afraid

Just Believe

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Some of us have believed a lie for so long that we find it hard to believe the truth.

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, Don’t be afraid. Just believe (Mark 5:36, NIV).

Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear. Only keep believing (AMPC).

Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, Don’t listen to them. Just trust me (MSG). 

 

Take a Chance

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The woman with the issue of blood was in her condition for twelve years.  According to law and according to man, she shouldn’t have been in the crowd to see Jesus, but she heard about the miracles he performed and she wanted a miracle.  Some of us have been in situations longer than twelve years and we’ve heard about Jesus, too. We hear about him at church, on television or reading the bible. But the difference between her and some Christians is she believed what she heard and acted upon it.

And it wasn’t easy. She pressed through the crowd, she pressed through sickness, she pressed through her feelings, she pressed through what people might say or think and she went after what she belonged to her – healing, wholeness, and peace (Mark 5:34).

She followed Jesus and she kept following him. There were many distractions, but she kept moving in his direction. She didn’t give up. She didn’t feel sorry for herself. She took action. She didn’t wait for him to touch her. She touched him.

Some of us are waiting for opportunities to fall into our laps, but you have to get up and go get it. You must pursue it and stop making excuses for why you will never have or never be.

You have a choice. Don’t choose to stay where you are. There is better for you. And don’t compare your life with others. We are all going through something, but know that if we’re going through something, that means we will also come out of something.

Move forward. Press toward what you are believing God for until what is intangible becomes tangible and what seems impossible becomes possible.

Some of us are still waiting for the right time. The moment you don’t feel like doing something is the best time to do it. If you wait for everything to be right before you do something, then you will never do anything.

Learn from the example of this woman. She took a risk. According to religious laws, she was unclean, which meant she would contaminate anyone she touched. When Jesus asked who touched him, she was ‘fearing and trembling’ (Mark 5:33) because she didn’t know what Jesus was going to say or what the crowd would do to her. She didn’t know how things were going to end, but she just took a chance and that day she became whole.

So, keep pushing and keep pressing. Don’t give up. And even if you’re afraid of what may or may not happen, take a chance anyway.

What Do You See When You Look at You?

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The Egyptians recognized that the Israelites were more and mightier than they were. According to The Living Bible version, they saw them as becoming dangerous. So, they came up with a plan to put them in bondage and to make them slaves when God actually called them His son (Exodus 4:22). Come on, let us deal wisely with them. For the next 400 plus years, the Israelites were servants to the Egyptians. They built their cities. They made them rich while they remained poor.

But before the enemy had a plan, God had a plan to send a deliverer named Moses to bring them out of that land into a good land. They saw themselves as slaves, but they were heirs to what was promised to their fathers. They were wealthy. They were landowners. Cities belonged to them and God was going to restore everything that they lost.

To keep you from becoming what God made you to be – to keep you from knowing who you really are, the enemy came up with a plan to put you in bondage because he is afraid of you. He is afraid of who you will become. He is afraid of what you can do to his kingdom. He doesn’t want you to discover just how mighty you are in God.

I remember being a quiet (I still am at times), but confident little girl. I remember sitting on my porch calling something mine that I hadn’t even possessed yet. But the enemy had a plan – the loss of my mother as a toddler, molestation, unholy covenants, depression, divorce, just to name a few. Even at a young age, he was after that confidence, which produces a great reward.

Although our words are powerful, our thoughts are powerful, too. One of the reasons why the enemy attacks your mind is because he knows that God will do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or THINK according to the power that is at work in you.

God told Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho. God had already given them the city. Yes, someone else was occupying it, but it didn’t belong to them. To enter into the Promised Land, the Israelites had to go through Jericho. They couldn’t go over it or around it. They had to go through it and some of us don’t like to go through anything. But between where they were and where God wanted to take them was a wall. Before the wall fell down, they had to ‘see’ themselves possessing the city.

The enemy fights you the most in your mind. He doesn’t want you to see yourself blessed, prosperous, happy, intelligent, powerful or mighty. The enemy has used bad situations in your life to build a wall. The wall of Jericho was at least 15 feet high. The enemy wants to use a wall to keep you from entering into what God promised you. He also wants to keep you from seeing who you really are and what you can do.

The moment you accepted Christ as your Savior, you were delivered from a bad land and brought into a good land. In exchange for your past, He gave you hope and a future. You are mighty and the weapons God gave you are mighty through God. It pulls down strongholds (thoughts that are contrary to God’s word).

Our responsibility is to believe God’s word and to do what it says. Strongholds are built on lies, but they can be torn down by the truth. So, read the word of God and listen to it daily so that it can transform the way you think and the way you live. Find scriptures in the bible that tell you who you are in Christ and speak those words until every wall the enemy built through lies, deceit and imagination fall flat down like the wall of Jericho.

You are more and mightier than you think.

Come Out of the Ship

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come: to go from one place to another; to act; to follow someone

Jesus gave his disciples an assignment. He gave them something to do. He told them to get into a ship and to go to the other side. After He sent them away, He went to the mountain to pray.

The disciples did what Jesus told them to do. Things got off to a good start, but before they could reach where Jesus told them to go, a storm came in the midst of the sea. In the middle of their journey. The waves tossed the ship and the winds were very strong.

Jesus left where he was (the mountain) to go where they were (the sea). When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were afraid for they thought it was a ghost. But Jesus encouraged them with words. Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid.

Peter then said, Lord, if it be you, command me to come to you on the water. If Jesus told him to do it, then he believed he could do it. Jesus then said, Come.

When Peter stepped on the water, the sea wasn’t calm and the storm hadn’t ceased. The wind was still strong and the waves were still tossing the ship, but he obeyed. His situation never changed. Things still looked the same, but he wasn’t focused on what he saw. He didn’t wait for the right time. He didn’t wait for perfect conditions. He didn’t wait for Jesus to give him another word and then another word. He acted on the word that Jesus gave him.  

Jesus gave Peter one word (Come) and he obeyed. Some of us have gotten so many prophecies and promises and confirmation, yet we remain in the ship. We never moved. We never did what God told us to do, but we’re wondering why our situation hasn’t changed. You asked God to do something in your life and then your opportunity came, but because the opportunity came in the form of a storm, you didn’t want what you had asked for anymore. God promised you something and now years later you’re wondering why it hasn’t come to pass yet. It’s because you refused to do something that you had never done before.

Peter had NEVER walked on water before.

Here are some of the things we battle with in our minds: What if I fall once I get out of the ship? What will they (disciples) say about me? What if I fail? They may laugh at me.

The moment Peter stopped doing what Jesus commanded him to do and looked at the wind, he became afraid and began to sink. No one never said that fear wouldn’t come, but remember that God didn’t give you the spirit of fear. He is with you, He has revealed to you that it is Him and you don’t have to be afraid.

God just doesn’t want to fulfill His promises in your life, but He also wants to do something in the lives of those who are in the ship with you. Think about it this way. The longer Peter would have stayed in the ship, the longer he would have stayed in the storm as well as those who were with him. When the disciples saw what He did for Peter, it gave them hope. It increased their faith. It helped their unbelief. They worshipped him and said, You really are the Son of God.

I know we think that it’s ‘safe’ in the ship, but the blessings and the promises that God gave you aren’t in the ship. And listen. When you get out of the ship, continue to focus on the One who called you out of the ship. Focus on the word He gave you. Keep doing what He told you to do. If you focus on what things look like, you will begin to doubt and then you will sink. But if you sink, do what Peter did and cry out to the Lord because you are not far from His hand. He will catch you with His hand. He will hold you up with His hand. He will not allow what was sent to bless you to drown you.

But to see a difference in your life, you are going to have to do something different. Something you have never done before. For us to see change in our lives, we are going to have to change how we think and how we feel and how we used to do things.

It is time to get out of the ship. To do what God is telling you to do, to go where He wants you to go, you are going to have to leave something.

Peter left the ship to go to Jesus. What are you willing to leave? Will you come out of the ship also?  

 

[Scripture reference: Matthew 14:22-33]

 

Be Not Ashamed

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ashamed: feeling of fear or shame which prevents a person from doing a thing

When God made Adam and Eve, they were not ashamed (Genesis 2:25).  They were told not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but the serpent deceived Eve.   Despite what God said, Eve ate of the tree and then she gave some to her husband and he ate it.  They disobeyed God based upon what it looked like.  It looked good and it looked like nothing would happen if they ate it.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes… (Genesis 3:6).  They sinned and sin led to shame and fear.   And he (Adam) said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself  (Genesis 3:10).  When someone walks in shame, this is how the enemy makes them feel:

I don’t deserve anything good because I did something bad.

I’m always messing up.

I wish I could move far away.

I was so stupid.

I’ll just keep to myself. 

The bad thing is that we not only back away from people, but we back away from God.  Where are you  (Genesis 3:9)?

God created Adam and Eve to rule over everything He had given them.  When you read about them or anyone else in the bible who ran or hid (for example, Elijah and Moses), these were powerful men of God.  The reason why the enemy comes after powerful men and women of God is because he is afraid of them.  He knows you are a threat. He is afraid that the anointing on your life will destroy the yokes he placed upon people.  He is afraid that you will free many from their bondage.  He is afraid that you will tear down the walls that He built.  He also knows that if he can get you to walk in shame (or guilt or condemnation), you won’t walk in power.  To defeat the enemy, you can’t walk in shame or fear, but you must walk in the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.

You don’t think the woman at the well was ashamed?  This woman already had five husbands and now she was on the sixth husband.  I can only imagine how much she was talked about.   She probably got involved with the same type of men – the ones who belittled her and used her.   I know she felt stupid at times.  I know she was tired of the cycle.  I know she was tired of being disappointed and lied to.  But one day, she met Jesus at the well.  He didn’t humiliate her or embarrass her.  He didn’t condemn her.  He talked to her in a way that no other man had before.   He told her all the things she ever did.  The scriptures tell us that she left her waterpot, but I don’t think that’s the only thing she left.  I believe she left that sixth husband.  I believe she left shame.  She started smiling again.  In the Old Testament, you read of women going to the well together, but this woman went alone.  After her meeting with Jesus, she didn’t isolate herself anymore.  The devil wanted to silence her, but she was talking again.  She testified of Jesus and what He did in her life and many believed and received Him because of her testimony.

She probably thought God couldn’t use her because of her past.  There is nothing so dirty in your past that the blood of Jesus cannot cleanse.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness  (1 John 1:9).   There is NOW no condemnation (guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Jesus rejected the shame (Hebrews 12:2) and we should reject it, too.   Let Him make you free.  God is not ashamed of you. You don’t have to cover yourselves with fig leaves.  Let His love cover all your sins.  Let Him make you whole.

May God give you double for your shame and may you never be put to shame again.