Like a Child…

Before I finally landed into bed tonight, I went into my sons’ bedroom to catch just one more glimpse of my sleeping angels…and to make sure they are being sleeping angels and not giggling minions. I just love watching my children sleep. Since the day they were born, I could get lost in the serenity and tranquility of their faces. Somehow, when I watch my children sleep, I magically forget about all the havoc they caused that day!

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. —– Matthew 18:1-4

I stood there, and could not take my eyes off of my three year old son. Does he worry? Does he doubt? What matters most to him? All he cares about right now in his small little world is mommy, daddy, bubby, family, his froggy, his many bears (each one carefully named) and his collection of marbles. He does not stay up all night fretting about what tomorrow may bring. He does not worry about whether or not he will be fed and loved. He does not doubt his mommy and daddy’s love for him. When he calls our name, he expects us to be there. When he gets hurt, he knows to run straight to me and he knows my gentle kiss will cure any pain. And oh, I just love listening to him pray! When he prays his simple little prayers to Jesus, He truly believes that He hears him. Is this why Jesus says that children are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Now I know that my little boy has never felt the pain of the death of a loved one, or the stress of worrying about how to pay the bills, or the overwhelming fear from the sudden loss of a job, or all the difficult things we have the privilege of experiencing as adults. But, Jesus’ word is still true. “Unless you turn and become like children…” We were children once. We were little girls dancing in our dresses pretending to be princesses – or playing in the mud and kicking the ball! – without a care in the world. But, we became adults with responsibilities and jobs and bills and children of our own to take care of. So, Jesus tells us to become like children once again and enter the kingdom of heaven with the faith of a child.

The faith of a child? What does this mean? It does not mean childishly walking through life in immaturity. It does not mean making careless decisions and expecting God to clean up the mess and save the day. It does not mean pretending that the storm we find ourselves in does not exist. It does means going to our daddy with every hurt and every tear, being honest about how we feel (have you ever noticed how honest children are about how they feel!), and trusting our daddy to ease the pain. It means not worrying about what we will eat or drink or wear, for our daddy clothes the birds in the sky and the flowers in the fields (Matthew 6:25-34). It means not allowing the “adult” things that have happened to us to harden our hearts and harvest bitterness in souls. Life is hard. It’s not easy and we live in a fallen world. But we have not been placed here without the One who will never leave us nor forsake us. The enemy will use the tough times to lie to us and suggest that we cannot take this verse in Matthew to heart. But the Lord will use the tough times to prove His love and provision for us!

Beloved, we can still approach the Lord with faith like a child. Faith that does not question her daddy. Faith that trusts that she will be taken care of. Faith that does not worry about the things that are clearly out of her hands and completely in the hands of her good, perfect, loving, sovereign Daddy. Faith that believes that her daddy really does love her and will meet her every need. My son does not question that of me.,,at least not yet! How dare we question the love and provision of the Author of Time.

Sometimes we make it too complicated. God says, “My child, trust Me.” We say, “But, God you don’t understand.” God says, “My child, I have this.” We say, “But, God this it too impossible.” God says, “I am Your provider.” We say, “But, God how will I pay the bills?” God says, “Do not worry about tomorrow.” We say, “But, God I am so afraid to face the unknown.” My friend, stop questioning your daddy and stop doubting His provision. Trust Him and find security and peace in His home. Rest in the arms of the Almighty and let him rock you to sleep. Approach the Lord Jesus Christ, and humble yourself to once again be the little three year old princess…and recklessly trust your daddy as He takes care of your every need.

Whispers in the Wind

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

1Kings 19:11-13

We live in a very loud world. We are constantly bombarded by our phones, television, music, movies. Noise and entertainment available to us 24/7. Ah, technology! And our children are growing up in a world where “quality time” is defined by sitting on a couch next to somebody while you both look at your phones. We have to teach boundaries to our children in this area, and we have to be very cautious with putting the internet and social media in the hands of our young, impressionable children. But…that is for another blog!

Today, my point is that God often speaks in the whisper. Don’t be afraid to be alone with the Lord. There is something revealing about the silence, especially when we are sitting in communion with God. We so often look for the wisdom of God in the opinion of others, asking others what we should do but never physically going before the Lord on our knees. We read books written by godly authors – which are wonderful gifts we have and can speak such truth into our life – but we never pick up the Bible ourselves. We binge watch our favorite television show to escape the reality of our situation, while we ignore that God is undeniably calling our heart to spend time with Him.

Try an experiment with me. Turn off the music. Turn off the television. Put down your phone…or, if you dare…and trust that the world will not cave in…turn off your phone. Pick up your Bible and sit down on your couch, or your favorite chair, or your bed, or maybe even the stool in the bathroom if that is where you need to be in order to get alone (I have children, I know how it is!). And dare to embrace the silence. Allow God to have room to speak. Our lives are so full, so rushed, so fast. With work and school and sports and our kids’ activities and yes, even church events…our life is nonstop. I dare you to stop. Make margin in your life for God to speak to you. Make room in your life and in your plan for Him to do something unexpected.

Our promise in Jeremiah 29 is that when we seek the Lord with our whole heart, we will find Him. When we are willing to give God our cup, He overflows it with waterfalls and rushing streams of living water! I guarantee you that any time alone with God will not be in vain. Invite God to look into the depths of your soul. Allow Him to heal the deepest and darkest parts of your heart. Surrender to Him every burden, big or small. And find in Him the joy and peace and strength to walk in victory. Drink from the only fountain that will sustain you and quench your thirst. And don’t be afraid of the silence.

(John 4:14) But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

The Barren Places of Our Life

Barren. Unproductive. Sterile. Unfruitful. Dull. Destitute. Lacking. Incapable of producing offspring.

My husband and I have been on a journey of faith for two years now, as we have been trying to have another child. The good Lord has blessed us with two beautiful, handsome, lively, energetic, perfect little boys, filled with the life of the Lord! Yet, I am sure that many of you know what it is like to look at your beautiful child(ren) who are the absolute light of your life, and while your heart is overflowing with love for them, it also yearn for more. Just to be able to carry life within me again – to hold my two month old baby as he molds into my shoulder just once again – to have even one more chance to capture every little moment before they are three and running and yelling and jumping from recliner to sofa and swinging off the window curtains! I am sure some of you may think I am crazy…especially if you have ever had the privilege of meeting my Tasmanian children…but I just simply have a desire and room in my heart for more children. And its okay to be honest about that. I believe that it would be difficult for any woman, whether she may have ten children or none, to hear that they are unable to give life and become pregnant. But, as with every opportunity for faith, I have a choice…
A choice to doubt.
Or a choice to believe.
I can disregard the blessings I have been given, doubt God and His provision, envy and even harbor anger toward those around me who are pregnant, and question His cruelty for giving me a desire for more children and yet withholding from me the actual blessing. And honestly, I have done all of these at some point in the past two years.
But I also have the choice to believe in the promises of God.

Genesis 11:30 “Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.”

Abraham’s wife, Sarai (later known as Sarah), prayed earnestly for children. The Lord even promised her husband that he would be the forefather of a great nation and his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky. But Sarah was barren? Had God forgotten his promise? Sarah was also very advanced in years, so much so that she even laughed when an angel prophesied about her upcoming pregnancy. Oh no, the Lord NEVER forgets His promises! He heard the cry of Sarah’s heart.

Genesis 25:21 “And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”

Rebekah was very distraught over her inability to become pregnant. She joined her husband in prayer, just as their parents has done, lifting their desire for children up to the Lord. And the Lord heard Rebekah’s cry and healed her of her infertility and barrenness.

Judges 13:3 “And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.”

Samson’s mother was not a well known of character in the Bible, but her son sure was! A man of great strength, with a hero’s tale of temptation, victory, and the mighty hand of God.  Psalm 113:9 declares that the Lord hears the cry of the heart of the barren woman, and makes her the joyous mother of children!

Isaiah 54:1 ““Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.”

Luke 1:7 “But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.”

Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist, the one to prepare the way for Jesus Christ! Imagine if Elizabeth had given up on taking God at His Word! She would have missed out on the opportunity to play such an incredible role in the greatest story ever told! Elizabeth and her husband, Zachariah, were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. They were also very old in age. The Lord will answer our prayers. It may not be in our timing – actually it almost never will be in our timing – and it may not be how we think it should be answered – but it will be in accordance with the perfect will and timing of the Creator of the Universe, who sees the entire book in one glance when all we can see is a letter or word in a sentence.

Genesis 29:31   When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Genesis 30:22-23 Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.”

Even Leah and Rachel, caught up in a storm of jealousy and deep desire for children that at times surpassed their desire for the Lord, are key players in a story that tells us the same simple truth…that God is the giver of life. That He hears the cries of the barren woman. That He gives life according to His perfect will and perfect timing. And therein lies my choice. Do I take these stories to heart? Ladies, we cannot declare that the Bible is true, but refuse the power of its truth in our lives. And if it was true for Elizabeth and Sarah and Rachel and Leah and Hannah…and Mary!…then it is true for me. All we have to do to see the evidence of the faithfulness of God, is to look back through the stories in Scripture. That is why these stories have been given to us! For with each story of the triumph of God, we are told, “My child, I have not changed. I gave life then, I can do it again! I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Mary, (your name here)…!”

Barrenness. Only the Lord can turn barrenness into fruitfulness! Barrenness can apply to other areas of our life. Do you carry the burden of an area of your life that is barren, lacking, unfruitful, desolate? Have you believed the lie from the pit of hell that this barrenness is your punishment or penitence for the mistakes you have made? If your marriage barren? Is your joy desolate? Is your career or job unproductive? Are your relationships sterile? Is your soul lacking? God desires to bring life to the desolate places. He wants to heal the lacking and sterile places of our life. He desires so much more for us than what we are settling for!

When you consider the places lacking essence and vitality in your life, don’t laugh at the Lord and His ability to bring life to the darkest, most inanimate deserts. Instead, join me as I bring my pain and tears to the feet of Jesus, rest in His promises, and become filled with His breath of life to get up and glorify Him another day. Pray for me as I trust Him to bring life to my barren places. And I will be praying for you as well.

 

 

Resurrection

Acts 13:30 “But God raised him from the dead.”

Matthew 20:32 “And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you.” 

Imagine if Jesus came to your home today and asked you this question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Some of us would answer…”Jesus, heal me of my physical illness.”

Some may answer…”Jesus, cure my child or mother or friend of their cancer.”

Some may say…”Restore my marriage – my relationship with my family – my communication with a lost friend.”

Some of us still would ask for financial freedom and stability, success in our careers, or maybe even the house or car we have always wanted.

Acts 13:30 reveals to us one of the greatest things we could ask for: RESURRECTION. We have come to believe that the key to the Christian life is to simply believe in the resurrection of Jesus. We have condensed “Christianity” to this: if we believe that we are full of sin, and believe that Jesus lived a perfect life and died and rose from the grave, then we have gained a golden ticket to heaven, to be cashed in the moment we close our eyes on this earth and open our eyes at the pearly gates. Amen!

But what if there is another resurrection, in which we have forgotten to believe? Our resurrection! What if being a Christian is not simply about knowing that we will be in heaven when we die? What if through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we may experience communion with God every day on this earth, not having to wait until we die to know the presence of the Lord? We pray the “sinners prayer” as if it is magic words that will allow us to wear long white robes and sit on clouds playing harps in heaven. But what about now? What about the rest of the days and weeks and years we have to navigate on this earth? Where is the hope? My friend, it is not the Lord’s will for us to wander aimlessly, trying to be as good as we can be,  until the day we die and finally get to be in heaven. Nor is it God’s will for us to live according to our own devices, enjoying all this life has to offer, but still get a passage to heaven because we said the magic prayer at church professing that Jesus died and rose again. We see the resurrection of Jesus, and we stop there. We forget about our resurrection! For the resurrection of Jesus made way for us to be transformed and resurrected now.

I know far too many Christians who profess that they believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus, yet they are dead inside. They are living like zombies. They are ransomed and freed slaves, choosing every day to go back into captivity. They are gripped with fear and rage and worry and bitterness and addiction and strife and…

There is another resurrection. Ours! Believe this: the same power and the same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave has been given to us by a mighty loving God, to raise us from the grave as well. God is about the business of bringing things back from the dead. Is your marriage in crisis? God wants to resurrect your marriage to be one of love and laughter and truth and respect. Have you given up on a calling God gave you many years ago? God wants to resurrect that dream and remind you that He never forgets His promises. Has your sense of self-worth been murdered by life’s circumstances? God wants to resurrect your confidence into one that is based on a foundation of who you are in Him. Has your past haunted you and threatened to destroy your future? God wants to resurrect your hope and give you a vibrant future of life and possibilities.

So, Jesus is asking us…”Beloved, what do you want Me to do for you? What do you want Me to bring back from the dead? And before you answer Me, remember Hebrews 11:6. Without faith it is impossible to please Me, for whoever would draw near to Me must believe that I exist and that I reward those who seek Me. You must believe that I can do what it is you are asking Me to do. You sit there and doubt Me because your marriage is failing apart. But when have you come to your knees and surrendered your marriage to Me and asked Me to resurrect your relationship with your husband? Ask Me to bring your marriage back from the dead…and believe that I can! You walk through your day captured in doubt and worry, questioning My presence and My sufficiency and My sovereignty. But when do you delve into the Scriptures and allow yourself to be rejuvenated with My Truth? Ask Me to bring your joy and strength back from the dead…and believe that I can! Don’t just stop at believing in My resurrection. Believe that My resurrection can make a difference in your life now, not just in the eternal life. Believe that the very same power that rose Me from the dead is alive and active and ready to raise you from the dead. Oh, My love, I have something so much more for you than this way you are living! Invite Me to be Lord of your life, not just Lord of your afterlife! What do you want me to do for you? What do you want Me to bring back from the dead? Receive not just My resurrection, but yours as well! Don’t just invite Me into your heart, but invite Me to be Lord of your life. I cannot wait for you to invite Me in, so I may show you the great wonders and blessings I have for you! Commune with Me now! Don’t want until you are dead to live in victory!”

Can you hear it? The sound of the stone rolling away. Can you feel it? The earth tremble as God is opening your tomb. Arise, my love. The grave no longer has a hold on you!

The Anointing of a Warrior

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death…So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:1,2,12-17, 37-39

Beloved, you have the anointing of a warrior! You are not a weak and frail woman. No, you are a warrior princess. You are a daughter of the Great Victor. You are heir to the power and authority of Jesus Christ! You are a great priestess. You are not a victim. You are not defeated. You are a victor, a warrior, more than a conqueror!

Dare to collide with the Creator of the Universe. Dare to rid yourself of all but love – perfect Love, in whose presence fear is cast out to the great beyond!

The life of sacrifice is the only way to freedom. The life of sacrifice is the only life worth living. All is not too much to give to the God who gave His all for you! Will you be a sacrifice for Jesus on this earth?

Jesus, take our world apart! We are on our knees! We cry out to You broken. Do not let us go on in accordance to our flawed and faulty plans! Bestow Your love upon us and overhaul our lives. Interrupt our selfish ways. Disturb our paths of victimization and repair our choices of brokenness. Oh God, we need You!

Beloved, abandon what you think you already know, and dive into the adventure of complete obedience to the Lord! He is inviting you…today…right now. An invitation sits on your doorstep, to know the presence of the Lord today. An invitation to surrender. And in your surrender, you will finally find freedom, and true joy, and true peace, and unshakable hope!

The unbearable nights, when my enemies haunt me and question me, “Where is your God now?” I am the only one to blame for this! For the step to freedom is simply my choice to believe! My choice to pick up my Bible when I know I need it the most. My choice to walk in the power and authority I have in Jesus Christ, to look the enemy in the face and shout, “My God is right where He has always been! His Word is true and His salvation is real! And I am choosing to live in the Truth of God and not the falsities of the enemy! I am tired of you destroying my family, my marriage, my heart. In Jesus name, satan, get out of my house!”

We stand among remains of a life we should not own. Jesus, take our world apart. We are on our knees, broken on our knees. It takes all we are to believe in the mercy that covers us. All we are for all You are, Jesus! Take our sinful world apart, and replace it with You! Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ladies, we stand on a precipice, on the edge of a turning point. We can hold onto life as we know it – wake up, worry, get dressed, fret, eat breakfast, cry, rush to work, worry some more, wash the dishes, allow loneliness to overtake us, snap at our children, cry again, disrespect our husband, loose all hope, catch a breath, finally make it to bed, and struggle to fall asleep amidst feelings of guilt from today and emotions of doubt about tomorrow…

Or…we can stop. Lift our eyes up to the heavens. Raise our arms to our Daddy. Fall on our knees before the Lord. And cry in all honesty and surrender, “Lord I believe, help me believe.” My sisters, I have no magical words to cure you of worry and strife. All I have is Jesus. And how do we live lives of freedom? Let’s start by doing the one thing we all know we need more than anything else…REST. And REST is found only in SURRENDER. Sit down and open your Bible and say these words, “Jesus. I give up trying to do this on my own. I surrender my ides of how today, this week, this year, my life should be. I am tired when I do it my way, and You made me to run with endurance. I can barely crawl when i live on my strength, and You made me to soar. I am done doing it my way. Take my world apart. I give it to You, I give it to You.”

And say this 100 time a day, if that is what it takes. Never stop believing in and fighting for the victorious life, for you have the power of the Almighty God!

– Jars of Clay, “World Apart” –
More and more I need you now, I owe you more each passing hour. So steal my heart and take the pain, and wash my feet and cleanse my pride. Take the selfish, take the weak, and all the things I cannot hide.
Take the beauty, take my tears, this sin-soaked heart and make it Yours. Take my world all apart, and serve the ones that I despise. Speak the words I can’t deny. Watch the world I used to love fall to dust and blow away.

100 Years From Now

Isaiah 43:1-3
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

What can I say to you that will matter 100 years from now?

What can I say to you that will comfort you in the darkness of the night when the reality of your situation keeps you from rest?

What can I say to you that will ring true in your heart and soul for years to come?

What can I say to you that will calm the storm and bring to you long-awaited peace?

What can I say to you that will matter 100 years from now?

The most important thing I can say to you…the most important message I can send your way…the most important thing I can give to you that will matter 100 years from now…

JESUS. JESUS! JESUS!!

 Mark 4:39     And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
 Matthew 8:27     And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

You see, the fall of man in the Garden of Eden was not the game changer. Jesus was the game changer! He alone can bring good from the worst of storms. He alone can heal the broken heart. He alone can give you the strength to get out of bed in the morning. He alone can make your life worth something more than our feeble days and years on this planet. He alone can bring peace to your past, purpose to your present, and hope to your future.

Let your tears flow into the hands of Jesus. Cry your questions and doubts out to the ears of Jesus. Lay your addictions and fears at the feet of Jesus. Sacrifice your desires and wants at the cross of Jesus. Give your life and your future to the will of Jesus. Wake up and trust this beautiful new day to the sovereignty of Jesus. And tonight, close your eyes, and breath in the presence of Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate balm to the weary soul. Jesus is the most satisfying drink for your thirty soul. Jesus is the great healer for your broken soul.

When you don’t understand what your eyes see…Jesus!

When you don’t know how you can survive today…Jesus!

When you don’t know where you will be in five years…Jesus!

When you don’t know where you will be tomorrow…Jesus!

When those you love hurt you…Jesus!

When those you love leave this life for the eternal…Jesus!

When your child is sick and hope seems fleeting…Jesus!

Jesus didn’t walk as man on this earth just to show us how to live in a godly and righteous manner. I believe that He also became man, so He could look into our weary eyes and say, “Beloved, I am with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I know what it is like to be persecuted. I know what it is like to have those you love turn their back on you. I know what it is like to see someone you love die. I know what it is like to be homeless. I know pain, tears, joy, laughter, sorrow, grief…and yes, even I have cried out to God, ‘let this cup pass from me if it be your will!'”

So, when you have nowhere else to go and nobody else to talk to and you don’t know what tomorrow holds…turn to Jesus. For the closeness of the Spirit, a deeper relationship with the Lord, and the realization of the necessity of Jesus in your life, are always promised as GOOD that come in the midst of the storm.

“Our job is not to calm the storm. Our job is to keep the boat intact and make sure the boat stays the course. Our job is to look to the horizon and trust the One who created those waves!” – Francis Chan

What Are You Afraid Of?

Have you ever stopped to consider how much of our life is dictated by fear? We may not realize that several of our every day decisions, and especially those decisions made at the major crossroads in our life, are determined by our fears. We fear what others may think, we fear being alone, we fear being vulnerable, we fear trying new things, we fear being out of our comfort zones, we fear not having what we need, we fear that God doesn’t have our back, we fear being rejected, we fear that life will not turn out the way we wanted it to,…and the list goes on. Our lives are so characterized by fear, that we have even created new words in our language, to describe the fears that people have.

Xanthophobia: the fear of the color yellow

Turophobia: the fear of cheese

Somniphobia: the fear of falling asleep

Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns

Hylophobia: the fear of trees

Nomophobia: the fear of being without mobile phone coverage

Pogonophobia: the fear of beards

Trypophobia: the fear of holes

Triskaidekaphobia: the fear of the number 13

While the fear of the color yellow seems a bit silly to me, I could make a good argument as to why the fear of spiders and the fear of snakes is completely legitimate! Seriously, this world is full of death, sin, murder, and bad people who do bad things. We teach our children to not play in the street, to not touch the stove burner, and to not talk to strangers. Some would argue that our fears are what keep us safe, keep us within secure boundaries. But, if that were so, then why does the Lord tell us to not be afraid? We define fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” With this understanding, it is healthy to fear those things that would cause us danger, and to stay away from the things that threaten us and cause us pain.

However, the Lord’s dictionary is much more supreme than Webster’s. I would venture to say that the Lord defines fear as “that which inhibits you from embracing the calling I have placed on your life,” or “the worry that consumes you and paralyzes you from living the abundant life I desire for you,” or maybe even “the deception birthed from believing the lies the enemy has whispered in your ear.” The Word of God tells us at least 365 times to not be afraid – that is one for every day of the year!

1 John 4:18 —– There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

The only source of perfect love is our heavenly Father, and where He dwells, fear will no longer thrive. The Lord instructs us that it is not fear that leads us to the “safe” life, but rather wisdom. The Lord’s desire for us is not to define our decisions and lifestyles and interactions with others, based on our fears. Rather, He desires for us to walk in wisdom and understanding and knowledge of Him.

 Joshua 1:9 —– Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Proverbs 9:10 —– The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

Psalm 111:10 —– The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Proverbs 1:7 —– The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Beloved, what are you most afraid of? That is your idol! What do you fear most? That is what is directing your life! What fears consume your thoughts and actions? They are taking the place of lordship in your life that is rightfully due to the Creator of the universe! It is time for us to remove our idol of fear from the throne of our heart!

The Bible makes a clear distinction between the life that is lived in fear, and the life that is walked in faith. Every day the good Lord allows us to wake up to a new morning, we have a choice. A choice to live in fear, or to walk in faith. A choice to cower as a slave, or to dance in freedom. Believe Romans 8:15, and write it on the walls of your soul! We have not been given a spirit of slavery, to fall right back into fear. We have been adopted into the family of God and we have received the Holy Spirit. Beloved, remember who you are!

Yes, a quick glance at our world, the evening news, our facebook timeline, or even the conversations our children are having at school – will give us plenty of reasons to live in fear and see the world around us fall apart and grow farther and farther from the truths of Scripture…BUT we have the promise of John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” When we delve into the Word of God – and believe it – and receive it – we will see that we have nothing to be afraid of!

2 Timothy 1:7 —– For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.