Sharing the good new of the original trailblazer, Jesus.
Sharing the good new of the original trailblazer, Jesus.
Fear of what ifs Vs. Faith of what is
I’m not going to fool anyone by saying, “I figured out how to live by faith not fear!” But, I will say, “I’m trying to figure out how to live by faith and not fear”. It’s a continual process and part of being human. Did I mention, I am a mother? Fear is going to be part of raising children. You want them to succeed, avoid danger or avoid any emotional or physical hurt at all – BAH!!! However, life throws hard “stuff” that we aren’t always ready to catch and is impossible to avoid. So, if I want faith to win over fear then I need to understand who’s leading the battle of both. Then with the knowledge of both I can decide (with confidence) why fighting for faith is worth the battle.
The Faith Team – Led by God
Who is God? Well that’s a big question because He’s pretty big, so I’ll attempt to write simply about Him. God is 3 persons in 1 God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), omnipresent, creator and ruler of the world. What about His character? God is just, mighty, love and compassionate. Lastly, God is truth and He made promises for us in the Bible. What are some that I can lean on to bring me faith not fear? God promises eternal life to all who believe in Jesus Christ and repent of their sin. As a Christian and believer of Jesus I do not fear death. God promises He will help me and give me strength. I do not fear my own weakness. He promises He is always with me. I do not fear being alone. God says don’t be anxious about anything. I do not fear my own worries!
What is life with God vs. What is life without him.
Life with God means believing scripture is the truth and being obedient to what He says. I read my Bible because it leads my life and without it I am choosing to live without Him. I want real truth to lead my life so I need to know what He says “is”.
The Fear Team – Led by Sin
Who is sin? Wait isn’t this a good guy vs bad guy, obvious scenario? Well, if I wrote “the Devil” than yes it would be. No one generally wants to be on the Devil’s team. But writing “sin” is more complicated because the Devil cannot make us sin, but he can tempt us to. So sin can seem desirable, enjoyable and an inviting team. Its a war against our flesh and spirit. So what is sin? Well, simply explaining best I can, sin is anything we idolize above God. For example, its what we do, think or act upon what God hates or does not like. Hmm, that can be a long list, considering we are not perfect. So if sin is evident in us, then how do we fight against its team?
We need to know its strategy…
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.James 1:14-16
Sin is deception
Our culture says truth is anything you believe in your heart is true! Where are the boundaries of good and evil in that? The sin team says, “if you say its good than its good!” But fear lives in that because you can never know if that’s really true… so fear is still lives in the, “what if it’s not good for me?” Sin makes false promises to make you think you know better than God.
Time and Purpose
Learning something new takes time – this is true,The reading, thinking, the studying too,Failure then improvement is how we learn,Unavoidable, yet a good return,I know I will find my joy by the end…As for now, I’ll imagine it instead.
The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.Ecclesiastes 4:5
Refusing to work only ruins yourself. Don’t allow procrastination or predication of “what might be” stop you from living with daily purpose. Procrastination tells you, “wait for the perfect time” and God tells you, the time is now (2 Corinthians 6:2). We need to trust in God as He is the creator and ruler of time itself, the beginning and the end. We will make ourselves dizzy like a dog chasing his own tail trying to predict the future or wait for the “perfect time”. There is no time for procrastination and predictions. Time is for purpose and that time is now.
He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.Ecclesiastes 11:4
Purpose made simple by Jesus.
Jesus made purpose simple not complicated. It starts with acknowledging that we are all guilty of sin against God’s judgment and in need of a saviour and in knowing this God gave us Jesus.
Jesus (%100 God and %100 man) died on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins (John 3:16-18), which tore the veil between us and God (Matthew 27:51). Signifying that we can now have a direct right relationship with God Himself. Three days after His death, Jesus was resurrected. He seats in heaven, living today and passes along His living Spirit to all who believe (Luke 24:46-48, Romans 8:9-11).
The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is a perfect act of love that I choose to follow. The moment I repented of my sin, asking for forgiveness and accepting Jesus as my saviour – my purpose for life began (Galatians 2:20).
Although my vocation, location and “dreams” change, my purpose remains the same. I glorify God as the Truth, the author and finisher of my life. So whatever work I choose to do or whatever life throws at me – I do it with the intentional purpose of giving God the Glory because He gifted me hope through salvation and eternal life.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Take every thought captive
Urged to respond based upon my emotions, I remembered this verse, “take every thought captive”, 2 Corinthians 10:5. We are to examine each thought that races through our minds and look at it with intent. I notice why I feel this way and ask myself, does this response please the person or please me? Emotions are good indicators of how our hearts feel but reacting without examining them can be destructive instead of constructive.
“Emotions are like toddlers, they’re fun, but you wouldn’t put them in charge.” Mama Bear Apologetics
Another verse that comes to mind, when I think about how to appropriately respond based on my emotion is: “count others more significant than yourselves”, Philippians 2:3. Do my emotions want to prove my own right or show love for others? More often than not, we skip the step of quieting ourselves and asking the question WHY? Why do these feelings bubble up so strongly? We need the Word of God, the Bible, to inform, instruct and counsel. To make us wise in our emotionally driven lives.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you with my eye upon you.Psalm 32:8
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels
Emotions are high and low, but they don’t run the show.Emotions are up and down, but I still stand my ground.Indicators of the mind, what my heart lies behind.I must take the time to stop, so the wisdom can drop.I take every thought captive, so I am adaptive.Living well with Christ in me, obedience is key.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.2 Corinthians 10:5
God gave me a dream about the importance of wearing proper footwear. I hope it inspires and gives you hope like it did for me too!
Photo by Debora Cardenas on Unsplash
Whilst in the water, I looked down at my feet and I was wearing footwear. I asked my surfing instructor, “why am I wearing shoes on a surfboard, don’t most people go barefoot”? The instructor replied, “yes, but this will help you have traction and stability on the board”.
After I wrote down my dream I prayed and asked the Lord for its meaning. Then I started thinking about spiritual warfare and the armour of God. So I read Ephesians 6:10-17 and came across verse 15 about our feet being “fitted with the readiness that comes from gospel of peace”. Reflecting upon my dream, the obvious factor are surfers don’t wear shoes so the symbolism in that came obvious to me. I have allowed the waves of fear and worry to push me off my “board” or path. Instead I need to be stable in my faith, with gospel fitted footwear, so I can ride the waves instead of letting them crash over me.
It’s all about the proper footwear
Whenever I embark on a new sport or outdoor activity my first reaction is, “what’s the proper footwear”? I want to excel at what I am learning and not waste my time with improper gear. For example, I know what my feet need in a shoe to perform well on the basketball court because of my years of experience. But when my husband introduced me to rock climbing I had no clue what my feet needed. Turns out rock climbing shoes are a lot LESS comfortable than a cushioned basketball sole. However, the tight fit of a rock climbing shoe was important in manoeuvring up and around a rock wall. Proper footwear doesn’t always seem comfortable at first, but with trust in its purpose it can help maximize performance.
Spiritual proper footwear
As Christians we need to have this same mentality when we walk in our faith. Are we wearing the proper footwear to best suit our spiritual quest? When we read Ephesians 6:10-17 we learn about the armour of God. As part of the armour of God, footwear is part of the spiritual gear.
“…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”Ephesians 6:15
My faith is in the Gospel of peace because then I am protected, supported and able to stand strong. I’m agile in my faith – ready to move in any direction. I fasten up my gospel shoes each morning because I know Jesus is the peace I stand on. Fully prepared and ready to move so wherever I go I can share the good news. I trust in the purpose of the Gospel and fasten it under my feet to be ready for anything that shakes my path.
Unlike buying a shoe at a store,
Hero of Heroes Pt.3 – Wisdom
Daniel was wise
Daniel, a God fearing man, devoted to the faith but serving in a palace that defiled God with certain practices. What struck me about Daniel was his wisdom in how he got out of these types of practices. For example, through his good judgment and communication skills Daniel’s wisdom came from how he conversed with the kings officials. He never argued or rebelled when the officials told him what he had to do. Instead he simply spoke to them in wisdom and tact by offering other solutions to their assertions.
Daniel chapter 1 – wise with the king’s officials.
Daniel and the other wise men went through significant training prior to serving the King. During their training one aspect was to eat off the King’s table of meat and wine, supposedly to make them healthy and strong. However to Daniel, and Israelite customs, eating this way was sinful and dishonouring to God. Why? Well, the king’s food offered the first portion of the slaughtered meat to idols and a portion of the wine to a pagan altar. Since Daniel never made exceptions that trumped serving God, he presented another option to only eat vegetables and water instead. He created a test for 10 days to only eat his way and after the ten days the king’s officials were to judge his health and strength. Instead of letting his feelings of fear and emotions of worry dictate his decisions, Daniel used wisdom to solve problems.
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.Daniel 1:12-16
Wisdom in conflict
Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil”. This was Daniel… nothing feared him more than his fear for the Lord. He did not allow what he could SEE stop him from believing in what God saw. More importantly, He knew what God saw by believing in His law and making choices based on his knowledge of Him.
Similarly to Daniel’s situation Jesus also faced what he could not eat, which would have defiled His own beliefs in God. The Devil tempted Jesus with bread to trick Him into serving His immediate satisfaction rather than His eternal one.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4
How did Jesus combat the devil… He did it with scripture, the ultimate truth. Wisdom speaks truth and asks, what does the Bible say about this?
What wisdom looks like for us
Daniel, known for his outstanding gifts in language and literature brought about favour from the kings. However, he never took credit for the gift of wisdom he had.
Hero of Heroes Pt.2 – Humility
Daniel was Humble
Daniel always gave God the credit because he knew giving God the glory was more important than receiving his own. This is true humility; recognizing God’s power above our own.
Daniel chapter two – King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
During the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel was facing his possible death once again. The King had a dream that troubled him greatly. So much so that he couldn’t sleep. So he needed an interpretation but no wise man that he summoned (aka: magician, enchanter, sorcerer and astrologer) could give it to him. Instead they said, “what the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans” (Daniel 2:11). This response made the King so furious that he ordered a new decree that all wise men be put to death – this included Daniel and his friends (Daniel 2:12-13).
Once Daniel heard about the new decree he asked the King for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him (Daniel 2:16). Daniel at the time had no clue what the interpretation was, but he knew God did. So he urged his friends to pray with him. Through their unity as believers they humbled their hearts to God and pleaded for His mercy (Daniel 2:18). And God answered…
God answers their prayer.
During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king. Daniel 2:19-23
Humility recognizes that when we are weak GOD, the HERO of HEROES, is strong!
Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” We need to focus on God’s strength working in us and humbly approach Him in midst of our own trials like Daniel.
After Daniel received the interpretation from the Lord he praised Him for it. Then he approached the man in charge of the execution and essentially says, “STOP, I CAN INTERPRET THE KING’S DREAM!” (I imagine him yelling this as it was probably an intense moment). Then Daniel sees the King…
The King asked Daniel, “are you able to interpret this dream for me?” Daniel replied, “no wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…” .. Daniel 2:27-28
In verse 28, Daniel could have taken the credit to impress the King by s...