Fear The LORD

26 So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. ~ Matthew 10:26-28

Jesus is instructing His hearers not to be afraid of men, for the most that men can do to one another is to kill the body and can do no more. You might say, “Well, that is a pretty significant thing, don’t you think?” And yes, it is. Nobody looks at dying as something desirable. No, it is written in the fabric of our DNA to live. God Himself said, “Live and increase and do not decrease.” But it is the spirit of suicide that entices young and old to commit suicide.

Jesus said that He came so that we may have life and life more abundantly. So, it is Jesus’ will and it is the Father’s will that we live and prosper. But even with that, the fear of death is not something that we believers hang on to, but when confronted with the choice to die or to renounce Jesus, we choose death. Man then can kill the body and can do nothing else, while there is a great and awesome day of the LORD that is coming when the sheep will be divided from the goats and the sheep will enter eternal life, but the goats will go away to eternal punishment. That is called the second death.

This is what Jesus was warning the people about. Not to be afraid of those people who can only kill the body and can do nothing else. But rather, fear God, who can not only kill the body but has the authority to cast the soul into hell. That is who we ought to be fearing.

The fear of God is so out of place today that we don’t even understand what it means to fear God. We don’t fear Him the way we fear and are terrified of some big, bad ogre-dictator. But a healthy fear like you would fear your earthly father. It is this fear that keeps us in line and stops us from indulging in blatant sin. Coupled with the love that we have for Jesus compels us to keep His commandments, and to love others. It demands that we forgive and overlook other people’s faults, all because we fear God.

Do you fear God? Have you made Him your personal savior? All you have to do is to ask for His forgiveness and He will forgive you.

Heavenly Father, please forgive me of my sins, and please erase my iniquities from before Your eyes. Help me to have a healthy fear of You so that I can please You with my thoughts, my words, and my deeds. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Fear God

19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on Him at that very hour, for they perceived that He had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. ~ Luke 20:19

Jesus had just told the Pharisees a parable about the Wicked Tenants, and rightly so; they perceived that He had told the parable about them. So, what do they do? They plan to kill Him. But do you know what stayed their hand? The fear of the people is what stopped them from laying their hands on Jesus right then and there. Not fear of God Himself, but fear of man. Think about this: they planned to kill God, but they feared the people! Talk about having your priorities wrongly aligned. But that is the problem; there is no fear of God, plenty of fear of man, but no fear of God. Jesus said this,

But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!

Luke 12:5

People and ministries are running around with no fear of God, doing whatever pleases them as if there are no consequences. There are always consequences. Good or bad, there are always consequences to every action. God is not expecting you to live your life in fear and cowering, but He does expect you to fear the consequences of your wrong actions.

Remember, one day Jesus will judge the living and the dead and will assign to each their just reward. To those who make good choices, eternal life. To those making bad choices, eternal punishment away from His presence. I would encourage you today to fear God and not man. Do not worry about their threats or their accusations.

A time is coming when those who stand up for Jesus will suffer persecution. They will be thrown in jail and have their stuff confiscated, and some will even be killed, but know this: God will never leave those who love Him and fear His name. Jesus is soon coming back; be prepared and do not fear man.

Heavenly Father, teach me how to fear Your great and mighty Name. Teach me Your ways that I may always stand in awe of You and serve you wholeheartedly, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Don’t Let Fear Suffocate

36 Their father Jacob said to them, “It’s me that you make childless. Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything happens to me!” ~ Genesis 42:36CSB

Jacob was now an extremely old man. He had little over a decade of his life left. Joseph was gone, and in his mind, Joseph was dead. Now that there is a famine in the land, and they go to Egypt to get food, Simeon is left behind until they return with Benjamin. Jacob’s whole world seems to be crashing down. His faith that his sons will be okay is seemingly completely gone, and, in its place, fear has overtaken him. Little did Jacob realize God was trying to restore his sons that were gone to him once again, by forcing him to face his fear and have a little faith.

Today, the Church is in the same position as Jacob. We’ve seen our children fall into darkness and taken from us, and we begin to lose hope of them ever returning. We begin to have fear of our children we still have being taken from us as well. We allow fear to control us instead of walking by faith and not by sight.

See, Jacob never saw Joseph’s dead body; he came to the conclusion that his son had been ripped to shreds and was dead. Now, Simeon had been kept in Egypt until they brought Benjamin before him. Fear had completely consumed him, but God had a plan not only to redeem Joseph to him but to rescue his entire family from dying of starvation during the famine.

Sometimes, you have to face your fear in order to see a breakthrough in your prayers. You have to walk by faith and not by sight. Your child may be far off and led astray by the world, but as long as their heart is still beating, there is hope. So, don’t give up. Don’t let the enemy convince you that he’s won the war by showing you all that’s gone wrong. Instead, look to God, who turns everything to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Dear LORD, please forgive me for every time I’ve given into fear. Please strike fear from my heart and help me to build my faith. Teach me how to build my faith in You so that I might be perfected in Your love. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Beware The Unquenchable Flame

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. ~ Mark 9:43

33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? ~ Matthew 23:33

Jesus referred to Hell as a place of unquenchable fire that some are sentenced to while others are not. This is because Hell is a place you’re sentenced and thrown into, not a place your soul goes to simply because you have died. Otherwise, we would need to fear man just as much as God because Jesus made this very clear that it is the power of God that can destroy both body and soul in Hell (Matthew 10:28)

If Hell is just a place you go when you die, then this argument that Jesus is making for why you should fear God and not man is silly because anyone who kills you would be sentencing you to Hell because that’s the realm of the dead. No. Jesus wasn’t talking about the realm of the dead. Jesus was talking about something much worse. Something more terrifying than just the realm of the dead. Jesus was talking about a place that was created, not for mankind to go when they die, but for the Devil and his angels as an unquenchable fire. An eternal flame of torment.

Therefore, there is no reason to fear man because man can only destroy the body, but the soul no man can touch or harm. This is why we only fear God, for it is God who makes the final judgment call on where our soul will spend eternity based on our actions in this life. When it comes down to offending God or man, it is better to offend man, for God is only offended by evil, and evil will only lead to eternal destruction away from Him.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Beware The Unquenchable Flame.

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The Path of Fear

The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give Him glory. 10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish 11 and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. ~ Revelation 16:8-11

After the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ, those who took the Mark of the Beast and worshipped its image had to endure seven bowls filled with the wrath of God. The bowls were plagues poured out on them. Instead of looking up to God and pleading for mercy, they refused to repent, even going as far as to curse Him. John tells us that during this time, they could even see into Heaven and see God seated on His throne because the sky was rolled up like a scroll (Revelation 6:12-17). So, why didn’t they repent? Why, instead, did they curse God? Fear.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda

John, in his letters, explained that fear has to do with punishment, and perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18-21). Their fear of God and His wrath led to anger because they didn’t dwell in the perfect love of God. They had no chance against their punishment; they couldn’t stop the plagues. They couldn’t do anything to combat His wrath. Their fear led to anger, their anger led to hate, and their hate led to more suffering. They didn’t repent, and more bowls were poured out on them.

God always gives us a chance to repent. He never takes hope away from us because He is the source of hope. One day, Jesus is going to break that Eastern Sky to return for His people. On that day, fear will take over the hearts of those who are left. Their hearts will harden just as Pharaoh’s heart did so many years ago, hate will take over them, and history will once again repeat itself. Don’t put off your salvation; tomorrow may never come. Today is the day of salvation. Accept Christ while you still can and cling to His promises. Let Him transform you in His perfect love so that you might escape the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Avoid The Path of Fear.

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The Plague of Fear

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is one of the oldest spirits to oppress mankind. It plagued Adam and Eve, forcing them to hide from God. It’s a dividing spirit that separates us from God. It keeps us a slave to it through one thing, faith in it.

Fear only works if you believe in it. Fear has to convince you to believe him before he has any power. See, all other spirits can oppress you even if you don’t believe they exist. Addiction, lust, anger, etc., don’t need you to believe they have you or are a problem for them to overtake you, but fear you have to believe exists before it can overtake you.

Dear LORD, please break the chains of fear off of me. Please strengthen my faith in the love You have for me because it’s in Your perfect love that the power of fear is broken. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Closed-Eyes Prayers

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). ~ Matthew 1:23

Have you ever been praying but feel as though you aren’t alone? Like there’s something in the room with you, and it makes you uneasy? It makes it difficult to close your eyes because you feel like there’s something there? This happens to me sometimes. Then, a thought came to me as I struggled to keep my eyes closed:

What good is your eyes being opened vs. closed? If there is something there, what will your eyes being opened do? Will it suddenly make it disappear? Do you have more faith in what your eyes can or cannot see than in the God who says I will go before you and behind you?

See, we humans were created in time bound to the physical world by our physical bodies. We think in a very physical and natural sense. Our eyes are some important that Jesus described them as being the gateway or door of the soul. So, when we can’t see something with our eyes, it’s hard to trust that it’s there. Fear capitalizes on this sense.

Because we can’t see God with our natural eyes, it’s difficult for us to fully put our faith in Him. We trust Him but not fully because the unseen, the unknown, it still causes fear to enter our minds and hearts. Fear can manifest in many ways: doubt, worry, anxiety, terror, etc.

The root of all fear is the lack of love. See, perfect love casts out all fear because it’s within that perfect love we no longer put our faith in what we can see but in the God that we cannot see. Dwelling in the perfect love of God is saying all my faith is in Christ, so I don’t need to fear what may happen. It’s putting all of your faith into the promise:

He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Jesus hasn’t left you. He’s still with you. He’s Immanuel, God with us. He dwells in us, through us, and is in constant intercession for us. He even baptized us in His Holy Spirit so that we might never be without Him. Nothing can separate us from that love. The moment we believe that is the moment we give life to that verse, and we’re filled with the very power of God, for He will send His angels concerning you.

Jesus may not be here physically, but He is with us spiritually. He is Immanuel. Don’t allow the enemy to strike you with Fear. Know your God, for He is come.

Dear LORD, please strengthen my faith this Christmas season. Please help me not to end this year the same way I started it. Help me to dwell in Your perfect love and keep in step with Your Holy Spirit. Please cover me in Your perfect blood and keep Your angels watching over me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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The Dangers of Ungodly Fear

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. ~ Exodus 20:18-21

The people of Israel feared and trembled when they saw and heard the glory of God. In other words, they let ungodly fear overtake them, and they stood a far off from God. Ungodly fear is a predator. It will separate you from God, and it will cause you to stand a far off. But Godly fear will cause you to run to God.

Make no mistake, Moses was afraid as well, but his fear was a Godly fear, the kind of fear God requires us to have. It is called the fear of God. A healthy fear that gives you reverence for the LORD and the things of the LORD.

After fear overtook them, they said, “You speak to us, Moses, but do not let God speak, for we will die.” People have this ungodly fear of God still to this day. They believe that if you make one mistake, He will strike you down. Like God is waiting in heaven, looking intently for you to make one mistake so He can kaput you. Or if you go out on a Sunday, God will cause you to die. You can’t do this or do that without severe consequences. God is not waiting for you to make the wrong move, and bam, “Turn Over.” That is what happens with ungodly fear.

The Israelites refused to hear God for themselves; thus, they refused to know Him. They wanted Moses to hear God for them. The only problem with that is you have to hear God for yourself in order to know Him for yourself, and you can only know Him by talking with Him (prayer), reading His Scriptures (it’s His revealed word about Himself), and meditating on God’s word and letting Him speak to you.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Don’t Let Ungodly Fear Overtake You.

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Share Your Testimony

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:19-20

I recently read the testimony of an ex-gang member who got saved in prison. He talked about how when he met Jesus, he refused to look back. He shared his faith with anyone willing to listen, even if it got him killed in prison. He would lead Bible studies in prison, pray for inmates, and even going as far as to witnessing to the guards. He was a man on a mission to share his testimony with as many people as he could.

He didn’t care if it got him killed. Christ changed his life for the better, and he wanted to share that with anyone willing to listen. He truly picked up his cross and followed Christ with all that was within him. Whereas we who are free are more in bondage than he who was locked up. How? Because of fear. Fear keeps us silent. It keeps us from sharing our testimony. His single testimony created a mini-revival in his prison. Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome the devil with the blood of the Lamb (salvation) and the word of our testimony (sharing what Christ has done for us).

There’s a reason the world tells us to keep religion out of the workplace, schools, government, and even society as a whole. Because if each Christian were to begin to tell anyone willing to listen what Christ has done for them, then the world would begin to change. We would see a revival in the land. We would see the glory of God begin to manifest in our lives and those around us. We would see God move in our midst. If we are a part of the Church, then we already have salvation; we already have the blood of the Lamb. Now, all that’s left is for us to begin to share our testimony with others.

You don’t have to be a theologian. You just have to tell others what Christ has done for you. Yes, I believe every Christian should study the Scriptures daily, but you don’t have to know everything before you can share your testimony. You could have gotten saved that same night and begin sharing all that God has done for you. There is power in talking about Christ and what He’s done for us.

Dear LORD, help me to never remain silent when it comes to You or the things of You. Teach me to be bold and confident. Raise me up so that I might not be afraid. Help me to speak truthfully of all the good things You have done for me, and may the words of my testimony be like a fire kindling a flame of love for You within all who hear and listen. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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The Snares of Fear

15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.” 18 Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.” 19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. ~ Exodus 32:17-19NIV

Joshua was chosen to lead God’s people after Moses, but why? Some could say it was because he was Moses’ right-hand man. But again, why was that? Maybe it was because he hadn’t been defiled by the Golden Calf. Maybe it was because he never lost faith and was waiting outside the camp for Moses, while everyone else allowed their own fears to take over and cause them so that they sinned. Joshua seemed to never lose faith in the LORD regardless of how others around him acted and/or reacted.

It’s so easy to fall into the traps and snares of Fear when you’re going through a season of dwelling in the unknown. See, Joshua knew where Moses was. He was on the mountain. Joshua knew what Moses was doing. He was speaking to God, receiving the commands. Joshua even knew what he was supposed to be doing. He was to remain waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain. Nevertheless, he didn’t know how long that would take. He didn’t know the time Moses would return.

If they all knew the time Moses was going to come down the mountain, then they wouldn’t have been so frightened because they had a set time and place as comfort for them. The thing is, God doesn’t always work in the comfort of the known. Sometimes, He only gives you enough that you’re in a place where you have to whole-heartedly without any reservations trust in Him. Many of us are right here. We know that we have to wait, but what do we do while we wait? We pray.

Moses was a type of Christ. He was a deliverer. If we are in the same position as Joshua (which we all are because we are all awaiting the return of Christ, and the exact date of His return is unknown), what do we do while we wait? We win souls. We preach and teach the Gospel. We stay awake. We cry out, ‘Come, Jesus, come.’ Some of us are waiting for Moses to come down off the mountain in a specific area of our call. It’s a season of waiting for a response that we don’t know when it will come. What do we do? We teach and preach the Gospel. We make disciples of all nations. We seek the face of God. We fulfill the requirements of the call that is plain to us. We pray for the answer to come.

Dear LORD, when You remain silent during a season of our lives, help me to remain at the foot of the mountain. Help me to remain worshipping in Your presence, or at the very least, as close as I can get to Your presence. Help me to not be defeated or be afraid. Help me to not be overwhelmed or overcome by Fear; instead, help me to be perfected in Your perfect love so that Fear has no hold on me. Help me to remain faithful in the silence. Help me to remain faithful regardless of what season I’m in. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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