“Take A Stand Against Fear!”

 

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“. . .And so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law:
and if I perish, I perish,” Esther 4:16, KJV

There are a lot of things that act like blockades in our lives, but fear by far has to be one of the hardest to overcome. Fear can render useless the one who entertains it because unlike physical limitations, fear messes with the mind. It changes one’s perspective on how they view the world, the people around them and their own lives.

Fear acts like a photographer. It snaps a picture and develops it in the dark recesses of your mind. When the picture is finished being developed it comes out for you to view a new reality, whether it’s true or not. Fear is not based on truth but it wants you to believe in the image it presents to you more than God. That’s why many of us will never tread the courts of the king as Esther did. We can become so focused on that false image (the things that we see that make us afraid) that we fail to step out with courage.

The Bible tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Heb. 11:1, KJV). Going against fear takes faith. Faith doesn’t concentrate on what is visible to the naked eye. Faith concentrates on the truth of God’s promises. And His promises declare, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness,” (Is. 41:10, KJV).

That’s what faith sees!

With Queen Esther’s physical eyes the picture she saw wasn’t pleasant. What she saw was her beloved uncle Mordecai’s life was in danger, (Esther 5:14). What she saw was hatred and an evil desire for her people to be destroyed, (Esther 3:8-9). What she saw was the anguish of her people, grieving her also, (Esther 4:3-4). What she saw was a law that could take her life, (Esther 4:11).

A decision had to be made. Esther could look at the circumstances and let the fear of those images stop her from doing what’s right. Or, she could take a stand against the fear that assailed her and go for it, debunking that old image to see something new.

With great resolve and commitment she said, “If I perish, I perish.” She took a stand against the fearful, stepping out into the unknown, not sure if she would find favor with the king. Her people needed her to be brave. Her uncle needed her to be unbending in her determination. She needed to step up to the plate “for such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14, KJV).

In what area of your life do you need more courage? Is there something you are dealing with that is extremely hard, yet you want to be determined to see it through? It takes a resolve such as Queen Esther possessed to stand against the fear of what you see so that you too can walk the King’s court in victory!

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“Safe, Secured, and Loved!”

 

In the measure of mess seen in the world, uncertainty has a way of tossing one about.  As waves lifting the vessel to scary heights only to crash back down again are the problems many faces daily.  Circumstances that provoke fear instead of inspiring faith.

The catch all of it is whatever side one spends the most thought in, it has the strongest hold on that life.  If it is one faith, then with one foot in front of the other one will march forward into depths unknown without regard to the thrashing swells of the sea. But if it is in fear, the move forward becomes halted.  Continuing to sail to the other side no longer seems a viable option, thus one cries out as the disciples did, “Master, carest thou not that we perish,” (Mark 4:38)?

Of course, He cares.  He loves you.  You are His and He is riding in the boat of life with you.  He has never abandoned you.  He has never forsaken you.  People are the ones who have allowed the fear and uncertainty around to obscure their view of the Savior.

Refocus on Him.  Imagine His protection covering you as the most indomitable shield.  Thus He is at the helm of your life, speaking, “Peace, be still,” (Mark 4:39).  What comfort that brings to the tossed soul knowing He still has it all in His hands.

So, “Why are ye so fearful,” (Mark 4:40)?

Fearfulness comes from lack of belief.  The storms want us to see things through the lens of the ferocious wind-tossed seas, but Jesus wants us to see them as being subdued already under His dominion and authority.  He wants His people to believe more in the promises of His word than the fearsomeness of the waves.

In Him we are safe, secured, and loved.  Therefore, as the psalmist reminds us:

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident,” (Psalm 27:1-3).

In other words, we are safe in Him!

In a baseball game, safe means one has arrived at the base untouched and unhindered.  I can’t promise you that life will never touch you in an attempt to knock you out of the running.  But, riding with Jesus you can still arrive safe.

“Give Me This Mountain!”

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“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless, their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua were ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes, it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God made sure it was put in there four times (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.

“God Loves Your Uniqueness. Be You!”

 

Ok, so let’s start this week off right. You may not be perfect in some people’s eyes, but God loves you just like you are. He should know, He’s the one who designed you to be you. So what if your hair (like mine) is a little frizzy and curly (before I attack it with a straightening iron  ). So what if people don’t like the way your voice may sound. So what to what people think period. God has a purpose for your life and He designed you to be you to carry out that purpose. So, go ahead, strut what God gave you today and BE YOU!

Now, smile!

“PEACE IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL!”

 

“Though an host should encamp against me, MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR: though war should rise against me, IN THIS WILL I BE CONFIDENT,” Psalm 27:3.

“STRENGTH IN THE TIME OF NEED!”

 

No matter who you are in life there will be a
time when you need help outside of yourself.
When all your inner capacities are drained and
strained and we feel like we can’t press
through anymore, we need Him to refill and
strengthen us in this journey.

The good news is God is here for His people
to give them what they need to make it
through even the hardest times of life. Where
we lack, He will supply. Where we come up
short, He can meet us there and provide the
means to keep us, deliver us, and set us free.

Turn to Him today. “The LORD will give strength
unto his people; the LORD will bless his
people with peace.” Psalm 29:11.

“Jesus Never Fails!”

JESUS NEVER FAILS! Face this day with that confident truth ringing deep down in your soul. Jesus never fails. Everything you see before you now will one day all be gone, but Jesus will never fail! “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

“Only Planted People Grow!”

 

Only planted people grow!

If you want to thrive and grow and be all that God called you to be, you have to have deep roots planted in His house, in His service, and in His worship that your soul may be fully nourished in Him.

“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God,” Psalm 92:13.

“God is still faithful!”

Hold on to your faith without wavering. The promise is coming. God is still FAITHFUL! – Hebrews 10:23

“Encourage One Another!”

Does someone you know today need an encouraging word? The truth is we never know what one another is dealing with or going through. Life is short. Spread the love. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11