Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Why Are You Fearful?
You don't have to look very far to see that the world is in chaos. It's my belief we are in the last days and that Jesus is coming back very soon. Things are not going to get any better before He returns. So in order to stand up in the midst of a chaotic world and remain strong when all around us seems to be caving in, we have to learn to resist fear and walk in faith. There is no way of getting around this for a child of God.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Some translations say timidity, or cowardice instead of fear. That is not what God called us to be; fearful, timid, or cowardly. Fear always leads to failure, they go hand in hand. They feed off of one another and can cause a spiral of doubt and unbelief that seems hard to overcome. There is a way out, but we have to do what the Word of God says to do. We have been redeemed from fear yet we have to receive this truth and begin to walk it out.
This is something I have had to deal with in my own life, and I know that the truth I am sharing is not only practical but powerful as well. I would like to share some of my own testimony with the hope that others will see the power of the truth of the Gospel and realize they don't have to let fear dominate them anymore. You can walk free just as I have.
When I was almost 6 years old I was getting ready for bed one night when I had a terrifying experience. I heard a voice that to me seemed audible. This voice began to speak against God using very strong language. I was only a child but I instantly knew that this was some kind of an evil spirit, I also knew this was blasphemy. I didn't know what blasphemy was as I was only 6 years old, yet I heard on the inside of me, this is blasphemy, and clearly understood what that meant. This went on for what I guess was a minute or so, then the voice spoke to me and said, what I just did I am going to force you to do. I was so terrified that I ran into my bedroom and closed and locked the door and was afraid to come out for some time. I was too afraid to even tell my mother as I thought she would think I was crazy. I realize that children can have vivid imaginations but this was a very real and terrifying experience that negatively changed my life. A spirit of fear came upon me and greatly affected me to the point where I became withdrawn and very shy. I became timid and fearful.
At the age of 17 I gave my heart to the Lord and that extreme timidity and shyness seemed to diminish, yet there remained a shyness and a hesitancy that sometimes still lingered. Mindsets have to be broken before new ones can take hold and grow. I was very afraid of getting up in front of people to speak and knowing this was the very thing the Lord Jesus called me to do. At the age of 19 He spoke to me and told me He had called me to teach. I told Him He had called the wrong person. The truth is that God doesn't ever make mistakes; He takes great joy in taking the weak things of this world and confounding the wise. I certainly qualified.
God never fails and we will only fail if we refuse to trust in Him. I later stepped out in faith and went to Bible school and applied myself, yet after graduation I was still hesitant to step out and do what God had called me to do. I allowed myself to get discouraged and walked away from my God given calling and purpose. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no more miserable person on the face of the Earth. I failed not because I was afraid but because I let that fear dominate me to the point where I let it keep me from doing what God had ordained me to do.
After many years of this I finally came to myself like the prodigal son and turned back to God. I told him I would speak in front of people even if my knees were shaking and my voice was trembling. (This seemed like the hardest thing that I could imagine doing.) If you've ever dealt with extreme shyness then you know what I am talking about. As I began to step out in faith I found out through the course of time that it became easier as I learned to walk in the grace that God had given to me for that very purpose. I've come to think of grace as God's enablement. You won't find God's grace until you step out in faith and begin to do what God has called you to do. Grace and faith work together to work out God's purpose. God will supply the grace and we have to walk in faith. Yet He is the author and finisher of that as well.
I would like to encourage any who are struggling with their destiny because of fear to realize that God will not only prepare you but He will make that way for you as well. We can do nothing without faith, it is a requirement. He will give us direction and expect us to step out and simply trust Him. He has always come through when I stepped out on a limb simply trusting in Him. When Joshua and the children of Israel were to cross the Jordan River, they didn't see the waters part until the priest carrying the Ark of the Covenant had all fully stepped into the waters of the River. (Joshua 3:13). This seemed like a crazy thing to do, as the very thing that could have destroy them became the path to their deliverance.
If the devil can keep you down because you are too afraid to step out, then he has won the battle without even having to fight. I almost lost this fight because of my hesitancy to step out and be obedient to the calling on my life.
At one point in time I asked the Lord why He allowed this to happen to me. I didn't get an answer right away and years later I learned why. Sometimes we don't have the spiritual maturity or understanding to receive the answer at that given point in our life. Firstly, God allows things but that doesn’t mean He is the author of them. Satan would have destroyed me before I could even start and that certainly wasn’t God's doing. Secondly as I grew in understanding and enlightenment I came to understand that in life we all have been given the privilege of making decisions. God will always honor our decisions even if they are not the right ones. He will do whatever it takes to show us the right path, but we must choose ourselves. He tells us in His Word to choose life, yet it is still our choice to make. He has given us a free will to choose our own path, and we will be held accountable for our decisions. He wants us to choose Him of our own free will, yet we will never be forced, only encouraged to make the right decisions. I am so glad I made the decision to follow after Him. As I have stepped out in faith, sometimes still feeling timed and afraid in the natural, I have learned God's grace is more than sufficient to help me in every circumstance and endeavor that He has called me to complete. When I trust in Him I will never fail. Glory to God.
Paul went through a great trial where a messenger of Satan was buffeting or beating him. He went to the Lord about this only to have the Lord tell him... 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
So many Christians have taken this to mean that the Apostle Paul was left weak so that Christ’s power would be upon him. First of all this was a messenger of Satan, not of God. We are given very direct instructions in the Word of God telling us to resist the devil. God's Word doesn’t contradict itself does it? Let’s look at a couple of examples.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
As we that as we do as we are instructed, we will be perfected, strengthened, and settled, by the God of all grace. Wow!
James said a very similar thing, he said in ... James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'' 7. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
What Peter and James said was just as true for us today as it was for the Apostle Paul. As we submit ourselves to God we are given grace to defeat the enemy at every point. Paul didn't stay defeated. He declared boldly in the book of Romans...
Romans 8:37-39. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul overcame every obstacle that Satan threw his way. Satan's job is to kill, steal, and destroy, but he cannot do this to a child of God who learns who he is and stands fast in that knowledge. Paul didn't stay weak; Christ's strength was perfected in that weakness as Paul trusted in Him and stood fast against the messenger that Satan sent to try to stop him.
Saying that Christ's strength is perfected in weakness is not saying we will stay in a constant state of weakness, it is saying though I was weak and afraid I can now stand strong in the Lord. His Word even tells us to let the weak say I am strong. (Joel 3:10)
I began to do this very thing. I told the Lord I would go anywhere and say anything he gave me to say. I am still growing in this grace, but thank God I am not where I used to be. If you are someone who has dealt with fear then there is hope, you can declare this with me.
I will rise up in Jesus name and walk in the authority that Jesus has transferred to me. I will rise up and faint not in the day of adversity. I will rise up and walk worthy of a child of God. I will rise up to my place of authority and leadership. I will rise up and boldly declare God’s Word to be true. I will Rise up, I will Rise up! The day is at hand, I will not turn to the right or left, but face straight ahead, and see God’s glory poured forth over the Earth. Glory to God. Amen
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, “…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (Jn.6:37),
So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, “… with the heart one believes to righteousness…” and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God! Glory to God!!!! Amen.