fear

Third Day

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Jesus Christ, Barrier Buster - United Methodist Insight

As I was praying this morning, I began to pray for those who have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). I prayed that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead would raise them from their hospital bed, sick bed and death bed. I commanded those who are lying in their beds to rise up and walk. Just as God breathed into man the breath of life, I prayed that God would breathe life into those who are currently on ventilators. I rebuked premature death and I commanded the spirit of death, infirmity and fear to loose them and to let them go in Jesus’ name.

Easter/Resurrection Day is this weekend and my prayer is that many will experience a ‘third day’.

Be encouraged and have a Happy Resurrection weekend!

Take Cover

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Just as the Israelites covered the door post of their houses with the blood of a lamb for protection against the plague of death, cover yourselves, your family, your homes, schools, churches and your country with the blood of Jesus (Lamb of God) and with prayer. (I have listed some prayers below).

When I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you (Exodus 12:13).

God will deliver me from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence (Psalm 91:3).

I will not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday (Psalm 91:5-6).

A thousand shall fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand; but it shall not come nigh me (Psalm 91:7).

No evil will befall me, neither shall any plague come nigh my dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways (Psalm 91:10-11).

God, bless my food and water and take sickness from me (Exodus 23:25).

No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against me in judgment I shall condemn (Isaiah 54:17).

Lord, place a wall of fire, a flaming sword and a hedge of protection around me (Zechariah 2:5; Genesis 3:24; Job 1:10).

Above all things, I will prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers (3 John 2).

I will not die, but I will live to declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17).

I will not be ashamed when hard times come; when famine comes, I will have enough to eat (Psalm 37:19, NET)

The Lord shall cause my enemies that rise up against me to be smitten before my face: they shall come out against me one way, and flee before me seven ways (Deuteronomy 28:7).

Jesus was wounded for my transgressions, he was bruised for my iniquities: the chastisement of my peace was upon him; and with his stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).

For God hath not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Contend with him that contend with me and save my children (Isaiah 49:25).

If any flu, cold, virus, germ, sickness or disease attaches itself to my body, it will immediately die in the name of the Jesus.

 

 

 

The Answer Has Already Been Released

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Here I was asking God why He hadn’t done certain things in my life.

God, don’t you care?

You said You would take care of me.

Then an opportunity that I missed years ago came around again. 

And now I realize that God had answered my prayer years ago, but when the answer came, I didn’t recognize it because all I could see was fear and unbelief.

I’m not smart enough.

This is too good to be true.

I was like the church who was constantly praying for Peter to be released from prison, but when God released the answer – when the answer to their prayer knocked on the door, they didn’t open the door because they didn’t believe. Rhoda, a servant girl – a slave girl, recognized the answer. Not the church. And she just didn’t believe that it was Peter, but she knew his voice.

But thank God Peter knocked and knocked again until they opened the door.

And thank God that He caused the opportunity that I missed last time to knock again – until I opened the door.

For some of us, the answer has already been released and I pray that we all recognize it when it comes.

 

[Reference scripture: Acts 12:5-16]

Living Single Part III

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The fear of being alone (again) is not a good reason to stay in a bad relationship.

Come Up

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According to Psalm 99:6, Moses and Aaron were God’s priests, but He just didn’t want them to be His priests.  He wanted the children of Israel to be His priests, also.  And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6). God brought them out of Egypt to bring them to Himself.

The Lord told Moses that He wanted to speak to the children of Israel on the mount, but before they could present themselves to Him, Moses had to first sanctify them and then they had to wash their clothes. On the third day, Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, but they were not allowed to go up on the mount.  They stood at the foot of the mountain.

But when they saw the thunderings, the lightnings, the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they removed (moved away) and stood afar off (Exodus 20:18).  Moses immediately explained to them that God came to test them. God didn’t want them to be afraid of Him, but He wanted them to walk in the fear of the Lord (reverence, respect) so that they wouldn’t sin against Him.  But they chose to stand afar off while Moses drew near to God.

God picked the right person when He picked Moses to deliver His people.  I know Moses wasn’t in bondage for over 400 years, but he was a Hebrew who was raised as an Egyptian.  He learned the ways and the gods of the Egyptians too, but the difference between him and the Israelites was that he left what was behind him for Who was before Him.  By faith, he forsook Egypt (Hebrews 11:27).

One of the reasons why the Israelites kept disobeying God and going back to things God delivered them from was because they were too close to their old ways and to what was familiar.  And that was me, too.  There were doors that I kept open.  There were things and people that I refused to let go of, but what I didn’t understand was that it was those things that were hindering me and keeping me from drawing closer to God.  I didn’t understand that when I left the door open, I gave place or room to the devil (Ephesians 4:27).  I gave him an opportunity to operate in my life and to defeat me in areas that Jesus had already defeated him in.

Joseph showed us a great example of what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord. When Potiphar’s wife tried to sleep with him, he refused. My master has kept back nothing from me. He has given me everything, but he did not give me you, his wife. Because he’s been so good to me, how can I do this wickedness? How can I sin against God (Genesis 39:9, paraphrased)? The way Joseph honored Potiphar is the way we ought to honor God.  Because God has given us all things, we should give Him all of us.

The Lord is not a God afar off (Jeremiah 23:23), but some of us have been afar off from Him. God wants us to come to the mountain because the mountain is where God gives His word, laws and commandments (Exodus 24:12).  The mountain is where God wants to teach you (Isaiah 2:3). The mountain is where change takes place (Matthew 17:2).  The mountain is where God reveals (Matthew 17:5).

If Christ is in you, then you are in Him and He now calls you a new creature, but some of you are still too close to old things.  You’re too close to your past. Don’t remain at the foot of the mountain.  Come closer.  Come up higher. Let God show you who are you.  God doesn’t want you to be ignorant.  He doesn’t want Satan to deceive you and take advantage of you any longer.

When Jesus saw the fig tree, all He saw was leaves.  That was a problem because He was hungry (Matthew 21:18), but He didn’t speak to the problem.  He spoke to the root of the problem. And in the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots (Mark 11:20). Sometimes all you can see is the problem, but let God show you the root of your problem. Let Him show you what you are closest to and what is keeping you from getting closer to Him. 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me on the mountain and stay there (Exodus 24:12, NIV).

[Scripture references: Exodus 19 – 20]

 

Do Not Be Silent

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The apostles prayed for boldness (Acts 4:29-30), but the Lord didn’t give them boldness just to speak His word boldly, but to live His word boldly.  Prior to this prayer, Jesus’ disciples scattered after he was arrested.  And they all forsook Him and fled  (Mark 14:50).  Peter denied ever knowing Jesus – three times (Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 18).

Some believers call it persecution when someone talks about them or doesn’t like them, but there were men of God that were threatened, tortured, stoned, sawn in half, beaten and imprisoned because they did miracles in the name of Jesus and taught in His name.  Let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name  (Acts 4:17).  Despite the warnings and threats, the apostles kept speaking of what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:20).  And even after being beaten or sent to prison, they would rejoice and continue to preach the Lord Jesus Christ.

…and when they had called the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.   And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ (Acts 5:40-42).

The enemy wants us to be afraid because when a person walks in fear, it’s hard for them to walk in power, love and a sound mind – and it is these three things that defeat him (2 Timothy 1:7).  Fear has torment with worry, troubles and cares.  Fear will even cause you to become silent.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent’ (Acts 18:9, NIV).

John the Baptist preached repentance.  Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand  (Matthew 3:2).  And he didn’t care who you were, where you came from or what your title or position was.  John the Baptist approached a king (Herod) and told him that what he was doing was wrong.  It is not lawful (right) for you to have your brother’s wife  (Mark 6:18; Leviticus 20:21).  Although Herod and his wife wanted to kill John, he didn’t because he respected the anointing on his life so he placed him in prison instead.

And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet (Matthew 14:5).

Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him, but she could not because Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he continually kept him safe. When he heard John [speak], he was very perplexed, but he enjoyed listening to him (Mark 6:19-20, AMP).

This wasn’t a situation where the surviving brother married his brother’s childless widow so that they may have a child to carry the deceased brother’s name (Deuteronomy 25:5).  Herodias was not a widow and she had a daughter.  This relationship started out as an adulterous affair.

John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery” (Matthew 14:4, MSG).

John denounced Herod’s marriage to her as adulterous (VOICE).

John the Baptist had now become an enemy to Herodias because he preached the truth to her.  He preached something she didn’t want to hear.  His message was a call to repent or change, but she didn’t want to change.   Maybe John wasn’t telling them to divorce, but to repent for what they had done and to go back to the people they hurt and apologize.

God wasn’t condemning them.  He wasn’t trying to humiliate or embarrass them, but people who get easily offended don’t really understand how much God loves them.  God didn’t have to send a prophet to Herod and Herodias, but because He is longsuffering and doesn’t want any of us to perish, but instead come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), he sent John.

Herodias knew her husband wasn’t going to kill John so she waited for an opportunity to kill him.  And when a convenient day was come  (Mark 6:21).  That day was Herod’s birthday.  He invited very high officials to help him celebrate.  During the celebration, Herodias’ daughter danced for him.  Maybe you never thought about this, but what kind of dance did she perform that “pleased” her uncle/daddy (and all those men in attendance?  And out of excitement and a good feeling, he promised to give her whatever she asked.

After he made this promise to his niece/daughter, she went to her mom to ask what she should she ask for.  And she said, The head of John the Baptist  (Mark 6:23).  Herodias was led by the spirit of Jezebel.  And unfortunately, she was leading, teaching and training her daughter to live and behave just like her.  According to Revelation 2:20, Jezebel seduces God’s servants to commit fornication.  (Her job is to bring down those whom God has exalted and to defile that which is holy and without blemish, leaving them with a spot or wrinkle).

This is the spirit that told Herodias that it was alright to be with her brother-in-law.  This is the same spirit that ‘used’ Herodias’ daughter to dance before those men and to kill a prophet.  The enemy (in Herodias) knew he couldn’t touch John the Baptist, but all he needed was a body, a willing vessel – someone ignorant and easily deceived – to carry out his plan.

The enemy wasn’t just after John the Baptist because he was a messenger or a prophet, but he wanted to silence him because he was ‘the voice’.  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord  (John 1:23).

This is what God has called us to be – the voice!  And He doesn’t want us to be afraid of their faces (Jeremiah 1:8).  I know sometimes we don’t speak up because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or we don’t want anyone to be mad with us, but what we don’t understand is that sometimes our silence is mistaken as agreement.  When you refuse to speak against it, they will think that you must be for  it.  ‘Speaking the truth in love’ doesn’t mean that the truth won’t hurt your feelings or that a person is supposed to speak to you in a sweet, soft voice, but it does mean that someone loves you enough to tell you the truth.

Let me be clear because I don’t want anyone to misinterpret or misunderstand what I’m saying. This blog isn’t about being bold enough to tell people about themselves. This is about taking a bold stand for righteousness. This is about being holy because God is holy.

I remember one day making a comment at work (that wasn’t nice) and the coworker who heard it, laughed, but then she said, ‘I wasn’t expecting that to come out of your mouth’. You talk about conviction.  I had to repent.  We may not quote scriptures or carry a bible around at work, but people are watching me and they are watching you, too.  They know there is something different about you.  They are watching how you live and if Jesus could see the faith of the men who brought the paralytic to Him through the roof of a house, then people can see our faith.  They may make fun of you or distance themselves from you because of what and Who you believe, but don’t take it personal.  They are not distancing themselves from you, but they are distancing themselves from the Light.  For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned  (John 3:20).

I think about the many times I compromised truth just so that people wouldn’t be angry with me or in hopes that they would like me, and you know what?  All those things I did to ‘keep the peace’, gave me no peace.  I’m not telling you that fear will not come, but speak anyway – and not just through word only because sometimes the Word you live speaks better than the Word you speak.

Let your life speak. Do not be silent.

 

[Reference scriptures: Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29]