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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fear Nothing

I am not a stone. I have heard men claim that they never need encouragement, that they can go throughout their life, chin up, head held high, wading through whatever difficulty may come with the greatest of ease. I don’t know if I really believe such claims, since even the Son of God needed encouragement, even the Christ needed to be strengthened, but if the claims prove to be true, I envy such men.
I woke up this morning less than enthusiastic about facing the day’s many challenges, and as I often do, turned to the Word for some solace and comfort. Often times God chooses to speak to us through His Word in such a way that a few verses can ease even the greatest of distress. Yes, it would be more interesting and it would make for a better post if I had heard an audible voice, or had a supernatural experience, but just going to God’s Word was sufficient for me on this particular day.
God knows what we need when we need it. Vitamin C is all well and good, but you can take it by the truckloads and still not get rid of a toothache. The beauty of our heavenly Father’s comforting is that it comes not only at the right time, but also in such a way that it has the intended effect.
I opened my Bible this morning to Psalm 46, a well-known passage in the Word, but one that I was able to see in a new light due to the way I was feeling.
Psalm 46:1-11, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the mist of her, and she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”

Seeing the world as it is, and not as we envision it to be is enough of a reason to spark fears into the hearts of many a soul. The fears are all encompassing, ranging from fear of being unable to provide for one’s family in the coming years, to fear of persecution, to fear of yet another global nightmare called a world war. We know dark days are coming, we have been forewarned and some have even been called to sound the trumpet of impending judgment, yet seeing it so close, witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy, it makes one’s heart skip a beat if not two.
Although the world has every right to fear, the children of God must be fearless in these days. We have found the cure for the fear that is plaguing mankind, and the only place this cure is found is in God. A true child of God knows that he has a refuge and strength in the Father even during the darkest of times. A Christian must know beyond doubt that even in the eye of the storm, God is there. He is ever present, and His promises to His children are not mere empty words, but guarantees that come what may, He is with us. We have provision not by earthly means, but by way of God’s miraculous ability to provide.
Yes, nations may rage, kingdoms might be moved, but in the midst of all these things God will help His beloved. We are about to behold the works of the Lord, and witness as He makes desolations in the earth. It must be so, for He is a just God, and His is a righteous judgment. In the midst of these things, we as His beloved children must fear nothing. If only for a second we would be still, if for an instant we would learn to hear His voice, we would know that He is God, and He is able.
I share this with you, because it strengthened me this morning, and I pray that it will be a comfort and strength to some of you.
I wish I can say, as some are saying that the worst is behind us, it was just a glitch in the machine, that the failsafe system has kicked in and we are back on track to a glorious future, but even those who are saying such things are only saying them halfheartedly because the storm clouds grow denser and darker with each passing minute.
Our earnest desire now more than ever must be fellowship with God, and nothing more. When we seek fellowship with Him, and by repentance, righteousness and humble petition achieve it, our place of refuge, our provision, our peace and our joy become a byproduct of that fellowship. If however we seek the provision, and the refuge while bypassing the fellowship we will discover the vanity of what we pursued only when it is too late. Every fulfillment of God’s promises to His children flows through intimacy with Him. The best way I can describe it, is that intimacy with God is the river that carries the fulfillment of His promises to us.
I stress this point because it is inevitable that voices once more rise up urging you to go to one place or another, promising safety and refuge, convincing in both their zeal and determination. I cannot tell you what to do, or where to go, nor can any other man. Only God can speak to you in such a way that you will know He has sent you. We must however remember the words of Christ who said, “therefore if they say to you, ‘look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or, ‘Look He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.”
It is this intimacy and fellowship with God, which we have been stressing lately, that keeps us from being deceived, for if we know the true voice of God, we will readily be able to discern the counterfeit.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

5 comments:

Amy S. Trosen said...

I agree the temptation to run is almost overwhelming. Take care not to relocate unless you have an absolute word from the Lord to do so. Historians tell us the identifying mark of the first century Christians was their refusal to panic and run when facing the lions in the gladiator's arena. Knowing the word of God that all who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted, knowing the promise of God that we are kept by His power, knowing the example of Scripture that God is able even to shut the mouths of hungry lions, our first century brothers and sisters bravely walked the narrow path, one step at a time as led by the Spirit. Friends, faith is not faith unless it endures. At the same time, faith only endures because of God's grace. "If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself." (2 Tim 2:11-13 NIV)

In these remaining hours, we must ruthlessly cut away the extraneous from our lives and work only the work that Jesus has called each of us to do. Cut away the distractions, even good ministry, if that ministry is not the work of the hour.

I pray that we who see what is coming will grow today in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray for boldness to reach out to others and not hog to myself the word of Life.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael,
Thanks for this word of encouragement. Just this week, God showed me something in scripture that speaks to what you just said "is that intimacy with God is the river that carries the fulfillment of His promises to us". He led me to look at the following miracles: the wedding at Cana; the raising of Lazarus; the 2 fish and 5 loaves; and the fishing trip. In all these, the people had come to the end of their resources/efforts: the disciples would have argued that the money they had could not feed a few of them, let alone thousands, they could have gone on to tell the lord how to multiply the funds so they could make a purchase, or suggest an exit strategy that would not anger the congregation, etc; the wedding servers could have argued the fact that the wine was finished and that the catering agency had closed for the day and hence the wedding feast had to come to a premature end. They could have laughed at Jesus telling them to put water in the jars, and seen it as a form of mockery; the disciples after toiling a whole night and catching nothing, could have refused to cast their net to the other side of the boat at Jesus' direction, after all, they were the experts at fishing (Jesus being a carpenter's son) and had already "been there and done that". Mary and Martha, could have done more to stop Jesus from having that stone rolled away at Lazarus’s tomb, why that very act would make some people "unclean" based on the Law of Moses. They could have continued to argue, that if He (Jesus) had been there, this could not have happened, believing that their dear brother was now beyond Jesus’s reach.

But, they did not. They chose to listen and hear what Jesus was telling them and act on it. Somehow, they remembered, who it was that was directing them to take certain steps, irrespective of what their eyes were telling them i.e. despite the "reality". They recognized who Christ was and they listened and obeyed. When they did that, they received their miracle, the people were fed, Lazarus was raised from the dead; the wedding feast continued and the disciples had so much fish, they had to SOS for other boats to come help. That connection, I believe is what is birthed by intimacy with God, because you learn to understand despite the circumstances, WHO it is that is asking you to act differently. You learn to listen, recognize and obey the Lord, leading to receiving.

Recently, a dear sister of mine in the UK visited a friend at hospital, who had been given 48hours to live (or rather die). He was paralyzed and had complete kidney failure. All medication apart from pain killers to make him “comfortable for the transition” were withdrawn. This group of 6 faithful women, refused to hear the doctors report. They fasted and prayed the whole day believing for a miracle. They would stop every so often to run to His room to check whether the miracle had occurred. One dear sister shared that she even stopped looking at the man because her eyes begun to testify against her faith!! Her eyes were confirming the guy was dying, but she knew that God can heal and restore. She literally refused to walk by sight and initiated faith. Even the man's wife was skeptical and ready to make funeral arrangements. But this team of 6 ladies continued to pray earnestly from 9 in the morning to past midnight. After midnight, the miracle happened. The paralytic got out of bed, his bloody urine became clear, his gray skin got color back and he begun to talk and begun to eat. In fact, he called everyone who had been called by his bedside to give their last respect. This happened a week ago. The man is now completely healed to the shock and awe of doctors.

The amazing thing is that we were not shocked. I kept wondering, how come I am not in shock…but Ii realized, we had asked of the father and he had given us the miracle as expected. Why then should we be surprised when God fulfills his promises - even we don't do that with our earthly parents and HE is our ever loving and more than able FATHER. It is wonderful to be called His own. But we need to understand Him to believe Him, and therein is the secret to getting intimate and experiencing a river that does not dry up when everything else does. I realized this is where we are heading. The dark days are at the door, we need to quickly know Him to survive.


In His Grace,
Joyce

Elm Street Chapel > Ryan said...

Michael,

What you say rings true. It is not merely what you read in the word that makes is so stirring but the fact that it is what the Spirit is ministering to those who will hear it.

Today, I was put in remembrance of the truth that it is perfect love that casts out all fear. God's love for us is perfect, He changes not. But it is our love for the Lord that must be perfect, never looking back at the old man, never bowing to the will of man or the things of this world, but keeping our eyes fixed on the One who gave it all for us, Christ Jesus our Lord.

As any watchman who obeys the voice of their Lord, we see the darkness drawing closer day after day, and day after day we continue to give warning to all that the Lord puts before us. But the time is soon upon us where we will be required to stand in our own righteousness as Job, Noah and Daniel did. Many will deny this truth, or like Peter, say "well then who Lord can enter in, who can be saved." And then the truth of God's words and promises prevails...all things are possible with God.

People of God, I urge you to let go of anything and everything that is keeping you from relying on the Spirit of truth for your every need. I pray that you would humble yourself before the Living God and ask Him to pour out His Spirit upon you that you may have ears to hear and eyes to see. The green season will come to an end, and though many have heard much of what the Lord has been speaking through His servants, the time will come when we will be required to go into the chamber, unto the place of protection in God, and many virgins will be without oil. Buy of God oil now, while there is yet time, while the Spirit of truth is drawing you for the time will come when the foolish virgins will ask the wise for their oil but it will be too late.

(the Lord speaks)
Come and draw close to Me this day that I may give you all that you need. I call after you saying put on strength, My people. Hold fast to all that I have spoken to you and let not the cares of this life or the traditions of men keep you from receiving the fullness of what I have for you. To those who desire to be filled with My Spirit, I say ask of Me that I may pour out abundantly upon you. I will not hold back anything from those who ask Me with a sincere heart. Come, I say, come while it is yet day. Soon darkness will cover the earth and men's hearts will fail them for fear, but I desire that you be stayed in perfect peace. Who will hear My voice and believe Me this day. I do speak, but I say who will hear me and walk accordingly that it may be accounted unto them for righteousness?
(end)

Find faith in me Lord Jesus and in all who are here.

Love in Him,
Ryan

Anonymous said...

This, I know is true. Monday night I couldn't sleep, I saw myself speaking of Ez 38-39 to my youth group at church when all of a sudden a wave of fear hit. I looked out the window and saw the moon. It was a cresent, like the Islamic symbol. I started to give in to my fear until I took notice that the moon always gives off the radiance of the cross....have you noticed? I made myself focus on that and was taught the lesson that even though the sounds of war have been sounded, our strength and protection comes from HIM....Jesus.

May I be counted worthy.

Anonymous said...

I love it, Thanks for sharing this. Our strenght is always, in Him, and also our only true protection.