Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 26, 2015

"Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." Psalm 27:14 (Amplified Bible)

This one summary verse captures the essence of being free from fear - have faith in the Lord! When life doesn't make sense and you are tempted to fear just wait courageously. Yes, that's right - just wait!

In thinking of this I wonder if one of the reasons so many Christians struggle with fearfulness is because so many struggle with waiting on the Lord. Could that be?

Waiting seems so passive. You want to do something active and make something happen. While there are times that is necessary, waiting on the Lord is not one of the them. While you are waiting you are praying to God and hoping in Him. And you are watching to see how He will work.

When you wait on God you are saying, "I trust in you, Father and I have placed my hopes in you. I know you are at work in this circumstance and I will wait to see what you are doing and let You show me what I need to do."

Does that make sense?

Another way to say it is, "Waiting on the Lord conquers fear."

Let's talk about why that is:

One thing that causes fear is the need for control. The truth is, life is beyond your ability to control it. It is too complex and too unpredictable for any mortal to control it. So, feeling a need to be in control while knowing that there are things beyond your control is frightening!

But as you patiently wait upon God you are, in effect, saying to Him, "God I know I am not in control of my life so I will allow you to be in control and I will watch to see what You do!" That will relieve your fear.

Another common cause of fear is a lack of confidence. When you do not have confidence in yourself you feel powerless and overwhelmed by life, which induces fear. A lack of confidence causes you to doubt your ability to be successful and contributes to the fear of failure.

By waiting on the Lord you say to Him, "I am placing my confidence in You! I trust You to do what is best for me and enable me to do what You want me to do."

That confession of faith in God removes fear!

One more common cause of fear is a lack of courage. When you feel afraid to speak up or take a stand for yourself, for others, or for your beliefs you live in fear of others who seem more courageous.

Often a lack of courage is really a lack of commitment. Fully committed people have strong convictions and those convictions inspire courage. Courage arises from true convictions and faith in those convictions overcomes the fear of not defending them.

For example, a conviction that freedom is worth defending is what gives a man the courage to become a soldier and go into battle. He isn't courageous by nature, but he is committed to remaining free.

Waiting on the Lord demonstrates the courage of your convictions. Believing that He will do what His Word says He will do gives you courage to overcome your fears!

Do you often struggle with fear?

Is fear the dominant emotion of your life?

Does fear keep you from realizing your dreams?

Could your fear be a result of control issues? Could it be a lack of confidence or do you lack courage?

Take it to the Lord and wait before Him.

July 25, 2015

"There is a way that appears to be right but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 16:25

"In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25

If it was easy to do the right thing everyone would be doing it.

These verses emphasize the importance of understanding what is right and what is wrong.

If you do what seems right to you, you will do wrong every time because your moral compass is corrupted.

When you have everyone doing what is right in his own eyes you have chaos and chaos can easily degenerate into anarchy.

That is pretty much how it was in the days of Noah before God destroyed the evil doers with the flood.

We are perilously close to that today.

What can we do to turn the tide?

The answers are found in I Corinthians 13:4-8, the Scripture we have been studying this summer.

We need to live in the love of Jesus and love people to life.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” I Corinthians 13:6

It’s quite clear. If you don’t have the love of God operating in your life, you will delight in evil and find it a struggle to do what it right.

Let’s face it we live in a culture that DOES delight in evil. In fact, it glorifies evil and ridicules what is right and good. This explains how an abortion doctor can casually much on a salad and swill wine while she explains how she can kill an innocent child in the womb in such a way as to preserve its organs to be sold. And then people in their movement actually try to defend these actions.

But since we are honoring truth it is important to recognize evil dwells in our hearts and if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to deal with it and fill us with His power and purity, we will also delight in evil.