377. Naturally Supernatural

Hebrews 12:18 NLT  You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.
Hebrews 12:21 NKJV  And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I AM EXCEEDINGLY AFRAID AND TREMBLING.”)
Hebrews 12:22-24 NKJV  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,  (23)  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,  (24)  to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

There are things in the natural that have frightened me.  There are situations of genuine & perceived peril I’ve been in that were horrifying.  Still, I cannot imagine the hiking up an ominous mountain surrounded by a dark cloud with a horrible storm, lighting and fire engulfing it.  Moses was right to be, “exceedingly afraid & trembling” as he trekked up the mountain with Joshua to meet with the Lord God of Israel.  It was a truly “awesome” experience.  But though God has not changed and is still as AWESOME as ever our relationship with Him has.

No longer do we approach God like Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin-man, Cowardly Lion, & Toto approached the Wizard of Oz.  Instead we come to Him and by the Spirit dwell and commune with Him in a new and precious way.  The NLT case in Hebrews 12:23 that, “(We) have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. (We) have come to God Himself, who is the judge over all things. (We) have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.

A lot has changed from Exodus to Hebrews.  1) The place we meet and commune is different.  It was the ominous and scary mountain, where we venture alone or with one other to meet Him; Now it is to an incredible and divine city, filled with precious saints, angelic beings, and an eternal party (festal gathering, Weymouth New Testament).  2) Our relationship with God has changed and become more intimate (from the all mighty creator to our FATHER God who is the almighty creator.)  3) Our nature has changed (no longer unrighteous sinners, but righteous joint-heirs with Christ).

This also means that in all natural circumstances we can overcome fear.  You see by the Spirit of God we can constantly dwell in this place of Mt. Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem while still being physically on the earth.  Ephesians 2:6 tells us that we are simultaneously here on earth and seated with Christ in heavenly places.  How is this possible?  Through the Holy Spirit who dwells with us, in us, and is ever present in Heaven too.  Because of where we dwell by and in the Spirit, even when in a naturally scary place we are in the comfort and divine presence of God.  When we tap into that reality and remind ourselves of it when in a fearful circumstance we don’t have to fear, because we know Heaven is with us, our Father is near, and we are walking in a position of authority as joint heirs with Christ.  The reality of all of Heaven with us reminds us to fear not.  You are naturally supernatural.



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.

375. You Don’t Have to Stand Alone

left-outHebrews 11:23 NKJV  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.




“Be brave enough to accept the help of others.” – Melba Colgrove

In this verse we see the faith of Moses’ parents being commended.  In the face of a horrifying situation, where Pharaoh had decreed that any Israelite boy born should be turned over to the Egyptian soldiers and thrown into the Nile River to drown or be eaten by crocodiles, they refused to follow the command and risked the lives of not only themselves but of their other two children by hiding Moses for the first 3 months of his life.  I love that this verse commends both of them saying, “By faith Moses, …was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw… and they were not afraid.”  It is easier to stand against fearful circumstances when you don’t do it alone.

The Bible is not short on verses that talk about the power of agreement & unity.  Matthew 18:19-20, Ecclesiastes 4:12, Amos 3:3, James 5:14-16 ,1 Peter 3:7, and so many more all point to this truth.  We see the principle throughout the Scripture in so many examples of faith, covenant, and even the power of agreement of the ungodly seen with the Tower of Babel.  One of the reasons that agreement is so powerful is that it encourages the other party.  When we stand in agreement with one another we encourage each other in the things of God and our resolve to stand and trust God even in the most terrifying of situations is bolstered.

Besides that, the teamwork that was necessary to effectively hide a cooing and crying child and misdirect or distract the soldiers that are conducting routine searches of all the houses couldn’t not have been managed by any one person.  It required a team to be alert, vigilant, and working together to do so.  Together they persevered and preserved the life of their son.

Isolation is one of the strategies the Enemy using to keep people bound by fear.  He will try to get you to think that you are alone.  Sometimes this comes through the form of other fears like the fear of the opinions of others or the fear of failure, which will keep you from being honest about a situation or accepting help.  I’ve even seen people use “faith” as an excuse to struggle through their fears alone.  That’s just not Bible people.

The lord created us for relationship.  We are children of a relational God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).  You don’t have to go through fearful situations alone.  Some of them you simply can’t make it through alone.  The good news is you don’t have to.  There are people who will come along side and together, like the parents of Moses, will agree with you, encourage you, and even make the battle their own and fight alongside of you.  You don’t have to stand alone.  Will you be brave enough to accept the help of others?


374. Thanatophobia – The Fear of Death

Hno-fear-of-deathebrews 2:14-15 NKJV  Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  (15)  and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

 I believe that every fear and every phobia are all directly related to the fear of death.  They may not overtly appear to be related, but they all deal with an aspect of loss that I believe can be traced back to the garden when Adam disobeyed God, knew something about his nature radically changed as God’s glory departed and he recognized his nakedness.  Then the thought came to a being that did not know sickness or death, “what did God mean, in dying you shall surely die?” “What is dying?” “What is death?” And thus fear of any kind was experienced for the first time and it was the fear of death.  All other types of fear have emerged and have their origins from this primal fear.  But we don’t need to fear death or any fear that has come from it any longer.

This verse tells us that Jesus has destroyed the devil and his power of death that he had over mankind through His death on the cross at Calvary.  Then through His resurrection, we were released to live in newness of life.  A new life of freedom in the overcoming life of the Lord Jesus Himself.  Death has been done away with.  The power of death has been destroyed.  And we have been released from the bondage of its grasp and freed from the fear of death.

Since every fear can be traced back to the fear of death, our freedom from all fears has been obtained.  We have been freed from the fear of failure.  Freed from the fear of the dark.  Freed from the fear that has held us in bondage to the opinions of others.  Freed from the fears that have kept us bound from living in the fullness that is our in Christ Jesus.  Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him; He is the risen Lord and we have been freed from all bondage to walk in His fearless victory.

You are no longer a slave to fear.  You have been freed to walk in glorious liberty.  Don’t allow fear to grip you and hold you in bondage any longer.  Declare your freedom from fear and cast of the chains that His victory unlocked.  The temptation to fear will come, but when it does remember that not only has Jesus set you free from the bondage of fear, but He is able and willing to help you when you are tempted.  So when you are tempted to fear, rise up in your fearless nature remembering that you have been set free, then call on His Name and ask Him to help you stand fearless in the midst of your situation.  You are no longer a slave to fear. Fear Not!

Hebrews 2:18 NKJV  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.


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!


364. Quench Your Pastor’s Fears 1

preaching2 Corinthians 11:3-5 MSG  And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.  (4)  It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached–different spirit, different message–you put up with him quite nicely.  (5)  But if you put up with these big-shot “apostles,” why can’t you put up with simple me? I’m as good as they are.

Reading through the book of Acts and Paul’s letters to the churches you quickly see his passion for the Gospel, reliance on the Holy Spirit and his love for the Church, the Body of Christ, especially the churches that he was instrumental in their founding.  In those letters he also shares his greatest ministerial fear.  It wasn’t ridicule, persecution, imprisonment, beatings, or even death, though Paul certainly wasn’t excited about those things he didn’t fear them (Philippians 1:23, Acts 21:13).  So what was it that kept Paul up at night?  Paul’s greatest fear was that the people he had poured his life into would be lose the purity and simplicity of the Gospel message and their devotion to Jesus.  Your pastor shares that fear and deals with it regularly.

He had this fear, because even in the early church there were people that preached with the wrong motivations.  Some used ministry as a way to get prestige, popularity, power, & money.  One way they did this was to preach NEW STUFF, extra Biblical stuff, their own ideas, and even made up stuff.  Paul’s heart broke when he heard these bogus doctrines and saw it corrupt the faith of some Believers.  Today there is even greater access to more bizarre and weird teaching.  It breaks my heart when I hear people repeating weird non-scriptural or contextually accurate ideas they heard at some church or on the internet.

Here is how you can help your pastor avoid falling prey to this fear.

1.   Show up to your home church regularly.
2.   Take notes.
3.   Be a Berean and study out what you’re taught.
4.   Put the WORD of God first and not just the words of somebody on line or on TV.
5.   Pray.
6.   Read the Bible for yourself.
7.   Remember your pastor isn’t perfect and is still growing too, it’s possible for even the best pastor to be wrong sometimes. Extend grace.

There are some other things we could mention, but this is a great start to help protect your pastor from fearing you will fall away from the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ.


351. Membership has its Privileges

membershipActs 22:25-29 NKJV   And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?”  (26)  When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.”  (27)  Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.”  (28)  The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”  (29)  Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

“Membership has its privileges” is a trademarked phrase by the American Express credit card company that was once frequently heard in all of their commercials.  Though I can’t speak of the benefits of being an American Express card member, the phrase is true when it comes to our relationship with the Lord and as members of the Kingdom of God.  It also benefited the Apostle Paul as a citizen (a member) of Rome.

Paul has just recently returned to Jerusalem for what he knows by both revelation and prophecy will end in his incarceration.  After properly following the purification ceremonies entered the temple.  It wasn’t long before a number of Jews from Asia, where Paul had spent a great deal of time ministering recognized him and after brazen allegations were made a mod grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple and began severely beating him and intended to kill him.  News got the Roman military commander who intervened before they could kill Paul.  Even though they bound him in chains to take him to the barracks, the mob persisted.  Paul convinced the commander to allow him to address the crowd and shared the testimony of his conversion and faith in Jesus as Messiah.  This did not go over well and the commander, fearing there would be a great riot had Paul taken to the barracks and ordered him scourged.

Here is where membership has its privileges.  Now back at the base, Paul reveals to the commander that although he is Jewish he is also a Roman citizen by birth.  As a citizen, to be punished without a trial was unlawful.  The commander was now terrified that he could have charges brought up against him and they backed off of Paul.  Paul’s citizenship of Rome had its privileges to relieve him from his present bondage, to now gain protection from the military who would keep him from being killed by the Sadducees the next day, and ultimately help him fulfill his calling to minister to the highest officials in the Roman government.  Membership has its privileges.

Membership has its privileges for you to.  Only instead of being a part of Rome, you have citizenship in Heaven (Php 3:20).  That means that Heaven is working on your behalf to protect you, to keep you, and to open doors for you to fulfill your divine destiny.  The road might look dark and scary sometimes, but Fear Not and walk on ahead.  Heaven is on your side.  Membership has its privileges.