Thursday, December 25, 2008
DO NOT BE AFRAID
Fear is an insidious tool of satan. Fear begins with a thought, word or action. You begin to feel anxious…you feel fear begin to curl up in your belly, then, suddenly, it steals your peace!
Fear is not a stranger to me. One of my greatest battles has been against fear. I was taught to fear…”Don’t go near the well or the claws will get you”…”Act right or I am going to give you to the gypsies”…”I’m going to get the Stick”…you notice Stick is capitalized? Oh yeah…it was something to fear.
You see, satan began using fear as a weapon against me in childhood. When I was very young, my bedroom door did not have a door knob. Fear kept me awake at night. Fear told me that I would be accidentally locked in that room and I would die. Dad saw that something was scaring me, so he asked…I confided and when Dad understood what I was afraid of, he opened the door against the wall and put the headboard of my bed firmly against the door. That door could NEVER close me in my imagined tomb! My Dad loved me that much! Poof!!! Fear all gone. All I had to do was tell my fear to my Daddy… As much as my Daddy loved me, our Father in heaven loves us much more!
Just like when I was a child, I allowed fear to creep into my life here and there over a lifetime. Many years ago, fear had a firm grip on me and I was miserable. Fear curled around and around in my belly. Fear told me all the horrible things that would happen. Fear took away my control. Fear was in control. Do you know fear paralyzes?
One day, I read this: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7
I liked that portion that spoke about the “peace of God”. I wondered….Can God make my fear go away? I wanted to know more! I began seeking scripture that spoke to my need. After all, the words “Do not be afraid” appear more than 70 times in God’s Word. I knew the Lord was telling me something. I began to dig, pray and meditate to get what He had for me…
In Old Testament, many times God used prophets to deliver His message…”Do not be afraid”. In the New Testament, Jesus said “Do not be afraid” many times. Also, God sent angels with the message several times. Today, God still sends messengers with a comforting word. Most recently, He sent a messenger to me - my sister. She did not say “Do not be afraid”. She shared a similar experience that came out well. She offered her prayers and support. She comforted me…as we all are to do for one another. I know God sent this message…”Do not be afraid!”
Yet, I felt that old fear curling in my belly…still. I know that I must take my fear to my Father. I tell my Father in heaven. I know He loves me. I am reminded that He loves me so much that he knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows everything about me, He loves me and He wants me to have peace so that I can be about His business. All I have to do is tell Him my fear and He loves me enough to make it go away.
So, once again I am digging in scripture for those verses that helped me overcome fear in the past. But, before I go there, I want to say that new, formerly unknown, situations can be the passage way for fear to re-enter your life. This current situation is new and frightening. I know that the first thing I must do is cast down imaginations…capture those thoughts and throw them out. You see, fear can become a stronghold. Don’t let it get that far!
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
This IS war! When fear tries to enter in, fight back instead of giving in. I fight with prayer and scripture that strengthens me. I remind myself that God loves me, that I can TRUST GOD in all things and that my FAITH will carry me through, never forgetting to GIVE THANKS. Also, I speak to that fear…”GET OUT!” I remind satan that I belong to God and he, satan, has no control over me, therefore, he must flee!
God is my strong tower and His Word is sharper than a two edged sword. My best defense against fear is God’s Word. So, when I feel that familiar curling in my belly, I begin to recite scripture. I share a few with you:
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”. Romans 8:15
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3
Jesus said “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26) and “Do not be afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
I could list several more scriptures, but I won’t because the Lord speaks to us in His own way. What speaks to me one way may speak to you another way. The important thing is to find scripture that “speaks” to you and your situation. Write them out and keep your scriptures handy for when you begin to feel that curling in your belly. Then, quickly talk to Abba Father and begin wielding your two edged sword!
For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 10:09 PM
Friday, December 12, 2008
I’ve been reading Malachi this morning. No, I am not going to talk about tithes and offerings…. Malachi had a bigger message. As a Messenger of God, Malachi had the burden of the Word of the Lord to Israel.
The Lord said, in part:
“I have loved you”, says the Lord. Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Malachi 1:2
In verse 6, the Lord says: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is my honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
We may refer to God as “Father” and “Master”, yet God is not treated as one would treat a father or master. The priests lost the clear sense of God’s holiness, treating God without the honor and respect as they should. The people followed the example set by the priests.
The prophet Malachi explores the matter more deeply and concludes that mistreatment of God is a result of broken covenants by the priests, people in general and by individuals.
This made me think about what a Prophet of God MIGHT say to our nation today:
To the priests and ministers: Some of you who call yourselves priests and ministers have made a mockery of Me. You have your traditions, your man made rules and you condemn My children with your ways. Some of you offer a ‘show’ on your Sabbath, yet where is your heart for the people? Do you care where your people spend eternity? Or do you care more for your ‘show’, attendance numbers, tithes/offerings and your building? You have departed from My way, and because you believe ‘your way’, you have caused many to stumble and you have corrupted My covenant. Let him who has ears hear…
To the people: What happened to “In God we Trust”? You have forgotten Me. You have set your faith in men and not Me. When My Word said: ‘The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel’ (Malachi 1:5), did you not understand that I came to favor the United States of America because, in the beginning, you built your nation upon my principles? I gave you freedom, I gave you land and I gave you blessings beyond your expectations. Yet, this is how you repay Me… You have passed man made laws that allowed the removal of prayer from your schools and the 10 Commandments from your courts. You allow divorce, abortion and same sex marriages. You allow a small fraction of lawmakers to become your head and you are the tail. Your courts favor the rights of those who abhor the righteousness of My people. My Word tells you what is right and what is wrong, yet you continue to define, re-define and legislate immorality. You have set your hearts on things of the world. Do you not understand that when you love something more than Me, you are worshiping idols? You have become a nation of idolatry. Let him who has ears hear….
To the individual: Some of you eat, drink and make merry while your world crumbles around you. You divorce and remarry. You kill your babies. Your children are raising themselves while you strive to make enough money to live beyond your means and buy your toys. You are not a Godly example to your children or others around you. You hoard treasures for yourselves while the poor starve in your streets. You turn your head to the needs of your neighbor – and, yes, even some who are of your own family. You are selfish. You are thieves. You are murders. You are perverts. You are an abomination to Me. You care for yourself only. Your witness stinks. Do you not understand? Yet, My children reside among you, shining beacons of light who can lead you out of the darkness. If you have ears and you want to hear…..
This is my interpretation of the “State of the Nation” and what the Lord might have to say to us today. Our people and our nation have gone down a road that God never intended. I have despair in my heart for what we have become. I believe judgment for our nation is at hand. Yet, we can ALWAYS turn around. It is hard and takes strong people to turn away from sin and set our sights upon the Lord. We can do it! With God, all things are possible.
I pray for the strong in the Lord to stand up and fight to regain what we have lost. Stand, prayerfully, in the gap for our nation. Please???
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 9:49 PM