Articles for September 2013

Victory Over Fear

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Note: These are my notes from Dr. Stanley’s sermon on “Victory Over Fear.”  To see the video, please visit In Touch Ministrieshttp://www.intouch.org

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Victory Over Fear

(Charles Stanley)
There is good fear and there is bad fear.
TO FEAR THE LORD means to reverence Him, to acknowledge Him for who He is and to respect God as God … Holy , Righteous God.  To fear Him doesn’t mean to be afraid of Him.
Fear is a part of all of our emotions
FEELINGS LINKED WITH FEAR:
  • Greed: Fear that we will not have enough
  • Rejection: Fear that we won’t be accepted
  • Guilt: Fear that you may be found out. (Something may be revealed).
  • Lack of Confidence: Fear of failure
  • Anger: Fear that I won’t get my way
  • Jealousy: Fear of losing control. (Somebody else might get what you want).
  • Indecision: Fear that you might make the wrong decision.
All of these emotions are expressed by fear in our life.  Fear is a major issue when it comes to our emotional being.
God has made us emotional beings so we could love, have concern and kindness, love righteousness, love one another but also, so we could hate evil.
Our emotional being isn’t just something that’s in our head.  Our whole emotional make up, covers our whole body.  There’s no way for you to be off base emotionally and your physical being be alright.
What we think effects our actions and also effects our bodies.  It starts in your thinking.   Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”
Emotions are God’s gift to us to enjoy life and to be able to accomplish His purpose, plan, & will for our life and His Kingdom.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… (This is a fear we should enjoy and experience in our life).
OUR FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
CAUSES OF FEAR (If you can’t identify your fear, more than likely, you won’t be able to handle it).
  • Learned Attitudes (Eg: Mother tells you not to go near the water because you may drown.  That’s fixed in your mind…).  Some things become ingrained in us and cause fear.  It becomes a part of your thinking.
  • Imagination (One of God’s greatest gifts)  If you put your imagination to use for good things, that’s good, but people can put their imaginations to evil use as well.  Sometimes our fears come from our imaginations.  Your nervous systems cannot distinguish between what is real and not real.  If it looks real and you believe it’s real you tense up.  Imagination is like shadow fears.  (Eg: your imagination controls you and won’t let you do certain things because of what you think).
  • Sin causes fear (That’s a good thing).  If you’re living in sin, it’s time for you to become afraid because you will pay for your sins.
  • Ignorance (Eg: If you believe that when you die you have to pay for your sins before you go to heaven, you are suffering from fear of something that’s not going to happen.  If you’ve trusted Christ as your savior, that settles where you’re going to spend eternity…).  When people are taught error, it can cause terrible fear in their life.
  • Doubt (If you live your life doubting God, how can you have any liberty, peace…in your life).  God doesn’t want you to be afraid of Him, but to reverence Him.
  • Poor Self-Image If you think people won’t like you that keeps you from relationships.  (It creates fear that you don’t measure up, won’t be accepted.  Fear of rejection means you’re shut out, you’re worthless, you don’t count, you don’t belong).
  • A wrong view of who God is (Eg: God is a judge more than anything else).
WE NEED TO FEEL:
  • A sense of belonging
  • That we are worthy (I’m worth something…I count)
  • A sense of competence (I can do what I’m supposed to do)
Take any one of these out and a person’s emotional being and he isn’t going to be what he’s supposed to be.
God intends for us to be whole.  (A whole person is spiritually, physically and emotionally whole.) 
CONSEQUENCES OF FEAR:
  • Divides our mind: You can’t concentrate well on something if beneath the surface of your emotions you are thinking something contrary, some continuing fear (Eg: I love my husband but I’m afraid he’s going to leave me).
  • Stifles our ability to think and act as we should: You don’t think clearly.
  • Causes Indecision: You feel paralyzed in making decisions.  (Eg: Procrastinator does not act for fear of not doing it perfectly or not doing it adequate to suite them.)
  • Undermines our self-confidence: All of us have a degree of self- confidence.  Our confidence should be in our God-given skills, talents & abilities.  We should give God the credit for it.
  • Can result in panic: You’re out of control for fear.  When you suffer panic you may do something you would never do if you were in your right mind. (Eg: Fear of airplanes … you try to get off of a plane that’s already in flight.)
  • Enslaves us with a feeling of uncertainty: To be afraid of something that’s ongoing, continuous. (Eg: Doctor gave you a certain diagnosis)
  • Destroys Relationships: (Eg: Afraid of marriage, because of what you’ve experienced in the past.)
  • Steals our joy, peace, happiness and contentment: (You can’t be a fearful person and have joy, peace…)
  • Blocks our spiritual growth: Afraid to step out (Eg: Fear of speaking in front of people).  When other people put their measurements on our life, that’s when we get lack of confidence.  But we need to ask God what He wants us to do…measure ourselves by how God sees us.
  • Hinders us from becoming the person God wants us to be: As long as we’re afraid, we’re not going to do what God wants us to do.
  • Affects our physical health: Our emotional being effects our whole body.  You can’t separate the spirit, soul & body.  They all work together.
The way to deal with fear is not to numb your feelings (Eg: with drugs for your nerves).
 HOW TO DEAL WITH FEARS / VICTORY OVER FEAR:
  • Acknowledge its presence: Whatever the fear is in your life.
  • Identify its cause: Why are you afraid of it?  What’s the real source of it.
  • Change our Focus: Get it off the fear and focus on God.
  • Focus on the Word of God: Turn your focus to the most powerful weapon you can have in the face of fear.
Whatever storm you are facing when it comes to fear, this is your anchor:
Isaiah 41:10 (NASB) ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
  • I am with you: The Sovereign God is telling you not to fear because He is with you.
  • Do not anxiously look about you: He wants to get your focus on Himself.  As long as you’re focusing on what you’re afraid of it gets larger and larger and more important and more detrimental.
  • For I am your God: He’s not just your friend.  He is your personal God.
  •  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you: You can rest assured of this because I am who I am.  Because I love you.
  • Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand:  It doesn’t matter what you face in life.  You’re in God’s hands.  (You don’t have anything that can out maneuver God).  (Note: He didn’t say, He would take away.  He said, he’s uphold you).
God does not change.  If He made this promise thousands of years ago, it still applies today.
Take God at His word, set your focus on Him, lay the fear down on the basis of who God is and what He said.
Do you believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do?  If so, you need not carry that fear any longer.
It is a faith battle.  (Your doubt doesn’t affect God or anything He said.  If it doesn’t affect God do you have any reason to hold onto your fear when God has said you don’t have to?
God is going to hold you and bring you through it, no matter what.  God knows everything about you.  He can handle it.  He keeps His Promise…He keeps His word.  Give Him your problems.
If there’s something in your life that you can’t change, you’ve got an anchor who is not going to move.  He will hold you.  (Suppose your husband does leave, suppose you do get sick…Whose got you?  If God’s got you, there’s no way you can lose.)
However, if you reject God and don’t accept Jesus as your savior, this doesn’t work for you because you have rejected Him, therefore you have rejected life.  If you are willing to ask God to forgive you for your sins and trust Him as your savior, all the above can apply to you.

 

The Man In A Pit

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How will you get out of your pit?
(I heard this story on Joyce Meyer’s “Enjoying Everyday Life.”  I’m not sure what book she was reading it from.)
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There was a man who fell in a pit.
A subjective person came along and said, “I feel for you down there in that pit.”
An objective person came along and said, ” well, it’s logical that someone would fall down in that pit.”
A Pharisee said, “only bad people fall into pits.”
A mathematician calculated how the individual fell into the pit.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the person in the pit.
A Fundamentalist said, “you deserve that pit.”
A Calvinist said, “If you would have been saved, you would never have fallen in that pit.
A Charismatic said, “just confess that you’re not in that pit.”
A realist came along and said, “now brother, that’s a pit.”
A geologist suggested that he appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
An IRS worker wanted to know if he had paid taxes on his pit.
The County Inspector asked if he had a permit to be in the pit.
A self-pitying person said,  “you haven’t seen anything ’til you see my pit.”
The optimist said, “things could be worse.”
The pessimist said, “things will get worse.”
Jesus however, seeing the man, simply reached down in it and got him out of the pit.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the pits of life, but instead of taking the way out, we listen to everyone advising us or giving us their interpretation as to why we are in the pit. 
This reminded me of my book, First Peter, because Peter finds himself in a kind of pit and he won’t let God help him out.  Instead he finds comfort in his gang, hanging out on the streets, and doing anything that is as far away from God as he can get.
Read the 1st chapter of First Peter at the below link:
http://www.amazon.com/First-Peter-ebook/dp/B00F7P6R82/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1379772685&sr=1-1&keywords=First+Peter
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If you’re looking for religion, there is a plethora to choose from.

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If you’re looking for salvation, there is only one by whom you can be saved:

 

 

 

  • Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)
  • 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, (1Timothy 2:5-6)
  • Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:23 (NKJV)
  • For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NKJV)
  • 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”  26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:25-26)