Dialogue

Yesterday I mentioned Jeremiah and how he had asked God why it looked like there was no justice because it was going well with evil people. This is in Jeremiah chapter 12. The beautiful part of this chapter is where God answers Jeremiah and spells out how He is going to cause justice to be delivered.
In the Book of Job there are a lot of questions posed to God and in Job chapters 38 to 41 God gives Job some very complicated answers to his questions. In Daniel 9:22 the angel Gabriel comes to Daniel and gives him the answer to his prayer. And in Daniel 10:12 – 13 Gabriel explains to Daniel that he was held up for 21 days in delivering the answer by The prince of Persia and that the angel Michael had to come and help him.
Moses speaks directly to God through the whole of Exodus and God answers him. Abraham negotiates with God about Lot’s rescue from Sodom and Jacob wrestles with God all night and demands a blessing.
I can go on and on and on about how God speaks to people and about how He answers their prayers. A two way communication with God was a very common occurrence in the Old Testament. There were prophets and priests and kings who were anointed and on who the Holy Spirit rested who had access to God’s ear. Special people. Then Jesus is born and He speaks to His Father all the time. He makes it seem as natural as if He is speaking to a natural person here on earth. When Jesus is taken up to Heaven after his resurrection, the Holy Spirit is given to all believers.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 12: 12-14 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
These verses are saying that God sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper and He will teach us all things and He will also allow us to remember things which Jesus said, or in our case it would be to remember things we have heard, and read in the Word. In order to be taught we have to be able to hear. And in this case it is hearing spiritually because He isn’t going to be speaking with audible words. Also Jesus says that whoever believes in Him will be doing greater things than He did. And whatever we ask in His name He will do. Now, if we ask and He does it, it means He hears us, and if He is hearing us, why shouldn’t we be hearing Him?
How come there are so few people who claim to be hearing from God. Even some ordained ministers say that they are sceptical when people say they’ve heard from the Lord. Why should it be such an unusual thing for someone to have heard from God?
I’m speculating that people are often like the Israelites in the desert when they said God should speak to Moses and not directly to them because they were afraid. Are people afraid that God will be showing them where they are going wrong? Maybe they don’t make the effort to spend quality time with God, tuning in to hear His voice. Perhaps they are afraid to say anything when they think they do hear from God because they might embarrass themselves if people ridicule them so they just keep quiet? Have they been hurt by people who didn’t believe them?
I know that God wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us. We cannot have a relationship with anyone if there isn’t communication, and the essence of communication is speech that goes two ways. I know that there is a lot that God wants to share personally with every believer and He isn’t going to tell everything to the prophets to come and tell people. He’s waiting patiently for a dialogue with you and with me. We need to take every opportunity we have to practice hearing God’s voice. Maybe we should ask less and listen more.

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Fly above your circumstances

I was at the filling station when a man I knew pulled up in the next lane and greeted me. I asked how he was and he said, “We’re struggling,” but he said it jovially so it could really have meant anything. I thought that if it goes too well with us we won’t stay on our knees. If we don’t lack anything we really won’t need God.

Then I thought about Moses who grew up in the courts of Pharaoh. He had every resource at his fingertips. He had servants at his beck and call and he definitely never had to wonder where his next meal would come from. The princess who adopted him was the daughter of the Pharaoh. So his adoptive grandfather ruled one of the mightiest kingdoms in the world. I think I can say with certainty that Moses didn’t have a disadvantaged upbringing. The Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave and he had to flee for his life when he was found out. He stayed in the land of Midian for a few years until God called him back to Egypt to free the Hebrews from bondage.

Now what if Moses hadn’t killed the Egyptian and had stayed in Pharaoh’s palace and led a life of luxury? He might have. He would have had a nice life. But when he died he would have missed out of heaven.

How often don’t we think that if we had a better life we would be happy. We won’t have to worry about money and be stressed about where the money will come from that we need. Obviously everyone’s needs are different and wealth is relative. But we all think that way at one or other time.  Why do I have to struggle while my neighbor has it easy? Why can some people go on long holidays and I always have to count the cents. Why?

I don’t know the answers, but I do know that God uses the situations that we are in to work in our hearts. If we live a life of luxury it might be too easy to forget all about God. If we never got sick we could take it for granted that we are healthy and not look to God to live in divine health. If our children were perfect we might think that we are perfect parents and we wouldn’t pray for them. If our businesses were just churning our cash we wouldn’t have to be on our knees. What if our lives were perfect and we had lots and lots of money and we were healthy and our kids were amazing? What if it was like that but what if we didn’t know God? But what if our lives are like they are and we do know God and we think it’s not fair that God’s children would be in the situation we are.

David was God’s anointed. The Bible doesn’t leave us guessing about that. He was physically anointed by Samuel and God even called him a man after His own heart.  (1 Sam 13:14 and Acts 13:22). In Psalm 18:6 David says In my distress I called upon the Lord.

Psalm 13:1 – 2 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Psalm 69:1 – 3 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Psalm 140:1 – 3 Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men, preserve me from violent men, who plan violent things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips.

Jeremiah was a prophet of God and he complained to God. Just look at Jeremiah 12:1 – 2 Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; They grow, yes, they bear fruit. You are near in their mouth but far from the mind.

Jeremiah did not have an easy life at all. He was imprisoned and beaten and taken captive. Yet, he was chosen by God to speak to the people. Jeremiah certainly did not live a charmed life, but he knew God and that is worth far more than all the wealth in the world.

Next time I want to complain I’ll think about Moses, David and Jeremiah and instead of being miserable about what I’m going through I’ll look up, spread my wings and choose to fly above the circumstances.

Consequences

My husband and I were speaking to a young lady this morning about the consequences of drinking and gambling. Her opinion was that people are way too judgemental and that she should be left alone to do as she pleases. I have been thinking about events in the Bible and how everything that God told people to do had consequences. Every act is part of a bigger picture, but we don’t always see that picture. Everything has repercussions and does not only touch the person who makes the decision.
Just imagine if Moses had ignored God when He told him to go back to Egypt and lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Moses really didn’t want to do it and tried very hard to get out of it.
Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Verse 13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
Exodus 4:1 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’”
Verse 10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and tongue.”
And when none of those arguments phased God, Moses says in verse 13, “Oh my Lord, please send someone else.”
The consequences of Moses not going would have been far reaching. I’m sure God had a plan B if Moses did refuse, but just think of the consequences for Moses. If he saw someone else leading his people out of Egypt, can you think how he would have felt? And even though Moses had a very tough time in the desert, he was so close to God. He had the kind of relationship with the Lord that every Christian should desire. He spoke to God face to face, he even argued his people’s case so effectively that God changed His mind and didn’t destroy them all.
God called Jeremiah as a prophet and in chapter 1:6 he says, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”
God answers him, Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’ for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
We have all done things without thinking about the consequences. Sometimes we are desperate and we believe we don’t have a choice in what we do. Other times we simply don’t think. What would you say if God told you to leave your family and friends, your job, your country, your comfort zone and go to a primitive country that you’ve only vaguely heard the name of? You don’t even know where it is on the map. Would God do something like that? Surely not, because you’ve prayed and asked Him to provide you with a stable income and a caring spouse and all the things the world holds dear. That’s what God told Abraham to do. Or what if God told you to do something totally ridiculous that doesn’t make sense at all and you know that everyone is going to ridicule you. Well, God told Noah to build and ark. He wasn’t anywhere near water and it had never rained, thus nobody knew what a flood was. What about Hosea? God told him to marry a prostitute. And look at Isaiah 20:3 Then the Lord said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush…”
Ezekiel 4:4 “Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment on the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you shall lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.”
Does God tell us to do ridiculous things? Yes, I think so. But everything He tells us is for a purpose. Just like every action we take has consequences, we should learn to think about those consequences before we act.

Burn your Bridges

My husband was reading the newspaper and there was a report about the Zimbabwean government who say they are going to partially compensate farmers whose land was expropriated. There’s an Afrikaans saying that goes, “moet nooit sê fonteintjie, fonteintjie, uit jou gaan ek nooit weer drink nie.”Translated it says, “Never say, Fountain I won’t drink from you again.” In other words, don’t burn your bridges. Farmers will forever be wary of going back to farm in Zimbabwe because of what happened there. Nobody is willingly going to invest money, emotions and hard work in something that can go up in smoke in minutes. If they receive compensation now, it could be deemed as a kind of peace offering and the economy could eventually stabilize with good farmers returning.

Moses, in Exodus 2:11-25, killed an Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. He, not only became an immediate enemy of Pharaoh, who sought to kill him, but also of his own people, the Jews. Instead of seeing him as a hero because he had killed the Egyptian who had beaten a Hebrew, they distrusted him and saw him as a threat. As a result, he fled and effectively burned all his bridges behind him. If god hadn’t called him to go back to rescue his people, he definitely would never have returned to Egypt. I’m just thinking that the way he was saved from being killed as a baby, and how he grew up, should have been an indicator that there was a special assignment on his life. But it’s easy for me to say with all the information in front of me. When Moses returned to Egypt he had to do a lot of proving to his people before they would trust him. Obviously Pharaoh wasn’t his greatest fan either.

John 8:1 -11 describes a woman who had been caught in adultery. She was on the verge of being stoned to death when Jesus stopped the whole process by confronting he persecutors with the words in verse 7, “he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” In verse 1 Jesus says to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.” She had the perfect opportunity to burn all the bad bridges behind her and start fresh. I like to think that she took hold of the opportunity with both hands and started a new life.

Saul, who became Paul, burned his bridges when he became a follower of Jesus and went from a persecutor of Christians, to being persecuted. His was the original Damascus experience and as a result we have most of the New Testament. Paul was so committed to his new life that he risked everything to follow the Jesus he had been so dead set against. 2 Corinthians 11:24 -27, “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” Paul purposely burned the bridges of his past to follow Jesus, which is exactly what we must do.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  Here we are being told expressly that we have to burn our bridges and embrace our new life in Christ. We cannot, must not, go back to our old habits and our old traditions. We are brand new and we have to behave like brand new beings. Matthew 6:14 – 16, “you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The world says that it’s bad to burn your bridges, but things in the Kingdom of God work differently and it seems like burning your bridges is not a bad thing at all.

Jesus loves me, this I know

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” That’s what children have been singing for years, but do we really believe that? Do we believe that Jesus loves us and do we believe it purely because the Bible says so? Are we able to believe everything in the Bible just because it is the Bible? It shouldn’t be too difficult considering some things on the internet that people believe. There are some things that are placed on social media that are such blatant nonsense, and people actually believe them. Is it far-fetched to think that Noah built a massive boat, miles from the sea, which consequently housed representatives of every species of animals and birds for about a year, while the entire earth was covered in water. Amazingly the first rain caused the first flood. Could Moses and the entire Israelite nation have crossed the Red Sea on dry land? In the forty years in the desert their clothes and shoes never word out. What about Joshua who circled Jericho 7 times with his people causing the walls to collapse spontaneously? Then there was the rebellious Jonah who was swallowed by a big fish and stayed in its belly for three days. Elijah was fed by ravens while he hid in the desert. That was after he had been instrumental in negotiating a three year drought with God. The drought ended by fire from heaven burning up offerings on an altar that had been saturated in water. Oh yes, this fire was so fierce, the altar was consumed as well.

Then I think of Daniel who was cast into the lion’s den and was totally unharmed. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego were thrown into the fiery furnace and not a hair on their heads was scorched. Their clothing didn’t even smell like smoke. David killed a giant with a single stone shot out of a sling. King Nebuchadnezzar went mad because of his arrogance, and ate grass like an animal. He realized that his sin had caused it, repented and returned to being king! That’s just so amazing.

In the New Testament Jesus is born from a virgin. I might as well stop right there. If we don’t believe that, then believing anything else isn’t going to help one bit. In the Old Testament it is prophesied that the Messiah will be born from a virgin. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” The Gospel hinges on that fact. We need to believe the seemingly impossible in order to be saved. We need to believe things that our minds cry out against, and that don’t make sense and can’t be scientifically proven. Who knows, maybe science will catch up with the bible one day? Then of course, Jesus grows up and is baptized, after which the devil tempts him with all kinds of wonderful promises, which He resists. Then His ministry starts and He does incredible miracles like turning water into wine, walking on water and healing incurable diseases. He fraternizes with tax collectors and prostitutes, tells a woman caught in adultery that she’s free to go, and cleanses lepers. Jesus even raises his friend from the dead.

The way Jesus is framed for crimes he didn’t commit is unreal, and then He is innocently put to death by crucifixion. What happens after this is even harder to believe because on the third day in the grave He is resurrected and begins walking around like He used to among His friends. After 40 days He is taken up to heaven in plain sight of His disciples. Then some time later the disciples received the Holy Spirit. They physically saw tongues of fire descend on them, after which they started speaking in strange languages.

Someone told me last week that He doesn’t believe the whole bible because it’s just words on paper. I emphatically stated that I believe every word and I will stand by that for as long as I live. Do you believe the whole Bible?

No longer a slave to fear.

I was listening to the song, ”I’m no longer a slave to fear”, (written by Jonathan David Helser) – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k – and one line particularly struck me. The words are, “You split the sea, so I could walk right through it.” They sort of just jumped right out at me. When Moses and the Israelites were camped on the beach of the Red Sea, the Egyptian armies were closing in on them. Genesis 14:9 – 10, “So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon. And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.” Verse 13-14, “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Then the Angel of God (in the form of a pillar of cloud) went between the Egyptians and the Israelites and caused darkness on the Egyptians and light on the Israelites. This is so amazing. God’s attention to detail is magnificent. The Egyptian army is in darkness while Israel has light. Moss stretched out his hand and the sea moved back. A strong east wind caused the water to part into walls with dry land in between. The children of Israel crossed over the sea without wetting their feet. The Egyptians then followed and while they were in the middle of the sea God made the chariot wheels fall off. And God told Moses to stretch out his hand again on the other side of the sea. The waters returned to normal and the entire Egyptian army was wiped out. The Israelites even saw the dead bodies of Egyptians who had washed up on the shore.

Let’s think a bit about what happened here. The Israelites were being pursued by a mighty army and they had no means of defending themselves. They called out to God and then complained and doubted that God would help them. In spite of this, God performed and awesome miracle. The first thing that strikes me is that even though they doubted that they would be saved, God came through for them. All they had to do was go forward. That’s it! Moses had to stretch out his arm and the rest of the people had to go forward. God even said they should be still and He would fight for them. How easy is it to be still and trust God when there is great danger around you? It’s hard enough to trust God when your turmoil is internal! And the way God put the enemy in the dark and put His people in the light is just stunning. Then they go through the sea and once they are on the opposite shore He destroys the enemy. Just like that!

If God could do it for the Israelites all those years ago, will He be able to do it for us today? They were God’s chosen people. We are much more than that. We are His children if we have accepted Jesus as our savior.  John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” We can expect God to help us out of trouble. Just like a child can expect a parent to help his out of trouble. And God didn’t just help them out of trouble, He helped them onto the next leg of their journey and then He destroyed the enemy that was coming up against them. What kind of problems and trouble can God fix? Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” The answer is clear. God can do anything. Nothing is too difficult for Him.  2 Corinthians 5:7,  “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” It is so easy to be blinded by our circumstances. The Israelites saw the Egyptian army coming and they saw the sea in front of them. They didn’t see God’s plan. Fear was threatening to overwhelm them. God doesn’t give us the details of His plans to get us out of trouble before we are actually in the situation. Because we don’t know His plans we assume there aren’t any plans and we try to make our own plans, which either don’t work or just put us into more trouble.

God always has a plan, that’s all we need to remember. He will split the sea so we can walk right through it. We must no longer be slaves of fear because we are children of God.

 

Jesus or nothing

I noticed that there are so many different people eating at our shop today. Some have takeaways and others sit at the tables to have a relaxing meal. Different people with different tastes.  I live in a country with cultural diversity. I see and communicate with people of different cultures who speak different languages daily. That’s the way it is where I live and I wouldn’t want to live any other way. I know that South Africa has many problems and there’s a lot of propaganda making things seem very confusing most of the time. There are people who emigrate and others who threaten to emigrate. There are people who speak about having separate states which would house the different cultures.

From the beginning of the Bible people of the same culture couldn’t get along. Cain and Abel were the first brothers – ever – and Cain murdered Abel. Jacob and Esau were twins and they had a huge problem with birthrights and blessings. Jacob had to flee because Esau wanted to kill him. Luckily they eventually made peace with each other. Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him because he was his father’s favorite and they were getting sick and tired of all the dreams he was having about them bowing down to him. Fortunately for them they settled on selling him as a slave and he ended up saving the whole family when there was a famine. I don’t even want to get started on Moses and God’s people in the desert. That was a story of epic proportions. They just could not agree on anything. Even when God did  miracles like part the sea for them to pass through and then drown  the entire Egyptian army in that same sea, they still doubted and couldn’t just be happy following Moses. Around and around and around they went in the desert for forty years until God eventually allowed them to enter the promised land.

Then of course different cultural groups lived apart and were constantly at war with each other. Think of Israel in the time of King Saul and David who were at war with the Philistines. They were two different cultural groups. Obviously the Israelites were God’s chosen people. But even among themselves there were a lot of problems and when Saul became jealous of David he went all out to try and kill him. After Saul died and David became king, David’s son Absalom with a whole army went after David and trying to kill him. What a mess! And they were all Israelites!

It seems that the times when the Jews were in exile in other countries were the times when they actually didn’t fight as much with each other. Eventually in 1948 Israel once again became a homeland to the Jews and now of course there are terrible differences between the Jews and Palestinians but that’s another story altogether.

Why can’t we all live together and accept each other’s differences instead of being seeing the differences as obstacles. If we do what Jesus told us to do we will be able to live together. Matthew 28:19 – 20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Why don’t the people who say they are Christians just do what Jesus told them to do instead of fighting over differences in doctrines of different churches. Why don’t we all just embrace the teachings of Jesus and get over ourselves and our insecurities. We shouldn’t be worried about what people are going to say about us or think about us. We have to decide whether we are going to serve God with everything we have or if we’re not going to. There’s only one way, there’s no such thing as soft religion. You are either going to be a Jesus freak or nothing. Revelation 3:16 says, “So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold not hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”

Let us work at putting our differences aside and let us go all out and follow the Messiah!

Casey and fear

We have a dog, a puppy really, she’s almost 6 months old and she’s huge. When she gets up on her hind legs she puts her two front paws on the garden wall and looks over it. She still has all that puppy boisterousness and is extremely busy. She also wants us to think the she is the boss. Her name is Casey which means vigilant and she lives up to her name, in that very little eludes her watchful eye. At this stage I think she’s just afraid she might miss out on something. We have to be so careful when we open the front gate because she will discern it from wherever she is and come running out of nowhere. If we don’t close the gate very quickly she pushes her way past us and then the game begin, because she’s not coming back in on her own, and she’s certainly not intending getting caught. The devil and his demons are just like Casey. If there’s even a little crack in the door they will see it and try to go inside. The door is your life and it is our responsibility to keep those doors closed. If we do something like getting angry repeatedly, we are opening a door. If we keep being fearful we could end up being a nervous wreck because that door is wide open.

2 Timothy 1:7 says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” I know it’s easy to say it when you’re not living in fear. It’s easy to tell it to someone else when you’re not in that situation. I also do know what it feels like to fear. You will do anything and everything to avoid feeling that fear. You will lie in someone’s face if you have to. You will steal and cheat. You will do anything to avoid the fear. Then you will go on living in fear anyway. Fear of the fear, so to speak. Fearing the next situation when the fear will arise. Every time you fear, or lie or cheat or whatever it is you do, you open that door a little wider. Once the crack is big enough the enemy will slip in. Ephesians 4:27 says, “And do not give the devil a foothold.”

Just like Casey comes from out of nowhere to push her way through the gate, the devil will use force to get into that open door. He is not like the Holy Spirit, who is gentle. Ephesians 4;28 – 37 tell you what to do. If you’ve been stealing, stop, and get a job. Don’t let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only speak upbuilding words. Get rid of bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander. And verse 32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God forgave you.”

I know it didn’t mention fear but Paul is saying that we must stop doing the things which cause us trouble. When I see Casey coming towards the gate I react as fast as I can by slamming the gate closed. That’s what we should do in our lives too.

James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Shut that gate as firmly and as quickly as you can. Do not go on the path of fear anymore. I overcame my fears by facing up to myself. Yes, that’s right. Myself. I started to realize who I really am and what my true identity in Christ is. I turned away from the lies that the devil was telling me and started to embrace the truths and the promises the word gives me. I discovered that even Abraham was afraid and God said to him in Genesis 15:1, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” And that Genesis 18;14 asks, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” In Exodus 14:14 Moses tells the Israelites, “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” This is while the Egyptians were behind  them and the Red Sea was ahead of them.

I learned that I am the head and not the tail when I choose to serve the Lord, and that I shall be blessed going out and coming in.  As I went through the bible I found more and more promises. I know now that even if things get herd, I have nothing to fear. I know that God loves me and cares for me. Two of the most powerful verses I found are the following: Isaiah 5:12 -13, “I, even I, am He ho comforts you, who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And forget your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, because of the fury of the oppressor, when he was prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?”

I recognize when I am slipping and I close the door quickly. And as for Casey? Well, she just needs more training!