FEAR

FEAR

On my walk yesterday I was listening to a message from Gary Keesee and in that message they briefly talked about fear.

As I was listening, the Holy Spirit dropped this into my spirit and I’ve been meditating on it ever since.

“Fear is the enemy’s form of faith.”

When I heard this, I asked for further explanation and of course it was given.

It’s often said that fear is the opposite of faith, which is true. But to better understand this and fight off fear, we have to understand fear is the enemy’s form of faith.

The enemy has a way of taking Godly things and twisting or perverting them just enough to capture a person who may not have their guard up, or in Biblical terms, have their armor of God on (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Fear is the opposite of faith. Worry is a form of fear. Thinking the worst of a situation is fear. Thinking negatively is a form of fear.

Fear is having faith that the “bad” thing will happen. This is the enemy’s form of faith.

Godly faith is KNOWING the Word and that all things work together for our good (for those who love the Lord -Romans 8:28).

The Word informs us “bad” things will happen to all of us but for those of us who love Him, He will turn that situation into something good. This is what we should always focus our faith on. Not in worry, not in the negative “what ifs”.

What if we started what if-ing positive outcomes? What if I am healed? What if that debt is paid off? What if that relationship is reconciled? Those kind of what if’s will lead us into Godly faith and KNOWING His promises.

Kingdom Business

SEEK what first above all else? The kingdom of God.

WHERE is the kingdom of God? Inside each of us.

WHAT is in the kingdom? Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33 KJV

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21 KJV

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Romans 14:17 KJV

God’s love

I first gave my life to Christ around the age of 11. That simply meant I chose to believe what the Word says about who God is and who Jesus is. Shortly after, I made the decision to be baptized, an outward declaration to the world of the decision I had made to follow after God.

Then as a teenager, probably starting around age 14, and into my 20’s, I fell far away from any kind of Godly life. That’s a story for a different time.

I was 28 when I rededicated my life to Christ and God. Those that know the story of the prodigal son just make it the story of the prodigal daughter and that was me. For those that don’t know the story, it simply means I was tired of living and doing things my way (because it brought nothing but misery) so I told God I was ready to try things His way again and that I needed His help.

I just turned 40 this past February so I’ve been growing in my faith for 12 years now. I would never want to go back to how I was living in that “middle” part of my life but it has only been in the past six months or so that I have had a revelation in my relationship with God that I didn’t even realize I struggled with all these years.

I’ve always believed and known that Jesus loves me. I’ve never doubted that. God on the other hand, I’ve doubted quite a bit.

God knows every detail of our lives and if you knew every detail of mine, you would see how hard it’s been for me to accept that God truly, relentlessly, constantly, loves me.

I don’t know the exact moment it hit me that I was not fully persuaded that God loves me but it’s been something I’ve been meditating on for quite some time now.

Over the years I would listen to messages or read my Bible on God’s love and God IS love and for some reason, without realizing I was doing it, I would always tell myself, “He may love everyone but not me. Not like that. Not constantly.”

I had somehow convinced myself that God was always kind of upset with me and if He was always kind of upset with me, He didn’t always love me.

This is how I was living my Christian faith. The entire time as I served at my church, as I tithed faithfully, as I prayed in the Spirit, as I talked to others about how God loved them…

I didn’t believe it for myself. I couldn’t accept that God would or could love me. I let past shame, self disappointment and doubt over shadow God’s written Word.

This past week, something clicked. I’ve been working on accepting God’s love for me and working to see Him as the Word describes Him and not what the world says about Him. Not letting MY past or MY actions determine who HE is.

I’ve had to immerse myself in completely opening up to God and letting Him love me. I believe this may be partially the reason he sent us a son who is now 15 months. I have gained a deeper understanding of my relationship with my heavenly Father through the relationship that is building with my son.

God looks at me and smiles and I see it now. He rejoices over me. He wants the best for me. He is on my side. He fights for me, not against me. He is the same God to me that He is for you. Let Him love you.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

GOD STILL HEALS

I don’t even know how to describe my Sunday. I’m laying in bed at 12:30 in the morning trying to process everything.

I’ve never had a day like today. There was heartbreaking news I received first thing this morning that broke my heart for a friend. Then an on time message at church in regards to some other things we are dealing with. A message that confirmed some of God’s promises for our life. Then more heartbreaking news after service. Then an evening service with a special guest minister who spoke something over me that I didn’t understand when he said it. I’ll get back to that in a minute. At the end of service I received healing that I’ve been believing God for, for a very long time. Then once home I found out my Aunt, who I just talked with a few weeks ago, passed on Friday.

The word spoken over me was from Psalm 30:5… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

When I heard the news of my aunt, I understood.

I promised God when I re-dedicated my life to Christ that I would always testify of His goodness. I don’t know what else to do right now except that. My aunt is no longer suffering and is healed and whole so I rejoice in that. As for the other heartbreaking news from today I can only trust and believe that God will bring something beautiful out of those situations more than He already has.

As for my healing, I watched my own left leg grow an inch and a half tonight. I was in the presence of God at the altar and a work was done there on a deeper level than I will go into here. But then, at the very end of service, I sat and watched a prophet of God pray for healing in my back as my heels rested in the palms of his hands.

You may have heard me mention before that around age 11 or 12, I had a mishap while cross country skiing where I got my skis crossed and fell hitting my tail bone directly on the spot where the skis were crossed. I truly thought I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move for at least 20 minutes and then forced myself to get up and walk, a very slow walk. I had other injuries after that including a bulged disc and some other issues over the years.

I’ve been to the chiropractor for years to get relief and preventative care. I haven’t been able to go these past few months because even with our new insurance, we haven’t had the money to cover our cost of the visits. I’ve been standing in faith that I’m healed even though in the natural I don’t remember a time I haven’t had some form of back pain going on. I don’t go by what I feel or see though, I go by what I know to be true in God’s Word and tonight that truth manifested.

As I sat back against the chair, straight as I could, when I put my feet in the palms of his hand, my left foot was about an inch and a half shorter. This was no surprise to me because I have not been able to stand flat on both feet without leaning to the right to balance myself out. So as he prayed… I will do my best to describe what I felt… It felt as if hands were wrapped around the bones from my lower back, in my hips, down my legs, to my feet, and pulled every which way to align everything as it should be. I even, not realizing it at first, pulled back against the adjusting and felt the pressure of it pulling me the other way. The work was in progress and there wasn’t anyway I could stop it if I wanted to because I was open to receiving my healing. I saw my left leg, with my own two eyes, grow (realign) an inch and a half. There were witnesses as well. There were others with back problems who were healed in the same way and I watched their legs reallign.

I knew when I stood up and walked, the healing was complete. When I walked across the sanctuary, I stood flat foot without having to lean to one side.

Then, on the way home, as I was talking with God and trying to process everything, I realized I could breath normally. God healed me of asthma tonight and I didn’t even know until I was driving home.

Two things: an obedient man is an instrument of God through which the Holy Spirit can operate. The healing comes from God, not the man, and we have to receive it. Second, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy so after healing he may try to bring symptoms back to get you thinking you weren’t really healed. Tell the enemy to shove it and stand on God’s promise of healing.

I still don’t know how to describe my overall day. There’s much in the details (outside of my healing) I’m choosing not to share and half of it isn’t mine to share anyways.

Pray for me and my family. My Aunt meant a lot to me.

Regardless of this up and down day, God is still good and the same today as He was yesterday and I can depend on Him tomorrow as well.

FEAR NO MORE

I’ve been meditating on this and feel led to share. Sharing a testimony is for others, not for ourselves. People need to know they aren’t going through things alone. The enemy likes to make us think we are alone and when he gets us alone, he can really mess with us.

December 21, 2009, when we found my dad in his front office, deceased, my adrenaline had kicked in so hard that I couldn’t even dial 9-1-1 on my large faced android phone. Literally, took me about five minutes to be able to dial the numbers I was shaking so bad from the adrenaline. I was so frustrated I eventually set the phone down on one of the work tables and used my right hand to steady my left hand enough to dial the numbers. Not sure how that worked since both hands were uncontrollably trembling.

Something happened to me that night because of the adrenaline rush. Something changed internally. I don’t really know how to explain it but I thought something was really wrong with me because I wasn’t, and couldn’t, cry. I couldn’t really feel anything, I had gone numb physically, emotionally and mentally. I didn’t cry the entire time we waited on police and ambulance to show up. I didn’t even cry as I watched them wheel him out on a gurney in a zipped up body bag. I just kept thinking over and over again, “What is wrong with me?”

A fear settled into me that I had never had before, little by little. I started noticing it when things would take place months after his passing. The following February I had a meltdown in my car driving home when snow hit and I was stuck on a hill with my wheels spinning. It came out of nowhere.

When the tornadoes came through on April 2011 and I drove through the tail end of one downtown, thinking my car was going to go rolling like a tumbleweed, the fear living inside of me gained strength.

I didn’t understand why this fear had taken hold of me and there aren’t words to describe what it was really like. Children of God aren’t supposed to live in fear and I prayed about this daily and begged God to take it from me over the last 8 years. I wasn’t a person who lived in fear prior to this. My husband knows however that this fear had changed me. If it was raining out, I wasn’t driving anywhere and if I did, it was nerve wracking and I was white knuckling the steering wheel the entire time. Didn’t even have to be storming, just raining.

It was never about the rain or the snow though. It was a fear that settled in the night my dad passed. I hated it. I didn’t want it. I was ashamed of it.

Earlier this summer, when we were headed to one of our first appointments for a baby check up, it was pouring rain sideways and some thunder and lightning…My husband asked me if I wanted him to drive. My response was, “No, why?”

Note that I typically drive when we go somewhere because I get severe car sickness, something else I’ve prayed about and still believing I will no longer have.

I realized however in that moment, the fear was gone. Completely gone. It no longer had a hold of me. I knew it wasn’t coming back either. For over seven years I had been living with an internal fear, had never talked to anyone besides God about it and continuously spoke scriptures over myself in defiance to the fear, and it had hindered me in many ways. In that moment, I was set free. Prayer, perseverance and the Word of God had conquered it.

One would think it would get worse carrying a child inside them and worrying about their safety but just like something clicked inside of me when that fear took hold, something clicked inside of me when I let it go. I knew right then, I would never have that again. It was gone.

I was thinking about this last night as I was driving to church when I left work. It was pouring, people driving crazy, water on the roads, glare on my windshield…and I started laughing.

 

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

GOD’S PLAN, NOT MINE

Sometimes we find ourselves in places that make no sense. I am there right now. I have been there for a while. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m going to start chasing rabbits or having tea with strange men in purple velvet suits and tall hats.

It’s hard to trust God when we don’t understand the situation. More so, it’s hard to trust Him when we can’t see the entire picture. He sees it but sometimes we barely see past the end of our own nose.

I constantly remind myself of the Israelites and the forty years they wandered in the desert. I remind myself of this because it helps to keep my attitude and my obedience in check. History is meant for us to learn from. We would be fools not to study it…

They would not have wandered as long as they did had they just trusted in God’s plan and submitted to it. There was a second factor that also played into their wandering. Their attitude.

I believe it was Zig Ziglar who said,

“It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”

How true it is. Attitude equals altitude is a more simple way to put it.

Being pregnant with a due date of March 2018, it has been shown to me through recent experiences that employers find their way around the law of not hiring someone who is pregnant with things such as job requirements of being able to lift over a certain weight and excuses like, “We hired someone more qualified.” No way to prove their discrimination in such instances unless they come out and say, “We aren’t hiring you because you are pregnant.”

This is why I trust God’s plan. I have obtained a seasonal part-time position and hopefully another part-time position this next week by employers who I have been up-front with, same as all the others, with my pregnancy. This tells me they are fair people and employers. I am thankful for this most of all.

They are however two positions that I would have never thought myself to be in. They are both new experiences and I have enjoyed the first so far. For the past 20 years I have worked in a professional office atmosphere. The seasonal part-time position is a retail position and although I am adjusting to the hours, I enjoy it. Being pregnant, I need something that is low stress and easy on my body. This fits the description. The second position I would be taking if offered, would be front desk office in a medical atmosphere. Taking phone calls and working with the public I can do in my sleep. I believe getting to wear scrubs is a bonus on that one.

So here I am, in the desert, unknown territory, and I can either be an Israelite or I can change history and keep a good attitude and know that I am right where God needs me.

I choose the latter. Today I sat in my car in my garage when I pulled in from work and some after work errands and shed some tears. I can’t say they were tears of sadness, frustration, anger or the opposite end of joy, happiness or delight. They were just tears as I prayed and talked to God. God already knows our hearts and I have no problem revealing mine to him anyways so He and I have some pretty candid conversations. Today’s was candid times ten. If anything, my tears were more out of thankfulness, relief and trust.

I told Him I didn’t completely understand where he had me and my husband in life right now and I know I can’t see the entire picture but regardless, I trust Him. I believe His Word and I believe the words that have been spoken over us the past couple of years not to mention the revelations and messages we have personally received in our prayer time while communing with the Holy Spirit.

God is not a liar. God is a God of His Word. He always comes through. He always provides. He always watches over His Word.

The enemy will try to make us think differently. The enemy will try and cause us to doubt. The enemy will try to take our focus off of God and onto the issue…

…and sometimes the enemy succeeds. But God.

But God.

Even when the enemy succeeds, God will send people or a Word into our life to get us back on track. That’s who Jesus is. He’s a Good Shepherd who keeps track of his flock and though one may stray, He will go and search for them and bring them back to safety.

If you have strayed, it’s okay. We all stray at different times no matter how much of the Word we know or how often we go to church. God knows how to take care of His people. Open your heart to His peace, His comfort, His protection and His guidance. Ask and receive. If you need direction, tell Him. If you need answers, ask Him. Whatever it is, He loves hearing our voices. Be candid. Talk to Him like you do your best friend. Be open with Him and build trust in your relationship with Him.