376. Don’t Be Turned From Your Purpose

484142_18_e9135bHebrews 11:27 NKJV  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
Hebrews 11:27 BBE  By faith he went out of Egypt, not being turned from his purpose by fear of the wrath of the king; for he kept on his way, as seeing him who is unseen.

You don’t have to allow fear to turn you from what you began in faith.  Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt by faith.  Immediately after making starting the journey the thoughts rushed in.  Even if Moses himself didn’t have personal thoughts of fear, he heard the fears of the people. “What if Pharaoh changes his mind?” “How will we survive in the wilderness?” “It would have been better if we never left Egypt.”  But Moses was not turned from his purpose, even when it looked like they might succumb to the wrath of the Pharaoh when he led his army against the Children of Israel.  Moses stayed steady, endured, and kept on his way.

No matter what God directed journey you are on, there is an enemy that will try to turn you from the purpose God has given you.  His number one weapon is fear.  This verse gives us 3 great points to help us stay free from fear.

  1. Live by faith. “By faith he went out…”  Whether you are going to work, visiting the doctor, or playing a game with the kids, do it in faith.  Pray often and remind yourself of the Word, then trust in the Lord and walk in the Word.  Romans 1:17.
  2. Stay your course. “…not being turned from his purpose by fear… for he kept on his way” The opportunity to fear and doubt will come.  Keep your mind stayed on the Word and Spirit of God because you trust Him. Isaiah 26:3 tells us that doing so will keep us in His perfect peace.
  3. Look unto Jesus. “…as seeing him who is unseen.” Moses looked unto God and the plan and purpose that God had for him and His people.  We look, unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2.  Looking unto Him, keeps us in constant contact with Him and watching for any course correction or new instructions along the way that will keep us steady and in our lane.

We don’t have to be derailed by fear.  Like Moses we are to begin in faith, knowing the Word and Character of God.  We keep our minds on the promises of His Word and our eyes on the victory set before us.  We keep our eyes on Him and follow His leading which keeps us in our lane and out of the ditch.  Don’t be turned from your purpose. Live by faith, stay your course, look unto Jesus, and Fear Not.


373. Don’t Doubt Your Call

walking-worthy-of-your-calling-pictures2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV  Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  (7)  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 is a verse often used out of context to preach a lot of different things regarding fear.  I’ve twisted the context countless times myself.  Though there are some other applications we can make from this Scripture at its root it is and encouragement from Paul to Timothy to be bold and confident in the ministry (doma) gift and calling that is in him and in exercising and using the various (charisma) gifts within him for the benefit of the Kingdom and to fulfill his calling as the Pastor in Ephesus and as a minister to the Body of Christ.

I’m so grateful for Paul’s letters to Timothy and especially Second Timothy, as I’ve received so much encouragement from this letter through the years.  I’m also grateful for my pastor, Virgil Stokes, the Paul in my life who encouraged me in the gift, purpose, and calling in me when I doubted or couldn’t see it because I had let it settle under a heavy weight of the opinions of others, intimidation by those that are or sound more knowledgeable about things, and the other pressures of life and leadership.  Like Paul, Pastor Virgil, would encourage me to remind myself of the call and of the moment I knew God called me into the ministry.

You may or may not be called into pulpit or the 5-fold ministry, but you are called a place of ministry.  Every Believer is called into ministry and service in the Kingdom of God.  We also can all have times where we lack the confidence or are timid and afraid of doing what we’ve been called to do.  Sometimes it is a commitment factor and we fear the personal or time cost of the ministry.  Either way, it is in remembering WHO has called us, WHO we serve and the moment WHEN He spoke to our heart about serving Him that will stir back up the passion and fervor to complete the task.

No matter what is before you to do; whether it is to clean the church, usher, work with youth, help with outreaches, or preach, you have the gifting to get the job done.  The empowerment and the gifting came with the call.  Fear Not!

372. Paul’s Advice on Living Fearless

apostle-paul1 Timothy 4:11-16 NKJV  These things command and teach.  (12)  Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  (13)  Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  (14)  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.  (15)  Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.  (16)  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

I really enjoy Paul’s letters to Timothy.  They are filled with such fatherly instruction, encouragement, and of course pastoral wisdom.  Timothy faced a number of obstacles as pastor of the church of Ephesus.  He had strong opposition from those against Christianity in the community.  He had opposition from those within the church that didn’t respect his leadership.  And he had opposition from within himself where he dealt with thoughts of self-confidence and self-doubt.  Throughout his letters to Timothy, Paul touched on these areas and exhorted Timothy.  We can learn some things here too that will help us in the face of opposition or any other kind of obstacles that might begin to cause us to fear.

In the face of fear or any obstacle remember these 3 things.

1.  Identity – Who are you?  Paul encouraged Timothy to be strong in who he was and live it out in every facet of his life.  Like Timothy we are Believers and we can be encouraged by Paul’s letter to be examples to others in what we say, how we act, how we love, our disposition, our faithfulness & confidence in God, & holiness of our lifestyle.  We can continue to grow in these areas as we study the Word and apply what we learn (Rom 12:1-2)

2.  Calling – What is your call?  Not all of us are called to pastor, like Timothy, but we all have a call and have been given gifts to assist us in that call.  Some will be called to ministry, some will be called to sort mail, design buildings, work in the medical field, teach, build houses, etc… for the Glory of God.  Our identity tells us who we are.  Our calling tells us what we are to do.  Even if you are not walking in your calling yet, it gives you direction in where to head.

 3.  Purpose – Why are you here?  Purpose tells us why we are here.  Your purpose and mine may be vastly different, but we share at least one commonality together with Timothy.  We are called to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and teach them to do likewise.  Our individual purposes can vastly differ as do our callings, but that thread is entwined in the fabric of the purpose of every Believer.

Knowing who you are, what you are supposed to do & why you are here will encourage you to stand and press forward when you are tempted to give in to fear.  Take some time to reflect on who you are in Christ, the gifts and callings on your life, and why you are here.  If you are unclear or not sure yet, talk to your pastor and help them fulfill the vision of your church, re-read Mark 16 a written purpose for the Body of Christ and get busy doing those things before you to do.


371. Cibophobia – The Fear of Food

cibophobia1 Timothy 4:4-5 NET  For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.  (5)  For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

 Some people suffer from a horrible condition and are actually afraid of food.  This is often confused with anorexia but they are entirely different as sufferers are actually afraid of the food itself.  Thankfully most of us will never know anyone who ever deals with this fear; however, we’ve all had a bit of anxiety about eating certain things before.  Especially those on the mission field.

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling both here in the USA and outside of our nation and I’ve learned that not everywhere in the world or just down the street store or prepare our food properly.  Not only that, but there are different types of bacteria and viruses in other parts of the world that can get your stomach spinning in a hurry… I’ve been there.  Praise God eating in roadside restaurants and oversees has gotten much easier for me since I grabbed a hold of this verse.

You see I used to get nervous in some places and in the natural rightfully so.  I’d see the cleanliness of the place or see the meat just hanging with flies on it and get nervous.  Well, fear always opens the door to the enemy.  Listen up… you should use wisdom and listen to the voice of the Spirit of God all the time, but especially while traveling and eating in foreign countries.  Obey the Spirit of God, He’ll tell you if you should pass on a dish or not, but you do not have to fear.  You see when I first used to travel and people would give me something I had never eaten before, I’d get extremely nervous and afraid that I’d get sick and often I would get queasy feeling, sometimes even before I ate. Why? Because I believed the food would contaminate me.  And my faith often received exactly what I believed.

Now I’ve learned I never have to fear, because God has provided a way for me to enjoy every meal and eat without getting sick. Instead of eating in fear I can rejoice, thank the Lord and enjoy the food in faith.  When I sit down for a meal, especially in a place that gives me reason to pause I pray, “Thank you, Father, that this food is sanctified by Your Word and my prayer. Thank you for providing and protecting me.”  Then I eat in faith, receiving what I just prayed.  I also often tell people with me to watch what I eat and follow my lead.  Why?  Because the Holy Spirit not only sanctifies our food but He also knows what might not sit well overnight or is undercooked etc… Some folk have told me that isn’t faith and ate whatever they wanted after praying.  The next day many have felt different.

Through thanksgiving, prayer, and listening to the Holy Ghost, we never have to fear what we eat.  He will sanctify it, purify it, and lead to what to enjoy and what to skip on.  One time I remember the Holy Ghost told me only to eat one small portion of a stew, I obeyed and told the other gentleman with me that I believed we should only eat a little bit.  I obeyed and enjoyed my small meal.  Unfortunately, it was his favorite and he dug in and had a few large bowls.  The next day he was super sick and I felt great, other than getting to hang out with and pray for a sick friend.  Thank God for your food, listen to the Holy Ghost, purify your food in prayer and you won’t have to fear your food.


361. Is Your Dream Bigger than Your Fear?

Quotefancy-193998-3840x21601 Corinthians 2:1-3 NKJV  (1)  And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  (2)  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  (3)  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.

Though Paul did not suffer from Hellenologophobia (the fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology), though many of us in ministry certainly fear trying to pronounce the Greek he used, his spirit-filled life was not void of fear.  Paul admits he experienced fear in 1 Corinthians 2:3.  But Paul was also a man of conviction whose heart had been touched and life changed by the Gospel of Christ.  His commitment to Jesus and love for people caused him to live a life not free from feeling fear, but free from being controlled by it.  Paul was a hero.

Jeanne Mayo once said, “Heroes are ordinary people who simply chose to place their dreams ABOVE their fears.”  This was Paul.  Having been threatened, beaten, jailed, whipped, and stoned on multiple occasions it is easy to see why one might have some in trepidation about standing and declaring the name of Jesus, for which he had endured all the aforementioned persecution.  In addition, Corinth was a city known for eloquent, strong, and well-crafted oratory.  Paul certainly was not foreign to this kind of speaking, yet he did not want his teaching to be merely judged on the intellectualism, delivery or structure, but on the reality of the content.  He feared not presenting the message in an effective way.  Though I can’t relate to the physical fears of punishment or abuse, I can certainly relate to the fear of not being effective.

Paul chose his dream (the vision the Lord had given him) above his fears.  He knew that the God who had saved him and called him into this ministry was with him and desperately cared for both Jew and Gentile even more than he did, who would have damned himself if it meant the salvation of all of God’s people (Romans 9:3).  He didn’t give into his fear and keeping his confidence in God ministered the simple truth of Jesus alive from the dead, which true to His word (Mark 16:20) was confirmed through signs and wonders.

Though we have not endured the same persecutions as Paul, the message of the Gospel of Christ is certainly frowned upon and ridiculed in our culture.  It can be scary when a situation arises that tests our devotion and commitment to the Word of God.  Sometimes we are challenged to either live the truth we speak or to speak the truth we endeavor to live.  Either situation can be scary as you wonder the reactions of those around and involved.  Nevertheless, Paul rose above the fear and placed his dream above his fear. 

Hopefully one of your dreams is to be a light to the world and live as a testament to the one who has redeemed you.  Like Paul you can be a hero.  Simply chose to follow Christ and allow your dream to be bigger than you fear.


360. How Are You Walking

man-walking-towards-right-direction_318-44334Romans 13:3-4 MSG  Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear. Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine,  (4)  the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it.

If you’ve ever been driving down the interstate and see a police officer strategically parked off the side of the road watching for speeders looked down to notice that you’re going too fast, you may have gotten a taste of fear as you begin to look in the rearview mirror to see if the officer pulls out to follow you.  Other times you drive by an officer knowing you are at or below the speed limit and feel no anxiety at all.  What was the difference?  Knowing what side of the law you are on.

I know a lot of people that had questionable and dubious pasts who had encountered law enforcement officials on any number of occasions because of poor choices that led to multiple legal infractions.  Even after laying aside their pasts and not violating the law in any way they would still feel have a sense of fear come over them anytime they saw a police officer.  This is bondage.  Thankfully over time, most of them no longer look in the rearview mirror and freak out every time they see a police car.

Though this may not be universally true, because of some poor excuses for law enforcement and those that are abusing power, it is a general truth that those who are obeying the law have nothing to fear of the people appointed to enforce it.  Verse 4 tells us that they are ministers of God commissioned to maintain order and help keep peace.  Paul also tells us that we don’t have to fear unless we are trying to get away with something.  Walk rightly and have no fear.  Walk virtuously and you don’t have to be afraid.

On a side note, this Scripture also teaches us to respect all government officials.  This includes those in law enforcement.  This doesn’t mean that all officers are worthy of respect, but the office they represent is.  It also reminds me that it is our responsibility to pray for the men and women that serve in these capacities.  We should pray for their salvation, safety, and the wisdom to do their jobs.  We should also pray that those not worthy to serve would be removed from service.


359. Faith #Filter

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Faith comes through regular and consistent hearing of the Word of God.  Faith doesn’t come by just hearing the Word of God once on a subject, but often takes repeated and regular hearing of the same Scriptures, subjects, or messages.  Sometimes we hear a Scripture and simply don’t understand it.  However, through repeated reading, hearing, or saying to oneself, clarity comes.  Through that new understanding faith rises in our hearts.  This is why meditating on the Word of God is so powerful.

Sometimes we understand the meaning of the Scripture, but faith to believe that we are, can do, or possess what it actually says alludes us.  But through repeated hearing faith begins to stir and rise within us to receive that particular reality from the Word of God, so we can possess and walk in it.  You must feed on the Word of God to be strong in faith.  Smith Wigglesworth said, “Some people feed their bodies three hot meals a day, and their spirits one cold snack a week, and wonder why they’re weak in faith.”  So what does this have to do with FEAR?  Everything… you see like faith, fear comes from hearing too.  It just doesn’t come from hearing God’s Word.  While faith comes by hearing the Word of God; fear comes by hear the word of the world.

Too many times people not only feed their bodies 3 hot meals a day and their spirits one cold snack a week, but they also feed their soul by continual snack on anxiety, fear, and insecurity countless times a day.  We are so quick to bite and chew on negativity, lies, reports, and circumstances without first filtering them through the WORD of God.  When we do, we begin to feed on the word of the world instead of God’s Word.  God’s Word always produces faith, especially when we are in a habit of hearing it.  Likewise, the world’s words produce fear.  Unfortunately, we are much more prone to repeatedly hear words of fear, doubt, and negative reports totally unfiltered by the Word of God.  We must learn to filter every report and every fearful thought through the filter of God’s Word asking, “What does God say about that?”  Then instead of thinking about the circumstance or the report over and over again inviting FEAR to come, we can think, read, and say God’s Word concerning it.  Doing so will allow you to see through what the world sees and knows and into the realm of faith.  Instead of growing your fears, you’ll be growing your faith and not giving any opportunity to fear to get a foot hold.


Apply a #FaithFilter to every circumstance and fear not.