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Posts Tagged ‘christian’

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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320. Identity, Purpose, Strategy

Posted by John Smith on February 3, 2017

Mark 11:18 NKJV  And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.

You might remember the nursery rhyme, “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? The big bad wolf? The big bad wolf…” But certainly not, who’s afraid of Jesus?  Yet the scribes and chief priests were threatened and terrified by the teaching of Jesus.  They were afraid of losing their power and position among the people they were called to serve, but instead looked at as people sent to serve them.  They were afraid of losing their power so much that they were willing to destroy others for it.

Jesus certainly didn’t want His followers to leave Him, betray Him, nor deny Him, yet He wasn’t afraid of them leaving Him either.  Jesus’ confidence in who He was/is, His purpose, and His commitment to serve others empowered Him to not fear when others weren’t so sure footed and left him.

Pastors, church leadership, ministry leaders, and church goers however often fear when they attendance begins to wain within a church.  They are afraid the bills won’t be paid, that the work won’t be done (or they will have to do even more of it themselves), other people won’t see them as influential anymore, that they aren’t a good speaker, or their own feeling of self-worth is being threatened all of which is distracting them from where their focus should lie.

You see whether its people leaving your church or leaving your life you will have the opportunity to fear, but you don’t have to.  It was Jesus’ confidence in His relationship with the Father and knowing who He was that protected Him from the fear that comes when our identity is wrapped up in people or what we do.  It was the surety in His purpose that allowed Him to fearlessly stand against the pressures that said you are going under and fulfill His purpose when nobody else was left to stand with Him.  It was His commitment to serve that protected Him from the fear of what others said about Him, fear of how many followed Him, or what they thought about Him.

In life and in local churches, people will come and go.  You don’t have to be moved to fear during those times.  The scribes and chief priests feared for selfish reasons… all fear is selfish, but knowing your identity, your purpose, and your strategy to see it through will keep you steady and fearless when people leave.

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272. There is a Higher Authority

Posted by John Smith on March 4, 2016

0006873Daniel 5:18-21 NKJV O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. (19) And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. (20) But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. (21) Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.

King Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful leader and ruler of his day. During his reign there were no kingdoms that could compare to the strength and riches of the Babylonians. Daniel 5:19 records that “all peoples, nations & languages trembled and feared before him.” There was no one that could stand against him and everyone feared his power and the greatness of his kingdom. At least that is what he thought.

Nebuchadnezzar was greatly lifted up in pride and although God reached out to him, warned him and gave him a year to humble himself and repent of his pride, he did not. In one day, Nebuchadnezzar was driven from the palace to the fields and away from aristocratic society. He lived as an animal eating the grass of the field, sleeping on the ground, apparently unable to communicate or think like a man. He lived as a beast with his hair and fingernails growing like one. (Daniel 4)

During this time, he was not feared for his great intellect, strength or power. He may have been feared for his appearance, but no one feared the power he wielded. It had been taken from him and with it the fear of man toward him. After 7 seasons, his sanity returned and he had a massive attitude adjustment. He now understood that no matter how much power he may amass that the Lord was Most High and rules over all human kingdoms.

There are a few takeaways we can have here. One is to remember the dangers of pride and recognize that everything we do or accomplish could not be done without the Lord. Another and what I’d like to stress is that no matter how much real or perceived power a person, a group, or a government may amass, our God is still Lord Most High and the ruler over all kingdoms. At present there are many Christians throughout the world, as well as here in the United States that are afraid of political powers and figures. We are to love them, respect the offices they hold, but we are not to fear them or the power they possess.

We never have to fear nations, political leaders, or anyone because we are children of the Most High who rules over all kingdoms. It is in Him that we trust, serve and live. The just shall live by faith (Rom 1:17) and not in fear. Love God! Love People! Preach the Truth in Love! Do not fear! There is a Higher Authority.

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253. Fear Not All Will Be Well

Posted by John Smith on October 2, 2015

Jeremiah 42:11-12 NKJV Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,’ says the LORD, ‘for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand. (12) And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.’

Have you ever done something or said something only to immediately gasp and think, “What have I done?” Jeremiah is speaking to a group of soldiers and their men that were probably thinking the same thing. These guys had really gotten themselves in a pickle and were afraid of a major blowback from the king of Babylon, having committed a major crime against him by killing his appointed governor to the region. Now they were living on the run, tormented by fear and second guessing every thought about what to do next.

Though I am sure none of you have been in their particular situation, many of us have done or said something and then realized it may not have been our wisest moment. Often people will get stuck in the cycle of what is going to happen next and what will I do. This cycle is perpetual and often leaves people frozen in fear because they see every possible action as having unfavorable consequences and simply want to avoid all of them.

I imagine receiving this message from Jeremiah, must have been a breath of fresh air. He told them they no longer had to fear, because God was with them to save & deliver them, showing them mercy and make sure they didn’t lose their inheritance. That is incredible… but their journey to overcome their fear really began a few verses prior in Jeremiah 42:6.

Jer 42:6 Whether we like it or not, we will obey the LORD our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey Him, everything will turn out well for us.”

Their journey to escape the bondage of fear came when they made a decision that they would obey the Lord no matter what He told them to do, whether they liked it or not. Even though they had gotten themselves in a bad situation (by NOT consulting and involving the Lord), they knew that God is good, was for them, and had their best interests at heart. It was this understanding that allowed them to do whatever the Lord instructed them to do even if it meant marching home and facing the consequences of their actions. It is also this understanding that allowed them to experience peace from the onslaught of fear.

Many people quote Romans 8:2, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Yet they don’t allow God to work in their lives. They refuse to obey His written Word and ignore the voice and promptings of the Holy Spirit, because they don’t really believe that He is indeed for them and has their best interests at heart. Obedience and faith are tied together.

No matter how you got in your fearful situation, whether it was brought you by others, just happened because we live in a fallen world, is an attack of the enemy, or you did something and brought it on yourself, the Lord loves you and is for you. If you will decide to seek His will and council as to what to do, you can eradicate the fear knowing that everything will turn out well. Fear Not.

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241. There IS an Answer

Posted by John Smith on July 10, 2015

Isaiah 37:6 NKJV And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

A general from the king of Assyria has shown up and begun intimidating and threatening King Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem. Assyria was a mighty force of the day and laying siege to kingdom after kingdom throughout the land. His speech was not only intimidating but it was quite articulate and given so that all the people of Jerusalem could hear.

King Hezekiah did a good job in the presence of his people to not show any emotion or give the appearance that he was concerned. However, when he got behind closed doors he began to freak out. He was afraid. Hezekiah knew that in their own strength they were nothing against the armies of Assyria, so he sent a messenger to make inquiry of Isaiah to ask if God heard the threats that were made against God’s people and how the general had mocked God. Hezekiah wanted to find out if God was going to do anything about it.

God’s response to Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah was, “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard…” Words have the power to inspire faith or inspire fear. They also have the power to release faith or to release fear. In this situation the Assyrian generals words inspired fear in the Hezekiah and his people, however none of them spoke their fear, at least not publically where it could spread. You have to be carefully what you listen to. There are a lot of people out there speaking words that are inspiring fear. Don’t listen to them.

With God on your side you never have to fear any negative report. Certainly don’t listen to words that belittle and mock God or His promises to you. When the general began to threaten the people of Jerusalem, he said don’t listen to your king if he tries to tell you to fight us because you all know you’re way too weak for us. He went on to tell them not to believe Hezekiah if he tried to convince them that God would somehow protect them, because they had defeated many peoples whose gods had promised to deliver them but were no match of their army or the Assyrian gods. In essence he told them, “Look, you all are going to be defeated and there is nothing you can do about it. Don’t get any foolish ideas you can lick us and there’s not point to pray about it because there is nothing that your God can do to help you. So don’t even pray about it, that way you won’t get zealous and try something stupid.”

Have you ever need in a situation and told someone you were going to pray and they respond something to the effect of, “Like that’ll help.” If you listen to that junk fear will take hold of you in no time. God cares for you and is with you to deliver you and bring you through every circumstance and trial. When people begin to doubt and profess that God can’t help you, that’s a good time to begin to rejoice. Not only do they believe your situation is hopeless for you, but they don’t think God is big enough to do anything to help. They are WRONG!

Don’t give in to the fear and pressure of the situation. Seek the Lord. Look to His counsel in the Word. Listen to the counsel of His Spirit. He may give you specific advice or He may say something similar that He did to Hezekiah through Isaiah and tell you that you don’t have to do anything but wait and He’ll take care of the whole situation and show everyone just how AMAZING He is. Either way there is an answer and God is your deliverer. Fear Not!

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240. 7 Reasons Not to Fear Dirty Looks

Posted by John Smith on July 3, 2015

Jeremiah 1:4-9 NKJV Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: (5) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (6) Then said I: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” (7) But the LORD said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. (8)  Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD. (9) Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

In Fearless Friday #239, we talked about not having to be afraid and influenced by the looks other people may give you for just saying and doing what is right. I shared about being intimidated by the frowns, scrunched eyebrows, and lofty “I know more than you” expressions of people I was ministering to… or at least attempting to minister to. Thankfully, my delivery has gotten better and I’ve learned that some people just look that way. Some folk are just going to frown no matter what your say. Some people just come predetermined to not listen, dislike the message, or to have a bad day.

Verse 8 says we don’t have to be afraid of their faces because God is with us. GLORY! That is reason enough not to fear, but let’s look at some more anyway. Here are 7 reasons you don’t have to fear people’s dirty looks, when you do what is right.

  1. God knows you. The Lord has intimate knowledge about who you are. He knows all about you; every strength and every weakness, and He still loves you and wants to use you.
  2. God has sanctified you. You have been set apart. You have been made Holy. That doesn’t mean you’re perfect. You were sanctified in Christ before the foundation of the world. You are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit through the Word. And you will be sanctified when you see Him as He is and reflect Him in every way.
  3. God has ordained you. You have a divine purpose and function 1 Pe4:10. God has Holy plans for you and has anointed you to do them. Because HE has ordained you to do them you can do them fearlessly.
  4. God is sending you. “You’re on a mission from God.” You can fearless go wherever and to whomever He is sending you. In Mark chapter 16, Jesus said He has sent you to the world. Everywhere you go, you are on a mission from God.
  5. God has given you a command. He’s called you, He’s anointed you, He’s sent you, and He’s told us to preach the Gospel and love as He loves us.
  6. Because God really is with you.
  7. God’s Word is in your mouth… and in your heart (Rom 10:8). He’ll speak through you if you’ll allow Him. Fill your heart with His Word and He’ll fill your mouth with it in the right moments so you’ll never have to fear people’s faces.

 Jeremiah 1:8 BBE Have no fear because of them: for I am with you, to keep you safe, says the Lord.

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237. God Didn’t Send Your Problem

Posted by John Smith on June 12, 2015

Isaiah 54:13-15 MSG All your children will have GOD for their teacher– what a mentor for your children! (14) You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble–nothing to fear! far from terror–it won’t even come close! (15) If anyone attacks you, don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them, And if any should attack, nothing will come of it.

Some people erroneously believe that God is their problem. If God is your problem, you should quake with fear and dread. Thankfully, He’s not. God is not your problem.

In our last post, (236. God Is Your Teacher) we talked about how God, the Spirit teaches and mentors us in the glorious realities of who we now are in Christ. As we are built on Truth of God’s Word and grow in understanding of our righteous nature and all that means, we grow into our fearless and bold nature in Him learning that there is nothing to fear.

Now let’s look at verse 15. Just in case you might start to think that maybe the symptom or trial trying to bind you up in fear is from God, The Lord flat out tells us that it isn’t. He says, “If anyone (anything) attacks you, don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them (it).” That’s some good news. Unfortunately there are some wonderful Christians that get bound up in fear because they believe that God might have brought the sickness, disease, or circumstance that they are terrified of in their life. He didn’t!

Furthermore the Lord who says that not only has He not sent nor will send any attacks against us, but should any attacks come, we don’t need to worry or become afraid because NOTHING will come of it. GLORY! Our teacher and mentor the Holy Spirit will train us up in God’s Word and the understanding of our righteous nature, coaching us into a place where we walk in our fearless nature. AND should any attacks come our way, He’ll be right there with us to teach us how to walk in the VICTORY and NOTHING will come of the attack. We simply just can’t lose.

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236. God is Your Teacher

Posted by John Smith on June 5, 2015

Isaiah 54:13-14 MSG All your children will have GOD for their teacher– what a mentor for your children! (14) You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble–nothing to fear! Far from terror–it won’t even come close!

The prophet Isaiah prophesied that God was going to be a teacher and a mentor directly to His people instead of using the law and the prophets. He tells them that if they allow God to instruct them the result will be that they are solid, grounded in righteousness and FAR from any trouble with NOTHING TO FEAR. Back in verse 10 it tells us that God would be instructing them in His Covenant of Peace.

Praise God that day came some 800+ years later. In John 14 Jesus promised that after He completed His earthly mission and redeemed mankind that He would send the Holy Spirit to us as God the teacher. At the new birth, God the Spirit comes and takes up residence in every Believer. He immediately begins teaching and revealing His everlasting Covenant of Peace with His Children (John 14:27) and the Truths of their identity in Him, establishing them in Truth, grounding them in their righteous nature. Through Christ by the Spirit of God, you have been removed from all trouble and there is nothing to fear.

He is our teacher. Listen to His instruction and follow His Word. The Spirit of God longs to establish you in the Truth of His Covenant, ground you in His righteousness, and empower you to walk in His peace. It is God, Himself, the Holy Spirit that teaches us to walk FEARLESS through life because of the realities of the new life we have in Christ.

You are FEARLESS. You might just not realize it yet. God wants to teach you and reveal to you the truth of your fearless nature in Christ. Spend time daily with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to continually teach you the fullness of the extent of His Covenant of Peace with you. With the Spirit of God as your mentor, terror won’t even come close! FEAR NOT.

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235. Fear Not; You Will Not be Disgraced or Disappointed

Posted by John Smith on May 29, 2015

Isaiah 54:4 NKJV “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

Have you ever known someone you like, honor or respect like a friend or a boss that will talk to you and be very engaging in one social setting, but in another they ignore and avoid you? I had a “friend” like that when I was younger. We were what I thought was good friends and then we’d get around other groups of people that my friend esteemed highly and thought that they might not think I was as cool as everyone else, so he would just exclude me around his other friends. Well, we didn’t stay “friends” too long. Because, I felt humiliated and disgraced. I don’t want to be friends with someone who makes me feel ashamed and won’t acknowledge me.

This often happens in families among siblings even more so because unlike friends, you don’t choose your siblings. Being the youngest, on occasion, I fell victim to this too. There were a number of times that my older brother and sister ridiculed or made fun of and disgraced me in front of their friends – to their defense I was probably being pretty annoying and invading their space. All little kids want to hang out with bigger kids, because they admire them and many times they get disgraced or shamed because they weren’t wanted around all the time.

But the Lord says you never have to fear Him shaming you. God will never disgrace you. If you are hoping to spend time with Him, He’ll never call and say He’s going to work late or going hang out with Moses, Elijah and Enoch instead. NO! Men are often ashamed when disappointments of all kinds occur, but that is not how it should be for you and me. The Church should never be ashamed of her hope and confidence, because the Lord will not disappoint. HE will do what He says He’ll do. He will be your friend even through the end. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He is not embarrassed of you and He will not embarrass or disgrace you. Instead He will always come through. Keep your confidence in Him and Fear Not, you will not be disgraced or disappointed.

Isaiah 54:5 MSG For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies! Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth.

God has made an eternal commitment to you. To disgrace you would be disgracing Himself.

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