A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Fear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fear. Show all posts

November 19, 2022

You Can Not Only Survive Today's Uncertainies ... You Can Thrive!

Today, I'm going to use a post I wrote in 2014 as the source to speak on our ability to thrive in the midst of these uncertain times.  Many of us are wondering about the destiny of our nation; a nation that was founded on Godly principles, but seems to have lost its compass along the way. In the 2014 post, I quoted Isaiah 1:9, which reads, If the Lord of Hosts had not left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah.

Although this vision and prophecy was given to the prophet Isaiah about the destiny of the nation of Israel during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah, it also foretells the future of the tribe of Judah during the End Times. Furthermore, I believe its message should be heeded by our own nation, as well. I just love the multiple layers of significance that the Bible holds throughout all generations! Those who say it is no longer relevant in our time are sadly (and dangerously) deceived.

Isaiah laments his sinful nation ... he accuses them of immorality and criminality; they have forsaken the God who made them a great nation above all others, and they now only show Him contempt -- and worse, still, they ignore Him. Because of their "detestable disobedience", the future of their country is bleak. Their land has been attacked by enemies and strangers occupy what was once so generously bestowed upon them. And then the prophet tells them something that should have stopped them in their tracks, and caused fear to bring them to their knees. The nation of Israel -- indeed, all the world, including today -- knows what befell Sodom and Gomorrah. And Isaiah is showing them they deserved the same judgment. We read in Ezekiel, Chapter 16: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me...".  The purpose of this post is not to dwell on the sexual immorality and perversion that were practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah, but to take to heart the judgment that fell on them, and to recognize the hope that is in the remnant that survived.

Isaiah received spiritual perception in the 7th Century B.C. to minister to the nation of Judah. He knew that God had a purpose for them, but he needed to make them see how far they had wandered from Him. All Israel knew that God had poured fiery sulfur on the cities, completely destroying them and all of their inhabitants. (To this day, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah were located remains a desolate wasteland.)  So Isaiah wants them to ultimately understand what God did out of the midst of that tragic judgment, and how they deserve the same verdict. He points to a particular nature of God as their reason for hope.

He tells them that "the Lord of hosts" spared a remnant, and it is that Sovereignty and Mercy that He wants his nation to recognize. And it is very important to take note of the name for God that Isaiah uses in this verse. In Hebrew, "the Lord of hosts" is spoken of as Jehovah-Sabaoth. From our human perspective, this is the name of God to run to when there is no other help. From God's perspective, this is the name He uses when He wants us to know that He is not only the One who delivers us, but also the One who judges us. He wants us to bow our knee to Him. This particular name of God meets our failure, and offers deliverance... when we are willing to repent.

Isaiah wants Judah to realize that their actions deserve the devastating and complete punishment that befell Sodom and Gomorrah. They need to acknowledge that Jehovah Sabaoth -- "the Lord of hosts" -- has rightly judged them, but He is also going to deliver them by the means of that remnant. A small group will survive His judgments in order to fulfill God's purpose for them.

Over 700 years later, the Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah's forewarning of a remnant, in Romans, Chapter 9.  He says, "And Isaiah solemnly cries aloud over Israel:  Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved [from perdition, condemnation, judgment]!  Paul is trying to tell the Hebrew nation that God's own prophets have foretold this sad and frightening truth -- that their disobedience deserves full destruction, BUT through God's mercy, He will leave them a remnant that will survive ... a Jewish remnant that will bow their knew to their King and Messiah.  

The same is true for us today! We can be part of a remnant in this nation -- and the world -- that displays our supernatural power [that comes from Jesus Christ] in the midst of the downward spiral we see around us. We can step into our destiny to help others see that we have a purpose for the Kingdom of God and to spread that glorious hope. 

We can tune out the voices of this modern world and tune into the voice of our Master. Because while it may seem like the world is going mad and is out of control, it doesn't seem that way to Jesus. He has the foreknowledge of where the world is going before it results in His return. He has told us in His Word ...  You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble].

None of these things we are experiencing is a surprise to Jesus! And they shouldn't be to us, either. He told us they would happen so we would not be shocked or surprised. But somehow we have been deceived into thinking these warnings weren't meant for us. So we react in fear and anxiety. But we have a choice as to how we respond to these foretold events.

Instead of living in apprehension and dread, what if we lived in the knowledge that the things Jesus described must happen before He returns? What if we looked at it as if these events signaled His rescue for a world in which bedlam is flourishing? What if we saw the events for what they are -- the descent of a world that has rejected God's Sovereignty; His right to rule over His creation?

You see, we have a choice of how we think about the failing condition of the world. We can choose to be troubled over the circumstances we find ourselves in; or we can rest assured that it's all going along according to God's plan... and we know the Victory that awaits us. We can look at our reality from the perspective that the glass is half empty, or we can rejoice that it is half full. We can join the "misery loves company" club, and align with those who bemoan the loss of our prosperity, the threats to our affluent way of life, or the erosion of our constitutionally guaranteed freedom. OR we can trust that God has a plan, and we are part of it! And our part is to trust in Him as we actively seek to bring salt and light to a world that is awaiting His glorious appearance. 

We can show people that everything they are clinging to [their material things, their wealth, their job, their social status] ... it's all just illusion! It may all disappear, but you can choose to believe that God is delivering you to a new and fresh revelation of His will for your life. Even in the midst of misfortune and the decline of nations, God is always moving forward towards His ultimate finale ... the return of our Lord. And we have choices to make as we participate in His timeline. We can not only survive the events that are foretold, but we can thrive in them because we know where they're taking us. And we can share the reason for our hope and optimism in a world that appears defeated. 

So, we don't ignore Jesus's warnings, nor do we stay rooted in them. We rejoice that we have been born for such a time as this, and that we can choose to abide in the inner calm and spiritual well-being as a Christian who trusts in God's plan. We will not only survive these days, we can thrive!

#endtimes #endtimesprophecies #thriveinthesetimes #godsentimeplan 

Isaiah 28:21    For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be stirred up as in the Valley of Gibeon, To do His work, His unusual and incredible work, And to accomplish His work, His extraordinary work. 

November 27, 2021

"We are Well-Abled; We are Strengthened"!

The reason that I began writing this blog ten years ago, is part of why I continue to write it. In 2011 our national psyche was being tested; we instinctively sensed that our foundation was shifting and we were being herded towards unfamiliar ground. This transformation opened the door for the Enemy to sow seeds of fear into our inner man. It seemed as if overnight our national identity was under assault. And as I examined the 2300+ posts I've written throughout the years, I discovered that the spirit of fear still exists among Americans today. 

Recent events in our nation and the world have caused that emotion to spike; we are struggling to understand the orchestrated racial divide, the political deception, the class warfare, the border crisis, and loss of our freedoms. It's become increasingly difficult to recognize our country. Where did our guaranteed sense of security go? People fear for their health, their jobs, their financial security; and wonder if we will ever feel safe again.

So, do you live in such fear or dread? Do you know how to conquer this poisonous weapon of Satan? We only have to look back at the Biblical story of Joshua and Caleb, who were part of the contingent of 12 spies sent into the Promised Land to determine if it could be conquered. But ten of the spies came back and reported that they were defeated before they ever began. They were filled with fear and let that fear completely vanquish them.  But it was Caleb who said, "But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God". 

I ask you to consider that we are experiencing this same phenomenon today. Believe me, I understand if you are unhappy with the direction in which our nation is moving (whether you believe God has a hand in it, or not). There is much that is unsettling. But we cannot yield to the tactics of those committed to defeating our way of life and the foundation of faith that undergirds this nation. We must not allow them to instill a spirit of fear in the general population. Because, you see, Caleb was free from fear, and he used his trust in God to try to help the people of Israel overcome their fears. And those of us who are like Caleb, and surrender to the will of God, have something to say to people who are afraid. Our surrender to God is the only answer to the problem of fear.   

I know it will be difficult to minister and serve others who do not have the same faith we do in YHWH. And it is a disservice to all people to pretend that there are no difficulties; we cannot and should not persuade others to escape reality.  BUT, we can listen to their fears, remain calm, report the facts, and look for ways to encourage them. We can share our testimonies of overcoming our giants, and how the presence of the Lord in our lives gave us the courage to stand. After all, Caleb did not pretend that the giants did not exist. But he was different from most of the men who returned from the Promised Land spreading their fear. He tried to report the good things, too.

 I know this may sound too simplistic or optimistic. There are haters who will never be convinced that any good can exist in the face of our current challenges.  But our entire nation would be well-served to remember Caleb's words. He said, "We are well able". This does not mean that he had confidence only in himself. Nor did he put undue emphasis on the military strength of Israel, either. No. He was emphasizing where their power really came from. It came from firm confidence in God’s power. Don't let anyone convince you to jump on "the fear bandwagon". We are well able! We are able to overcome our differences and work together for the good of the country.  We have incredible resources to help the next generation(s) reach new heights of prosperity. But we must teach them a robust work ethic and the fearlessness to take advantage of the opportunities put before them.  We must also give them a sound and solid moral foundation by which to live their lives; fundamentals by which they will lives that are pleasing to God, as they seek to serve others.  All this is available to every American, regardless of color, ethnicity, gender, or background. 

I'm not trying to diminish the fear that I know is very real to many of you. I understand that the word "fear" means more than just being afraid or scared. It has connotations of sorrow and grief and dread ... concerning people, things, and events. But it is exactly at these times, when everything around us screams "Defeat" and "End Times" that we must remain clear about the overall message of the Word .... we can be assured of God's final victory over the Anti-Christ forces in the world, and His faithfulness to see us be overcomers of this ungodly system. In these times of difficulties, there's a truth that we can cling to. In Isaiah 43, God declares that He is the Savior of Israel, to whom we have been grafted into. His words to His beloved people are true for us, too: Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you [from captivity]. I have called you by name; you are Mine! 

Throughout Israel's history, we have seen examples of how God's favored nation overcame their fears and struggles. But none is as powerful as our Lord overcoming his own moment of fear in the Garden of Gethsemane. His emotional condition was so severe our Lord sweated blood in that Garden before His crucifixion. But in that moment, as the gospel of Luke, Chapter 22, tell us, Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him.  In that moment of grief and dread -- and yes, we can call it fear -- Jesus felt the powerful presence of God with Him. There was a purpose for Jesus's life and it extended far beyond what was about to happen in this world. It was the power of God's love and presence that transcended what was about to happen in the physical. And it allowed Jesus to endure the evil perpetrated against Him. He was strengthened! We must follow in His footsteps.

If you are suffering the torment of Satan's fiery dart of fear, then you must remind yourself that God's judgments against the world are ultimately to wipe out evil, not harm the saints. Just as He did in the wilderness of Egypt, God will supernaturally protect and provide for us. Our faith demands that we trust Him in this! When the difficulties in this world increase, so will God's guidance and leadership. And should this world result in our physical death, there is no greater joy than knowing that the very next instant we will be in His glorious presence forever!

When we know what we believe about God and ourselves, then we have the confidence and faith to stand firm and follow Jesus's model of dignity and strength in our hour of need. We will not be afraid to voice our allegiance to Him or to choose to follow Him, no matter the cost. Here's the thing, Jesus never taught on "feelings"; He always commanded obedience. We must truly believe He is our Rock, our Fortress, and our Deliverer; that He is our Strength, our God in whom we can trust. He is our Shield, and our horn (Power) of Salvation. He is our Stronghold and we must praise His Name, for He is worthy to be praised. And we will be saved from our enemies! This is a passage from Psalm 18, and it is a Scripture that is never far from my heart or my lips. I believe these words with all that is in me!

So, I encourage you to face your fears and begin to declare the Truth of Scripture -- and believe it! Jesus tells us that we are not given a spirit of fear, but we have the Holy Spirit, who gives us mighty power, love [of God] and self-control. When we recognize the power that is in us, we do not fear anything [or anyone] else. And we have the ability to control our carnal emotions and fleshly behavior, as we walk in our spiritual identity. Fear has no place in the life of a Believer. Jesus conquered it; Caleb did, too. Trust in God's power inside you and watch Him deliver you of all sorrow, grief, dread, and fear. Then declare that you are ready to walk in the glory of God for the remaining days of your life.   

It is my prayer that this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, you will find increased faith in the power of our Lord to deliver you from the concerns of this world. Give thanks to our ever-faithful God who never takes His eyes off you. Praise Him for His enduring love! 

Psalm 34:4   I sought the Lord [on the authority of His word], and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. 

August 9, 2020

Don't Be Like King Asa!


     Before, I get to the points I want to make in today's blog, I want us to revisit a brief passage in 2 Chronicles 16 about Asa, the fifth king of the Kingdom of Judah. The Bible says that "in the 36th year of his reign, he developed a disease in his feet". It says that although "this disease was severe, yet even in his illness he did not seek the Lord, but [relied only] on the physicians". The demise of Asa is mentioned in a very short verse immediately following his diagnosis: "So Asa slept with his fathers [in death] the 41st year of his reign." What can we learn from this brief history?

     I am increasingly finding myself on the fringe of society; even among my fellow Christians. As we continue to swirl around in this "Covid stew of confusion", I am amazed at how easily led some people are to the spirit of fear. Charisma Magazine ran an article that really spoke to my heart, and I think shows us how some of us could identify with King Asa. The article was reflecting on the various comments on Facebook regarding how best to traverse the contradictory information we receive from the media on how to defeat the pervasive Coronavirus.

     One commenter said, "Show me the verse in Scripture that says God heals everything except Coronavirus". That got me to thinking about what Christians believe when it comes to how best to react during this pandemic. Depending on where you live, local authorities across the country have differing opinions as to what our behavior should be. Responses range from mandating we shut everything down, to more lenient policies of opening up businesses while maintaining common sense precautions. When is it okay to go without a mask? Is it really necessary to wear one while driving by oneself in a car? Even the Doctors and Scientists can't agree on the optimum solutions to Covid!

     Some advocate six more months of shutdown and quarantine, with schools closed and everyone locked away in their homes; while others say we must adopt a "herd immunity" mentality, whereby everyone eventually becomes exposed to the disease and the virus dies out, so to speak, as people get the virus and recover. But even that solution is not universally agreed upon. Do you attain herd immunity through vaccinations which have been rushed into existence, or do you achieve it through natural infection? You can see why there is so much stress and anxiety in the population. But we Christians are not supposed to resemble the general population.

     So, why do so many Believers turn to Science and Doctors for deliverance from this virus, rather than God? Perhaps the answer lies in Matthew 13:58, "And [Jesus] did not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief." As Christians, do we turn to the Doctor for a magic pill or procedure [or vaccination] to cure us before we turn to Jesus, who showed us that the power of God to heal is in us? How many, who call ourselves Believers, are afraid to walk among the general population without a mask? I'm not talking about being foolish and subjecting yourself to the company of someone obviously infected and suffering from Covid, or any other communicable disease, for that matter. I'm talking about being so paranoid that you avoid people all together or refuse to attend church or family outings because you can't "safely distance yourself"? What happened to our faith in believing our God is who He says He is? When did our unbelief begin to shake the very foundations of our faith? And when did the so-called "facts" from the so-called "experts" exceed our confidence in God's power?

     I choose to believe the Word when it says that I abide in Christ and He abides in me. To me, that means that I have a life-giving connection with Him; He lives in me, and I live in Him. So when I leave my home, I picture myself stepping inside the realm that is Christ, where Covid cannot touch me. And while I trust in the medical advice that Zinc, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C are powerful fighters against the virus, I also see God's Living Water continually flowing through my lungs, washing away anything that might try to attach itself. Plus, I anoint my lungs with holy oil so that the virus is unable to become lodged in my lungs. And, of course, I always keep my spiritual armor on, and my shield of faith in position, along with the Sword of the Spirit at constant readiness. 

     I know there are some, even among the Christian community, who would claim I am hopelessly naive, at the least, or insensitive and careless of others, at worst. But I identify more with the Canaanite woman who approached Jesus to get healing for her daughter, than I do King Asa. That woman was willing to accept the bread crumbs from the Master's table, believing that even the smallest portion of what the Lord offers is enough to receive a miracle for her daughter. And yet, do you know how much that offended Jesus's disciples? It's no different today! I know that my belief in Jesus has offended the unbelief in the Doubters. I know that my confident faith in Jesus is seen as foolish and potentially threatening to those who walk in fear. I know, because I have seen the looks of disgust as I remove my mask immediately after exiting the grocery store; or when I have to pull it down to take a breath of fresh air instead of feeling confined by a piece of cloth that has not been proven to stop the spread of the virus anyway.

     Personally, I have chosen to wage war against this virus in the Spirit, refusing to give in to Satan's spirit of fear, and instead, opting to walk in the promises of Jesus. Throughout the Book of Matthew, Jesus shows us time and again that He healed everyone who came in faith and believed that He could heal them. It was their unbelief that caused them to doubt if healing was possible, and ultimately kept them from seeking Him. 

     I choose to live like the Canaanite woman, employing a supernatural faith that miracles and wonders still exist today. No weapon formed against me can prosper and no plague shall befall me as I live in the secret place of the Most High God and abide under His Shadow! I will trust in His protection and His provision. That doesn't mean that I will ignore safety measures or put anyone else needlessly in harm's way. I will continue to do the smart things that ward off all infectious disease. But I will also not give in to another's fear or worry that comes from their faithless unbelief. Neither will I be deceived by faithless Science or faulty human wisdom. I serve a supernatural God from whom all blessings flow, and I live in His Kingdom system, not the world's. Unlike King Asa, I turn to the Lord first, instead of putting my faith in man. Anything less does not honor the One who has defeated Death.

Psalm 73:28  But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
That I may tell of all Your works.