Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Dreaded Four-Letter Word

Fear is a seemingly impossible barrier to break through, especially for those of us who've been afraid for so long. Even for those who have never really struggled with deep fear, it is inevitable that you have faced or will have to face something that may be a tiny bit scary for you :) I let unhealthy fear overtake my life to the point where I retreated into myself, afraid to speak up, afraid to have a voice, afraid to live out loud... always worried of what someone would think of me. It got so bad, that I didn't even want to read those “do not fear” scriptures, because they only reminded me of how fearful I was. I still have my struggles with those same fears today, but I see a major difference in my life! I've asked the Lord over and over (and over) to help me overcome, and He is giving me the victory day by day, and even moment by moment.
Today, I was reading Psalm 56 (NLT). It's a passage I've looked over and "read," but today, it really came alive for me. In that text, David had run away from King Saul, and ran right into Philistine territory, where King Achish reigned. The name of the place was Gath, the same place Goliath was from. David was not safe there; he became very afraid because the people found out who he was. They knew he was the one who killed Goliath, and  that he had slain "his tens of thousands" (1 Samuel 21:11 NIV). The Holy Spirit helped me see that David was truly afraid. As great of a warrior as he was, fear struck his heart as he became surrounded by the threats of mere men. I can imagine David talking to himself in this 56th Psalm, musing over his present situation. But in verse 3, David tells God, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you...” and in verse 4, he comes back with the same declaration, but in a different way: “I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” Verse 11 is a repeat of verse 4, so we see that David was reassuring himself that he did NOT have to fear. He trusted God and praised God for his promises to deliver him. David also declared in Psalm 34:4 (NIV) “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” This is my prayer, that as I continually seek the Lord, He will answer me, and deliver me from all my fears. Is that your prayer today?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Remember: Take Your Medicine!

    I'm pretty sure most of us reading this post have visited the doctor for one reason or another, and had  to  get a prescription for some type of medicine. Depending on the seriousness of the illness, taking certain medicines may make the difference between us getting better, and taking a turn for the worst. Now, even though some of us were given specific instructions to take the medicine, we didn't bother with the stuff, because we're just plain hardheaded. Others of us took the medicine and found out that it made us feel worse. And still, some decided that we didn't "need that much of it," and took it at our own discretion.
    I know this may not apply to you, but as for me, I sometimes treat God's Word this way. I know it's the medicine that Dr. Jesus prescribed for me, to comfort me when I'm sad, hurting, distressed, or to remind me that I should always be full of joy in the Lord! But I don't always take it. When things are going well, or even when I feel sad and depressed in my spirit, I may not always "take my medicine" like I should. (Again, this  may not be you, maybe I'm the only one who experiences this:) The enemy knows what things will keep us from staying true to the Word, and those "things" will continue to come at us until we decide to put on our whole armor and fight back! 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around LIKE a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." We have to be aware of the enemy lies set up to keep us from going forward in the Lord! So just know this: It's always a good idea to take your "meds," even if you don't think you're getting better. The results of the medicine working are not always apparent right away, but if you follow Doctor's orders, you will come out better in the end. :)