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Posts Tagged ‘victory’

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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230. Are You Worshiping a False Image of God?

Posted by John Smith on April 24, 2015

Isaiah 44:8-11 NKJV Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.‘ ” (9) Those who make an image, all of them are useless, And their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. (10)  Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him nothing? (11)  Surely all his companions would be ashamed; And the workmen, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, Let them stand up; Yet they shall fear, They shall be ashamed together.

To live a life free from fear we must get to know the FEARLESS one and His Word. It is our confidence in Him and His Word that enables us to live in the Fearless nature in which we’ve been made to walk. There are some however, that make their own god, putting their trust in idols, ideas, and systems that allow them to placate their fears with false reasoning. This profits them nothing and, “they shall fear”.

Unfortunately many Believers do this too. Though we may not be molding idols and building a new god to worship, ALL OF US, have some ideas about God and His Word that don’t reflect Him in His nature accurately. Too many people settle for hearsay about the Lord instead of examining Scripture, conferring with trusted advisors like their pastor, ministry leaders, and elders within their church, and allow the Teacher the Holy Spirit of God to reveal their false images of Him to them.

Job didn’t worship a false God, but he did hold and worship an idea and picture of the Father God that wasn’t accurate. His false image of God, profited him nothing when it came to getting healed, delivered from depression, provision, and freedom from his fears. It wasn’t until Job had an encounter with God and got a revelation of His genuine nature that freedom from fear, healing, joy, and provision came. It was Job’s false belief -image if you will- of God that kept him in bondage to fear. It is our beliefs and our IMAGE of God that helps hold us in bondage to fear too.

Grow in your knowledge of who He is and spend time in His Word and in His presence daily. The Father is fearless and He is GOOD. We have been born again in His image. Examine your fears in the light of His Word. Do you have a molded image in your mind of God that doesn’t stand true to the Word? Talk to some knowledgeable people you trust about it, and be sure to spend time with God the Spirit and allow Him to show you the Truth and change the picture of God you have in your heart and fear not.

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229. The Word Reveals our Unfounded Fears

Posted by John Smith on April 17, 2015

Isaiah 44:8 NKJV Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.‘ “

Most fear is not based on fact. Most fear that people face or experience is based on a feeling or thought about a possible outcome of a situation. Aristotle said, “Fear is pain arising from anticipation of evil.”

Negative situations are declaring something to you. They declare that they are going to destroy your health, your wealth, your reputation, your marriage… But you don’t have to get into fear. Fear enters in when you listen and begin to believe the lies they declare. STOP it.

You don’t have to believe the lies. One way to eliminate fear is to find its’ foundation and shine the light of God’s Word to it. Isaiah 44:8 reminds us of this truth. There is no other Rock besides our God. He is the foundation. We do not have fear nor ever be afraid, because He is the Rock. He is the foundation of truth, Jesus the Word of God. What is at the base of your fear? Now compare it to what the Word, the foundation of truth says. Looking at your fears in the light and truth of the Word allows us to begin to see just how unfounded our fears are. Through this process we are released and experience freedom from our fears.

Do not fear, nor be afraid. There is no other God besides our Lord and His Word is Truth.

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228. Chosen to be Fearless

Posted by John Smith on April 10, 2015

Isaiah 44:2 NKJV Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you: ‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant; And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

God has designed and formed His people to be fearless. Here in Isaiah 44:2 the Lord commands His chosen people Jacob (Israel) to fear not. Praise God, “…you are a chosen generation… (1Peter 2:9). We are a chosen generation and we have been chosen to demonstrate His fearless nature to the world.

Isaiah 42:1 shows us that Jesus is the chosen one. He was chosen before the foundation of the world and Jesus the Chosen one is fearless.

When you believed on Christ you became a part of the Body of Christ. You became in Christ or in Him. It is this in Him relationship through which we inherit all our spiritual blessings that are in Christ (Eph 1:3). Well, fearlessness is part of that package. Fear not, O Church, you are chosen in Him to walk in all His blessings. So fear not you have been chosen to be fearless.

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226. Fear Not! You Are His

Posted by John Smith on March 27, 2015

Isaiah 43:1 NKJV But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

“Fear Not! You are mine.” says the Lord. This statement has a lot of weight to it. Let’s unpack some of what this means.

Certainly it implies a sense of ownership. The Lord is telling His people that they belong to Him. More so He is telling the entire world, these people are mine so hands off. In calling us His the Lord is putting the entire universe including the enemy on notice that we belong to Him. Oh that the Church would boldly rise up whenever a circumstance tries to steal their God given blessings, “Get your hands off me, I belong to the most high God.”

One of the New Testament words translated Redeemed (exagoradzo) means to have been purchased from the slave market and then to be given ones freedom never to be bought or sold again (Gal 3:13). GLORY! That is what has happened to us. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law and set us free to live our lives for Him.

Still there is at least one more idea that this word entails. The Hebrew word translated redeemed also implies FAMILY. Gâ’al (Gaw-al) refers to ones next of kin who would buy back a relatives property to make sure it stayed in the family. It is the same Hebrew word you see in Ruth chapter 4 when Boaz redeems the land that belonged to Naomi’s family and thusly required to marry Ruth the wife of Naomi’s eldest son. When God says, Fear Not for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are Mine. He is saying a lot more than just I bought you therefore I will protect you. He is saying, you are my family, I know you intimately, and we are one.

Let that sink in a little bit. From the beginning of time God has seen man as family. Even though the redemptive work of Christ didn’t occur for about another 800 years in the plan of God, He saw it as complete and done. The Creator was man’s closest “relative” (Let us make man in our image (Gen 1:26)) and planned to redeem His “Family” that had lost their inheritance and was sold into slavery to sin. Now each of us, through faith in Jesus can enter again into the family of God, and receive the Holy Spirit of Promise that confirms and attests to our birthright (Romans 8:15-16).

Fear Not God is your redeemer. You are His. He is yours. You are family. Rise up in faith and tell your circumstance or fear, “Get your hands off me. I am His. I’m a child of God, so you best watch out.”

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193. Calm Down!

Posted by John Smith on August 1, 2014

Isaiah 7:4-7 MSG 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.

In addition to listening to the Lord in times of trouble and in fear inducing situations (see the previous two posts about actively listening to the Lord and what to do when listening seems difficult), you need to Calm Down. That word translated calm down here in the Message Bible is translated “Be quiet” in the NKJV. It is the Hebrew word shâqaṭ. It means to be quiet, still, at peace, to rest; to kick back, put your feet up, shut up and relax.

Does that mean when someone hears a report that causes their neck to tense up, their thoughts to run wild, and everything in their head and body tells them they need to do something, they should grab an ice tea and sit out on the patio in the shade? In a manner of speaking, Yes. That is unless it’s the middle of a frigged winter. In that case take try the recliner next to a fire.

How is that going to help? First off, being quiet and not speaking will help you by not making matters worse. Fear is contagious (Fear is an Airborne Virus) Keeping your mouth shut until you are sure about how to respond will keep you from speaking your concerns, which can morph into fear in those around you. It also helps you clearly listen to the Lord (Heb 12:25). Lastly, it keeps you from speaking out of any fear stirring on the inside of you so you won’t ‘awfullize’ the situation. Remember: Faith comes by hearing… Well, fear also comes by hearing…

Secondly, taking a little bit to quietly process, relax and listen to the Lord keeps you from doing something hastily. Fear drives people toward action (fight or flight). That is why fear tactics are often used to get people to make emotional decisions. It is often used in television commercials (time is running out, limited time offer, etc.) and in high pressure sales environments like many car lots. Isaiah 52:12 admonishes us , “…not go out in haste.” In other words, “Don’t be in such a hurry to make a decision.” Haste yields anxiety and anxiety grows to fear.

Some things are time sensitive. Even then, most urgent issues can wait 30 minutes or even a few days before they require a response. If there is a time table you are dealing with, find out when you have to respond. If it is really that huge of a decision you have to make or that life altering information you have received and you are being pressured to respond on the spot. Unless it is life or death, which most things aren’t, tell them you are going to take some time to pray.

Then go do something relaxing. If you’re a golfer, go to the driving range. Not being a golfer that would probably only stress me out, so I like to go for a jog. Get a glass of tea and go sit on the porch. Pray in the Spirit until you are calm. I’ve even watched a funny program or a short light hearted movie with my kids to help get to a place where I could just go get quiet, be still, and relax. Be still and know that He is God and if you’ll allow Him, He will be exalted in your situation (Psalm 46:10). Calm Down and Fear Not!

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187. Virtuous Women Are Fearless

Posted by John Smith on June 20, 2014

Proverbs 31:10, 21 NKJV Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet

Proverbs 31:30 NKJV Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Wrestling is a winter sport. In high school, I would often leave wrestling practice and head out to my dad’s truck or the van, where he or in unison with my mom would “lovingly remind” me that running around in shorts in 20-30 degree weather after sweating for 2 hours isn’t very wise. Eventually, their hard work paid off or I just didn’t want to hear them harangue me about it again and I began changing after practice, putting on warm clothing.

In the last post, we talked about making sure our families are double dipped in protection. We do not have to fear for our households if we teach them how to put on their protection. Furthermore we can pray for them and speak the promises of God over them further clothing them with His blessings and divine protection. The virtuous woman didn’t have to fear for her household because she made sure they were covered and knew how to cover themselves.

Another reason the virtuous woman and really all of us can stand fearless regarding our families is found in verse 30. She doesn’t have to fear or be afraid of situations or circumstances that are going on around her and her family, because she rests comfortably in the reverence and “fearful” awesome understanding she has regarding the character and faithful loving nature of the Lord. She is confident in the Lord and His promises, so much so, that other people praise her for her for how she responds to the things going on around her and her family. She is a woman of faith.

Standing and staying in that place of awesome wonder and trust in our Lord allows any one of us to resist fear. No matter the storm of life that may blow or how bitter cold it may be. We can remain confident in Him and His Word. We clothe are families with prayer, the knowledge of God’s Word, how to put on Christ and walk in Him, and we keep our confidence in Him never letting it fade.

The virtuous woman knows God. She knows He is the provider for her family. She knows that He is the healer of their bodies. She knows He is their peace in the midst of trouble. And she knows that He is always present with them even in her absence. She knows the Father in a wonderful and precious way. That’s why she is not afraid.

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186. Don’t Fear Snow

Posted by John Smith on June 13, 2014

Proverbs 31:10 NKJV Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

Proverbs 31:21 NKJV She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

I’m so grateful that I have a virtuous wife. And all the fellas that know what I’m talking about can shout, “Amen!” She is worth far above any precious stone and my heart safely trusts her.

There are a number of traits about what a virtuous (strong, able, efficient, godly, prudent, wise) woman possess. All of them are amazing and worthy to be written about, but we are only going to focus on one. A virtuous woman is not afraid of snow for her household.

This doesn’t mean that she simply doesn’t suffer from Chionophobia, the fear of snow. It means that she isn’t afraid of difficult situations or potentially disastrous tough times. This verse says it is because her household is clothed with scarlet. “Pastor, are you saying that if I dress my kids in red I’ll never have to be afraid for them again?” In a manner of speaking, YES!

You see for fabric to be dyed red enough to be called “scarlet” it had to be dyed twice. The use of this specific reference to scarlet here also has a great implication. It refers to a higher quality of clothing. Not just one dipped in red twice but most likely double lined or insulated. The Latin Vulgate actually translates it ‘with double’ or doubled, signifying her family is doubly clothed. The bright red also paints a vivid picture of the eye popping difference between the white snow and the protection and warmth of her family. The virtuous woman didn’t fear the snowy cold weather, because she made sure her family was covered with double layers of the best material possible.

What does that have to do with living free from fear the rest of the year? This woman didn’t have to fear because she took efforts to make sure her family was double covered, especially during difficult seasons in life. She made sure her family had what they needed and knew how to put it on when they need extra coverage. Then she made sure she provided an extra layer of protection.

Teaching our children the Word of God, establishing them in His Word and promises, and how to put on their blessings in Christ is the first layer of protection we give them to brave and stay safe and protected through any storm. The second layer is the layer we provide them in prayer. Not only teaching our family how to appropriate the blessings of God, but also speaking those blessings over them further clothing them and insulating them from even the harshest seasons of life that they will come through safe and sound, enables us to stand fearless no matter what may come their way.

When we teach our family to put on the scarlet red color of the blood of Christ, whom they were justified and set apart by (Romans 5:9), and speak His promises over them covering them with all the blood-bought promises Christ has given us, we don’t have to fear no matter what circumstance or season comes their way. They are Blood Bought, Blood Taught, and covered by your prayers through what the Blood Wrought. Fear Not!

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178. People of Integrity Have Nothing to Fear

Posted by John Smith on April 18, 2014

Proverbs 3:25-26 NKJV  Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;  (26)  For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

Confidence in the Lord and His faithfulness is what this Scripture tells us empowers us to stand fearless no matter what kind of trouble comes our way.  Literally the Hebrew word translated confidence here could be translated ‘fatness’.  I kind of like that.  Fatness often referred to prosperity in the Old Testament.  The Lord will be your provision we could say.  Or maybe let Him be your BULK and you won’t have to fear your foot slipping.

Figuratively the word confidence here (Kesel H3689) could be translated silliness or stupidity, which is exactly what some think about our trust in God.  The world thinks it is crazy or silly to trust in Him and His Word and many in the church aren’t too far off.  I recently talked to a minister who told me he was believing God for some big things, then turned around told me how difficult it would be to raise an extra $250 in 10 months-time.  He thought I was silly for even suggesting he believe God for it.  I can only imagine what he would of thought if I told him what I was believing for in the next 10 months.  Trusting God may seem silly to some, but God loves to perform His Word.  If He’s put a dream or a project in your heart or asked you to complete something, He will provide.  You can trust in Him.  He will see you through.  The world may say you have silliness or stupidity, but you can have absolute confidence that God will perform and complete His word.

One reason many have difficulty with having confidence in God and His trustworthy nature, is that many people today simply aren’t trustworthy.  It is hard for them to have “silly” confidence in the faithful, trustworthy nature of God, because they lack personal integrity.  They don’t know what integrity and dependability look like so they can’t ascribe those attributes to God.

We live in a world of looking for contractual loopholes, technicalities, and people just deciding not to keep their contracts.  That’s called lying!  Without personal integrity it is very difficult to trust others and that includes our Heavenly Father.

If you need some help having confidence in Him, try examining how you keep your Word.  Think for a moment.  Are you dependable?  When was the last time you said you’d do something and didn’t?  How is your credit?  If there are some people you’ve let down, repent.  Take ownership.  Begin to be a person of integrity.  Don’t make promises or contracts you aren’t going to keep.  Let your yes’ be yes and your no’s be no (Matthew 5:37).  Swear to your own hurt and change not (Psalm 15:4).

Being a person of integrity will help you grow in your faith and confidence in the Lord.  Then you can stand fearlessly in any situation confident that He will see you through in victory.  People of integrity can stand stronger against fear.

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