Archive for the ‘devotional’ Category

Dread

Does the word dread ever enter your mind or conversation?  It does mine. Sometimes when I’m tired I dread having to go to the store for groceries, or I dread the housework facing me that day, or I dread an appointment; especially the dentist or doctor.  Sometimes I even dread having to get up and start my day. I thought to myself, “Why do I dread things?”  “What is dread anyway?”  So, I looked it up in the dictionary and here is what I found: Dread: “To be in terror of; fear greatly.  Fearful anticipation.”

Wait a minute!  Fearful anticipation!  What?  I thought fear was out of my life.  I didn’t know that dreading something was being fearful.  So, is it sinful to dread things?  I don’t want to sin against God!

I looked up “fear.”  Here are some synonyms for fear:  anxiety, dread, panic, trepidation, worry, stress.  Oh no!  I’m not liking what I’m reading! What does the Bible say about anxiety?

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Mat 6:25-34 MKJV Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (26) Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? (27) Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? (28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, (29) but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (32) For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (34) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall be anxious for its own things. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it. (Emphasis mine)

In these verses I count the phrase “do not be anxious,” three times.  Just think about it, these words came out of the lips of Jesus himself!  Amazing!  And, when He says something we can take it to the bank.  This is a command!  Do not be anxious!  There is no other way to look at this than anxiety (and all those other terms we use, like dread, and fear) is  sin.  In these verses Jesus Christ has told us not to be anxious about anything:  our life, our immediate needs, and our future.  If I dread things then I am also being anxious, and anxiety is definitely sin.  I need to confess to God that I have sinned and repent of it.  Repent means to turn away from.  I need to turn away from any dreadful thoughts and turn them over to God.

Doubt

Doubt and dread are first cousins. What is doubt?  Doubt is to be unsure, or distrust, or something uncertainexodus6_30 or unsettled.  Yes, when we are uncertain and unsettled in our minds about something than that thing becomes bigger than us and we begin to dread it.  Our minds go over the situation time and again, and sometimes we blow it out of proportion. We doubt that we can do the thing that lies before us, or we feel it will make us feel uncomfortable, and we dread it more and more until we are paralyzed.

Jas 1:6 MKJV But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. (Emphasis mine)

Picture the waves of the sea crashing upon the seashore.  The wind drives the waves against the shore and then back out to sea again to be driven in again.  We are like a tiny boat on that sea and when doubt enters our minds we are tossed all about not being able to make decisions or function.  We need an anchor.  The Bible is our anchor and we can find our answers there.  Don’t be tossed about by everything you hear or think.  The mind is the devil’s playground, and dread and doubt can keep us from doing the work God has called us to. Satan is happy when we are full of worry and stress.  Are you experiencing this?  Is there something you know God wants you to do but you are full of dread when you think of doing it?  Cheer up!  There is an answer.2 Timothy 1;7

Discipline

So, what is the antidote for dread and doubt?  It is another word that starts with “d.”  It’s discipline. According to the dictionary discipline is, “training that develops self-control.”  That’s it!  We need to discipline or train our minds in order to be in control of our thoughts.  “How do we do that?” you may ask. Let’s look to our anchor the Bible for the way out of the storm. Do you know that God loves us so much that He told us what to even think about? It’s true!

Php 4:8 NASB Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Emphasis mine)

It’s right there in the Bible.  We have to discipline our thought life.  Think about what you think about! Examine your thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  Are you thinking rightly? Or, are your thoughts anxious?  If you catch yourself thinking about something you truly dread, or perhaps a doctor’s report you are about to receive, then check out your thoughts.  Are you blowing them out of proportion? Are they true?  Or, are you jumping ahead to the “what ifs,” or “what might be.” These words are also a picture of Jesus.  He is all of these things.  Set you mind on things above.

Col 3:2 NASB Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Our minds can be renewed.  As we study, read the Word and pray God will renew our minds and it will change us.  We don’t have to be the way we used to be.  We don’t have to think all those awful thoughts that drag us down.

Rom 12:2 MKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Deliverance

Deliverance is to “set free.”  I like those words.  If I can just get my mind to be rid of any fearful, dreadful, anxious thoughts, than I would not feel stressed and I’d be free!psalm3_8

2Co 10:5 MKJV pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; (Emphasis mine)

Let’s not be captives of our thoughts!  Let’s be free! Who is in charge?  You or your mind? Take control and set yourself free.  God says in the above verse that we can take captive every thought.  If He says we can than we can!  With God’s help, prayer and keeping in the Word we can be disciplined and overcome dread and doubt.

How do we do this?  Here’s how.

Php 4:6 MKJV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Emphasis mine)

Checking your thoughts and then prayer.  Ask God for help, and be thankful.  Tell Him things that you are thankful for.  He is waiting.  He is right there all the time ready to help us if we will only call on Him.

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If you change what you think about do you know what will happen?

Php 4:7 MKJV And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Isn’t that wonderful?  We can have a peace which we cannot even describe.  I know this is possible because I’ve had this peace.  I still have to be careful every day and monitor my thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  I can’t let them get away from me.  It is very easy to fall back into the bad thought habits that were once an everyday part of me.  I must be on guard.

In summary we see:

Dread: It keeps us from doing God’s will in our lives.

Doubt: When we doubt we are not trusting.  It is Satan’s tool to trip us up.

Discipline: Be aware. We need to break old bad thinking habits and acquire new ones according to the Word.

Deliverance: Depend on God to set us free.

If you have trouble in this area I would suggest you take a 3×5 card and write out Philippians 4:8. Put it where it is easy for you to see or get too.  You could place it on your desk, in your purse, on your visor in the car; wherever it is handy for you. It would also be a great scripture verse to memorize so you wouldn’t have to depend on finding your card.  Also memorize Philippians 4:6-7

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1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB  (19)  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

I suppose I’ve read the above scripture many times and kind of skimmed over it and the meaning didn’t really set in.  Maybe you have also.  Let’s take a few minutes and meditate on these verses.

Just think, the Word says our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Now, what does that mean?  When we became Christians the Holy Spirit came and now dwells in us.

2 Timothy 1:14 NASB (emphasis mine) Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

The Holy Spirit of God now actually lives in us!  Wow!  That seems impossible doesn’t it?  But, it is true!  The third head of the godhead now lives in me!  And also in you! We have been changed! We are different now that we have Him in us!  What an awesome privilege it is that God in His infinite wisdom chose to allow the Holy Spirit to live in us.  That simply boggles my mind!

We are not the same as when we walked in the world before we were saved.  In fact, the Bible says we “are a new creation.”

2 Corinthians 5:17a NASB  (17)  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;…

What does it mean that our bodies are a “temple” of the Holy Spirit?  The word temple means a sacred place.  We are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and our bodies are to be holy, acceptable to God.   How can my body be holy?  I know that when something in the Bible is holy it means that it is set apart for a special use, such as the vessels used in the temple in Old Testament days.  So, that must mean we are set apart by God for a special use and part of that is for us to be a temple for the Holy Spirit.

This is serious business!  As we live out our Christian lives we must remember who we are in Christ.  We must remember that the Holy Spirit lives in us and that we are His holy home.  We need to think about the things we do and the places we go.  Remember, who is with you at all times.

As I ponder these things, I realize it is vitally important how I act, where I go, and who I spend my time with.  I need to evaluate my actions with the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in me.  I need to remind myself throughout the day of this fact.

Do you remember from the scriptures how Jesus went into the temple area and found the money changers there and because there was corruption and greed going on He threw over the tables and cleansed the area?  He said, “…My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13 KJV) Likewise the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer according to God’s will.  We are the means the Holy Spirit uses to offer up His prayers.

But, what if we don’t live holy lives?  We are a temple and when we sin we are as the money changers.  We corrupt the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and that is shameful. Do you think God just might discipline us for that?

Do you realize that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to purchase our salvation?  He gave His life so that we might not have to pay the penalty for our sins.  The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death.”

Romans 6:23 KJV(emphasis mine)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB (emphasis mine)   (20)  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

We must keep our bodies undefiled because they are a shrine of the Holy Spirit. When we live holy lives we glorify God.  We show Him respect and honor by living the right way.

After meditating on these things I think we need to take an inventory of our lives and see if we live a holy life, or if we follow the things of the world.  There is  much coming at us all day long that can trip us up.  We need to be mindful of who we are in Christ and who lives with us.

  • Can we take the Holy Spirit to the bar?
  • Can we take Him to the casino?
  • Can we take Him out on that date with an unbeliever?
  • What about the kind of people we hang out with?  Is there coarse language and dirty jokes?
  • Do we watch the right kind of movies and television programs?
  • Can we go out partying like we did before we were saved?

I believe that when we are faced with a decision about whether we should do something or not we need to ask ourselves: “Would Jesus do this?  Does this thing honor Him and will it bring Him glory?”

A few weeks back I wrote an article about doing Tai Chi.  As a Christian I determined that I could not do that because I should not participate in a false religion.  I could not take Jesus with me to Tai Chi.  It would not glorify God.  This is just one example of how we need to evaluate what we do and who we spend our time with knowing that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.

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What is your heart’s desire?  Is it to be healed from anxiety and fear? 
 
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
 
Do you delight yourself in the Lord?  What does that mean?  Well, you need to meditate on God, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)  You need to think about how wonderful He is and how glorious His creation all around us is.  You need to hunger for greater understanding of His love and grace.  You need to long for Him to come back again.
You need to meditate on everything about our precious Lord and Savior.  You need to be grateful for everything He has done regarding the gospel and how He made a way for your eternal salvation.
 
Out of your heart of thanksgiving you need to serve the Lord.  After all, He saved us and adopted us into His family.  He is Lord over us. He is Sovereign and He is in control.  We need to bow our knee to Christ no matter what our circumstances are.  From the above verse we can see that the first thing we need to do is fix our minds on Him, not ourselves, as we delight ourselves in the Lord.
 
If we are ill; if we are in financial trouble; if we battle fear and anxiety; if we are in bad relationships; if we are in an uncomfortable work situation; if our spouse is not saved and doesn’t like us to live as a Christian; if our children give us terrible problems; if our parents give us problems; if we are challenged in our school work; if we have too much to do; if we are lonely; if we hurt; if we are angry; if we are sad; if we feel inferior; no matter what, we need to put the Lord first in our lives and live to please Him.  Are you willing to die to yourself and put God in first place? 
 
Many people think they need to get things straightened out first then they will get serious with God. “If only God would heal me than I could serve Him.” I used to think that myself. That approach is entirely backwards.  What we need to do, no matter what our problems are, is turn to God, pour out our hearts to Him, and humbly ask Him what we can do for Him.  Not what can He do for us.  Our healing is secondary, and is entirely up to Him.  Please learn to accept that.  Accept that God is in charge of you and your body. 
 
I’ve heard many people say they made a “deal” with God.  I’ll bet you’ve heard that too.  Someone who is  ill may say, “God if you will only heal me of this I will promise to go to church every week.”  You can’t make deals with God.  It won’t work.  We can’t manipulate a God who is Sovereign. Remember that.
 
The truth is God can and will do whatever He wants.  It’s not up to us.  He is our Master, and we are His slaves.  We need to realize this. 
 
Do you love God?  Do you love the Word?  If so, then your first priority is to be in the Word, read it, study it, meditate on verses.  Go to church, get involved in some way.  Serve Christ through the local church.  Take your mind off your own health and how you feel.  Give them all to God to care for.  He is your Father.  Set your mind on others.  Do what you can.  At first it might be that you pray for others.  Do that!  Perhaps the pastor could give you a list of people who are shut-ins or who have missed church for awhile and you could call them to ask how they are doing, and encourage them.  There is much work to be done and there are never enough workers. 
 
If you can’t go to church at this time, still get right with God and keep short accounts with Him.  If you know of a sin in your life, confess it, repent of it, and ask God to forgive you.  Then, get on with your life.  You can even serve God at home as you pray for others.  Pray for this group, and each member.  Pray for me as I need to write and answer emails, not in my own strength, but in the Lords.  Pray for our country, our leaders, and the local leaders where you live.  Pray for family members who are not saved.  Pray for those who seem to be against you.  Oh, there is no end to the things we can do for the Lord.
 
Make the Lord your first priority and you will see your other problems begin to take care of themselves.  As you draw closer to God and delight in Him, your desires will line up with His desires for you.  He will give you the desires of your heart.  He says so!
 
 
 

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Dear Heavenly Father,  I come before you a poor soul who has been graciously saved by grace.  Lord, I don’t know why you chose me, but I am forever grateful that you did.  I certainly didn’t deserve anything at all.
You are a holy God and you are full of mercy and grace.  Lord, I lift up to you all of those who read this prayer and ask that you open up their eyes of understanding to know that they are sinners because of their heritage in Adam and Eve.  When they sinned in the garden, sin entered into the world and has been passed down from generation to generation. 
Help the reader take a good look at themselves and be honest.  Help them see that they  are not capable of saving themselves but need a Savior.  God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to this earth in the form of man so we can identify with Him. Your precious Son took on all the sins of mankind when He went to the cross and died.  He took on mine and He took on the sins of those who read this prayer. Oh, Lord, thank you that you made a way for us to be right before a holy God.
Jesus beat death when He rose from the grave three days after he was buried.  He is ALIVE, in Heaven right now at your side.  This shows us that we too can have the promise of a new life after death. 
I pray that the reader will turn to you Lord. That they will bow their knee to you and allow you to be master over their life.  Lord, please open their spiritual eyes so that they may see their desperate need. 
Your Word tells us that this life is not the end of it all.  When we die we will either go to heaven or hell depending on who we serve down here.  Some will continue to serve themselves and will not respond to your Word.  They will spend eternity in Hell.  Your Word teaches that Hell is a real place and it is eternal torment.  Lord, please, don’t let anyone who is reading this prayer go to Hell.  I beg you Lord. Please help their unbelief right this minute.
There are others who believe they are Christians and on their way to Heaven, but have been deceived by false teaching.  Lord, if anyone is reading this prayer falls into this category, please give them a nudge in their hearts to examine themselves to see if they are truly in the faith.  It is not by good works that they will be saved, and it is not by being a nice person, joining a church, giving money or anything else man can do. 
Lord you want us!  You want our soul and you want our bodies for service.  If there is someone out there who does all the right things in their mind, but does not love you God, does not love your Word, and does not love their fellow Christian brothers and sisters, then by you own Word, that person is not saved.
They need to be born again.  Born anew, and become a new creation.  That is what you do for us.  And, it is wonderful that you actually adopt us into your family, God.  You become our Heavenly Father, and we can call you Father.  Once that happens then you take care of us.  We don’t have to worry or fear anymore.  We will have peace deep down inside knowing when we die we will go to Heaven.  There is no uncertainty about it.  We can be sure! 
If there is someone reading this that is not sure, then Lord I pray you will touch their heart today and nudge them to get right with you.  Open their eyes that they might see.  Help that person to become one of your family members Lord.  Help that person to make a fresh new committment to live the rest of their life for you and not for themself.  Help them to allow you to be Lord and Master.
Oh, this is a beautiful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  But, it is so much more.  It is a time when we can take a look at ourselves and make sure we are on the right path for eternity.  Jesus did so much more for us than we can even imagine, and Heaven awaits us with multitudes of blessings and things we can only dream of.  What a day that will be when we meet him face to face! 
Lord, please bless the readers of this prayer and have mercy on them. 
In Jesus name, thy will be done.  Amen

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Do you know that when we become Christians we are finally complete in Christ?  At least from God’s perspective.

Before we were born-again we were on our own.  The Bible teaches that we were dead in trespasses and sin.  We were in the realm of Satan’s kingdom, and were subject to sin, death and hell.  Isn’t that an awful picture of those who live in the world today without Christ?

So, how are we complete in Christ now?  What does that mean?

Let’s take a look at Colossians 2: 8-15 to find our answer:  These are marvelous scripture verses and loaded.  I can only skim them.

Col 2:8-15 NASB See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

First of all Paul tells us not to let the world take us captive through philosophy or man’s worldly ideas and deception, and not to follow the traditions of men.

(9) For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

Wow!  In Christ, in His human body dwells all the fullness of Deity!  That is amazing.  He is complete!

(10) and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

If you are a Christian you also have been made complete!  Let’s try to see what that means as we read more of this passage.  Christ is also the head over all rule and authority.  Keep that in mind.

When we were saved we were completely saved:

(11) and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; (12) having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

This is talking about our salvation.  We were made spiritually complete in Christ when we were saved.  When He died on the cross we somehow joined Him.  At the moment we were saved, we were baptized with the Holy Spirit, (not water baptism).  And, we died and were raised up with Christ by God.  God raised Jesus from the dead literally, and He raised us from our spiritual death.

When we were saved we were completely forgiven:

(13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, (14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

We were spiritually dead because of our sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh.  But God made us alive with Christ.  He forgave us all of our sins, past, present and future.  He nailed them to the cross and canceled out the debt that we owed because of them.  God the great judge declared us to be free from the penalty of sin.

Joh 19:30 NASB Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

When we were saved we were given complete victory:

2Co 5:17 NASB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

(15) When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

When Jesus died on the cross He also went and disarmed all the rulers and authorities.  He was victorious over them and took them all captive.  That is great news for us because they no longer have any hold on us.

Heb 2:14-15 NASB Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Being complete in Christ means that we can live in this world without fear.  We are capable of being victorious over sin.  The sting of death has been removed so we don’t have to fear that anymore, and we do not have to worry that we will spend eternity in hell.  Satan has been defeated and he can not claim you as one of his.  I like that!

Eph 3:16 NASB that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

When we get these things settled in our minds, it is much easier to face life.  Trials and temptations will come our way, but knowing we are complete in Him, gives us the courage to face them head on.  God is always in control and sovereign over what happens to us.  We can trust Him to make our path straight and to take care of us in every situation.  He loves us as a dear Heavenly Father and will take care of his children.

2Pe 1:3-4 NASB seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Isn’t that an uplifting scripture?  We really don’t have to worry about things.  God has granted us everything we need that pertains to our life and to be a godly individual.  He gives us that through the true knowledge of Him.  As we study the Word we learn how to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and He also gives us the power to be successful in doing that. That power is in us because Christ is in us and it is the same power that raised Jesus from the grave.  Now that is power!  We can even escape the corruption that is in the world. I praise God for that. 

I pray we will all try to realize all that we have in our possession when we become Christians, and that we will know in our hearts that we can overcome anything that comes our way.

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My last post was titled “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear!”  In it we learned that God’s love perfected in Christians tosses fear  out of our lives.  What a marvelous thing that is!

Now, we need to take a good look at another scripture dealing with fear:

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to his spiritual son Timothy from prison when he knew he was toward the end of his own ministry.  Timothy would have to carry on where Paul left off and Paul exhorted him not to be intimidated by the false teachers, the Romans, all the other hostile forces that would come against him.  He told Timothy to be of good courage and not fear those who came against him, because God had equipped Timothy with a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. 

“for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Do you have a spirit of fear?  Are you a believer?  If you realize what God teaches us in the Bible you will know that you should not live in fear.  In fact, it is sinful.  It is not only sinful, but it is selfish.  You may not like that, they are strong words, but it makes complete sense.  If our thoughts are constantly about ourselves, the way we feel, and our symptoms, then we cannot think about others.  Those unhealthy thoughts crowd out everything else.  That is not how God wants us to live.  He wants us to think of other people as more important than ourselves. 

Php 2:3 NASB  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

But, you might think, “That sounds good, but I just can’t help how I feel.  It’s just the way I am!  I can’t do anything about it!”  I’m here to tell you there is something you can do about it.  You can be free from fear!  You can think of others as more important than yourself!

However, if you are not a Christian, then, it is perfectly natural for you to live a life full of fear, anxiety, and worry.  You do have a spirit of fear, and I can’t help you.  That spirit of fear comes from our natural man. 

You see, fear, anxiety, and worry are a part of our old personalities that we had before we became Christians.  Remember, when we were saved we became a new creation and old ways became new. 

2Co 5:17 NASB  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

I think many Christians still live in fear because they do not know what happened when they were saved.  No one told them.  Or, they haven’t studied the Bible enough yet to have discovered this wonderful truth. So, I will tell you right now.

When you were saved you did not receive a spirit of fear because you already had that in your old self.  Instead, God renewed you and gave you a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of a sound mind.  What does this all mean in a practical sense?

The spirit of power

The spirit of power is the Holy Spirit.  When we are made new in Christ the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.

2Ti 1:14 NASB  Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

Rom 8:9 KJV  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

What kind of power does the Holy Spirit have available to us?  The kind of power that raised Jesus from the grave. That’s dynamic power!

Rom 8:11 KJV  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

You have that kind of power in you.  You do not have to live in fear any longer.  Be of good courage! 

The spirit of love

The opposite of fear is love.  God also gave you a spirit of love.  Now you can love in a whole new way.  People of the world know nothing of this kind of love.  The Bible calls it agape love.  It is a God kind of love.  It is the very highest love there is. God through the Holy Spirit in us gives us the power to love with agape love and we can reach out to others in a way we never could before. 

We are not to stay to ourselves.  We don’t have to any more.  We can reach out to others in love.  God gives us that ability. Step out in faith and try it.

I remember shortly after I was saved how I actually looked at people differently.  I saw everyone as one of God’s creations that needed to know Him.  My eyes were opened and I began to have urgings to tell others about Christ.  It was hard for me too at the time because I was so inundated with fear.  Slowly I reached out to others in love.  But, at first in very small ways.  I would send someone a card.  I would call and talk to an elderly shut-in on the phone.  After doing that a bit I began to visit people who were shut-ins, and another woman and I went to the hospital and visited sick people from church.  Little by little God grew the spirit of love in my life.

The spirit of a sound mind

God also gave us a spirit of a sound mind.  What does that mean for us?  Well, a sound mind is a rational mind.  We do not have to think all the “what if” thoughts, and worry about the future.  We do not have to fear man, and we do not have to fear God.  Fear has been broken.  Alleluia!

Once you discover these truths you will see how you need to change.  If you are still living in fear then you are still living in the old flesh.  You need to take advantage of the Holy Spirit living in you and walk in the Spirit.  You will have to work on changing your thought patterns as you renew your mind with the Word.  Old unhealthy thought habits can be replaced with new healthy godly thoughts. 

I suffered with panic attacks for many years and I did not know this teaching right away.  So, I continued on even after I became a  Christian thinking sinful fear filled thoughts.  I would blow things way out of proportion.  If it started to snow, I’d think we were going to get a blizzard.  If I had to drive somewhere that day I would obsess about the weather until I would have a panic attack.  If it was raining and the sky looked ominous I would be sure we were going to get a tornado, and I didn’t even live in a section of the country that gets tornados very often.

My panic attacks became so bad I became Agoraphobic.  I was afraid to leave my home.  I actually gave up driving for several years.  If I needed something from the store it was a major problem to get up the nerve to step out the door, get into the car, and go to the store.  Once there, it was a major effort to go into the store and get my groceries.  If I managed to get that far, then I still had to conquer the walk through the crowed isles, find my items, stand in the scary line as my legs shook, pay, and get back home.  It was exhausting!  Surely, that was no way to live, and certainly God didn’t want me to live like that.  I wasn’t much use to him at that point.

The only way I conquered my fears was when I discovered that I had God’s power within me.  I realized somewhere along the way that “I” could not do this in myself.  I needed help!  All the courage I tried to muster up in myself would not do it.  I had to rely on God.  I turned to God and I would pray. I’d ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit, to go and do whatever it was I had to do.  I prayed before I went, I would go and pray all the way, and I would get back home and pray again to praise and thank God for how He got me through my fearful situation.  It did become easier.  I prayed a lot!

I don’t even have panic attacks any more.  I drive, I’m free to do whatever I want.  God gave me back my freedom as I grew in Him.  I discovered scripture promises and applied them to my own life.  I now have a spirit power, of love, and of a sound mind.  It is a disciplined mind.  I’m careful what I think about.  If I find myself going in the direction of worry, I check myself, and ask the Lord to help me think on godly things.  It does take practice and I urge you to start today.

Where are you today?  Are you bogged down with worry, fear, and anxiety?  My friend, if that is you and you are a Christian, you are living in sin.  You need to realize that and confess your sin to God, then repent of it and learn to fill you mind with godly things.  Keep in the Word, study it, memorize good scripture promises, pray for others, and yourself.

God has provided everything we need to live a godly, holy life.

2Pe 1:3 KJV  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

He will help you.  Go to Him in prayer.  Pour out your heart.  Get right with God and then claim your benefits of the spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. 

Please stop fearing the future, step out in faith and find your freedom today.  You can be sure that you do not have a spirit of fear anymore.

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(I originally wrote this for our PD-Overcomers group.)

One thing we all have in common in this group is anxiety.  In fact , if you have panic attacks you have extreme anxiety.  Another thing we have in common is that most of us are Christians.

I’ve been asked many times if Christians should have anxiety.  That is a really good question and one I’d like to attempt to answer.  In order to do that we  need to go to the Bible and see what God has to say on the subject.

I’ve read many books and articles, and listened to tapes on anxiety.  I’ve read the secular along with Christian views.  People say different things, but the one thing I know is that God’s Word is the authority and that is where we must start if we are going to get a handle on this dreadful malady.

Anxiety:  What is it?  Is it a feeling?  Is it nervousness?  Is it fear?  Is it stress?  Is it panic?

I believe it is all of those things in different degrees.  Where does anxiety start?  It starts in the mind.

Who has anxiety?  Everyone at some time or other.  Unbelievers and believers alike. In today’s world it seems everyone is anxious about something.  Just look at the magazine covers in the grocery store.  See how many times you see a title about anxiety or stress.

Or, listen to television news and see all the things going on in the world that make people anxious and fearful. If you listen to the talking heads too long you will certainly become stressful.

What does anxiety do to us?  Anxiety effects us physically.  It can make our blood pressure rise, it increases our heart rate, it makes our palms sweat, it makes us irritable, jittery, and nervous. It can lead to health problems like hypertension.

Anxiety makes us afraid.  It is our enemy.  Fear is our enemy and it is a liar.  It tells us things that are not true and convinces us they are true.  It upsets our life, hurts relationships, and hinders us from being all that God wants us to be.  You can readily see why the enemy grins when he see us full of anxiety and fear.  He has got us right where he wants us.  We are like putty in his hands when we are full of fear.  He is in control and takes us over.  He pulls us along like a dog on a leash and never lets go of his grip.  He gets us to think unhealthy thoughts that tear us down.  He has a hay day with us.  Fear is an ugly four letter word.

Where does fear come from?  Well, way back in the Garden of Eden there was no fear. Everything was peaceful and tranquil until Satan, the serpent, came along and deceived Eve and she ate of the forbidden fruit.  She disobeyed God and sin entered into the world, along with fear.  If you remember, Adam and Eve hid out from God.  What did they do that?  They were afraid.

Gen 3:10 NASB He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

When sin entered the world, Adam’s conscience was opened and he was aware of things he never realized before.  He lost his innocence. That was the beginning of fear and it continues today.  It is part of the sin nature that we acquired as a result of the original sin.

Not all fear is sinful though.  God has put in our hearts a certain kind of fear that protects us.  It is the fear of stepping off a cliff.  Wouldn’t you agree that is a good fear?  Another good kind of fear is the fear of the Lord.  It is the beginning of wisdom.

Psa 111:10a NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

Pro 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 9:10 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Isa 33:6 NASB And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

So you can see that the fear of the Lord is something we should treasure.  We need to have the fear of the Lord in our hearts.  Do you?

But, I’m not going to talk about those kinds of fear right now.  I’m going to write about the debilitating kind of fear.  The kind that ruins lives, marriages, careers, and families.  That kind of fear has to be dealt with.  Worry, fear, anxiety, nervousness, stress; they are all the same and do destructive work in our lives.

 

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