The Only Thing To Fear…

Is fear itself.  That quote spoken by Franklin D. Roosevelt can be so true! Fear is our enemy and the moment we give it any place in our lives, or give in to it even just a little, the effects can be almost immediate. That line was the only one that I had ever heard from that speech.  Added with the rest of it below it really makes the point.  Unreasoning, unjustified terror.  I’m sure most of us have had that at one point or another to some degree.  I know I have. Have you?

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We know where fear comes from. And we know its not from the Lord.  When we read 2 Timothy 1:7, Amplified version, we see that the Lord has given us quite the opposite of fear.  “ For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”  

If we were to sit and count all the scriptures in the Bible dealing with fear it would easily be over 100. The whole gamut from fear itself, to fear not, be not afraid, be strong and of good courage, to let not your heart be troubled.  That’s quite a lot of admonitions telling us to not give place to fear. 

It would be nice to think that fear can’t bother us anymore wouldn’t it?  Maybe for some of you that would be true.  I’m sorry to say that that is not always true for me.  

The other day I posted a blog where I talked about not believing the lies of the enemy, using the sword of the Spirit and not getting distracted by the plots and plans of the enemy. It was good advice right? Hmm. Perhaps I should have practiced that more.

I had three situations come up in the space of an hour the other day.  Three opportunities to give in to fear. These were all family situations. Many of you know how that can be. That can be the button the enemy uses the most to throw us off.  Do you sometimes find it’s easier to stand in faith, not letting fear in, when you are doing it for someone else, or for a big situation like trusting the Lord with our country? I know I do. So when this happened, without thinking, I opened the door to fear, and within no time I had lost my joy, lost my peace and found myself getting all upset. Although, I have to say, at least this time I did keep my mouth shut, and didn’t make it worse by talking about it! Sometimes the worst thing we can do when we are in that place, is to call up a bunch of friends just to rehearse our fears.  

The sad thing was, nothing had even happened in any of those situations. I was just thinking about what “could happen”.  It was like FDR said.  Unreasoning, unjustified terror. And I fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker.

As I was thinking this morning about how I had been distracted, the picture that came to me was that of a matador. We can be just like that bull. He could easily take out those coming against him with one swish of his head. Instead, he’s distracted by that brightly colored cloth being waved in front of him. That’s what he’s looking at. He doesn’t see the big picture of what’s really going on. The same can be true with us when we are distracted by looking at the “what if’s”  or the “it might happen’s” instead of focusing on what’s really going on.  

When we take our eyes off of the distractions and put them on Jesus then we can easily win the battle against fear. As I looked at those issues the next morning, in the light of day I saw them differently. Fears.  False-evidence-appearing-real. Then I realized that what they really were was an opportunity to do what I should have done in the first place.  Pray, decree and believe.  Trust God.  

I love Psalm 34:4  “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” If we would just learn to seek Him first, before we give in to any fears, think of how much heartache we could save ourselves.  

I would guess that most days that we are on this earth we will have opportunities to either walk by faith or to give in to fear.  So then, the only question is, which will we choose?

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Open Your Eyes

 Why is it we hear so much doom and gloom? Why do we see so much Eeyore like, woe is me, hand wringing? We need to open our eyes and see what the Lord is doing.  And has already done.  There are miracles and wonders of God taking place each and every day right alongside all the bad things we see.  But the focus is generally put on all the bad going on.  We see it on TV, we read about it online and we discuss it endlessly with others.  

As Christians, who are we to come into agreement with darkness?  Every time we open our mouths and repeat something, or agree with someone who is speaking curses over our country we are siding with darkness.  I’m speaking of America but its the same for any country you may be in.  

This is God’s country.  And its our country. How dare we or anyone else curse it?  Do we not want it to be better than the way it is right now?  Why then are we not speaking those things that be not as though they are?  Why do we listen to (and some agree with) those who say America is in a downward spiral and is done for?  Yes, there is a whole lot of bad stuff going on out there.  But since when has murmuring, complaining, whining or speaking curses ever done anything to make it better?  

Have we forgotten whose we are are and who we serve?  Why would we agree with those who speak lies? Are they God? Did they form this country and its destiny? Do they  know the future?  Or do they think the Lord will tolerate evil forever?  Galatians 6:7 says “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”   

Personally, I don’t believe any of those lies of the enemy to be true. No matter what it looks like. Yes, there are a lot of people in this world and even in this country, who would love nothing better than for America to fold its hands, give up and be done.  That should make us really angry.  Righteously angry.  Should we not take a stand for what belongs to us? 

We serve a mighty God with whom NOTHING is impossible. N-O-T-H-I-N-G! Do you suppose when the Israelite’s were marching around Jericho those inside figured the walls would just fall down?  Do you think they were worried about a bunch of people walking around the walls silently doing nothing?  I’m sure they never would have guessed that with one mighty shout, walls would come tumbling down.  That same God has not left.  He still has a plan and He is still watching over His Word to perform it.  

 Yes, we’ve been through some dark days. John 16:33 tells us “ These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” God is not finished with us yet.  He’s waiting on us to do what we are called to do.  

We have the most powerful weapon known to man.  The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  When God’s people are joined together speaking His Word over a situation, and speaking life and blessings over our towns, cities and country there is no force that could ever defeat us.  

The Lord’s plans for us are always good.  He has things for His people in this country and around the world to accomplish.  We need to become the mighty army He has called us to be.  We need to rise up, take our place and stop focusing so much on all the distractions the enemy tries to throw in front of us.  

It kind of reminds me of the Wizard of Oz.  You have that “great and powerful Oz” everyone is so intimidated by. They think he’s big and powerful and scary.  Then the curtain gets pulled back and he’s just this little man. Exactly as the enemy tries to do to us.  He tries to frighten us and make us think he’s powerful and he’s winning. As if. The enemy has already been defeated and he knows it.  The Bible tells us we are more than conquerors. We’re the head and not the tail, above and not beneath.  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  

Don’t speak death.  Speak life, speak blessings, speak peace, speak unity, speak prosperity.  Let your mouth be used for good and not evil.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for our country.  And most importantly, thank God for blessing us with this country.

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Everyday Can Be A Lesson

Why does it sometimes take us so long to remember to ask the Lord for help? Or is it just me?  The other night I was trying to put a new song I had downloaded onto my iPod.  The computer was telling me there were issues with the iPod and I needed to scan it.  OK, that doesn’t sound bad. Scan away.  Then, it told me there were problems found that needed to be fixed, did I want to fix them?  I thought sure, why not.  

Well, next thing I know it had deleted every single song from my iPod.  It was empty. Several hundred songs erased.  In seconds. To make a long story short, try as I might I couldn’t get my playlist back on there. The only option it gave me was to let them choose the music to add to my iPod.  They did but then my Christmas music was all mixed in with my other music. Can I tell you I was more than frustrated spending all that time trying to just get my music back the way I had it.   I loudly expressed my displeasure with iTunes and with Apple in general!

Fast forward to the next afternoon.  I thought to myself, OK, what do I have to lose?  I will go up and try one more time to  get it right.  As I was walking to the computer I found myself starting to mutter and call the iPod names before I had even started.  Suddenly, I realized what I was doing.  I stopped right then and there, said a  prayer and asked the Holy Spirit to help me and give me wisdom as to how to fix this problem.  And guess what? It took a few try’s but I got it!   Thank You Lord!

You may be thinking that with all that goes on in our lives and in this world my little issue was not an earth-shattering problem. And you’d be right, it wasn’t.  But it was important to me.  I love my music.  When I’m out in the kitchen cooking or cleaning I have my praise music on.  When something’s bothering me; I put my music on.  The Lord is so good.  He cares about us even in the seemingly small details of our lives.  I often wonder if He is sitting there just waiting for me to ask Him for His help.  Ask for His wisdom.  Take my problems to Him, whatever they may be, before I try and fix them myself.  

I love Psalm 46:1 ” God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Ever-present.  Always there. So why do I sometimes forget to turn to Him first?  Or to open my mouth and ask for His help.  To speak His Word over the situations in my life and other’s.  To speak life and blessing’s not curses.  

I have found that when the Lord does help me like that it does make it easier to remember to go to Him first the next time.  It helps to further build that trusting relationship between us.  And of course I always tell Him how very grateful I am for all He does.  mercy

I’m also thankful to the Lord that He is patient with me even when He has to keep reminding me of the same lessons.   I started this blog yesterday after fixing my iPod. Then  today I had a guy and his son come over to take a piece of furniture out of my upstairs.  I did remember my lesson and I prayed beforehand and prayed for their safety while they were lifting.  I prayed they would have wisdom to be able to figure out how to get it around the corner at the bottom of the stairs. Yet, after a while when they were still having problems I found myself in the kitchen mumbling and murmuring and calling that piece of furniture names.  I had remembered part of the lesson from the day before but; once again I had to repent for my words and lack of faith.  Praise God He still loves me enough to  keep giving me those gentle reminders!

Oh, just in case you’re wondering, they did finally take the whole thing apart and got it down the stairs.  As to the iPod and iTunes….well, hopefully it will keep working because I still find it to be one of the most user unfriendly programs I have encountered!  Speaking kindly about them might be a lesson for another day!