The Antidote To Fear

oak

A couple weeks ago I unknowingly stepped into a patch of Poison Oak.  It tricked me with its leaves that had turned from green to red. I looked at it, reached for it and took it home with me! I can’t even describe to you the discomfort I had on my arms and legs for days afterward.  It sent me to Urgent Care to get an antidote for its poison.  What soothing relief the medication brought!

There is another poison that is spreading that’s worse than what I experienced.  It’s called FEAR.  America grieves once again for the loss of innocent lives. We weep with the families and the church who lost dear ones in the shooting during the Sunday church service.  While these tragedies sadden us, they also cause fear to spread in our hearts like the poison oak.  We ask ourselves and maybe also say it to others,

Are we safe anywhere these days?

Folks are asking, If you can’t even attend church without the fear of being gunned down, where can you feel safe?

On Facebook I saw these comments:

I carry to church. Someone should always be armed and ready these days.

We put some new security policies in place tonight, and we will be adding to it.

How sad. There are no safe places anymore

Whether we agree with these responses or not, we’d all probably admit to the feeling of pure vulnerability and FEAR. How do we respond?  What should we do today, tomorrow or next Sunday when we head to church?

The answer came so clearly from one of our visiting missionaries on Sunday.  He said:

Fearing the Lord is the antidote for fear.  If I fear man, it will affect my behavior.  The fear of God should be greater than any other fear.

To fear God is to have a conscious awareness of Him and His presence.

Therefore, if I fear Him, I’ll be aware that He is with me when I am at church, the park, the auditorium or in any other place.  Knowing God is there and thinking about that truth will alleviate any fear of man, because God is greater.  It also reminds me of other important truths:

  • He can protect me.
  • He loves me.
  • He knows the future.
  • He will give grace.
  • He will give strength.

The fear of God comes from the knowledge of His Word.  It is there that we learn His attributes that give us confidence and true peace – even in these turbulent days.

No one wants to face a terrifying time like the dear folks in Texas, but if we live in fear, and under the shadow of these kind of acts, we will miss out on each day God gives us to love and fear Him with a holy fear.  He is greater.

Don’t fear men.  Fear God.  It’s the only medicine for the poison of fear of men.

Is fear ruling your heart?  Ask God to give you a holy fear of Him instead.

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

 

Dealing With Sudden Fear

Country roads1

In light of the recent horrific shootings in Las Vegas, I’d like to re-post something I wrote a couple years ago.  I’ve seen normally “chatty” bloggers and You Tube channel hosts at a loss of words as a result of this tragedy.  These are frightening days, aren’t they?  How should we deal with this kind of news?  I believe God’s Word answers that question in Proverbs 3.  Read on and be encouraged to trust God in these troubling days!

The phone rings and it’s the doctor’s office, calling to give the results of the lab work that was recently done.

Sudden Fear.

Your teenage daughter has a painful look in her eyes.  She has seemed distant and removed from you and the Lord in recent weeks.  She asks to speak with you.

Sudden fear.

Your boss sends an email telling you he’d like to speak with you at your earliest convenience.

Sudden fear.

You pick up the newspaper and read the headlines about yet another shooting where innocent people lost their lives at the hand of a crazed gunman.

Sudden fear.

There are hundreds of scenarios in which we could find ourselves filled with sudden fear – that terror that falls over us quickly due to some event in which we have no control.  You’ve been there, I’m sure.  We all have.  We weren’t really prepared for the news or the event. Maybe we didn’t handle those situations so well in the past.

But for those future moments, we can prepare ahead of time, simply by hiding a secret piece of ammunition on our person – it’s the Word of God.  Open up your heart and tuck this truth away:

 Be not afraid of sudden fear,
neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
 For the Lord shall be thy confidence,
and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
Proverbs 3:25, 26

At that moment when the sudden terror wants to grab your heart, your emotions and your will, pull out the Truth that can enable you to handle this difficulty wisely and calmly.

  1. The Lord will be your confidence – Pray. You don’t know what to do, but He does!  He will show you the next step to take that will lead you to victory, rather than defeat. Turn to Him immediately and ask for His intervention and guidance.
  2. He’ll keep your foot – Rest.  He’ll not let you slip!  Remind yourself that the Lord will keep you safe and secure.  “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”   Anything that He allows to touch your life has come through His sovereign hands first.  You are still in His grip.

The best way to deal with anything is to be prepared.  The Lord has given us everything we need to keep us from sudden fear – the Truth of His presence and the help of His hand!  Don’t be afraid!

What sudden fear has you quaking?  Pray and rest in these Truths today!

Lovingly,

Deliverance From Fear of the Enemy

Bibles 1.jpgIt was morning and I had had a fitful night’s rest prior to waking up.  The weeks prior to this day had been crammed full of caring for others, a couple of trips, lots of study, sickness and then the emotional drain all that brings.  Now I found myself staring at yet another hardship and the day had barely gotten started.

The blessing of this moment was that I was also in my normal spot first thing in my day – I was in my Quiet Place.  My Bible was open and I was thirsty for its Living Waters.  I opened to a Psalm I’d been meditating on for several days – Psalm 63.  It comforted my heart to do what the psalmist had done and stop and remember all that God been and accomplished for me in recent days. Ii was reminded of His goodness.

Then I went on to Psalm 64:1

Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

It was as though I could literally hear the brakes squalling, bringing my fretfulness to a complete stop!  The psalmist was asking God NOT to deliver him from the enemy, but from the fear of the enemy.  The Lord showed me at that moment that here was my problem – I was fearful of what the enemy might do, of what the enemy could do, of what the enemy was thinking of doing.  The enemy is powerless before my God!  I was jumping the gun and just having fear OF THE ENEMY.  Our enemy doesn’t have to do anything if we can be filled with fear about what they might do!

What is your fear today?  Usually we fear something that hasn’t even happened yet.  We fear

  • a poor blood test before the blood is drawn
  • our children leaving home before they’re even grown
  • running out of money when we retire before we ever even retire
  • what someone might do to sabotage our plans before the time for those plans has come

The list is endless.  But the point is that we fear things that haven’t come yet, so it’s not that thing that’s causing the fear, it’s the fear of what might be!  It’s a fear of NOTHING because we’re imagining everything.  It’s a futile, empty circle that only leads us to the pit of despair.

I dropped to my knees and asked God to forgive me for fearing what had not even come.  I put the matter at His feet.  I then asked for direction for the day.  I now had a purpose for the day ahead because the fear was no longer blocking my view of God’s plan for my day.  I moved on in victory over the fear of the enemy.  

My day was productive.

My heart was joy-filled.

My burden was lifted.

Do you have a fear of the enemy today?  Recognize it and then repent.  No child of God should be living with fear striking terror and dread in your heart.  Christ is victorious over this fear, and you have victory, too!

Do you deal with fear of the enemy?  How will you deal with it today?

Lovingly,

Denise Signature 150 px

I’m Not Going!

possible.jpg

Reflecting back on the retreat I was privileged to be a part of this weekend makes me shake my head in amazement once again at my great God.  That He would allow me to share His Word with ladies and teach them from the overflow of what He’s taught me, is absolutely amazing!  It is a  joy beyond compare!

It’s also the hardest thing I ever do.  There is such an overwhelming understanding of the responsibility to handle God’s Word correctly and lead ladies to Truth, and to do it in a way that God alone gets the glory.

If you could hear me before I go to speak, you might wonder why in the world God would send me!  Seriously!  I go through the agony of:doubting that what I’ve spent many hours preparing is what I should be doing.  I gasp and wonder what in the world I was thinking when I was sure this is what God wanted me to share!  My husband and close friends will hear me say,

I’m not going!

It’s then that they know they need to pray much for my weakness.  It’s also at that point that I fall on my knees before Him once again and give Him everything – myself, my words, my outline, my heart, myself.  It’s  a cycle that happens every. single. time.  But it’s necessary, you see, because it empties me of myself and makes me realize that I indeed do NOT have what it will take to go speak and help anyone.  I CANNOT make anything happen in myself.  I am totally nothing without God’s empowering.
My words are empty. My strength is weak.  My plans will fail.

But God…

  • is strong when I am weak.
  • is almighty.
  • is able to do exceeding abundantly .
  • is my all in all.

I sincerely believe that the Lord allows me to speak so that I will continually be drawn to Him in utter dependence.  I’m so thankful for that!  I don’t want what I can do because I’ve seen what He can do!!

What is it in your life right now that is making you realize that you are so very unable to do what is before you?  God gives each of us at least one thing to cause our eyes to look upward, pleading for His possible power when the situation seems impossible to us!

Lift your hands toward heaven and remember that He is your All in All!  He can do the impossible in and through you when you let go and trust solely in Him.

Do you have an impossible situation?  Will you allow Christ to be your All in All this moment?  He is enough. Take it from someone who knows because she DID go, and God did all the work.  Praise His name!

Denise Signature 150 px

Fear’s Bondage

Image result for fearful woman

If you’ve ever seen sacrificial love demonstrated, you know that it happens when one person loves so much that their own needs, feelings, and apprehensions are cast aside, so that they might lavish love on someone else.

One Sunday when the children were called down to meet my husband for Pastor’s Pals (a time of Pastor teaching the children an object lesson from the Bible), one brother came rushing ahead, his arm extended and his fist thrusting a wrapped sucker forward like a soldier wielding his sword in battle.  As he reached my husband he said, “Here, Pastor C.!  I have a sucker for you!”  His younger brother, right on his heels, and not wanting to be outdone, opened his very wet mouth, pointed to the hard candy that he was sucking on, and proclaimed, “Here Pastor C!  I brought you my piece of candy!”  What a clash of pictures – one of true sacrifice to demonstrate love, and one giving of the “leftovers” in the appearance of love.

In Luke 7 we see another picture of sacrificial love.  The passage reads:

 36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

This woman, who had formerly had the lifestyle and reputation of a harlot, but has been forgiven of her sin, hears that Jesus is eating dinner at the Pharisee’s house and goes to anoint his feet with ointment.  She cast aside all the fears that might have plagued her in order to step inside the doorway of love.
What might she have been afraid of?

  • rejection – What if the Pharisee sent her away?
  • denial – What if Jesus refused her lavish gift?
  • being cast out – What if the people laughed and put her out of the house?
  • being stoned – What did the Pharisees want to do to the woman taken in adultery?!

Though these fears must have been real, she loved Jesus so much that she was willing to put herself at risk to meet him at Simon’s house and pour out lavish love on Him.

Stop and consider the blessing she would have missed had she listened to her fears!  Her story wouldn’t be in the Scriptures for us an example!  The pharisee would never have understood what it looks like for a person to be so thankful that their sins are forgiven.

Fear hinders us from enjoying all that God has for us, too!

What does fear do?

  • Fear robs you from enjoying the present moment
  • Fear robs your joy
  • Fear robs your testimony as a believer
  • Fear robs your words of praise and encouragement
  • Fear robs God’s place on the Throne of your heart

However:

Fear loses its power when we actively trust God more than what we fear.

To conquer over fear we must:

  1. Replace your fear with Truth from God’s Word.  Memorize Scripture that will put your thoughts on Him instead of what you’re afraid of!  Here are a few of my favorite:
    II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    Psalm 138:8a The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:
    I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
  2. Think about God’s attributes instead of what is frightening you.
    1. God loves me.
    2. God is ruling over this situation.
    3. God is powerful.
    4. God is present with me.
    5. God can only do what is best for me.
  3. Pray, really pray and give the fear to God.  Talk to Him about it.  He already knows, of course, but give it to Him and then get up off your knees and experience the peace only He can give.
  4. Serve someone and get your mind off yourself.
  5. Sing and praise instead of fear and doubt!

Are you letting some fear hinder you from enjoying the blessing of all God has for you?  Trust His Word and His presence instead, and then, just as the woman here in Luke 7, you will enjoy the blessing of His presence!

What fears need to be replaced in your life today?

On Thursday we’ll continue this story from Luke 7 and we’ll learn about how to respond to being forgiven so much!

Denise Signature 150 px

How To Deal with Sudden Fears

Country roads1

The phone rings and it’s the doctor’s office, calling to give the results of the lab work that was recently done.

Sudden Fear.

Your teenage daughter has a painful look in her eyes.  She has seemed distant and removed from you and the Lord in recent weeks.  She asks to speak with you.

Sudden fear.

Your boss sends an email telling you he’d like to speak with you at your earliest convenience.

Sudden fear.

You pick up the newspaper and read the headlines about yet another innocent group of Christians being persecuted for their faith.

Sudden fear.

There are hundreds of scenarios in which we could find ourselves filled with sudden fear – that terror that falls over us quickly due to some event in which we have no control.  You’ve been there, I’m sure.  We all have.  We weren’t really prepared for the news or the event. Maybe we didn’t handle those situations so well in the past.

But for those future moments, we can prepare ahead of time, simply by hiding a secret piece of ammunition on our person – it’s the Word of God.  Open up your heart and tuck this truth away:

 Be not afraid of sudden fear,
neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
 For the Lord shall be thy confidence,
and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
Proverbs 3, 25, 26

At that moment when the sudden terror wants to grab your heart, your emotions and your will, pull out the Truth that can enable you to handle this difficulty wisely and calmly.

  1. The Lord will be your confidence – Pray. You don’t know what to do, but He does!  He will show you the next step to take that will lead you to victory, rather than defeat. Turn to Him immediately and ask for His intervention and guidance.
  2. He’ll keep your footRest.  He’ll not let you slip!  Remind yourself that the Lord will keep you safe and secure.  “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”   Anything that He allows to touch your life has come through His sovereign hands first.  You are still in His grip.

The best way to deal with anything is to be prepared.  The Lord has given us everything we need to keep us from sudden fear – the Truth of His presence and the help of His hand!  Don’t be afraid!

What sudden fear has you quaking?  Pray and rest in these Truths today!

Lovingly,