1. Run to NOT From the Throne

shutterstock_coulds-resizedGenesis 3:10 NKJV  So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Genesis 3:10 BBE  And he said, Hearing your voice in the garden I was full of fear, because I was without clothing: and I kept myself from your eyes.

After Adam disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he experienced shame and fear for the first time.  The shame he felt for his rebelliousness against God’s command, and his fear of how God would react, drove Adam to attempt to avoid and hide from God.  That same sense of shame and fear as a result of sin is still driving people to attempt to run, hide, and avoid the presence of God.

Just as God enjoyed walking through His garden, spending time with His creation and talking with Adam, He enjoys walking the garden of our hearts, spending time and speaking with us.  That sense of guilt, of shame, of condemnation and fear of God keeps us from that close place of fellowship with Him.  But, FEAR NOT!  For Jesus bore the shame and the penalties of sin in His body (Heb 12:2; Isa 53:12; 1Pet 3:18).  Hebrews 1:3 says, “…He Himself purged our sins…” and we are now restored to a place of fellowship with God where we can “…come boldly to the throne of Grace…” (Heb 4:16) and obtain mercy and help when we need it.

Don’t let sin and shame keep you from walking with God today.  1 John 1:9 tells us, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  God is not mad at you; you have been justified by the blood of Christ (Rom 5:9); there is nothing to fear.  So, FEAR NOT!  But boldly enter the throne of Grace and go for a stroll with the Lord your God today.

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383. There is No Fear in Love

216a9-god27slovehasnolimits1 John 4:16 NKJV  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:18 NKJV  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

“We have known & believed the love that God has for us.”  God loves us. That is such glorious news we should be telling people about it.  Oh wait, that is what we are called to do.  God’s reason for loving us, although It’s been expressed in a number of different ways, stems from the reality of who He is.  God is love.

This is important in the discussion of fear, because, “There is no fear in love…” (1 John 4:18).  God is love.  There is no fear in love.  Therefor there is no fear in God.  God is utterly and completely fearless.  That’s good news, because at the New Birth we were made in His image.  2 Peter 1:4 tells us we have become partakers of His divine nature.  We now share in the love of God.  It is His perfect love in us that drives fear away as His love is perfected in us.

This means that, Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.” – Dr Steve Maraboli.  God hasn’t given us the Holy Spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).  How could He?  There is no fear in Him.  Instead we have been given the Holy Spirit of God and remade in His loving and fearless image.

If we have fear, that doesn’t mean we aren’t saved or we don’t have God.  It just means that there is an area of our lives that we have not yet allowed to be made perfect by His love.  We all have areas that we have not allowed the Truth of God’s Word (His Love Story) to become the final authority in our lives.  But as we search out His Word, allow it to become real to us and live out of that reality applying it and continuing in it, His love is perfected in that area of our life and fear is diminished and banished from us.  Then we are able to walk in a new freedom partaking more of the loving nature of our God who is love and fears not.

341. Your Peace is in Him

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.

330. Fearlessly Pursuing His Presence

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).

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

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.

322. Fear Not Your Prayer is Heard

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.

253. Fear Not All Will Be Well

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.