Be Not Afraid!

“For God has not given us the spirit of  fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”                                                                                                      2 Tim. 1:7.

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Perhaps you have heard the humorous description of the lady who could never come to grips with her fears. She confessed that she always felt her worst at the times she felt best, because she knew and dreaded how awful she was going to feel when she felt bad again. Have you ever known that kind of person?

I had a friend many years ago who could never enjoy a beautiful spring day because of the stormy weather he “knew” was just around the corner and would surely strike any day. To the greeting, “Isn’t this a beautiful day, Chuck?” He would invariably respond, “Yeah, but when we get it we’re really going to get it.” Wherever this dear soul was, the aspirin bottle was always within reach, and I don’t recall that he ever had a truly happy day. And he was a professing Christian. Unusual? Not at all. Many Christians today are dominated or noticeably influenced by fears.

To some degree, every person reading these words has been to that barren wasteland called “fear.” And that is exactly what it is: a wasteland. Fear never builds, it never enhances, and it never blooms into anything beautiful. And when fear makes an appearance, it goes about systematically turning everything good into a wasteland. All over the land, day and night, we are fed a super dose of things to be fearful about: fear for our country, fear for our schools, fear for our children, fear of disease, fear of losing a job, fear of not getting a job — fear everywhere and about everything imaginable.

But for the Christian, there is an answer for fear in every phase of our lives. The Bible tells us explicitly that fear does not come from God. The Word calls fear a spirit, and considering its destructive force, it is easy to recognize it as an evil spirit. And since Jesus passed on his authority over evil spirits to the disciples and the believers after them (that’s us!), that translates into our ability to cast fear out and keep it out by exercising that authority. The text Scripture supports this truth by telling us we have been given the spirit of power and love and a mind that is anything but shy. And all of these attributes are part of Jesus! Hallelujah!

One night in the midst of a vicious storm on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were on the edge of death and screamed out in terror. At His altar of prayer on the mountain, Jesus saw their plight through the all Seeing Eye of God and came to the rescue. God had already made provision for the safety of the disciples, just as He has, through Jesus, made provision for our total salvation; which includes healing, deliverance, provision, and safety. We must set our minds on Him as our total source. We must believe and act on His words that tell us, “Speak to this mountain (of fear) … and as you believe, you will receive.”

Go to work on the fears you are carrying with you. Hear those same words Jesus spoke on the sea as they ring from His throne of intercession, “Be of good cheer. It is I … be not afraid!”

And may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. In the Name of Jesus our Messiah, Amen!

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The Night Season

SUNRISE SOLITUDE - SMALLER

When I remember thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches; for Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy.”   Psalm 63:7

Several years ago, one of America’s leading pop singers had among his many hit records a song titled, “Strangers in the Night”. A few days ago, for no explainable reason, I found myself humming and then whistling the beautiful melody of that song. Then, as I became conscious of what I was doing, my mind began to wander. This tune, of course, is a romantic ballad dealing with a man and a woman in love; but my mental progression moved beyond those sweet thoughts and into a spiritual application that is anything but joyful.

As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, ask yourself this question, “How do I see this God created phenomenon called “night”? Do I look forward to the pleasure of snuggling into a comfortable bed? Do I welcome this special time in the 24 hours, to wrap up the day, give the Lord a cheery “Good night” and fall into a sound sleep?

The above, in one form or another, is the way it should be, but unfortunately, that is not always our experience. Many of us operate in high gear during the daylight hours; we have our special time with the Lord, we get into the Word and faithfully pray for all the needs on our agenda. Then as night approaches, a dread sets in; then apprehension, which finally progresses into blatant fear.

By the time our head hits the pillow, we have shifted into reverse. Somehow, all the joys and accomplishments of the day take the proverbial back seat, and the fears of tonight and of the tomorrows take over. Those extra bills coming due that we don’t have the money to cover; the possibility of being laid off from my job; those strange noises coming from my car; the pains I had off and on today … so and so had those, and he had a bad time; and on, and on, and on. Then we may drift off into a fitful sleep, only to awaken again deeper into the night with more of the same thoughts. The room is very dark — foreboding; fear and hopelessness hang on.

At that moment, you and your Lord — who promised to supply all of your needs, heal your body, give you joy in His strength, and never leave you or forsake you – You (the potential Bride — and the Groom of the Ages) are nothing more than “strangers in the night.” All day He is your partner, but at night, a stranger.

How sad! Stop and think, Beloved; God purposely and deliberately created the night; that special time when He tucked away the sun for a while so our body and soul could be rested and refreshed. We speak of our “quiet time” with the Lord; there can be no better time for such meditation than restful bedtime. Our nights can be the sweetest part of our entire day, and I believe our Lord is grieved when He is left out of that important part of our lives.

Look at our text again. The great King David, who had his problems day and night, knew how to turn to his Lord, then lie down on his pillow with a clear conscience, forgiven and at peace. I remember Thee on my bed,” he said. I meditate on Thee in the night.”… and “In the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy.” Then Psalm 42:8 says, The Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and His song will be with me in the night.”

Fear and anxiety in the night are basically aberrations of the mind and can be overcome by deliberately turning your thoughts to Jesus. Instead of counting sheep or troubles, count your blessings, praise Him, and let His song be with you in the night. Then in the shadow of His wings you will sing for joy!

His mercy endures forever … even in the night!

~

(This article was originally posted in 2011 by Ted Pavloff. Ted is with the Lord now, but he wanted his anointed teaching to continue to bless people, so this site continues the work he started here.)

 

Praise Empowers Our Faith

                                                                                                                                               

And Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”  Mark 9:23

The difficulty of God’s people maintaining a working faith is a very real one. No question that we truly love the Lord, and we may have good devotional habits and lead disciplined prayer lives, but not all of us are sure of our faith at a time when prevailing faith is vital. The truth is, we all have the faith that it takes … even to move mountains … because the Word tells us that the measure of faith was placed in us at the moment of our salvation. The problem is, it does not always seem to rise up as triumphant faith; that is, we have it but at certain times we do not seem able to put it to work.

Beloved, there is an answer to this apparent dilemma, and I believe it is found in something the Bible speaks of more than anything else in the realm of God’s relationship to man: Praise! That’s right. The Word admonishes us to develop a lifestyle of praise to almighty God. The Scriptures reveal the entire universe, animate and inanimate, as one grand chorus of praise to the Creator. Walk out into your yard on a beautiful morning and what do you hear? The exciting chirping and singing of birds in every direction, offering up songs of praise to their Maker and Provider.

Psalm 145:10, “All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.” (KJV). The Word also tells us that praise is the highest occupation of the angels. According to Revelation 4:8, praise is going forth in heaven unceasingly. Thus, praise must have some supreme and extraordinary value.

I am not referring to corporate praise that you enter into during worship services at church. That certainly has its place as the Holy Spirit directs, because it is praise with the fellowship of believers that raises the level of expectancy and causes your faith to reach out to receive.

But my reference here is to a personal life of praise. It certainly seems logical that if the highest function of the angels of God is to praise, then the highest duty of the human spirit should also be to praise. I am convinced it must be praise. The predominant goal of every believer is to come as close as possible to the beautiful character of Jesus. Praise and worship to almighty God causes us to move steadily in that direction. The Apostle Paul describes it perfectly when he speaks of our moving “from glory to glory,” and it is a continuing process all the way into eternity.

According to psychiatric medicine, the foundational cause of most nervous and mental disorders is pre-occupation with self; with personal ego and self-centeredness. When personality becomes ego-centered it disintegrates; the effect of that process is defensiveness; then hostility, followed by aggressive, anti-social behavior. The result is mental illness. In view of this, the words of Jesus in Luke 9:24 makes real sense; “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it – but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (KJV).

Herein lies the value of praise … it decentralizes self. The praise and worship of God demands a shift from self to God. And when praise becomes a way of life, God truly moves into the center of our life’s every moment; our personality integrates with Him. Stresses and strains disappear and the result is mental wholeness. Now your faith can rise and move into action, and you can believe for all things! Praise is not a religious form. It is a practical and rewarding occupation – invented by God, not just for His glory, but for our blessing and health.

Isn’t God smart?

The Night Season

When I remember thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches; for Thou hast been by help, and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy.”   Psalm 63:7

Several years ago, one of America’s leading pop singers had among his many hit records a song titled, “Strangers in the Night”. A few days ago, for no explainable reason, I found myself humming and then whistling the beautiful melody of that song. Then, as I became conscious of what I was doing, my mind began to wander. This tune, of course, is a romantic ballad dealing with a man and a woman in love; but my mental progression moved beyond those sweet thoughts and into a spiritual application that is anything but joyful.

As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, ask yourself this question, “How do I see this God created phenomenon called “night”? Do I look forward to the pleasure of snuggling into a comfortable bed? Do I welcome this special time in the 24 hours, to wrap up the day, give the Lord a cheery “Good night” and fall into a sound sleep?

The above, in one form or another, is the way it should be, but unfortunately, that is not always our experience. Many of us operate in high gear during the daylight hours; we have our special time with the Lord, we get into the Word and faithfully pray for all the needs on our agenda. Then as night approaches, a dread sets in; then apprehension, which finally progresses into blatant fear.

By the time our head hits the pillow, we have shifted into reverse. Somehow, all the joys and accomplishments of the day take the proverbial back seat, and the fears of tonight and of the tomorrows take over. Those extra bills coming due that we don’t have the money to cover; the possibility of being laid off from my job; those strange noises coming from my car; the pains I had off and on today … so and so had those, and he had a bad time; and on, and on, and on. Then we may drift off into a fitful sleep, only to awaken again deeper into the night with more of the same thoughts. The room is very dark — foreboding; fear and hopelessness hang on.

At that moment, you and your Lord — who promised to supply all of your needs, heal your body, give you joy in His strength, and never leave you or forsake you – You (the potential Bride — and the Groom of the Ages) are nothing more than “strangers in the night.” All day He is your partner, but at night, a stranger.

How sad! Stop and think, Beloved; God purposely and deliberately created the night; that special time when He tucked away the sun for a while so our body and soul could be rested and refreshed. We speak of our “quiet time” with the Lord; there can be no better time for such meditation than restful bedtime. Our nights can be the sweetest part of our entire day, and I believe our Lord is grieved when He is left out of that important part of our lives.

Look at our text again. The great King David, who had his problems day and night, knew how to turn to his Lord, then lie down on his pillow with a clear conscience, forgiven and at peace. “I remember Thee on my bed,” he said. “I meditate on Thee in the night.”… and “In the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy.” Then Psalm 42:8 says, “The Lord will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and His song will be with me in the night.”

Fear and anxiety in the night are basically aberrations of the mind and can be overcome by deliberately turning your thoughts to Jesus. Instead of counting sheep or troubles, count your blessings, praise Him, and let His song be with you in the night. Then in the shadow of His wings you will sing for joy!

His mercy endures forever … even in the night!

Fear — The Enemy Of Faith

“For God has not given us the spirit of  fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”                                                                                                      2 Tim. 1:7.

Perhaps you have heard the humorous description of the lady who could never come to grips with her fears. She confessed that she always felt her worst at the times she felt best, because she knew and dreaded how awful she was going to feel when she felt bad again. Have you ever known that kind of person?

I had a friend many years ago who could never enjoy a beautiful spring day because of the stormy weather he “knew” was just around the corner and would surely strike any day. To the greeting, “Isn’t this a beautiful day, Chuck?” He would invariably respond, “Yeah, but when we get it we’re really going to get it.” Wherever this dear soul was, the aspirin bottle was always within reach, and I don’t recall that he ever had a truly happy day. And he was a professing Christian. Unusual? Not at all. Many Christians today are dominated or noticeably influenced by fears.

To some degree, every person reading these words has been to that barren wasteland called “fear.” And that is exactly what it is: a wasteland. Fear never builds, it never enhances, and it never blooms into anything beautiful. And when fear makes an appearance, it goes about systematically turning everything good into a wasteland. All over the land, day and night, we are fed a super dose of things to be fearful about: fear for our country, fear for our schools, fear for our children, fear of disease, fear of losing a job, fear of not getting a job — fear everywhere and about everything imaginable.

But for the Christian, there is an answer for fear in every phase of our lives. The Bible tells us explicitly that fear does not come from God. The Word calls fear a spirit, and considering its destructive force, it is easy to recognize it as an evil spirit. And since Jesus passed on his authority over evil spirits to the disciples and the believers after them (that’s us!), that translates into our ability to cast fear out and keep it out by exercising that authority. The text Scripture supports this truth by telling us we have been given the spirit of power and love and a mind that is anything but shy. And all of these attributes are part of Jesus! Hallelujah!

One night in the midst of a vicious storm on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were on the edge of death and screamed out in terror. At His altar of prayer on the mountain, Jesus saw their plight through the all Seeing Eye of God and came to the rescue. God had already made provision for the safety of the disciples, just as He has, through Jesus, made provision for our total salvation; which includes healing, deliverance, provision, and safety. We must set our minds on Him as our total source. We must believe and act on His words that tell us, “Speak to this mountain (of fear) … and as you believe, you will receive.”

Go to work on the fears you are carrying with you. Hear those same words Jesus spoke on the sea as they ring from His throne of intercession, “Be of good cheer. It is I … be not afraid!”

And may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. In the Name of Jesus our Messiah, Amen!