No More Fear!

2 timothy 1 7

Have you ever been asked to do something new? odd? different? Do you, in spite of your gifts/talents, shrink back a bit when tasked with something that feels bigger than you?  I’m sure you don’t – but I sure do.  

There is something about stepping out into some new ministry when you’ve had success in a smaller place that can take your breath.  When I was in church ministry I felt like God was allowing me to work and minister in my sweet spot.  But, I didn’t start off that way.  I was quite content being an alto in the choir.  My friend and mentor, the late Evangelist Brenda Waters, was talking to me over lunch at Picadilly Restaurant in Houston — she looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatcha scared of girl!? God has given you an ear for His music; He has given you a heart for His people; He has given you a voice that quiets a room!  Just lead — you’re not a background singer; God created you to lead!”  That started my life as a worship leader – my sweet spot.  But just as I settled in to that, the call to missions came.

I couldn’t take my musical gift to Ghana in the same way that it had been used in the USA so I floundered for a short while and entered into a time of fear, afraid of being insignificant in the work of the Kingdom.  Then the Holy Spirit helped me to see and understand what I was supposed to do in Ghana; lead people toward a life of worship; not just lead them in a worship service.  Being in authentic relationships with people so that they would know what it was to live, move and have their being in Him.  My new sweet spot!  But before I knew it – another call came — lead!

This time He asked me to worship Him with my whole life in a way that others would do the same; to love Him in such a way that the people that I ministered to would feel His love poured out through me.  Terrified!  Didn’t God know about my failings? my bad attitudes? my own personal kind of crazy?!  Yes! He knew all about it and we stepped into this role as ministry directors for Africa.  And — you guessed it — my new sweet spot! Every time I get an email from a missionary saying that they feel heard and cared for — I know that this is place I’m supposed to be!  The fears fell away – nothing is left except the power of God, the love of God and a mind that is clear about His purpose for me in this season and serious about being continually developed to operate fully in His purposes.

I want to encourage you.  Push past the fear.  Push past the feelings of inadequacy.  Push past your fears and timidity.  Push past your ego and your false humility.  Push past the enemies lies that tell you that you are less than enough; inadequate; ill equipped.  Press into the presence and power of God and you WILL find that your fears will cut tail and run!  Trust me!  More than that – Trust Him!  When God asked you to do that next hard thing, that next new thing, that next step off of a cliff — know that He delights in showing forth His glory through you and doing more in and through you than you could ever have asked, thought or imagined!  I don’t know who or what was vexing dear Timothy and making him feel timid — but Paul’s words to Him are for you today too…

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7

Father, I’m grateful – so very grateful – for your work in me. I could not do any of it apart from Your power; Your wisdom; Your guidance; Your will and my own submission and humility. I bless you tremendously, because you reminded me each and every day that all I needed was All Of You! Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit every day! Thank you for teaching me that leading meant reflecting Your Son, Jesus Christ each day AND submitting to you in a way that leads others to You! Thank you for letting me see and experience your daily new mercies! Thank you, Lord, for using me for the sake of Your glory, for helping me move past fears because You ensured me every day that what is in me are Your gifts and NOT MY OWN! My Wonderful and Faithful Father, I will be bold, loving and filled with good sense because I know what You have given me and I praise You for it!!

Encouraged … believing the healing is coming

When dealing with this kind of healing – a situation where my salvation in Christ and my strong dependence upon the Father and my strong listening to the Holy Spirit is real – there is just no way for me to be in fear.

My rules from the doctor in these first two weeks is quite real – I have to study regular language; I have to practice the names of my family; I have to rehearse and reintroduce the names of my friends, neighbors, and others that are in my regular community.

I’m enjoying hearing from people that love me deeply and who just want to be close and understand the journey! I haven’t been able to see everyone physically, but it has been amazing joy knowing that they’ve come by or called.

I’m enjoying the beauty of waking up each day desiring my Father; my Savior; and the Spirit that works in me in amazing ways!!!

It’s only week one – but I’ll be great! I know the survived Jan be used in amazing ways by the God who called me!

Keep praying!

Christ I have nothing but encouragement from being united with You, my Savior I have no doubt at all that Your love is comforting me. I have no doubt, that my Father is ensuring my connection with the Holy Spirit. Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit I have no doubt that depending upon you means that I will be like-minded with you, that I will be having the same love that you have placed in my heart and that I will be one in spirit and one in purpose for the sake of my belief in You!! (Philippians 2: 1–2)

Big Kingdom Living

Live BigJesus is, presently, seated at the right hand of the Father. He reigns today. The regime of our King is a present, proceeding, advancing reality. Because this is true – it means that as children of The Most High God we can rejoice in this truth that His vision and plan for us is in the works now and includes every aspect of our lives — EVERY aspect.

So … now take that truth and apply it to your today. If He lives within you and if the Kingdom of God is today — then you have a choice to make; allow the presence and power of His kingdom to permeate your life. Allow His presence and power to invade your hopes for the future. Allow His presence and power to shape your view of yourself. Allow His presence and power to inform your understanding of who He is.

Your faith, properly placed in Him, is strong enough to support the dreams that you feel are impossible! Your faith, properly placed in Him, will allow you to experience the truth that He can do more than you can ask, think or imagine.

Picture this — your faith, as you nurture it, will grow and become stronger — strong enough for your life’s goals to be lifted up as offerings to the Most High! Strong enough to sustain your hopes and rebuke your doubts. Your faith, when nurtured and when placed in Him, will allow you to rejoice in the fact that He is your Benevolent Sovereign who finds great pleasure in showering you with his agape love and who assures that as you submit to His kingdom you will enjoy his good will in your present reality.

Paul David Tripp calls it Big Kingdom Living — living like Christ is the basis of all that you speak, execute, and envision.  Living your life such that “God’s purposes become your functional life goal.” Being all that He has created you to be — doing all that He has created you to do. Awesome!

He said therefore, What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.

‭Luke‬ ‭13‬:‭18 – 19‬

Go With Him … It’s Always the Right Way

gods-willWhen we are little children, right and wrong are so very simple.  Just do what our parents allow and abstain from what they prevent.  Stop when they say stop and proceed when they approve.  Not so simple when you grow up.

There are foundational dos and don’ts out of Exodus:  no idols, no using the Lord’s name out of place, no murder, no adultery, no lying, no lies, no lusting someone’s spouse; no craving someone’s stuff; honor God as Lord, honor God above any other lesser god, honor the Lord’s day as Holy, honor your parents.  And I’m sure we ALL do these with no problem at all. (SMILE!!)  Well, at least I know you all do.  I’ve got a bad hip from kneeling to repent so often! So very grateful for His forgiveness and His cleansing.  But that’s not what I’m wanting you to think about.

What about what happens on the inside of you.  If you have a personal relationship with The Lord, there is something in your life that He has asked you to do (or not to do) that is in addition to that list above.  You know what I’m talking about –  His will for your life.  This might be giving your belongings to some person; it might be ending a romantic relationship; it might be writing a book; it might be refraining from some food; it might be moving to some foreign country to serve in missions full time; it might be accepting an illness as His assignment to teach believers how to die, etc.  It could be easy and uncomfortable.  It could be difficult and unimaginable.  The bottom line is – you don’t want to do it!

The Holy Spirit’s conviction is strong within you and yet you don’t act in the way that you are led because of your own confusion or even your own fear.  And now – you’re not feeling well, you’re worried about who you’re disappointing, etc.  I want to encourage you to trust the Lord enough to act in the way that He is calling you.  If you just trust Him the confusion and fear that you are facing will cease!  I’m serious! The unrest, sickness, dissension, disunity, fear, duality, and sense of disloyalty to the King of Kings will cease!  And let’s just be honest — you’re walking in sin when you act against what you know to be God’s will for you even if that action is not something that is against the teachings of Scripture.  I’m praying for you!!

But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.  Romans 14:23

Bearing Fruit? or Staying Busy?

We like to be busy.  We take pride in the fact that we are doing so many ‘meaningful’ things.  But take notice — being busy does not mean that you are getting the desired Kingdom outcome.  Unless you are leaning in to His presence, taking His direction, moving in His will — you might be doing good things; but they may not be the thing He has for you to do.  Abide!  Without His presence – you cannot accomplish His will.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  John 15:4