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Short & Sweet: Living in Fearful Times

FearfulNot snakes. Not mice. Not bats.

Spiders.

I am afraid of spiders. They are ugly. They have EIGHT creepy eyes (What has eight eyes?) They are hairy. They pop up when you least expect them and are gone when you return to kill them. Worst of all— they crunch when you hit them. Ugghhh!

But God tells us we need fear only one thing.

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

If we fear only Him, we need fear nothing else.

What is fear?

Phobeo, which is original Greek word for fear in Matthew 10:28, means fear, dread, terror. Who are those who can kill the body? Enemies, Isis, terrorists, any man. God tells us not to fear them, but to only fear Him. How does this work? Who doesn’t fear a person who is armed and dangerous? Hold that thought for a moment; we will revisit it in a moment. Please read the next verse:

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5

When traced back to its root, the Hebrew word used for fear in 5 is yare’, which means to fear, reverence, honor, respect, to stand in awe of, be awed. Not just fear, but holy fear. Yare’ also means to tremble with joy.

While any reasonable person fears a person with a weapon, as Christians, we must center our life on God, not fear of man. We cannot hide in our houses and fulfill the Great Commission at the same time. Jesus came so we can have life abundant. He wants us to live by faith, trusting His plan for our life and our death. If we are facing great suffering, then there is great glory and reward at stake.

I have wrestled with this whole fear issue.

It comes down to one thing: what drives my decisions?  Are my decisions based on Truth, my personal preferences or the fear of man? In the end, I will obey whatever I fear.

I would like to throw another fear option on the table—fear of self.

You know you suffer from fear of self if:

  1. You always have to be comfortable.
  2. Everyone must approve of your every decision.
  3. You wouldn’t dream of going to the grocery store without makeup.
  4. You’d only take a mission trip if Starbucks and Panera were within walking distance of your destination.
  5. You have to fly/not fly, ride a bus/not ride a bus, take a mule/don’t take a mule, go somewhere only with/without your husband or (horrors!) go by yourself.
  6. You have to have access to modern facilities, to bathe twice a day, and sleep in a private room.

Yes, I am guilty of many of the above and I’m sure you can add others.

I can only choose one: the fear of God, the tyranny of self, or the fear of man.

I am staging a revolution.

I am done doing life afraid.

WHAT IF there is another terrorist attack today?

WHAT IF there is a significant natural disaster today?

WHAT IF someone doesn’t like my new haircut?

SO WHAT if people think I’m nuts for being sold out for Jesus?

SO WHAT if people think I’m cra-cra for leaving a job with greater pay to take a position with fewer perks?

SO WHAT if people think I  out of my mind for taking a chance on a start-up?

Whatever comes, God promises to see me through and to use all things for my good and His glory. I’m done checking-in with THEM, and I’m going to live as God calls and leads.

Are you tired of living life afraid? Tired of living like a shadow person? Make no decisions based on  phobeo, but on yare. Join me in my revolution. Let’s fear God, take a step of faith and live.

Action Points:

  1. Make a decision. Do you look at your options and pick the safest? Do you ask your husband to decide for you? Do you let your girlfriends make all your decisions? Are your decisions based on your personal comfort  or benefit (ouch!)?
  2. Pray about decisions. Do what God calls you to do. Remember, God will never ask you to do something that does not line up with scripture.
  3. Face a fear. Go to a movie by yourself. Initiate a conversation with a new person at church. Take a class. Make the call. Start the ministry. Join the team. Just do it. And if you have to, do it afraid.

Life is sweet. Face your fears.

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Short & Sweet: 5 Ways to Fear God, Not Man

Princes also sit and speak against me, but your servant meditates on your statutes.

Psalm 119:23

I have struggled with the fear of man for a long time. For many years it got the better of me and cost me plenty: lost sleep, decreased fruitfulness, and lack of peace. Fear of man has caused me to blindly stumble by sight instead of walking by faith with my Savior.

The fear of man.

The fear of man is a horrible way to live—peace depends on the acceptance and affirmation of others. And those who don’t affirm and accept us, own us. Like puppets on a string, we jump and dance, striving to gain approval. Our mind, heart, soul and energy are focused on keeping them happy, and they will never be happy. The only One who can be trusted to own us is Jesus.

If we follow God, men will not be happy with us, and in some cases, Christians will not approve either. The key to freedom, however, is embedded in the verse above. Instead of meditating on what men say, we purposely and intentionally shift our focus to what God says. Focusing on God’s Word frees us from the fear of man, and when we fear God, He blesses us.

The choice is ours.

From the verse above, we see we have a choice; we can either meditate on the lies and slander of men OR the truth and grace of God’s Word. Man’s word or God’s Word? Man’s word kills, steals and destroys, but God’s Word creates, builds and empowers.  Even when He rebukes us, He’s busy developing greater character, faith and fruit in our heart.

Meditate=Create5 Ways

In Hebrew the word meditate transliterates as siyach, which means “to put forth, mediate, muse, commune, speak, complain, ponder, sing.” It also means, “to talk to oneself.” In addition, siyach means “to produce, to bring forth, to germinate, to put forth shoots and buds.”  Do you see the progression? Whatever we choose to focus on will produce fruit.

Our Choices:

 The Words of Man

  1. We hear what others say about us.
  2. We think about what they say about us.
  3. We tell others what they said about us.
  4. We TELL ourselves what others have said about us.
  5. We focus and act on lies.

We cooperate with the enemy as he works to destroy us.

 The Word of God

  1. We read what God says about us.
  2. We think about what God says about us.
  3. We tell others what God says about us.
  4. We tell ourselves what God says about us.
  5. We focus on God and act on truth.

We cooperate with God as He works to transform us into the image of Christ, and further His Kingdom on earth.

If you are like me, you sometimes have trouble eliminating the lies echoing through your mind. How do we silence the broken record of the lies?

5 Ways to cultivate the fear of God.

  1. Get a new broken record. Memorize scripture and say it over and over in your mind.
  2. MEDITATE on what God says about you. Whenever Satan attacks you with a lie (he often does this through other people), speak scripture in your mind and out loud.
  3. Reboot your mind. When a depressing thought enters your mind or your self-talk turns south, immediately shut it down and go back to step 2. Replace lies with truth.
  4. Hold your ground. Do step 3 as often as needed.
  5. Praise God. Turn the temptation to despair into opportunities to praise God. Say something like, “God, thank you that You are using what so-and-so said for my good. I thank you that You are stronger than this situation.” Satan will be silenced.

Repeat steps 1-5 as often as needed. There are days when I carry my Bible verse cards with me every where I go.  The enemy can be that relentless. But God has given us the victory, if we will only hold our ground and walk by faith.

Life is sweet. Fear God.

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Back to School,Obey the Rules

To Do-ers List Bible Study: Back to School, Obey the Rules

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey — whether slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Roman 6:16

Slave to Fear

When I was a little girl, I was embarrassed by something that happened in church one Sunday. It wasn’t a big deal, but in my mind, I blew it up to big proportions until I feared that it would happen again. The fear grew out of control until I dreaded going to church. Unfortunately, fear became my go-to emotion in my life. When I finally conquered the fear from the original occurrence, another one quickly replaced it. The process of how I dealt with difficulties in my life was broken, and it was making me a slave to fear, which is actually a sin!

Call It What It Is

I did not realize that this now-established pattern in my life was a sin. And I certainly didn’t realize that I was “obeying” it, but I was. It controlled many aspects of my life because I would go to great lengths to avoid the thing that created fear. And this was ever changing, ever growing; the talons of fear were firmly clasped around my throat, strangling the life out of me.

It wasn’t until I gave my life to Christ that I learned to be obedient to Him and the truth of His word, and that is what bought me my freedom. It was a slow process because I had years of learned wrong behaviors. But as the Holy Spirit got a hold of my life, I switched my allegiance to the Life Giver, and He set me free.

How did He do this? Here’s some of the things that helped.

  • Attending church and absorbing the sermons
  • Reading the Bible for myself
  • Memorizing scripture that applied to my situation and repeating them aloud many times, speaking them into the situation
  • Praying and identifying another trusted person to pray for me
  • Changing my thinking from focusing on lies to truth
  • Listening to biblical teaching on fear
  • Talking to those wiser than me

One thing I realized was that

As we have already mentioned previously in this study, spending time with Jesus studying his word are crucial elements to becoming doers of the word. Mary told me about a little book called A Gospel Primer for Christians, Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent that really helps the reader to rehearse who you are in Christ and the righteousness that is now yours. It may help you to firmly plant these truths in your mind and heart too. Here is a link to it on CBD. (OnlyByPrayer is an affiliate of CBD, so if you purchase this book from this link, we will receive a small profit from that).

904670: A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God"s Love A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love
By Milton Vincent / Focus PublishingTo the Christians in Rome, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I am eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome” (Romans 1:15). Evidently, Christians need to hear the gospel even after conversion. A Gospel Primer for Christians is designed to do just that. Use this book to preach the gospel to yourself on a daily basis, and be amazed at the difference it can make in your life!

For Today

Today let’s identify if there are any areas of our lives where we are not obeying Jesus. Is there something that you need to let go of or give up? Is there an area that you’ve been trying to retain control of? Perhaps you’re not even aware of it, as I was not. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to identify it and for the grace to hand it over. Then come up with a plan of how you will walk in freedom. List one or two things that you can do today to work for or maintain your freedom by obeying Jesus’ rules.

Resources:

To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device.

Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below! Choose your verse/s for today and be a Doer of the Word.

School is in session. Obey the rules!

Previous Sessions of To Do-ers List, Back to School:

Day 1: New Clothes

Day 2: The Book

Day 3: Pack a Lunch

Day 4: Listen to The Teacher

Day 5: Study!




Take 5! Fear and Faith

Take5! png

 Take 5!

Fear and Faith

Please Take 5! minutes and go before God in prayer. Confess to Him any sin and ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Please read John 20:18-22.

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. 19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Prior to this portion of Scripture, Jesus had just risen from the dead. Early resurrection morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to be with her Lord. Finding the tomb empty, Mary stood outside the tomb and wept. Suddenly, Jesus appeared to Mary and spoke to her.

What did Jesus tell Mary to do?

 

He sent her on her first missionary journey—to tell the disciples He had risen! Jesus gives us the same instructions—tell others we have seen the Lord and He has spoken great things to us.

Name something God has spoken to your heart.

 

Later that day, the disciples gathered together (because of fear and because of faith), perhaps to pray and to discuss the earthshaking, stone-rolling events that had recently occurred.

Read verse 19 and record the word used to describe the doors.

 

Why were the doors locked?

 

They were locked because of fear. All the disciples were gathered in one small room. Locked in. Locked down.

Fear locks us in and prevents us from fulfilling God’s calling on our lives. Fear kills joy. Fear steals purpose. Fear destroys ministry. Kills … steals … destroys. Satan’s calling card. But suddenly—Jesus appears. He meets us in the middle of our fear … and everything changes. Doors unlock. Windows open. Prisoners freed.

Faith frees.

What does Jesus tell the disciples (verse 21)?

 

Draw close to Jesus and receive a fresh breathe of the Spirit and go. He is sending you.

 

Antidote for fear …

1. Remember Jesus is with you in your fear, amid the flames, and among the waters; bringing down walls and  giants.
2. Meet with Jesus. It will turn your fear to joy.
3. Receive the spirit. God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, sound mind and love.
4. Continue to do God’s work. Do it afraid.

Remember, 

Have a blessed day.

Mary Kane

copyright 2015

all rights reserved.




Short & Sweet: I am by Mary Kane

Short&Sweetjpeg

Nourishment and refreshment for the soul!

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.” Joshua 10:8

Too much of my life has been spent fearing the wrong things. Fear of failure, fear of accidents, fear of change, and fear of sickness and death have all cost me plenty, but nothing has been more costly than the fear of man.

Why do I fear man? I fear because perhaps what others say about me is true.

 

I am nothing.

         I am wrong.

                         I am weak.

                                   I am useless.

                                               I am dumb.

I am broken.

  I amI amI am

I AM that I AM

The GREAT I AM!

In the GREAT I AM …

I am called … I am chosen … I am gifted … beautiful … redeemed … forgiven … talented, restored, adopted, strong, wise, beautiful, useful, effective, influential, free, justified, blameless, pure, sanctified, holy, alive, secure, complete, victorious, and loved. I am because He is.

Fear of man will cause me to miss my calling; to leave unlived the life God has willed for me. The only thing God wants me to fear is Him. He calls me to lay aside all other fear, and live with boldness: standing ground, slaying giants, and tumbling walls.

Because of the Great I AM, I am.

Action Points:

1. Slowly, with emphasis,  read the I am list out loud.

2. Mark in your mind the most important attributes in the I am list and thank God for what He has made you in Christ Jesus.

3. Make your decisions today based on the fear of God, not the fear of man.

 

Remember who you are in the Great I AM.

Life is sweet,

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For more information on overcoming fear, please click on the links below.

Francis Chan: Fear Not

 

Joyce Meyer: Choose Boldness

 




Unlikely Heroes: Gideon

ID-100125802Superman … Batman … Wonder Woman. How would you describe your favorite super hero? Would you choose the words weak, fearful or least? Probably not! Yet these words are used to describe one of the great heroes of the Bible. Gideon is a hero–a very unlikely hero. To do the study Unlikely Heroes: Gideon, please click on the link.

 

Image courtesy of  Jeroen van Oostrom/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.