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Posts Tagged ‘God’

341. Your Peace is in Him

Posted by John Smith on June 30, 2017

John 14:27 NKJV  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I’ve heard it said that the benediction of speaking “peace” to people or to homes one might visit was a common practice in Jesus’ days.  Still, He went further when He said, “My peace I give to you.”  His peace (being God) is one that certainly only He can impart but then Jesus went even further to differentiate it from any other form or expression of peace saying, “…not as the world gives do I give to you.”  The world’s peace in inconstant, unsettling, and transient.  It’s empty.  As soon as you find the peace it was promising you through things, wealth, power, fame, etc… you realize it is already fading and you’re on the hunt again.  This is frustrating and troubling for our hearts.  It leaves us wondering and fearing that we’ll never find it.  But there is a better way.  Embrace the Peace that Jesus left for you.

 He’s made obtaining and maintaining peace so simple.  The peace of God that only He can impart, has already been given to us through Christ Jesus.  Our job is to renew our mind and live in the reality that there is no longer a struggle to find peace.  We no longer have enmity with God.  We have been reconciled to Him and all that He has He has freely made available to us.

There is no longer any situation that has the power to overwhelm us or cause us to fear.  The peace of God has been given to us.  It is always present.  It is always near.  The peace of God is filling and fulfilling.  His peace is one that is realized through the Son.  As we grow in understanding His love for us and His grace toward us we realize the joy and the peace that the world knows not.  We become utterly secure in the reality that we are In Christ and are safe in Him no matter what the situations of life may look like don’t allow your fear to trouble you… You have HIS peace.  If you can’t find what you did with it, look back at Jesus you’ll find it in Him.

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330. Fearlessly Pursuing His Presence

Posted by John Smith on April 14, 2017

Luke 9:33-34 NKJV  Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.  (34)  While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.

Some people get nervous in the presence of God.  It’s because they don’t know what to expect.  Unfortunately that’s because they’ve either never been there or they don’t spend a lot of time in His presence.

Peter didn’t seem to be too phased by being in the presence of Moses, Elijah, or even with Jesus after He was transfigured and His face began to glow.  But when another person of the Trinity shows up in a way unfamiliar to him, in the form of an overshadowing cloud instead of the familiar package of a man as they regularly interacted with Jesus the second part of the Trinity in, they freaked out. 

The verse says they became fearful as they entered into the cloud of God’s presence.  They were fine with Jesus lit up like a lightbulb and even with two old dead prophets showing up, but when the cloud of God’s presence began to overshadow them they became fearful.  They had already seen the dead raised and Jesus walking on the water in His ministry, but never had they been enveloped in the presence of God before.

I remember when Valarie and I co-founded FCFTucson.org alongside our pastors Virgil & Judy Stokes.  For about the first year, the majority of the people who came were either new Believers or had never been in a church that taught or allowed the Presence of God to move in their midst in any kind of real or tangible way.  We’d get to worshipping and when God’s presence would begin to show up and fill that little building, you could just see the looks of shock and “oh my… what now” on their faces as they encountered His presence in a way they had never experienced before.  It took a little while of teaching, explaining, and regular exposure for them to get comfortable just being in the Lord’s presence like that.  Now not only are they used to it but love and expect God’s presence to show up in our midst in amazing ways.

Regardless of whether or not you’ve experienced God’s presence in this kind of powerful way, you needn’t be afraid.  If you have, great keep fearlessly pursuing His presence.  If you haven’t, FEAR NOT you’ve got a glorious encounter with the Father just waiting for you to boldly enter in (Hebrews 4:16).

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323. Don’t Be Afraid, You Have God’s Grace

Posted by John Smith on February 24, 2017

Luke 1:30 NLT  “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” thgrace_724_482_80e angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!

When Mary began to become afraid at the sight and presence of the angel Gabriel, he told her not to be afraid for she had found favor with God.  Then he began to tell her of God’s amazing plan to bring forth His son who would save the world.

Look at how Gabriel addressed her fear.  He told her she didn’t have to fear because she had found favor with God.  This word favor in the Greek is ‘charis’ which is most often translated grace.  In essence, the angel told her, ‘Don’t be afraid (Fear Not); you have God’s grace.

You and I will definitely not serve the Kingdom of God in the same way in which Mary did, but the reason she didn’t need to fear the angel wasn’t because she had been specifically chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world, but because she had been a recipient of God’s amazing grace.  Mary needed a savior too.  God showed His grace through her, but it was also to her.  The same grace that justified you and me (Romans 3:24).  The same grace by which we were saved (Ephesians 2:8).  And the same grace we’ve been given access to the Father (Romans 5:2), has also been extended to you and me.  We don’t have to fear because God’s grace is near.

Fear Not! For you have found grace and favor with God!  Understanding God’s grace will free you from fear.

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322. Fear Not Your Prayer is Heard

Posted by John Smith on February 17, 2017

9305740605_8e6b23968c_zLuke 1:11-13 NKJV  Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.  (12)  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.  (13)  But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

Zacharias has gone into the temple of the Lord to perform his priestly duties and suddenly an angel appears right next to the altar he was preparing.  Certainly this would be a startling situation and many would become afraid having never seen an angel before, afraid of what he was going to say, or afraid of any number of other things one might begin to think when and angel from the Lord just shows up in front of you in the middle of your work day.  But I want to focus on what happens next.  The angel tells Zacharias, “Fear Not… for your prayer is heard… (KJV)”

What a powerful reason to not be afraid and another wonderful reason to pray.  The angel told him not to fear, because God had heard his prayer.  WOW!

God always hears you when you pray.  The 65th Psalm verse 2 addresses God as, “O You who hear prayer…” the word for hear used here means attentive listening and understanding.  The Lord is always attentively listening to our prayers and even when our prayers make little sense to us… He understands them.

Our loving and incredibly gracious Father is attentively listening to our prayer.  He always hears you when you pray.  Therefore we never have to fear.

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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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238. Don’t Fear the Flood – Antlophobia

Posted by John Smith on June 19, 2015

Isaiah 59:19 NKJV So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

Antlophobia is the fear of floods. In recent years with the number of floods many have experienced and even more widely seen on the news or dramatized in movies more people have been plagued with it. Though it does specifically deal with water I’m using it as a jumping off point, because sometimes natural problems and attacks from the enemy just keep flowing in and compounding much like a natural flood. When they do it doesn’t take long to begin to feel like you’re up to your eyeballs in trouble, gasping for air and struggling to stay above the water of your circumstance.

That’s where Isaiah 59:19 comes in. “When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” The phrase, ‘lift up a standard against him’ is pretty weird language today, but one way we could read it is ‘he’ll be put to flight or caused to flee’. We could read it, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will cause him to flee.” I like that.

A more literal translation could read, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Wind of the Spirit of the Lord will cause it to subside.” The Lord will create a protection around His people from the drowning floods of the enemy so there is no reason to fear. Just stick with Him and trust in His promises.

Some folk look at this verse from a strictly prophetic verse about the battle of Armageddon when a massive army will descend on Jerusalem –which I’m sure will look like a flood- then the Lord Jesus will deliver them destroying their enemies and all peoples from the east to the west will see their deliverance and fear the Lord at His second coming.

Regardless of how you want to look at this verse, the Lord loves to deliver His people from the flooding attacks of the enemy. When the enemy’s attacks begin to flood in, FEAR NOT! Keep your trust in Him. He is mighty to deliver you from the enemy and with your confidence in Him and His Word He will cause the flood to subside.

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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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232. Admit Your Fears Before You Make a Decision

Posted by John Smith on May 8, 2015

Isaiah 51:7 NLT “Listen to Me, you who know right from wrong you who cherish My law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.

General George Patton once said, “The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all of your fears and go ahead!” That’s some good advice. Admit your fears before you make a decision.

Admitting your fears before you make a decision will allow you to clearly address them by examining them and your situation to the Word of God, listening to Him by the Holy Spirit in you as a Believer in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It gets them out in the open so they can be dealt with. If we suppress and hide them they will rise up stronger after the decision has been made and can dilute, distract, diminish, or destroy our results.

Then get into the Word. It is His Word in our heart that allows us to walk fearless. Not everyone will agree with the decision you make. Not everyone agrees with the Scripture. They will try to manipulate, debate, and intimidate you. If you allow it the fear they inspire will keep you from obeying God.

Here in Isaiah 51:7 God says we are to listen to Him and that through our love for Him and His Word we know the right thing to do. Don’t be afraid of what people say or their insults. Admit your fears and then address them according to the Word of God. Examine what His Word says and make your decision being led by His Word and Spirit. Then turn off all of your fears and go ahead! That’s what Gideon did in Judges 6, that’s what the three Hebrew teens did in Daniel chapter 3, and that’s what we’re going to do. Admit your fears; listen to God, Follow His Spirit and the Word which agrees and FEAR NOT!

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231. When Dark Clouds Come

Posted by John Smith on May 1, 2015

Isaiah 50:10 NLT Who among you fears the LORD and obeys His servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the LORD and rely on your God.

 Have you ever had a day or a period of life that it just seemed like a dark cloud was always overhead? When bad news just kept coming till you felt like you were alone in utter darkness without any ray of hope. Sometimes the circumstances of life seem to engulf our thinking accompanied with worry, doubt, and fear. In those moments when you feel like you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light… trust in the Lord and rely on your (Father) God.

He is always for you. He is always with you. He even lives in you, by His Spirit. And He is always faithful. Don’t be afraid, even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23). Why? Because He is with you and you can utterly trust and rely on Him. When dark clouds come and seem to drown out the light, FEAR NOT, trust in the Lord, rely on your Father and watch the rays of His light begin to shine in your circumstance driving out darkness and fear.

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190. Listen, Calm Down, Don’t Fear, Don’t Panic FOR God Says…

Posted by John Smith on July 11, 2014

Isaiah 7:3-7 MSG Then GOD told Isaiah, “Go and meet Ahaz. Take your son Shear-jashub (A-Remnant-Will-Return) with you. Meet him south of the city at the end of the aqueduct where it empties into the upper pool on the road to the public laundry. (4) Tell him, Listen, calm down. Don’t be afraid. And don’t panic over these two burnt-out cases, Rezin of Aram and the son of Remaliah. They talk big but there’s nothing to them. (5) Aram, along with Ephraim’s son of Remaliah, have plotted to do you harm. They’ve conspired against you, saying, (6) ‘Let’s go to war against Judah, dismember it, take it for ourselves, and set the son of Tabeel up as a puppet king over it.’ (7) But GOD, the Master, says, “It won’t happen. Nothing will come of it.

Ahaz, the King of Judah at the time, has just learned that two kings who had individually led unsuccessful military campaigns against the city of Jerusalem in Judah have joined their forces together. Although neither had been successful their armies had taken a toll on the armies of Judah. Isaiah 7:2 in the NLT says when he and his people heard the news that, “… the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.” But God doesn’t want His people to live in fear so He sent Isaiah to encourage them.

The Lord spoke to the prophet Isaiah to go meet with Ahaz and deliver him a message. This message has some important advice that will help us walk free from fear in any circumstance. Isaiah told Ahaz: Listen, Calm Down, Don’t be afraid “Fear Not” (KJV), Don’t Panic, and GOD SAYS.

Listen – This is an attention grabber. Listen up! That also means one will need to be quiet or “shut up”. The NKJV says, “Take heed” letting us know that this means one also has to pay attention and actively listen. This is vital. When fearful circumstance hit many people become overwhelmed and begin rehearsing and speaking over and over again the problem and fear they are experiencing. As long as they are talking about the problem, they won’t see or hear the solution. Get some good counsel and listen to what they say.

Calm Down – Once you’ve settled your mouth, settle your mind. Take some deep breathes, pray in the Spirit and relax. Sit down and be still for a few minutes. An anxious mind and body is easily inspired to fear.

Don’t Be Afraid “Fear Not” (KJV) – The predicates the actions of the former. In order to not be afraid one is going to have to shut up, listen and calm down in the midst of a fearful situation or crisis. As we’ve discussed before fear is a choice. You can have a fearful thought and experience the noun ‘fear’ without becoming the verb ‘afraid’. Isaiah was told to rebuke their fear and command Ahaz to FEAR NOT!

Don’t Panic – or become fainthearted. Don’t be softened in your approach or your response. Not only should you not be afraid, but you should also not be intimidated or moved. This is an encouragement to respond with courage, be strong, and to stand fearless, not easily moved.

God says… – What God says about your situation makes all the difference. What does He say in His Word? His Word is His will. Listen to the voice of the Spirit of God. What is He telling you? He may instruct you to trust Him and take action (sell something, call someone, speak to the situation, etc…) or in this case just trust Him and relax for nothing would come of their attack against Judah.

When fearful circumstances come your way. Be quite and listen. Get some good counsel. Calm down. This will prevent you from making a rash decision. Don’t be afraid “Fear Not” and don’t panic. Why? Because you can put your faith and trust in what God says concerning your situation. Look at what He’s written you in His Word and is speaking to you by His Spirit. He will give you a Word in your situation so you can FEAR NOT!

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