will not and can not get better; therefore I accept it for what it is.

I can almost hear Jesus interrupting those conversations with the question “where is YOUR faith?” Jesus actually sacrificed His life on the cross, redeeming us from an “it is what it is lifestyle”.

“Now” our faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, everyone experiences trying circumstances, but we who believe in Jesus don’t allow the circumstances to overtake us as the end all and be all. Our faith in our sovereign Lord always keeps us only a prayer away from divine intervention in every situation.

We have an enemy of our souls, who is also known as Satan. His intention is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). One of his basic tactics simply involves helping us to focus upon what we see and accepting that as our final reality. We buy into his plan when we go with our natural senses, accepting things as they appear to be.

Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly (John 10:10). We access that abundant life as we trust in Jesus despite what we see.

Instead of saying “it’ is what it is” let’s keep in mind that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and expect miracles. May we exercise our faith by praying and also doing our part to bring about positive change in our own situations and in the lives of others. “The just shall live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38). With faith, it ain’t what it is!

Further reading: II Corinthians 4:18, Romans 8:24, Hebrews 3:6

All or Nothing

18 Jun

Today we are bombarded with countless choices. This constant decision-making keeps our minds actively planning, anticipating, and, worst of all, stressed.

 

This stress impacts us beyond what we might have imagined. According to Mayo Clinic.org, “stress that is left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.”

 

Yet the remedy that combats stress is freely available to all who will receive it. The cure, which is found in God’s word, instructs us simply to be anxious or stressed about…NOTHING. Not our families, not our finances, not the future, not our health, NOTHING.

 

Instead, in everything…in everything… in EVERYTHING— our families, our finances, the future, even our health—in everything: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” (Philippians 4:6 MSG).

 

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “doesn’t God already know my concerns?” Yes, He does. However, as you release your worries to Him, He works everything, everything…everything, out for your good.

 

“Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:7 MSG).

 

So, it’s all or nothing. We can either choose to worry about EVERYTHING, or release it, in thanks and trust to God, and worry about…NOTHING.

Imagine Going for It!

10 Jan

It’s a New Year! Thank God, that we are all blessed to see 2016. What was most memorable for you about 2015? Praise pause – if it was horrible, thank God that He brought you through it, despite the difficulty. If your most memorable event in 2015 was awesome, thank God for that wonderful thing He did that still has the ability to make you smile.

It’s time now for a new thing (Isaiah 43:19). That New thing will come to you, but it won’t come simply by the resolution that you may have written down or spoken. It will come to you as you seek God first (prayer) and then take the necessary steps to see it come to pass. You see, God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think. But it is according to the power that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20).

What is the power that’s working in you? Is fear the power that hinders new things from coming forth in your life? I’ve heard it said that fear is imagined. But whatever you meditate upon (even if it is fear) has the possibility of becoming your reality.

So what is the great new thing that you can imagine happening in your life? Instead of allowing fear to invade your thoughts, imagine the new thing whether it’s weight loss, a new job, or a stronger marriage.

After imagining that new thing and praying about it, what steps must you take to see it come to pass? Keep in mind that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but He has given you power, love, and a sound mind. Faith in the Lord releases you from the bondage and torment of fear, allowing you to defeat the fear and take the steps needed to bring the new thing to pass. (II Timothy 1:7, Romans 8: 15, Matthew 11:12).

Remember, GOD is ABLE to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think according to the power that works in you. You desire a new thing and so does He. Imagine that! But don’t stop there. Go for it!

I’ll Go..But Send Someone Else!

8 Sep

When The Lord told Moses that he would be used to set the children of Israel free, like some of us, Moses looked at himself and knew that he had  limited skills and abilities “Who am I – that I should go unto Pharaoh – and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt”. Moses continued, “Who shall I say sent me – they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice, – I am not eloquent… I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4).

Of course Moses started out all wrong by focusing on self, as opposed to looking to The Lord, the omnipotent creator of heaven and earth. The fact that The Lord was giving the orders should have caused Moses to look to Him. How about you and me?

What has The Lord told us to do?  Well, one of his assignments for every believers is similiar to Moses’ assignment, go and tell (Mat. 28:18-20). Let’s start there!  As we, in obedience, go and tell others about the Lord’s goodness, mercy, and love, He will perform the miracles, He will cause the seeds that we plant to grow. Remember, the scriptures tell us that “one plants, one waters, but it’s God that gives the increase”(1 Corinthians 3:7-11).

Are you focusing upon your shortcomings and remaining silent?  Pray for opportunities, wisdom and for boldness to help along the way. The scriptures tell us that he who wins souls is wise, and the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 11:30, Proverbs 28:1).

You and I don’t have the full picture of all that the Lord wants us to do, but we can start with what we do know. Talk to someone about The Lord. Start  by talking with your family! The Lord Jesus has sent you as His ambassador (IICorinthians 5:20). Yes, there are other laborers in the field, but you your assignment has been specifically designed for you. Did I hear you say, I’ll go, Lord send me!

Remember Not to Forget!

28 May
Recently I found myself filled with concerns about the future. 
Rather quickly, concern gave birth to worry. And of course, 
worry is the complete opposite of faith and trust. In fact,
though we really don't won't to admit it, worry is actually 
a sin. How did I, as a believer find myself in this position? 
The answer to that question is not complicated, I simply
forgot.

I forgot that Jesus said "therefore I say unto you, do not 
worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; 
nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more 
than food, and the body more than clothing" (Matthew 6:25)? 

Yes, my faith had weakened because I had forgotten
that the word of God states "You will keep him in perfect 
peace whose mind is stayed on You because He trusts in 
You" (Isaiah 26:3). I also forgot that the word states, "There
is no fear in love; but perfect loves drives out fear; because
fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not 
made perfect in love" I John 4:18.

James chapter 1:23-25 (NIV) so accurately addresses this 
issue of forgetting. "Do not merely listen to the word and 
so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens 
to the word but does not do what it says is like a
man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking 
at himself, and goes away and immediately FORGETS 
what he looks like. But the man who looks intently
into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do 
this, NOT FORGETTING what he has heard, but doing 
it--he will be blessed in what he does".

Like me, you've  probably found too, that reading the word 
and then forgetting it is not good enough to prevent you from 
worrying. The word of God tells us who God is and who we 
are in Him. If we forget what it says, we forget who God is 
and who we are. When we aren't focusing upon what the word 
says, we forget that The Lord is sovereign and He intimately 
cares for all that concerns us. Let's read the word, meditate 
on it, soak in it and digest it. We will then be careful to 
REMEMBER not to forget the word!