The Big, Bad Wolf

Psalm 34: 4

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Fear is a pernicious emotion. It draws us into ever deeper dread, and it draws to us all sorts of negative experiences. Once fear gets a foothold in our spirits, it invites all its little buddies to come torment us as well. We may begin with a fear of spiders or of heights only to realize one day that fear lurks around almost every corner. That is its nature. It wants to invade every part of our lives and it will if we don’t resist it. Thank God that He is our provider in every sense.

In the context of yesterday’s verse, we looked at 1 Chronicles 28: 9, “If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.” In Father’s never-ending quest to encourage and edify us, He sends us this good news today from Psalms. We discover that not only does He let us find Him but that He answers us and our needs in that moment. Going one step further, when we seek Him, He delivers us from those insipid fears that plague our heart. There is healing in His wings, so every encounter with Him brings healing. He touches our hearts, our minds and our bodies with His soothing touch. His love roots out fear even that which has been lodged in our souls for many years. There are two keys, though which will help dissolve those fears.

When we search for God with our hearts, then it is our heart which finds Him. This may seem like semantics but there is a very real principle involved. Searching with your heart opens your heart to Him. The alternative is to search for Him with our minds. I am not suggesting that is a “bad” approach, just not the most potent. If you search with your mind you will still find Him but you will learn about Him more than engage with Him. This is the case because you are presenting your mind to Him. It is best if we present our hearts to Him. Allow your mind, will, emotions and personality to aid you but go to the Lord, seek Him with your innermost being. That is your heart or more precisely, your spirit.

Second, relinquish your fears to the Lord. Begin in a space where you accept and acknowledge that fear has no place in your heart. Expect Yahweh to vanquish those fears. This scripture reveals that if we are afraid, we have need of deliverance. I think we live in a time when we have come to accept fear as part of life. That is the exact opposite of the message the Father is communicating to you. His intention is to deliver you from fear. This means that you must let go of it. That can be harder than it sounds because you are surrounded by people who, almost proudly, confess to being fearful of at least something. Secondly, you may have lived with fear a long time. The familiarity may make it difficult to release the hold it has on you and that you have on it.

Fear is, functionally, a distrust of God. We don’t think of it that way, but it is true. To live with fear is to say to God that you don’t trust Him. The fear of heights or whatever is stronger, bigger and louder than your faith in God. Does that sound harsh? It is not my intention that it scald you. There is, however, an even more accurate way to articulate fear, if you can bear it. Fear is faith in Satan. It is the acknowledgement that he has power in your life and over your life. Deny that obscenity. Faith in God vanquishes fear because there can be no fear where the love of God prevails. Fear is like the big, bad wolf in the story of the three little pigs. He was big and frightening but, in the end, he was overcome, defeated.

Therefore, whatever that area is where fear has taken hold, infuse it with the love of God which has the power to deliver. Speak faith words over it. Do not continue to confess fear but rather replace those fear expressions with ones of faith.

Father is on site to deliver you from all your fears. He has promised you that if you will seek Him, not only will He answer you, but He will give you His deliverance. Don’t live below the God level, the level of life Jesus died to give you. Do not tolerate fear in your life. It is not of God nor meant to be a part of you. Call on the Almighty to be a keeper of His promises and present your heart to Him for healing and restoration.

No Answer

Isaiah 50: 2

Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?

I can tell you why there was no one to answer when God called. We were not listening. Though God has opened our ears, many of us have lost the ability to hear His voice.

This verse suggests that one of the reasons people have stopped listening for God to speak is unbelief in God’s ability to help our very present situations. One does not call out to Him when there is not sustainable belief in His ability or willingness to improve the condition. “Is My hand too short,” He asks. Is there no one who believes in His saving power and is that why we have turned a deaf ear to His call?

Yahweh God really is looking for people to walk and talk with. Through Jesus we have been restored to our ordained Eden status. We can walk and talk with God as Adam did, but when God showed up in the garden to talk with us, no one was there. When He called out, no one answered.

If this does not grieve your heart, you will understand why it is hard to hear Him. It is not only you. Most of us have become desensitized to His voice and our hearts have formed scar tissue which prevents us from feeling His grief. Subsequently, that fibrous layer of scar tissue hardens our heart and even makes it difficult to hear Him speak.

God is calling to you right now. He is calling to us all. This is not a generalized statement. He really is calling out to you, specifically you. He wants to be your best friend and I do mean that literally. How do you soften your heart? How do you allow your ears to hear? We must allow ourselves to feel. We need to learn to approach God in prayer seeking His heart and His emotions. From there, the next thing we can do is to meditate on the Word about deliverance. We need to read the scriptures until we find stories that speak to our hearts and then meditate on them. Also, read them over and over again. Don’t let them out of your eyes. This will help you to build trust.

Third, start a trust project. Identify something small that you can give to God, some project you can trust Him with. Then give it to Him and let go. You can check in with Him each day and see if there is anything He wants you to do. When you are successful trusting Him through something small, your trust will grow. Now adopt a bigger project. Keep going until you are a faith giant.

God is calling you. Answer Him. Open the ears of your spirit to His voice and make a new best friend.

Great and Mighty Things

Jeremiah 33: 2 – 3

Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Come on! It is time to shout! God has promised to give us revelation, to tell us of the great and mighty things. This is one of the greatest promises ever! The Amplified version brings out that He is not only going to tell us these amazing things, but that He is going to show them to us as well.

This declaration is made in the context of He who made the earth. In other words, Yahweh is many things; God, Father, healer, provider, etc. but in this statement, He wants you to hear Him from the perspective of the creator. He made the earth and hung it in the vastness of space. He understands how all the systems of earth and space work. He made us and knows what makes us tick. From that point of view He says “call to Me and I will answer you.” That is promise number one. If you seek Him, you will find Him.

Promise two is, when you call out to Him, not only will He answer you but He will go beyond answering to revealing. Don’t you like that? There are mysteries in the world, and for that matter, beyond the world. Your Father wants to show you all these great and mighty mysteries. Our Father wants to tell us how things work, to show us the intricacies of the universe. It is said of Einstein that the theory of relativity came to him while he was meditating, just pondering the way of things. Could it be that in that moment of silent musing, God showed him the great and mighty things that he did not know? Why not?

Like Einstein, the answer you seek may still be hidden in the stars, but no worries. You know the guy who made the stars and positioned them in heaven. Isn’t that just mind boggling? He not only is willing to reveal hidden mysteries to you, He actually wants to. So, what great mystery are you pondering? What question would you like to ask? Sometimes when you think in these terms, the everyday troubles shrink, and that isn’t a bad thing. Call Dad. He is waiting to talk with you. He has phenomenal revelations to give to whomever He can find to listen.

Here I Am

Isaiah 58: 9

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”

There are no ands, ifs or buts about today’s verse. It is very plain. When you call, God will answer.

Don’t you get the notion from reading this verse that God is standing on GO just waiting for someone to call. The question I have for you is, “Is this an absolute promise from God?” We need to have a definitive answer for that question. For many years I cried out to God wanting more of Him and yet I felt like I was in the middle of a vast desert with no one hearing my calls. Once I learned that He was awaiting me, I have never been back to the desert. When I learned about this verse, I came to expect Him to answer and He always has. If you are not expecting an answer your tuner will always be on the wrong frequency and that is all there is to it. God’s answer is, “Here I am.” He is ready to show you right where He is so that you can always connect with Him. If you ask, “God, where are you,” the answer is, “Here I am.” Now, don’t you consider that good news?

Every single time you call, the Lord answers so my advice is call Him today.

Make a Wish

1 Kings 3: 5

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish me to give you.”

Wouldn’t we all like for God to appear to us with the promise to grant whatever we wish? That is what happened to Solomon. As you probably know, Solomon asked God for an understanding heart so that he would know how to rule God’s people. God was pleased with Solomon’s wish and granted him not only great wisdom but also riches and honor. God also promised long life if Solomon would continue to walk in the statutes and commandments.

I wonder sometimes if God isn’t posing the same question to us today? Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7: 7). “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14: 14). Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full (John 16: 24). If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15: 7). Perhaps, then, it is true that the Father is making us the same offer He made Solomon.

What is your Solomon wish?

Solid as a Rock

Isaiah 58: 9

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and he will say, “Here I am.”

When you call, he will answer. “Well,” people say, “I cannot feel him. I cannot hear his answer.” I know that is problematic so I want to address it. See God works in faith rather than in feelings. That is why we are not to go by feelings but rather by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The Word is our anchor, not our feelings. Feelings can be fickle and they can be influenced by a host of exterior and interior stimuli. The Word, on the other hand, is solid. It is the rock. Once you find a passage of scripture which speaks to your situation and latch on to it, then it becomes the final say in the matter. You don’t sway or let your emotions move you off of what the Word says. So, since the Word says that when you call, He answers, then you must choose to believe that rather than choosing to believe the emotion which says, “I cannot feel him.” Tell your emotions that they do not rule you and that you are not motivated by feelings; rather you are motivated by the Word of God. It does take some practice but you will find in a short time that you will begin to stand firmly. As your emotions recede to their proper place you will begin to hear the Father more clearly and you will feel him too. Trust in the Word for it has the power to change situations. Trust the Word because it is the anchor you need. Trust the Lord for He will answer.

The Rescuer

Psalm 91:15

He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.
    
This is an absolute promise from God and it means that when you were in trouble, God was with you. Whether or not you were aware of his presence, He was with you. He has promised to rescue you from your trouble. He has said it so he will do it. We have only to believe and receive it.  

We do not receive with our eyes though; we receive with our hearts. We don’t look with our eyes to see what God will do or what he is doing. We receive with our hearts despite the way the circumstances around us appear. No matter what someone says about the circumstances the truth is in God’s promises. You cannot convince me that our Father is not present in my time of trouble. Nothing you say will persuade me. That is what it means to be fully persuaded by God’s promises. We choose to believe God’s promises over any other evidence that anyone can present. God said he is with us in our time of trouble and that settles it.

Just this weekend I was with someone who has been challenged. Some weeks ago her husband fell asleep while driving and their young child was in the car with him. He crossed over into oncoming traffic, crossed back to his side of the road, went into a ditch and flipped the car. He had to be cut out of the car and the child seat is a total loss. Both the father and the child are afraid to get back in a car. I asked her how she would explain to her child that God is looking out for them and protecting them. In response she showed me the photographs of the damaged car. Without the Lord they would both be dead instead of banged up. She has an understanding that God didn’t cause the accident. She also knows how bad things would have turned out if He had not shown up on the scene the instant they needed Him.  

Her recent experience is why you can’t look with your eyes or your reasoning to discern God’s presence and help in the time of need. One with less discernment and less wisdom could easily conclude that God was not with her son and husband on that fateful day but her heart knows the truth and she cannot be persuaded otherwise.  

Thanks be to God who is with us every day and who answers every time we call, who is always with us in times of trouble; the God who rescues and honors us.