Fearless Fridays

Living Free From Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘christian’

361. Is Your Dream Bigger than Your Fear?

Posted by John Smith on November 24, 2017

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.

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360. How Are You Walking

Posted by John Smith on November 17, 2017

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.

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359. Faith #Filter

Posted by John Smith on November 10, 2017

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.

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358. Terror “ISM”

Posted by John Smith on November 3, 2017

Romans 8:15 NKJV  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

According to dictionary.com “ISM” is a suffix appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it was used to form action nouns from verbs.  It is often used to define philosophies and ideologies.  Darwinism, despotism, realism, witticism, and intellectualism are all examples of isms.  We have been freed from all the isms… especially the ideology of TERROR.

Bethel Music has a great song, No Longer Slaves.  The chorus of this song rings with two powerful sentences.  “I’m no longer a slave to fear.  I am a child of God.”  You are no longer a slave to fear.  You ARE a child of God.

Some might see that word adoption in Romans 8:15 and wonder if this applies to them because they are only an “adopted” child. (smh) When you understand Biblical Adoption, it will dispel that kind of thinking and set you free.  The Greek word adoption (huiothesia) means to place as a son.  In Roman culture it was common for sons to be raised by servants in their home.  They were heirs of the estate, but they had no decision making rights or authority in the house.  But when they came of age there was a great party where they were “adopted” and placed as a son with all legal rights and representations as ab heir of the estate or joint-heir as the case may be not just by name but by blood.  This was what Paul hearkened to in Galatians 4:1-7.

Our concept of adoption is from a 21st century mindset of accepting someone from another family into your own and becoming a “legal” family member.  But when you gave your life to the Lord, you were born-again.  You were re-created in His image.  More than just a legal heir but you became a blood relative through the atoning work of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

We have been set free from fear and are no longer bound to live a life of terror.  We are now children of God.  We have been freed from terrorism of all kinds.  Terrorism from people and terrorism from the devil has no place in you and I, we have been made children of God and given the full rights and privileges thereof.  Look out devil!

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355. Anchored!

Posted by John Smith on October 13, 2017

Acts 27:29 NKJV  Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.

In the midst of a deadly storm the crew and captives of this prison ship carrying Paul and heading for Rome all thought they were going to die and had given up hope (Acts 27:20).  To stabilize the ship 4 anchors were dropped.  Although we are not on a literal ship in a storm there are 4 anchors for our soul (mind, will, & emotions) that will give us stability and protect us from the fear that destroys when storms in life strike.

1)   I Belong to God – Acts 27:23.  The enemy will try to get you to doubt or question your identity.  Be confident in whose you are.  You are a child of God (Romans 8:15).  God is for you and not against you (Hebrews 11:6, Romans 8:31).

2)   God Cannot Lie – Acts 27:25.  Paul said two powerful statements.  “I believe God.” & “It will be just as it was told me.”  When the thunderous threats producing fear come remember, God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18).  His promises are true.  Trust in Him and He will see you safely through.

3)   The Purposes of God will Prevail – Acts 27:24.  That doesn’t mean that everything you are supposed to or called to do will get done, your will is involved in the process.  However, if the Lord has given you something to do, you can stay steady, faithful, & consistent at it doing what is before you to do and He will make sure you prevail. It is His purpose.  If you’ll keep pursuing it, His Word will prevail.

4)   There is Always a Way of Escape – Acts 27:43-44.  Even in the darkest circumstances God has provided the way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Get a vision of life on the other side of the storm.  Let the Lord open your eyes to His desire for your freedom and victory.  Even in the darkest of times, the Lord is there and He is faithful to provide the way of escape.  It is there.  We just need to listen to His guidance, trust and obey.

These 4 truths will stabilize your mind and emotions in the midst of even the most terrifying of times.  Drop these anchors and FEAR NOT!

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354. When the Winds of Life Blow

Posted by John Smith on October 6, 2017

Acts 27:23-25 NKJV  For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,  (24)  saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’  (25)  Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.

Paul is being taken as a prisoner by ship to Rome, when the prison ship he is on encountered a horrible storm.  The experienced sailors undergirded the ship and took all normal precautions to weather the storm (Acts 27:17-19) but the storm was too much for them and they soon gave up any hope that they would survive (Acts 27:20).  But in the midst of the terrible storm Paul had an angelic visitation that reminded him of what Jesus told him months previously back in Jerusalem in a vision (Acts 23:11) telling him that he must bear witness of Jesus in Rome.

In the midst of the terrifying storms of life, it can be easy to get our eyes off the Lord or the Word He’s given us and look at the circumstance.  Remember Peter walking on water and getting distracted by the wind and the waves.  Paul certainly wasn’t the only person to lose sight of what the Lord has said in the midst of a fearful situation, but he didn’t have to.

Thankfully, the Lord sent an angel to encourage Paul, reminding him of the mission and what Jesus had told him.  We all need reminded of the promises of God and His faithfulness sometimes when the winds of life begin to blow, but we may not all receive an angelic visitation.  Here are some things you can do to stay grounded and avoid fear.

1)   Remember what Jesus has said and His faithfulness.  Write these things down.

2)   Remind yourself of them.  Write them on the mirror, put them on sticky notes & read them often (weekly, daily or hourly as needed).

3)   Surround yourself with friends that will encourage you and remind you of God’s promises.  Paul had an angel remind him of what God had said and though an angelic visitation.  Though this would be pretty cool He has given us something even better, a family of Believers recreated in His likeness, filled with His power and glory.  Find yourself some good faith-filled friends and turn to them when you are feeling discouraged.  Not only will they remind you of what the Lord has said, they’ll also walk with you through the storm and back onto solid ground.

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348. Pistanthrophobia – Fear of Trusting People

Posted by John Smith on August 25, 2017

left-outActs 9:26-27 NKJV  And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.  (27)  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Pistanthrophobia is the fear of trusting people or the fear of putting any faith in people.  For some this is a debilitating phobia that not only isolates them from loved ones, it also makes it difficult for them to receive any of the kind of help that they need.  Though I’m sure most of you don’t suffer from this on that level, we’ve all experienced not trusting someone before.

*Disclaimer* I have had circumstances where the Spirit of God was warning me not to trust certain people I’ve met and I just knew in my spirit to be nice, but not to trust them.  I’m not talking about that… always follow the leading of the Spirit.  Is what I’m talking about are those people who many instinctively recoil from; those with a past.

We have all met people that have a not so great past and past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior… unless there is a REAL change.  But sometimes we meet people, find out about their past and immediately write them off as totally untrustworthy and though we know Theologically they are redeemable we’re reticent to believe they have changed.  This is what Saul experienced after his conversion.

Many of the disciples were afraid of him because of his past (he was arresting Christians after all) and though he didn’t cast any stones personally, he did hold the coats for those that stoned Stephen.  We have the hindsight to see that a real and genuine change had taken place in Saul/Paul, but these people didn’t….  Many churches push new converts or attenders away when they begin to get to know them, because of something in their past.  We all have a past that would raise somebody’s eyebrows and make them nervous if they don’t know us today, so how do we overcome this fear so we can begin to trust others and connect with them.

First, recognize that your suspicions may be unfounded.  Are you just negatively recoiling about how they look, speak, or their past?  A relationship with Jesus can change people.  It changed you.

Second, take them to leadership. Barnabas took Saul to the apostles who met with him and heard his story. These men were all very close with Jesus and were experienced with the leading of the Holy Spirit. It was also part of their responsibility to protect the people.  They should have a good sense about someone’s intentions and trustworthiness. NOTE: not all church leaders are as sensitive as these ones were either.  They might be wrong.

Third, spend time with them. Saul was invited to spend time with the Early Church Leaders (Acts 9:28).  They were able to watch him. NOTE: If you have a speckled past, submit yourself to the elders of your church. Somethings you have to live down and show over time through your actions that the change in you is genuine.  The apostles didn’t just immediately sign off on Saul and promote him to a leadership position.  Saul had to live down his past and prove himself.

Lastly, provide opportunities for people to earn your trust. Give them non-critical places where they can prove themselves and let them grow to greater responsibility as they do (Acts 9:28-30).

Following these steps will help you grow and strengthen new relationships while fostering trust within them.  The person you are afraid to trust because of their past, might just be the next Apostle Paul.

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344. Get Out of the House!

Posted by John Smith on July 28, 2017

John 20:19 NKJV  Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

On the evening of the day of His resurrection, Jesus who had already been seen by Mary Magdalene and proclaimed to be alive to a few other ladies by an angel is about to appear to His disciples.  These great men and women of God, who had been following Jesus for years now, were huddled together in a home with the windows drawn and the doors shut because they were afraid.  They were hiding.  They were afraid.

They had heard that Jesus body was gone.  They weren’t sure what they thought about Mary’s testimony that she had seen and spoken to Jesus, but they were sure that they were being considered as prime suspects in the disappearance of Jesus’ body.  They feared that they would be put to death as His disciples or apprehended as body snatchers so they hid.  Their fear kept them from living life, proclaiming God’s goodness, and certainly hindered them from hearing testimonies and remembering both God’s Word and what Jesus Himself had told them about how He must die and be resurrected.

Then Jesus walks in to the midst of their fearful situation and says, “Peace be with you.”  His presence and His Word bring us peace when we are overwhelmed.  When we realize that we have His peace and have been sent by God on a mission of mercy to the world we will leave the house.  Your house is whatever fears you allow to keep you bound up.  They prevent you from living life.  They keep you from embracing His Promises to you.  They also keep us from fulfilling our purpose and our call as His ambassadors in the Earth.

It is time to get out of the house.  It’s time to shed your fears.  And the Church is not exempt.  For LIGHT to truly be effective it must be in the darkness.  Fear keeps the church huddled up together and contained by the darkness all around us.  After Jesus walked into that home and said, “Peace be with you” everything changed for those men and women.  They knew it was time to get out of the house.  They knew they had destiny to do.

You have destiny to do too.  Jesus has come into your house and spoken peace to you in the midst of your fears just like He did those disciples that day.  It’s time to get out of the HOUSE.  The light in you is powerful; go shine it in the darkness.  You have His peace!  Fear Not!

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338. Rejoice and Fear Not; Fear Not and Rejoice

Posted by John Smith on June 9, 2017

John 12:15 NKJV  “FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SITTING ON A DONKEY’S COLT.”

This verse quoted by John from Zechariah 9:9 indicating a prophecy regarding the Messiah was fulfilled as Jesus entered Jerusalem the last time prior to His crucifixion at what many refer to as the triumphant entry.  This verse is interesting because in Zechariah 9:9 God’s people are told to “Rejoice greatly” but John quotes it as FEAR NOT.  You see you can’t be in fear when your rejoicing greatly in victory.

The Hebrew word rejoice used in Zechariah 9:9 means to spin around violently under the influence of a powerful emotion (Strong’s) either great excitement or fear.  Context from the previous verses in Zechariah 9 talks about great deliverance from their oppressors who will no longer pass through.  This is a glorious freedom that was prophesied would come and did come in Christ Jesus.  No longer would sin oppress God’s people for it would be dealt with in Christ.  No longer would the law exact judgement upon His people, because it would be fulfilled in Him.  No longer would the fear of death oppress them for Jesus would deliver them from that bondage (Hebrews 2:15).  They would rejoice greatly because they would be delivered from all reason to fear.  This is why John quotes Zechariah 9:9 as Fear Not.

We are to rejoice greatly because Jesus has come and delivered us from anything that would try to terrorize us.  Our King has come and set up His throne in the midst of our hearts by His Spirit.  Meanwhile, He is physically sitting on the Throne in Heaven at the right hand of the Father, where we are reigning and ruling with Him as joint heirs with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Romans 8:17).  So rejoice and fear not.  Fear not and rejoice.  Either way you look at it they go hand and hand because the King has come and has set us free.

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329. I Fear Therefore I am Fearless

Posted by John Smith on April 7, 2017

Luke 5:26 NKJV  And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

Luke 7:16 NKJV  Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”

Luke 8:25 NKJV  But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Luke 8:35-37 NKJV  Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.  (36)  They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed.  (37)  Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

In each of these Scriptures people became overwhelmed with the only good kind of fear… a holy one.  In Luke 5:26 they saw a paralyzed man walk carrying the stretcher he was lowered through the roof on.  In Luke 7:16 Holy fear fell upon all present when Jesus raised a widow’s only son from the dead.  In Luke 8:25 the disciples were overcome with fear after Jesus calmed the wind and the waves.  Then in Luke 8:35-37 we see town overcome with fear after Jesus delivered a demonized man.

These of these examples that left people in Holy awe and fear of the awesomeness of our Lord.  They show His power, compassion, mercy, and authority.  Each of them provide us with examples why we needn’t live in any fear other than one produced from getting a revelation of just how marvelous and mighty our Lord is.  It is that revelation of just who He is and how deep His love for you and me is that causes us to sense that Holy Fear.  It is also how we know He has freed us from fear and we no longer have to be afraid.  It is our Holy Fear that leads us to live fearless.  I fear therefore I am fearless.

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